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Weight loss in hibernation?


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#1 Guest_koopa_*

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 12:17 PM

Hi Guys,

Koopa has been in the fridge since beginning of dec, going to wake her end on feb so will be about 12 weeks hibernation, its her first hibernation and i think it is going well.
i am a bit concerned about her weight loss but i think she is still well within her 10%. could someone just confirm for me that it ok.

she weighed 924g before she went in.

7 weeks in she now weighs 904g. so she has been losing nearly 3g a week. she can lose up to 92g which is 10% so i think she has been doing well (i hope) with losing only 20g

is this all ok and normal?

thanks katie
:blush:

#2 Guest_Dawn_*

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 02:16 PM

Yeah that sounds fine, is she moving around lots? Just out of interest (for my own little survey!) what substrate are you using for hibernation? Keep an eye on her, and if your at all concerned wake her up, but for now I would leave her ;)

#3 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 02:40 PM

Are your fridge temps stable?
As its unusual for fridged tortoises to lose continual weight, as temps can be kept at 5c more easily than if they are boxed.

#4 Guest_koopa_*

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 05:09 PM

Hi,
I'm using a paper bedding sold in reptile shops for small animals and reptiles (it has a pic of a tort on the front) it is completely dust free. she hasn't moved much at all during the time in there.

i wanted to use soil for her but got scared and decided to use something that i could get her out quickly when weighing her without disturbing the burrow she created too much.

next year i'll prob go with soil tho.

and my fridge temp range a little bit between 5 and 6 degrees. although has been know to go a low a 4.4... i had trouble balancing the temp when she first went in, even tho i'd set it up and it was keeping temp perfectely before she went in. it once went as low as 2 degrees and once as high a 7 in the first two weeks where i was trying to frantically adjust. and a few weeks back we had a power cut for 4 hours and the temp got to 9 degrees but i didn't open the fridge at all as i was hoping she'd continue to sleep and when the temps went back down i checked and she hadn't woken up though it, so that was a close shave.

it's been a tough time but it is her first so i expected her to perhaps lose a bit of weight, as she never experienced it before. and it's all a learning curve for me too i would certianly do things different next time but am dertmined to do the 12 weeks min as she is 5 years old.

thanks guys

katie

#5 Guest_Dawn_*

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 05:54 PM

The reason I asked about your substrate was up until this year I've used mainly ambiouse and they all lost weight during hibernation - the bigger ones lost loads of weight, but this year I've used soil and so far none of them have lost weight! Might just be coincedence....?

#6 Guest_koopa_*

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 06:21 PM

Just tried to do a google search on Ambiouse. not sure what it is? is it possible it's the stuff i'm using? it looks like a grey balls of recycled papery stuff which is really soft.

I think that it has alot to do with her weight loss so far. just don't think that it 's quite right to use. so will be changing it next year.

thanks katie

#7 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 10:52 PM

Do you keep a dish/bowl of water in your fridge with the tortoises?
As this apparently helps, I dont use a fridge myself, but lots of my keeper friends do.

#8 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 09:15 PM

LOL!!! Don't talk to me and Oz about bowls of water in the fridge. :laugh:

We have been trying to get our heads around relative humidity for some time, as I understand it... and I could be wrong... the water doesn't actually increase the humidity levels in the fridge as the moisture is drawn to the condenser unit at the back of the fridge, rather than to remain airbourne.

But as I say... I could be so very wrong!! :rolleyes:

Paula x

#9 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 09:22 PM

Hi Paula

Sorry I have no idea, as I dont use the fridge method. But I do know lots who do, and they all have some sort of water in there to help humidity:0) As apparently tortoises can dry out quicker in a fridge.

#10 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 10:07 PM

Right then, we shall settle this once and for all!! :laugh:

If your torty buddies think it's a good idea it's worth a whizz!

I have had a data logger in my fridge for the last 4 weeks, I shall go and put a bowl of water in and measure it in a couple of days and just see if it does make a difference!!

I have one of the sensors to my weather station in there, although it doesn't record humidity it tells you what it is now (69%) and it's highest (75%) and lowest (45%) reading, since the last reading.

The data loggers are far more detailed... I shall keep you informed!! :D

Paula x

#11 Guest_Dawn_*

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 10:19 PM

I dont have a bowl of water in there, but I do have a humidity reader in there and tend to ignore it as it reads 80 - 100%! The only difference I made was change them to soil and so far they haven't lost weight. My temps however remain stable so I think I'll forget the humidity side of it (too complevated) and stick to hibnernating in soil.....

#12 Guest_markf_*

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 06:17 PM

This is why fridges are dry (ish) the moisture is taken from the air. I gave this a bit of thought and thought well if i waft the door a couple of times a day then outside more humid air would get into the fridge.

Maybe whilst doing this a very fine mist could be sprayed in, but i cant see this making much impact, neither do i think a bowl of water would, but heh like you say its worth a whizz!!

#13 Guest_koopa_*

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 09:14 PM

hi guys,

i stuck in one of those hydrometer things in the fridge (stolen from dragon tank!) and it's at's 60% humidity. which is all well and good except i haven't the foggest what that means!?

anyone want's to hazard a guess i'm open to opinions! there is a mimimal amount of frost on the back, but it is no where near Koopa.

thanks
katie

p.s am gonna try soil next year, as you've said dawn as it's helped yours and it make sense when you think about it cause in the wild they would dig down into soil.
:D

#14 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 09:54 PM

If you get 60% relative humidity in your fridge you are doing well and I'd say don't mess with that. I cannot get it above 40%

Paula we need a lecture from your man about relative humidity!

I've tried the bowls of water and they didn't do diddly squat. The air is cold, the water sits there in the bowl and the moment I open the door the water jumps right out into the room. Cold air hasn't the ability to hold much moisture, but with humidity it's all relative apparently.

I've been adding some water to my soil substrate and I think this has helped a bit. But when I open the door the moisture jumps out of the soil, through the little holes in the plastic container and out into the room. And it refuses to go back in! Seriously.

#15 Guest_Pat_*

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 06:48 PM

All interesting stuff for us newbies to learn for next year. I too was going to use soil so that they could adjust up or down. Just a couple of questions, how deep would it need to be and what container do you use if it is soil?

Also - how would you know if they had had a wee as it is likely to soak in and not be obvious?

Pat x

#16 Guest_Dawn_*

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 08:08 PM

I use biscuit tubs and ice cream tubs. As for wee, this is one of the reason's for weighing them.

#17 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 08:21 PM

I use plastic containers such as lunch boxes-they have suitable lids that can be drilled for holes. One advantage of the plastic is that it helps keep the moisture in. I don't have much depth of soil in mine and I think to have soil for digging down into this would need to be really quite deep and my fridge shelves are not far apart. I find my hermanns don't do very much digging at any time.

Using soil does mean that a wee maybe won't be noticed and as Dawn says we can use weighing as a way round it.

This year I used a slightly damp soil substrate and the tortoises have lost only the tiniest amount of weight. For that reason I am planning to always use that now because weight loss in hibernation is basically all water and this can bring a risk of dehydration.

#18 Guest_Pat_*

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 09:29 PM

So would you put holes in the bottom and stand it in a tray of water or spray the top to keep it moist?

#19 Guest_markf_*

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 07:23 PM

i used slightly damp substrate and the boys lost no weight in five weeks before the electric cut woke them!

I had quite a bit of condensation inside thier plastic boxes, which i think helped. The boys themselves were a little damp.

I dunno if giving the door a good waft twice a day helped create some condensation. But i think it may have helped.




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