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Torts dont want to hibernate


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#1 Guest_porkchop_71_*

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 08:05 PM

Hi all

I am hibernating my two 6 year olds for the first time this year however they dont show any signs of slowing down and I am now approaching week 3 of the wind down period. They are both 14.5 cm and weight 590/615. For the first week I had background heat and lamps on for 12 hours, the second week background heat for the first part of the week and lights on for 9/10 hours I have also been bathing them everyday, they spend a good part of the day chasing each other around! Should they not be showing sign of slowing down by now?

#2 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 08:47 PM


Hello there,

I don't have much experience with hibernations, so I hope someone will be along to help soon. The only thing that springs to mind is to ask you about their night time temperatures are they dropping at all? If you put a bit more info about your set up it might help someone advise?

Paula x


#3 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 11:32 PM

Hi There,
I can only go on the information you have given. But you probably need to reduce your heat and light alot further. I would say for the last week or two temps should be around 10-12 degrees wherever you have them. They should have also gone a sufficiently long time without eating? If you meet these requirements I think they will gradually slow down for you. Hope this helps. Best of luck ;)
Kind Regards
Freddy :D

#4 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 12:21 PM

Hi Porkchop. Hermanns are totally dependent on getting heat from somewhere in order to be active. One problem with winding them down indoors can be that it never gets all that cool inside our houses. Towards the end of wind down I usually have mine out in the shed for periods of time where its a lot cooler than it ever gets in the house. If you have withdrawn food fer several weeks and kept the tortoises fairly warm then its most likely that their guts will be empty.

Slowing them down now wouold probably be a good idea and I agree with Freddie that you probably need to reduce the heat a lot more.

Let us know how you get on!

#5 Guest_porkchop_71_*

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 12:55 PM

Thanks for all your replies, they havent had food for 14 days and they are in an unheated room I have a min/max thermometer in there and temperatures this week dropped to a minimum of 15 at night, daytime temperatures have been around 19. They seem to bask under the heat lamp for an hour then spend the next hour chasing each other round their enclosure, they repeat this all day! From today I will start reducing their heat and light a lot more, starting to panic a bit as I'm off on holiday in three weeks and was hoping they would be safely in hibernation by then!!

#6 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 01:46 PM

Hi Porkchop! If they have had no food for two weeks then I don't think you would want any more than another two weeks winding down which would then be about right. Especialy in the last week you would want lower ambient temps than your 19C and also cooler than 15 at night.

#7 Guest_porkchop_71_*

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 02:19 PM

Hi Ozric

I have now opened the window in their room, hopefully the temperature will drop a bit, Herb seems to have quietened down a bit today but Bert is still racing around. I dont think it has helped that the weather here has been a lot milder this week, I will keep you informed!

#8 Guest_jay_*

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 04:36 PM

Hello
I use Dawn's hibernation diary which is brilliant it tells you how many hours of heat/light each week,i wrote it down last year and used and it worked well and i'm doing the same this year,tommorrow starting second week of wind down.Best of luck
Jay,H,Becky and Humpty

#9 Guest_porkchop_71_*

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 09:51 PM

Well the boys have finally slowed down! I have had the lights on for 5 hours each day, and the temperatures have really dropped since i opened the window (helped by the increasingly cold weather!) the temperature has been 14 degrees all day it is now dropping further, I am now worried I may be exposing them to low temperatures for too long as i was going to put them in the fridge a week on saturday (this will have been 28 days wind down) should i still be bathing them every day or every other day? and is it ok to wake them up every morning for their bath? they didn't want to get out of bed this morning!

#10 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 10:15 PM

Yay! See we worry so much but in the end the little guys seem to have it sussed!
I shall be bathing mine daily through wind down. I did read that not to bath them on the last day, also to make sure that the bath is not too warm, probably so that they don't liven up again too much just before the fridge?
I expect any time you bath them from now would be waking them up as they will be slowing right down. But as I say, i am not experienced, I have only one hibernation under my belt! :rolleyes:

Paula x

#11 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 10:46 PM

Hi Porkchop,
If you could maintain the temps for the moment at 14 degrees and then lower them to approx 10 degrees or less in the last week of wind down I think that would be sufficient. Usually during the last 5 days of wind down they become totally inactive. After this occurs it is time to hibernate. Also I think it would be OK to stop bathing them now, but I would still provide them with water in case they want to have a last drink. Hope this helps. Enjoy your hoildays and best of luck. ;)
Kind regards
Freddy :D

#12 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 03:02 PM

They can go right down to 5c with no problems, as this is the hibernating temperature. Dropping below this could be a problem if it were a long time. A couple of hours dip would still be ok, just not long prelonged drop in temps. Frost is the biggest worry, if they are inside a house this wont happen:0)

#13 Guest_porkchop_71_*

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 01:34 PM

Well on last week of wind down now, Herb hasn't come out of his box for 2 days but Bert just sits there looking at me all day thinking why wont you put the light on!! The temperature in their room is between 10-11, My problem now is the fridge, I have set up a Husky stella beer fridge, when I put it on on saturday it was -4 degrees!! it's temperature range is supposed to be between 5 - 15, I put some water in it and the boxes i shall be hibernating the boys in and this morning it is now 3 degrees, is this normal? I am scared that if it went to minus 4 once it could do it again. Also when the motor kicks in it seems quite noisy wouldn't this disturb the tortoises? I didn't realise how stressful this could be lol !!

#14 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 08:28 PM

Hi there,
I would think that the vibrations would be more of a worry than noise... just my opinion though. :rolleyes:

The temperature range of the fridge will depend on the temperature of the room it is kept in. What sort of temps are you getting where the fridge is kept?

Best of luck at this stressful time! :D

Paula x

#15 Guest_porkchop_71_*

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 10:33 PM

Hi Paula

The fridge is in a room where the temperatures are 10 -12 degrees, the fridge is new but it is so noisy theres no way i could subject the boys to being inside it when the motor kicks in! Also the 2 boxes are each on a different shelf and the one on the top im getting temps of about 5 now, but the one on the bottom is 0 degrees! the thermometers are both accurate and still read the same when i swap them around. I have the fridge sat on some rubber matting and i cant see that its vibrating or anything, the compressor just seems noisy, I dont know if maybe all fridges are quite noisy when they are trying to regulate themselves, I'm now totally panicing and thinking of alternatives to the fridge method for hibernation, I could leave them in their boxes in their unheated room but the temps in there are 10 -12 degrees and thats with the window open and sub zero temperatures outside!! whether a couple more days with the window open would make a difference i dont know :(

#16 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 10:24 PM

Hi Porkchop,
Using the box method you could place them in their hibernation boxes covered with topsoil and put them in a cool ,dry and quiet place were temps reach no less than 0 degrees and no more than 9 degrees . Providing you use a thermostat and keep an eye on temps this would be fine. Otherwise you may have to invest in a suitable fridge. Sorry this isn't of any great help but I think these are your only real options with hibernation time fast approaching.....
Kind Regards
Freddy :D

#17 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 01:21 PM

To get your tortoises into hibernation mode, and stay that way, the temps need to go below 8c. Some tortoises will go into hibernation at higher temps, some need it lower. No two tortoises are the same.
And temps in the fridge, shouldnt go below 4c for any length of time, as other wise you can get damage done to your tortoises.
Sorry to say, fridge testing needs to be done well in advance of putting your tortoises in them, as they do vary from fridge to fridge.
I certainly wouldnt worry about the noise, vibration maybe, not something I have come across before. So cant help to much there.




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