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Tort not hibernating but very quiet, is this okay?


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#1 Guest_aliandneil_*

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 08:16 AM

Hi all,

We haven't hibernated Corey, our 18 month old tort as we only got him in october and we weren't confident enough to hibernate him (he is our first tortoise). He is indoors in a tortoise table, and even before the bad weather hit he had become quiet, not eating much and less active, and since the snow even more quiet. He can stay in his hide for a day or even two days and not eat at all, not coming out under the heat lamp even. We have central heating on indoors and when we are out at work the temp doesn't get below 17 degrees, otherwise it is 21 degrees in the evening.

I don't know whether I should let him sleep and stay in his hide as he is not properly hibernating, or should I bring him out under his heat lamp myself. On occasions when I have brought him out as I felt he must need warming up, he does eat a little after a while, but straight after he heads back into his hide.

Do I just let him stay in his hide for however long he wants to (even if this is days!) or bring him out to warm up. I am quite concerned. :unsure:

Many thanks.

#2 Guest_wizzasmum_*

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 11:06 AM

My biggest concern with this type of behaviour when indoors would be dehydration. A centrally heated house in winter is a poor environment for a tortoise for this reason. Unfortunately they are geared to the length of natural daylight hours as well as baremetric pressure which we have no control over. Never let him go to sleep under his lamps and make sure he is well huydrated on a daily basis. Use a humid area for him to sleep in or throw some moist clean spaghnum moss over him at night time. Keep an eye on his weight for any loss's but if he stays the same I woudl not worry. Be sure to hibernate him next year as it seems he is strongly geared to do so. Is he a pet shop tortoise and therefore from another country?

#3 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 11:08 AM


Last year when I had to overwinter Hettie I had exactly the same problem. I think you are just fighting against a natural bodyclock that tells the little guys they should be sleeping. I was told to increase the heat and light to 14 hour to try and 'trick' her into thinking it was summer...but as you mention if they are hiding away they don't seem to notice anyway.
Are you giving Corey plenty of baths? Hettie usually ate after a bath.
Did you buy him from a pet shop? If so it might be worth taking a poo sample to the vet to check seeing as you haven't had him very log, just to make sure he doesnt have worms?
They would be my first thoughts...

Paula x

#4 Guest_Lin_*

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 11:35 AM

When I overwintered my tortoise, I used to put him under the lamp when it had warmed up. Give plenty of baths and don't worry if he doesn't eat much. If he's not moving around much then he won't be using much energy so doesn't need so much. Plenty of baths, though, then put him under his lamp and he'll probably eat a bit.

#5 Guest_aliandneil_*

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 11:52 AM

Many thanks for all your advice. He is pet shop bought, but I have a certificate showing his UK breeding. I shall bath him as suggested, how often?. I must admit I don't bath him regularly, should I? When I bath him I put him in a clean washing up bowl with about 1cm of tepid water, but it goes cold quickly. How long should he stay in and do you put water over his shell, or just let him walk around?

So I should bring him out under his lamp each day, bath him regularly and encourage him to feed. Hopefully this should see him through. I will certainly be hibernating him next year, that's for sure.

Thanks everybody.

#6 Guest_wizzasmum_*

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 12:56 PM

That's very unusual for a pet shop to be selling UK bred - any clues on where he is from originally (shuold say origin on his cert) as I am always looking out for recommendations when people contact me via my site?
If he still does not feed in a day or two then try a small glucose boost for him of critical care formula and keep those light levels as high as possible during the day.

#7 Guest_Pat_*

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 02:10 PM

Hi, I am not an experienced tort owner (first 2 hatchlings Sept 09) and have overwintered this year (but wont next)!

My 2 had slowed down recently, but found it wasnt the heat that had made them slow down but the lack of light. I have a combined lamp, but unfortunately it did not give much light to the rest of the table - so have fitted a Reptisun 2 strip light to the whole table which now comes on an hour before the combined lamp and stays on for an hour after. I also boost this with a clip on light with a daylight bulb for a couple of hours in the morning, which shines into their upturned plant pot where they both sleep or if it seems dull. They have become much more active since so it might be worth a try for you? :wub: I am still lucky to have access to some weeds - I live very clost to some sheltered land where the snow cant get to.

