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Hibernation....


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#1 Guest_Dawn_*

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 04:10 PM

I've decieded to hibernate mine from November to March (5mths) so will be starting my wind down in October.

After trying to draught proof my shed today, I decieded Im fighting a losing battle!! Hmmmm, new shed next year me thinks..... rolleyes.gif So rather than spend loads of money trying to insulate it I've decieded to bring the torts indoors for the wind down. My plan is to bring them in next weekend as last night the temp in the shed went down to 6 degrees at its lowest!!! I've put some membrane stuff round the inside of the shed which will hopefully keep them a bit warmer for the coming week, and I've just been out and shut them in - blocked the doorways (otherwise they will sneak back out!) and left the lamp on till 7pm to try and warm the shed a bit. Then just before it gets dark I'll go and check the temp again.

I will start doing a step by step guide from next week once they are indoors..... so any of you going to join me?? rolleyes.gif

#2 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 06:15 PM

Hi Dawn,

I will be joining you in the hibernation thing.... but may be a few weeks behind you!
This will be the first time I have hibernated Hettie and the babies are only 2 so wont be having such a BIG sleep as your guys.
I was thinking of about 8 (ish) weeks, depending on weight loss, so thought I'd try and get them in the fridge mid December.
Do you think that'd work for my lot?

Paula x

#3 Guest_Dawn_*

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 07:04 PM

You want to really try and cover the colder months - Jan & feb in particular. Could you not do mid december to end of feb? Hibernate mid dec then play it by ear, they are old enough to cope with a 12wk hibernation...... biggrin.gif

#4 Guest_layla_*

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 07:42 PM

Hi, hope all and all ok,

I'm joining in with hibenaton but am also going to do the 8 weeks, although I am open to negotiations, if Ethel's not lost to much weight and all is ok, then may (did say may) leave her for longer.

So mid December would do me til either mid Febuary or later............


Jac

P.S. I'm also trying to convince Gail to do hers(dora fine, but phoebe's not a definate yet).....but shhhhhh don't tell her yet. laugh.gif laugh.gif


x

#5 Guest_brucefairweather_*

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 08:16 PM

QUOTE (layla @ Sep 18 2009, 08:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi, hope all and all ok,

I'm joining in with hibenaton but am also going to do the 8 weeks, although I am open to negotiations, if Ethel's not lost to much weight and all is ok, then may (did say may) leave her for longer.

So mid December would do me til either mid Febuary or later............


Jac

P.S. I'm also trying to convince Gail to do hers(dora fine, but phoebe's not a definate yet).....but shhhhhh don't tell her yet. laugh.gif laugh.gif


x

i am going for dec to the start of march

#6 Guest_Lin_*

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 09:23 PM

Last year I did the wind down in December as there were just about some weeds til the end of Nov and hibernated Jan & Feb. Weeds don't start being about until well into March. I think I'll do the same this year

#7 Guest_Hermie + Pebble_*

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 10:35 AM



Mine are only just a year so will be less again, but was looking at December as well. I am off for 2 weeks over xmas so was thinking then for the actual sleep phase, winding down the week before- so I won't be on pins in work and rushing home to check the fridge! If they are ok over those 2 weeks will be less edgy when I am back in work.

Does anyone use their actual fridge or are you getting a dedicated tort fridge? I have a really big fridge with 2 big draws in the bottom which my bloke thinks is a good option- I wanted to get a fridge just for them in the utility room. wasn't sure if the traffic in the main fridge would be too disturbing and maybe too many smells as well. Then there is the fact u are keeping live animals in with the food?

xx







#8 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 11:54 AM

I have a separate fridge which is one of those drinks fridges. I found this works well if the temperature in the room is fairly stable. If the room temp zooms up and down the little fridge struggles to keep up. So I keep the dedicated tortoise fridge in a spare room which is maintained at about 18C.

Some people do hibernate their tortoises in the same fridge as the humans keep their food. I have seen dire warnings about the risks of nasty bugs infecting the human food but I don't know if there are any documented cases of this actually hapenning. Andy Highfield of the the Tort Trust reckons we shouldn't put the torts in our own fridges because of the human health issues.

My own personal point of view is that a dedicated fridge makes sense for me because I can fuss over the temperature in it and try and get things just right for the tortoises without worrying if the temp is right for the foodstuffs. I found that I needed to be able to place the hibernation container in a very exact place to get the ideal temperature.

