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hibernation post on here is wrong???

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#1 Guest_clairiscrazy_*

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 02:09 PM

just reading up on hibernation whilst my three are roaming around there cage like maniacs looking for food :ohmy: :ohmy: .

the post states 1yr old torts is a 8 day starve/wind down period for a 3 week hibernation...

now im on a 2 week wind down for a 8 week hibernation?!?!?!?! i thought the min for a tort is 8 weeks not 3 weeks???

also can i ask is it normal for the torts to be roaming all over the show there really climbing everywere i was expecting them to slow down by now they have had no food since 4th dec and im feeling as guilty as anything.. saw one poo yesterday but havent a clue wich one done it...lol..

we turned on the fridge today to moniter the temps in there before my babys go in there,

i feel really really bad and very cruel is this normal..lol.. my hubby and kids are telling me not to do it so i really need some support here..

#2 Guest_Dawn_*

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 04:47 PM

Which hibernation post is that? Let me know and I'll check it out. Or do you mean the one at the top of the page? If so we'll have to contact Darran the owner as he deals with that - they are his care sheets and so only he can alter them.

As for torts still being active...yes I can definatly say they can remain active, but they should start slowing down - though mine did and promptly woke when they went in the fridge this morning!!!! Even in there they are still active! Little buggers! :rolleyes:

#3 Guest_clairiscrazy_*

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 06:34 PM

yes its darrens hibernation post at the very top.

mine are going in a large plastic food tub going to drill some holes through the lid or i may use the thick cardboard i have cut out instead but the way there bombing around the place i think they would push the cardboard out the way and climb out so i think the lid is best at the moment..lol..

still trying not to look at them FEED ME FEED ME eyes its sooo sad :( :(

#4 Guest_markf_*

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 06:41 PM

i know its so hard. When we started the wind down they used to come trotting over with feed me please eyes!!

And they took a week to start slowing down.

Yours i notice only hatched last year. How much do they weigh?? Are they really little. :wub:

#5 Guest_wizzasmum_*

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 11:42 PM

You are right not to follow that advise. It may well work for some but looking at how a tortoises digestion works it would depend on what it had been fed. A tortoise having a good high fibre diet would take much longer to empty it's gut and to be honest to hibernate anything les than 8 weeks would serve no purpose whatsoever. I would not weigh the box and tortoise together either, as if a tortoise had urinated in hibernation (given correct humidity levels) it would be impossible to tell by not weighing the tortoise alone. Just my opinion of course ;)

#6 Guest_wizzasmum_*

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 11:44 PM

If they are still really active, it is because your temps are too high. You need to reduce the temps to simulate autumn in the wild for them ;)

#7 Guest_clairiscrazy_*

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 12:12 AM

markf my weights as of a few days ago are

betty 66g
boris is 73g and
boop is 70g

as of tomorrow (well today since its past midnight..lol) im reducing times of heat/light to 8hrs so hopefully they will start to slow down soon or i think they will be skinny things as using up all there energy bombing round the cage..lol.

#8 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 02:18 PM

Hang on in there Clair!! :D

My little ones are 50g and 66g and they go down to 8 hrs today too. So we are at about the same stage, not that I think I can offer you support.... just thought we could PANIC together!! LOL!!
Bailey is very sleepy and I was worried as he had not poo'd yet but then today he produced something the length of his shell!! Bless!
Baby Boo has also 'been' but still spends lots of time under his heat bulb basking, although he doesnt bother charging round much.. in fact at all, bath, lamp, bed, tis a hard ol' life!
Hettie my 'big girl' (330g) is starting week 3 and has slowed down lots, today for the first time in days she came out to look for food... oooh the guilt!!

Paula x

#9 Guest_markf_*

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 08:02 PM

well clair pickle and onion are 62grams and 71 grams after thier wind down so ours are about the same age and size. !

I very nearly over wintered them this year because we struggled with the kids to make them under stand about putting them in the fridge! Still worried about them , but they have been in there for a week now.

I just thought that, well, if i dont do it this year, i will have to do it some time!! I think when ever you decide to do it there are issues and problems and risks, but as some one said to me, to them its nature....

#10 Guest_AndyG_*

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 08:41 PM

agree with above -
just go for it if in good health. Would happed in wild naturally. Were just controlling temp better for them.
Still cant help but check them every day as i pass the fridge.... been over a week now and all seems well.
good luck

#11 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 09:56 PM

In connection to wind-down periods, the weight and size of the tortoise is an important factor to take into account. Hermanns vary a lot in size and weight at a given age. For hatchlings and very small tortoises, a wind down period that is too long can result in too much weight loss.

Personally I don't think a 3 weeks hibernation would be worth it for the tortoise (or the keeper either!). I think 8 days does seem a very short wind -down even for a hatchling although I've seen two weeks mentioned for hatchlings. This was for little tortoises that many keepers would consider too small for hibernation.

