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Hibernating!


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#1 Guest_u01nfa5_*

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 02:06 PM

Hi all!

Just wondering if everyone else is getting on well with their hibernation plans.

Tommy went into the fridge last week and seems to be settling OK. Its hibernation number 2, but I'm still as nervous as I was last year!

Anyway hope the winter doesnt seem too long as I miss him already!

Natalie!
x


#2 Guest_lilacgeorge_*

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 09:32 PM

Hi Natalie,

My 3 bigger torts go down in 2 weeks time (hopefully). I do the fridge method. I've done it a couple of times and it doesn't get easier!!!!

#3 Guest_kerry_n_vera_*

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 10:08 AM

My 3 yr old tortoise vera is currently in hibernation for the first time. We have been scared to do it before as she is so small poor little midget.

She currently weighs 104g and was 104g when i placed her in hibernation two weeks ago. she is definietly alive as she mves her head and legs when we get her out of her box to check her weight.

She went asleep straight away and we are very pleased but anxious.

Already cant wait to bring her out of hibernation already.
Kerry

#4 Guest_stargazer_*

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 05:54 PM

[Hi

My tort is currently in week 4 of wind down, but I need a fridge pretty quick. Can anyone recommend a small one. There are some in Argos, cooler types, will these be ok. I can't afford to buy a full size one and don't have room for a large one anyway. I'm hoping the weather will get cooler by next week so can box him instead. Any help most appreciated.

Thanks

Carole and Tiny]


#5 Guest_lentrix_*

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 08:30 AM

QUOTE (stargazer @ Nov 20 2008, 05:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
[Hi

My tort is currently in week 4 of wind down, but I need a fridge pretty quick. Can anyone recommend a small one. There are some in Argos, cooler types, will these be ok. I can't afford to buy a full size one and don't have room for a large one anyway. I'm hoping the weather will get cooler by next week so can box him instead. Any help most appreciated.

Thanks

Carole and Tiny]


Buy a 'desk top' one - they do them in Comet - see link:- http://www.comet.co..../PROLINE-TTR65P
then get a thermoter to keep temp around 5-8 degrees.
Don't forget to open once a day for fresh air !

#6 Guest_Andy_*

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 08:41 PM

QUOTE (lentrix @ Nov 21 2008, 08:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Buy a 'desk top' one - they do them in Comet - see link:- http://www.comet.co..../PROLINE-TTR65P
then get a thermoter to keep temp around 5-8 degrees.
Don't forget to open once a day for fresh air !




Mine are yet to go down for hibernation, i will leave it another 3 weeks, i know they will be ready then.

#7 Guest_Lin_*

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 03:56 PM

I'm going to start wind down in December. What bothers me though, is if I'm late with their food, Victor starts rooting through the aubiose. I'm worried he may eat that in the absense of anything else. Should I change their substrate and if so, to what? Don't want to put in soil as he picks out the tiny stones.

#8 Guest_Paul Mietz Egli_*

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 12:12 AM

QUOTE (u01nfa5 @ Nov 19 2008, 06:06 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just wondering if everyone else is getting on well with their hibernation plans.


This will be the first time we hibernate Pascale and Rene, our three-year-old Hermann's. We overwintered them last year but were encouraged by our vet to try hibernating them this time around. Needless to say, we've been fretting about it!

We're following the hibernation instructions from this site. I purchased a small refrigerator specifically for the torties and an inside/outside thermometer with an alarm to monitor the temperature. The fridge temp has been steady at 41-42F for several weeks. Their last meal was on November 12th, and they went into the refrigerator on the 28th. In the time between, we soaked them almost every day to keep them hydrated and make sure their guts were empty, weighed them, and gradually reduced their heat and light. Both of them peed during their bath a couple of days before we put them into the fridge, so I'm a bit worried about their hydration. Our vet recommended soaking them every couple of weeks during hydration -- does anyone else have experience doing this?

We've been checking them every day, and they seem to be doing fine. Their eyes are closed and they pull in their heads when I touch their feet. I'll probably weigh them again later this week and maybe give them a cold soak on the weekend. Any other tips for a first time hibernator, other than "don't panic"?

p.



#9 Guest_Lin_*

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 03:57 PM

I've never heard of a tortoise being given a bath once they are into hibernation. I've read that the reason why a tortoise should be woken up if they wee while hibernating is that they can use the fluid left in the bladder as fluid reserves, but don't worry if he did a wee while having a bath. The baths are to encourage them to wee, poo and to drink and also soak up fluid.


#10 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 09:32 PM

Hi! I haven't heard of this bathing during hibernation either. Doesn't mean it might not be alright but I'd wait and see if anyone on here has done it. Hydration is important but I don't know if they would absorb any water from a bath if they were hibernating, it would be extremely difficult to dry them after the bath as well.

I've got a couple of juveniles in the fridge which went in about a week ago. Things seem OK with them, the leg reacts to being moved and nobody has done a pee fortunately. I have an anxious eye on the thermometer.