#9 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 12:02 PM

I brought mine indoors last evening to their new accommodation in what used to be the spare room. It isn't spare now, as its got a 1.8metre x 1.5 metre tortoise habitat in it! rolleyes.gif laugh.gif

I'm planning on keeping mine going indoors into December and fridging them about xmas or mid-Dec. I'm with Bruce on this one, in that we are slower to warm up (ha ha angry.gif ) in Scotland.

Until yesterday I was managing to keep them going with the coldframe with its heating and basking lamp but this became pointless once the torts were hardly venturing into the outside area. cool.gif



#10 Guest_jay_*

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 06:12 PM

hI,
I'M THINKING OF HIBERNATING MY TORT TOWARDS THE END OF DECEMBER SO I WILL BE SLOWING HIM DOWN TOWARDS THE END OF NOVEMBER TO GIVE HIM ABOUT 6-8 WEEKS HIBERNATION AS THIS WILL BE THE FIRST HIBERNATION,I HOPE ALL GOES TO PLAN?
jAY AND H

#11 Guest_kaybee_*

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 10:26 PM

I will be hibernating all of mine. I have 2 weeks off over Christmas so will start then.
Not sure how long they should hibernate for though. Ruby will be 5 months by then, Toby n Tulula will be 14 months and Betty approx 2 yrs,
any ideas? huh.gif

#12 Guest_Dawn_*

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 10:19 AM

QUOTE (Hermie + Pebble @ Sep 19 2009, 11:35 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Mine are only just a year so will be less again, but was looking at December as well. I am off for 2 weeks over xmas so was thinking then for the actual sleep phase, winding down the week before- so I won't be on pins in work and rushing home to check the fridge! If they are ok over those 2 weeks will be less edgy when I am back in work.

Does anyone use their actual fridge or are you getting a dedicated tort fridge? I have a really big fridge with 2 big draws in the bottom which my bloke thinks is a good option- I wanted to get a fridge just for them in the utility room. wasn't sure if the traffic in the main fridge would be too disturbing and maybe too many smells as well. Then there is the fact u are keeping live animals in with the food?

xx


Not sure if I'm reading this right.... do you mean your only going to hibernate for 2 weeks????? OR that you will start their hibernation then?
As Oz has already said it's your personal choice to whether you use your food fridge or not, personally I wouldn't. As you have said, as well as the door opening and shutting all the time, there will occassionally be strong smelling food in there, also over Xmas you tend to need all the fridge space you can get! Also as you've already said, there is the health issue of having live animals in your food fridge!
If you can afford it and you have the space I would advise you to get them their own fridge, then what I do is leave mine on all year round and use it as a 'drinks' fridge during the summer!!!!!!

#13 Guest_Dawn_*

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 10:20 AM

QUOTE (jay @ Sep 19 2009, 07:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
hI,
I'M THINKING OF HIBERNATING MY TORT TOWARDS THE END OF DECEMBER SO I WILL BE SLOWING HIM DOWN TOWARDS THE END OF NOVEMBER TO GIVE HIM ABOUT 6-8 WEEKS HIBERNATION AS THIS WILL BE THE FIRST HIBERNATION,I HOPE ALL GOES TO PLAN?
jAY AND H



It is generally said that the minimum hibernation period should be 8 weeks...

#14 Guest_Dawn_*

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 10:40 AM

I would say to anyone who hasn't hibernated before (your torts silly - not you personally!!!! rolleyes.gif tongue.gif ) then go for the minimum period of 8 weeks hibernation, if during this time you feel confident to let them sleep for a bit longer then you can.

I aim for the optimum 5 months cos mine are all adults (wel, more or less!) but I regulary check them throughout and if at any stage I don't feel happy with any of them I can wake them up, but if not I leave them be, so far I have not had to wake them early. Last year with Teefa (who was then just over a 1yr) I was aiming for 8 weeks, but she was doing so well I left her and got her up with the others so she had just over 12 weeks.

Karen - as it's your first hibernation, aim for 8 weeks with all of them, if you feel they are doing fine them you can leave the older ones a bit longer, or if they are all going to be housed together you can get them all up together after 8 weeks. That'll be fine for their first one. It's better than not hibernating at all!!!

I'm going to leave mine outdoors for a bit longer as lining the shed seemed to help a bit (the temp in there is about 11 degrees at night) then once it starts dropping I will bring them indoors, give them a couple of weeks of 'feeding' them up a bit as I've noticed they've slowed down already! then will start the wind down.

Last year I did mid dec - beg of april, the year before I did mid nov - mid mar. I think I'm going to aim for mid nov again this year.