#12 Guest_clairiscrazy_*

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 04:41 PM


mine are yet to go in the fridge and im struggling with the kids AND husband..lol.. there all telling me im being cruel and the torts are starving...
day 4 of no food and its not getting easier...

paula yes PANIC PANIC is the word..lol.. glad got this site though it does help..lol..

just bathed the three of them and now there all roaming around so i have a feeling the bath water is to warm? i should have it cooler than normal??

it was only betty walking all over the show today the other two never got up until about 3pm so i think finally we are getting somewere,,,

just a question and a huge worry to me,,,

i weighed them after there bath tonight and rather shocked at there weight loss over 5 days is this right?? they have another 10days before there even in the fridge

Boris 70g on the 3rd dec he is now 58g 8th dec (7cm)

Betty 69g 3rd dec now 61g 8th dec (6.6cm)

Boop 71g 3rd dec now 61g 8th dec (6.7cm)

#13 Guest_wizzasmum_*

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 06:17 PM

Hi Claire - weight loss during wind down is going to be far greater than during hibernation as you are emptying the tortoises stomach and gut. Once in hibernation this weight loss will slow to almost zero. The percentage of weight loss during winddown is discounted from overall hibernation weight loss which should be no more than 10%

#14 Guest_darran_*

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 10:00 PM

Hi all, with regard to the Hibernation care sheet at the top of the page. I sell hatchling tortoises to mostly new inexperienced keepers. Without exception hibernation is their biggest fear. If the hatchlings are given the correct care & diet, when it comes to their first winter, they will be around 20g in weight. To do the minimum hibernation period that many are suggesting (2 months) I know puts many new keepers off hibernation altogether. I feel that a shorter wind down & hibernation for new inexperienced owners offers a gentle introduction to hibernation and with each sucessful year of hibernation the Keeper will then know their tortoise and feel much more comfortable about the process. I do not believe a shorter hibernation is detrimental to the tortoise. In fact, I know of a very well respected breeder and keeper of many tortoises who does not recommend hibernating Hermann tortoises until they reach 5 years old. This I believe is wrong and all Hermann tortoises of any age and size will benefit from a hibernation period. It's easier for us more experienced tortoise owners who have been hibernating regularly with larger tortoises to be able to judge how our tortoises are doing during wind down and hibernation and know how different they can all be. An example being most of my tortoises lose little weight in hibernation, 1 loses nothing at all (every year) and another chappie loses quite a bit (over the recommended 1% per month) and it's only experience that I know that's his thing and I don't worry about it anymore. My aim is to encourage new owners to undertake the hibernation process and I know many new keepers have undertaken hibernation following the care sheet above and found it very helpful.

This website and forum is unique in it's very friendly and supportive approach towards new keepers and encouraging them towards good husbandry of their beloved tortoises. This care sheet does this.

#15 Guest_wizzasmum_*

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 06:52 PM

A shorter winddown though darran can end in death as not enough food may be digested thoroughly. Obviously a short hibernation is not going to harm (may not be beneficial but will not harm) whereas a short winddown could be fatal depending on temps when doing this. The emptying of the gut takes a certain length of time regardless of how long you are going to hibernate for - this worries me to be honest. If you say to do it at maximum temps it could well work, regardless of this not being a natural way to do it. I feel this does need to be stated though as if done at lower temps as in nature it could be disastrous.

#16 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 09:08 PM

I've recently understood a bit better - but still not very well- that the night time tempeatures during wind down are important as are the daytime ones. My tortoises wind-down indoors and this means that during the first couple of weeks of wind down they are fairly warm at night, maybe 19C. Regardless of what I fix for them in the daytime.

For the last week of winding down I banish them to the shed at night to help slow them down. But during the first couple of weeks their metabolism is (I think) still romping along. This might mean that for me the wind down could be a bit shorter than for animals which wind down outside where it gets cooler at night sooner.

I think I understand what Sue means about this quicker wind down maybe not being natural but because I cannot control what goes on outdoors it worries me to try that. As well as that, if I let my tortoise wind down in autumn with the climate, they would be asleep sometime in October. I like to keep 'em going till December. Jonathan

#17 Guest_wizzasmum_*

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 12:13 PM

Well, no, it was not quite that Jonathan. What I meant really was that if you wind down quicker at higher temps then wind down would lilely be quicker becasue of faster digestion. I would not do that personally though because that is not what a tortoises digestion is naturally geared to do. In the wild they would slow down as the temps slowly decreased and cease eating due to both a shortage of food and lack of stimulation from heat. It's easy to do this in a house by using an unheated room followed by a shed as you do. That is very similar to what I have been doing for almost thirty years but you will find some tortoises still pass a small amouunt of faeces after hibernation on quicker wind down showing the digestion process was not complete.
Sometimes we have to agree to disagree on some things. I just worry sometimes when torts (other peoples) die during hibernation and this is not looked at as a cause. It's hard to indicate to someone too, that it might have been their fault :(

#18 Guest_Dawn_*

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 08:45 PM

I think you have to go with what works for you personally.... :rolleyes:

I have my way of hibernating and some people might not agree with it but it works for mine. As I've said time and time again....go on your instinct - it's a wonderful thing and nearly always right!

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