One thing that worries me slightly - its low humidity in the fridge, about 25%. I would prefer to have it up at 50% but placing open bowls of water in the fridge has had no effect at all. Anyone got any ideas?









p.
[/quote]


#11 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 09:37 PM

I use a beer fridge - its a Husky one and I think these are supposed to be quite good. It keeps a reasonably stable temp and I've had no problems with it. A full size larder fridge is more stable and I'd prefer to have one for hbernating but as you say its a question of money and space. Ozric



"My tort is currently in week 4 of wind down, but I need a fridge pretty quick. Can anyone recommend a small one. There are some in Argos, cooler types, will these be ok. I can't afford to buy a full size one and don't have room for a large one anyway. I'm hoping the weather will get cooler by next week so can box him instead. Any help most appreciated."

Thanks

Carole and Tiny]
[/quote]


#12 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 10:33 PM


Hi there Oz, hows the babies? Everyone doing well I hope?

Humidity is relative to temperature, therefore you would have difficulty absorbing extra moisture into the air at fridge temperatures, any extra moisture would probably condense on the cooling element at the back of the fridge.

We did a test in our kitchen fridge not long ago and ours is operating at 5-6C with an average of 75% Relative humididty, however in the small beer fridge the temp averaged 9C and achieved 35%RH
Have you any scope to lower the temps in your fridge at all, as this would increase RELATIVE humididty? Of course the actual moisture content would remain the same.
Have a look at RELATIVE HUMIDITY on Wikipedia and see if this helps.

Paula x









#13 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 11:28 PM

Thanks Paula that's a very good point about the relative humidity, I'd totally missed that. In the beer fridge we are about 5-6 C and 25% humidity. I have removed the stupid bowls of water that were not adding any humidity, no wonder the water wasn't evaporating! Not keen to go much below 5C due to fluctuations and anyway the beer fridge might not manage to get any lower.

Babies doing great thanks - not hibernating them this year. Luckily I only need a tiny amount of food for them.

Oz




#14 Guest_stargazer_*

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 01:58 PM

QUOTE (lentrix @ Nov 21 2008, 08:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Buy a 'desk top' one - they do them in Comet - see link:- http://www.comet.co..../PROLINE-TTR65P
then get a thermoter to keep temp around 5-8 degrees.
Don't forget to open once a day for fresh air !



Think I've finally sorted out the hibernation. Tiny has the whole conservatory to himself and at this time of year it's just like walking into a fridge anyway. it's between 4 and 7 degrees constantly, so this year we won't be using it over Christmas which isn't a problem. He seems very happy in his box with his aubious.

Thanks for the above link, hopefully I will be able to obtain/afford one in the New Year if Comet is still going and in a sale too as I hope to get a friend for Tiny next year and then use the fridge next hibernation.

Thanks for help everyone and Merry Christmas, hope all torts are ok in the New Year!



#15 Guest_arnhib_*

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 12:09 PM

[quote name='Lin' date='Nov 22 2008, 03:56 PM' post='29812']
I'm going to start wind down in December. What bothers me though, is if I'm late with their food, Victor starts rooting through the aubiose. I'm worried he may eat that in the absense of anything else. Should I change their substrate and if so, to what? Don't want to put in soil as he picks out the tiny stones.
Hi Lin
After what I heard just last week , yes I would change the substrate, use an old towel and give him some cuttlefish to gnaw on <g>


#16 Guest_English Rose_*

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 04:12 PM

I need help......... ive never hibernated my little one before so i havent got a clue.

Am i supposed to be keeping the light on during the day for her, even though she just goes back to bed....? (until im ready to put her in my fridge?

She has had nothing to eat now for 4 weeks.. I have been bathing her every 2 days, is this correct?

I have turned my temp up in my fridge and its now at approx 6 degrees (instead of 2 that it was at). What do I put her in, in the fridge? do i just use a cardboard box with some of the hemp bedding in? and how often do i take her out to check on her?

Sorry for all the questions but Im a novice and very nervous.

lynne

#17 Guest_lilacgeorge_*

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 07:55 PM

QUOTE (English Rose @ Dec 17 2008, 04:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I need help......... ive never hibernated my little one before so i havent got a clue.

Am i supposed to be keeping the light on during the day for her, even though she just goes back to bed....? (until im ready to put her in my fridge?

She has had nothing to eat now for 4 weeks.. I have been bathing her every 2 days, is this correct?

I have turned my temp up in my fridge and its now at approx 6 degrees (instead of 2 that it was at). What do I put her in, in the fridge? do i just use a cardboard box with some of the hemp bedding in? and how often do i take her out to check on her?

Sorry for all the questions but Im a novice and very nervous.

lynne


Hi Lynne,

If you've done 4 weeksof wind down then I would keep the lights/heat off now. Decide when you are going to put her in the fridge (sometime in the next couple of days).
Give her a bath the day before.
Transfer her to the fridge - I put mine in the outhouse for a few hours before to get them used to a colder temp.
I use a box (plastic biscuit tub) and put hemp in there so they can burrow down if they want. I also put a peice of polystyring over the top as a sort of lid. This is to protect them from any water droplets, stop them getting woken by the door light and just in case they try to climb out!!!!!
I will open the door on my fridge once in the morning and once in the evening for a few seconds everyday, then once a week I will take them out and weigh them, this will be done first thing in the morning when its a bit colder indoors. I will only keep them out briefly - a couple of mins max.

Please feel free to ask loads of questions smile.gif





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