#15 Guest_Lin_*

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 12:56 PM

I've hibernated my two in the draws at the bottom of our kitchen fridge. I've never had any problms with the temperature, except don't put any frozen food in it to thaw as that will make the temp drop. I haven't died yet, but there again, living with 3 collies and every meal comes with a dog hair, I'm probably immune! blush.gif

#16 Guest_clairiscrazy_*

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 02:06 PM

im going to aim for 8 weeks as it is my first hibernation of my three..


my question is depending on the weight they go to sleep with what is the normal weight loss to look out for before waking if loosing to much?? im no good with % so a rough g a week would be good ..lol.. blush.gif

at the moment the weights of mine are (ive been weighing weekly since i got them..lol)

boop 54g 6cm in length

betty 52g 6.1cm in length

boris 57g 6.3cm in length

so i have varing weights on them but there putting between 1-3g a week on so obvisouly they will be in there 60g or over hopefully come sleep time...

#17 Guest_tortoisemad_*

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 07:53 PM

hiya everyone well i would love a bit of help on the hibernation my 10 year old and 4 year old have slow down a lot and not really coming out much now or eating as much as they was but my 2 years oltill going good,
well any way

i just wanted too make sure you think there weights ok for what i going too hiberntion them for

charlie weight on 9th sept 582g and he going too be hibernation from november to april he 10 years old
daisy weight on 9th sept 413g and going too hibernatation from november to march or do you think i should do till april with her she 4 years old

justin, 158g, lumpy, 174g george 334g ,sam 151g on sept 9th i was thinking of hibernation from dec for 6 week but like dawn said too some of you too do 12 weeks do you think i should do 12 weeks with my lot of 2 years old ,

any help would be great and what temp would you set the fridge at for them,



#18 Guest_Dawn_*

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 08:15 PM

QUOTE (tortoisemad @ Sep 21 2009, 08:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
hiya everyone well i would love a bit of help on the hibernation my 10 year old and 4 year old have slow down a lot and not really coming out much now or eating as much as they was but my 2 years oltill going good,
well any way

i just wanted too make sure you think there weights ok for what i going too hiberntion them for

charlie weight on 9th sept 582g and he going too be hibernation from november to april he 10 years old
daisy weight on 9th sept 413g and going too hibernatation from november to march or do you think i should do till april with her she 4 years old

justin, 158g, lumpy, 174g george 334g ,sam 151g on sept 9th i was thinking of hibernation from dec for 6 week but like dawn said too some of you too do 12 weeks do you think i should do 12 weeks with my lot of 2 years old ,

any help would be great and what temp would you set the fridge at for them,



Hi, blimey you've got more than me!!!! Thats not fair!!!! lol!

To see if there weight is ok you need to give the lengths as well.

As already said the MINIMUM you should hibernate for is 8 weeks NOT 6

#19 Guest_Hermie + Pebble_*

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 08:15 PM

QUOTE (Dawn @ Sep 20 2009, 11:19 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Not sure if I'm reading this right.... do you mean your only going to hibernate for 2 weeks????? OR that you will start their hibernation then?
As Oz has already said it's your personal choice to whether you use your food fridge or not, personally I wouldn't. As you have said, as well as the door opening and shutting all the time, there will occassionally be strong smelling food in there, also over Xmas you tend to need all the fridge space you can get! Also as you've already said, there is the health issue of having live animals in your food fridge!
If you can afford it and you have the space I would advise you to get them their own fridge, then what I do is leave mine on all year round and use it as a 'drinks' fridge during the summer!!!!!!


LOL I'm not that bad Dawn... I was going to use the 2 weeks off as the first 2 weeks of hibernation and then see how it goes. If we are around for those weeks the worst will be over- as in we would have got a routine going for the checking and so forth, that way when we are back in school/ work it'll be less stressful than tryign to rush home to check them and going to work unsure in the morning.

Wasn't thinking of 8 weeks though, but that will depend on how it goes. I will play that by ear, have to read up on the weight loss info to make sure I have that clear in my head then I will make a chart up to keep everything under control. (great plan till the panic sets in lol)

xx

#20 Guest_tortoisemad_*

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 08:45 PM

hiya dawn thanks for reply too me ok here each of there lengths think i done it right


frist one it 10 year old at 5and half inch
4 years old 4 and half inch
(s) 3and half inch
(l) 3 and half inch
(j) 3inch
(g) 4 and inchs

so what you think,




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