Like I said I am a newbie but just letting you know what has worked for me so far!

xPat

#8 Guest_aliandneil_*

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 08:15 AM

The country of origin on his certificate is the UK. If it is any use to you, the breeder and Certificate Holder (until Corey reaches 100mm plastron length then I have to get him microchipped) is *(PLEASE PM FOR DETAILS)*. His certificate is marked as " captive born-and-bred".

On the light front, I do have a UV strip light and a separate basking lamp in his table which I keep on for 12 hours a day. Corey has seemed to brighten up over the weekend, thankfully. He has been out walking about and has fed quite well. I weighed and measured him too, and he is doing fine on the Jackson Ratio scale. When we had him out walking in the house when he seemed brighter, he did a poo and wee on the floor :huh: which were both normal, so I think he is fine.

Many thanks for all your great advice. :rolleyes:

#9 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 09:00 AM

Bathing him everyday will help with feeding as it helps increase the appetite. If you put your tortoise in a small container (ice cream tub or the like) and put him under the spotlight while bathing. I put my timer on so I dont forget they are there:0) the water will stay warmer for a bit longer. You can also just change the water again for warmer.
The light levels in the enclosure whereever it is, needs to be higher this time of the year, as its so dark and grey outside. Tortoises react to the light as well as heat.

#10 Guest_aliandneil_*

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 06:36 AM

Many thanks for that Sandy. Good idea using a smaller bath and keeping it under the lamp. I was using a washing up bowl outside his house. :rolleyes:

#11 Guest_wizzasmum_*

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 10:44 AM

Not heard of them to be honest, interesting though!
You don't have to get him microchipped at 100mm, in fact that is very small for such an invasion. You only need to do this if you are going to sell it or breed from it, in which case iI would leave it until it is adult. So long as you keep the original cert it will be OK to do it at any age.

#12 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 03:30 PM


You don't have to get him microchipped at 100mm, in fact that is very small for such an invasion. You only need to do this if you are going to sell it or breed from it, in which case iI would leave it until it is adult. So long as you keep the original cert it will be OK to do it at any age.
[/quote]


I agree with Sue, getting any tortoise microchipped at 100mm is ridiculous, the chip can be quite big in comparison with the leg as that size.
I have never, and will never have a tortoise of mine microchipped at that size. I only get them chipped if I am going to breed from them, if not I dont bother, as I dont like to medicate or put things into my tortoises unless really needed.

#13 Guest_Pippa_*

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 01:01 PM

I agree with Sue, getting any tortoise microchipped at 100mm is ridiculous, the chip can be quite big in comparison with the leg as that size.
I have never, and will never have a tortoise of mine microchipped at that size. I only get them chipped if I am going to breed from them, if not I dont bother, as I dont like to medicate or put things into my tortoises unless really needed.
[/quote]

Hi I'm Pippa.
I'm new to this forum and tortoise owning (I have owned my little chap, Sherman, for just 14 months).
As a matter of interest at what age/size do tortoises breed?

#14 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 01:41 PM

If grown as smoothly as you can in the UK, then iberas from about 10yrs onwards. Most med tortoises have to get to at least 800-1000grms before breeding. I have now got two of my own captive bred tortoises, breeding, the biggest one has laid fertile eggs for the last three years. And is slightly bigger than she should be (we all have to learn, she was my first ever hatchling and twelve years ago, there was not so much info around as there is now, about hatchling care) I fed her the right foods, but just too much. The second of my home grown females (two years younger) laid her first clutch last year, and three were hatched from four eggs. These were on the small side, but they did well, and I didnt expect the first clutch to be fertile. Mojo weighs around 960grms.

It is size that determines egg laying, not age:0) In the wild tortoises can be 15yrs and older before they will lay eggs.

#15 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 11:54 PM

On the subjest of keeping them going when indoors in winter I agree strongly with the need for light. Exra lights such as the reptisun 2 mentioned above can make a big difference. Although the light from a combined heat and UVB bulb seems very bright to us it is not bright at all compared to natural sun in the mediterranean.

So for anyone havng problems keeping a tortoise going when overwintering I think it is well worth trying extra lights. It may help and it is not going to do any harm, unless lights that give off a lot of heat are used -then it is possible to end up with too much heat. This is why the reptsun 2 works well, it is broad spectrum light without heat.

#16 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 09:33 AM

I agree totally with the extra light keeping tortoises going. I just have an extra ordinary tube fitted in mine, and its on all the time during the Winter, as its so dark and gloomy if not. And the more light the more activity you get.




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