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overwintering babie torts & hibernating


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#1 Guest_ammej_*

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Posted 18 August 2005 - 10:24 AM

ammej!!!

hi,
i have got 2 russian torts who are 7wks old, I am a bit worried about hibernating them this yr (i am quite new to all this). I have decided i would like to overwinter them just for the 1st year. Is there and info on how to do this?
any help would be good! :D

jemma

#2 Guest_arnhib_*

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Posted 18 August 2005 - 07:47 PM

Hello Jemma
Who would ever winter them in the wild, if they appear healthy it's best for them, it would only be for 2 months
http://www.thetortoisehouse.com
This site deals with russians in the UK and you may find it helpful
You wouldn't be alone we would be here to help you
Arnie

#3 Guest_ammej_*

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Posted 19 August 2005 - 10:55 AM

ammej!!!

hey thats the site where i contacted the lady and where i got my russians from!:7

ok i will think more about hibernating them. Although i have heard the younger they are the more chance there is of them dieing!:-(
I am a little worried about hibernating them, but i will.

#4 Guest_emma72_*

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Posted 20 August 2005 - 10:54 AM

i've been told that you dont have to hibernate your russian torts ....

#5 Guest_ammej_*

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Posted 20 August 2005 - 11:23 AM

ammej!!!

oh are you sure, i heard that it is important to hibernate russians as they only eat for 4-6 months of the year so they need to hibernate to make sure they dont eat too much.
jemma

#6 Guest_emma72_*

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Posted 20 August 2005 - 11:27 AM

that was wot i was told ..but from all the advice i get from here i'm going to hibernate him...thinking of doing the fridge one

#7 Guest_ammej_*

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Posted 20 August 2005 - 11:33 AM

ammej!!!

hi emma,

how old is your tort(s) ??

jemma

#8 Guest_emma72_*

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Posted 20 August 2005 - 11:37 AM

max is 2 years old

#9 Guest_ammej_*

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Posted 20 August 2005 - 11:52 AM

ammej!!!

aww, have you hibernated him before?

#10 Guest_emma72_*

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Posted 20 August 2005 - 12:05 PM

noo only had him about 8weeks :-) dreading it really

#11 Guest_ammej_*

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Posted 20 August 2005 - 12:07 PM

ammej!!!

yeah me too! coz they are so young i am scared they could die! :D

i'll give it a go! :-)

jemma

#12 Guest_Kathrina_*

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 12:19 PM

hi whats the best way to hibernate your tort lots of people are doing different things what would you surgest for a 3 year old.
kathrina

#13 Guest_Radicaldave_*

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 06:55 PM

I overwinter my baby torts in a temperature controlled Vivarium which must not drop below approx 15 degrees, once they are 3 years + you must start hibernation, start short and increase a few weeks with each year. Do not hibernate an ill tort..

oh and IMPORTANT NOTE do not use misters or spray the VIV with water and use a dry substrate high humidity is bad for any tortoise. Also if you do use a Viv make sure you give them plenty of outdoor time when the temp outside is back at a tolerable range.

If you have central heating, or a cosy warm house then get a table top for your torts as if you can easily do more harm than good with an incorrect Viv setup..

#14 Guest_Joanne666_*

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Posted 16 September 2005 - 01:16 PM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 16-09-05 AT 01:17 PM (GMT)]I wouldnt recommend the use of a viv under any circumstances :-( Neither would I recommend not hibernating them for 3 years :-( If they are healthy there is no reason why they shouldnt hibernate, they would in the wild. A short hibernation really doesnt do the tort any good, even hatchlings need to be down for at least 8 weeks. This is particulary important is Russians, they would normally eat for only 3 - 4 months of the year, so hibernating them to avoid over-eating and accelerated growth, is a must for a healthy tort.
Also 15c is actually a bit warm for a tort during the night, it gets quite cold in the Med. Gut flora will flourish is a tort thats kept warm all the time, they only need somewhere to warm up and bask as they thermoregulate themselves.

#15 Guest_Radicaldave_*

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Posted 16 September 2005 - 05:18 PM

overwintering a young tortoise you need to keep the temp around 15 degrees otherwise they will try and hibernate, overwintering is a means of not letting baby or premature hatchlings hibernate. I never hibernate mine until 3 after having a discussion with a friend who works at whipsnade zoo reptile house and has studied these for many years and has fellow workers with more..

Vivs are only dangerous to the inexperianced as the correct setup is very difficult to obtain with regards to humidity, hot and cold spots, basking etc..

#16 Guest_Joanne666_*

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Posted 17 September 2005 - 08:27 AM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 17-09-05 AT 08:36 AM (GMT)]Erm..I know exactly what overwintering means, that wasnt my issue. Please visit www.tortoisetrust.org where you will find more recent and up-to-date advice on tortoise husbandry. The TT is the most respected tort/turtle organisation in the world.
15 degrees is not the correct temps!!! Torts will not try to hibernate until the temps drop to at least 7 degrees and even then it must be sustained for them to realise its time to sleep. If you have torts that are trying to hibernate its because they are biologically programmed to do this !!
Vivs are dangerous to torts....full stop. They must have open topped enclosures in order for the air to circulate, otherwise the tort cannot create any micro climate or thermoregulate. Unfortunately poor husbandry afffects torts more than any other animal, perhaps your zoo friend might like to read the TTs advice too, it will help him care for his charges much better.
Hatchlings need identical care to adults, just a bit more of it, they dont need a viv. My youngest tort is 57 days old, shes been sleeping outside in a cold frame since she was 2 weeks, and shes thriving because this is her natural environment. Torts do not need to be kept warm all the time, this is a common misconception. They only need somewhere to bask and warm up, its actually harmful for them the be warm all the time, this is what happens in a viv.
I must be honest, some of the worst conditions for torts I have seen, have been in zoos :-(( they mix species, dont provide adequate substrates, feed incorrect diets etc, please pass the above link onto your friend.

#17 Guest_Radicaldave_*

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Posted 17 September 2005 - 09:39 PM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 17-09-05 AT 09:46 PM (GMT)]My Viv setup is just fine thanks, i have been visiting the tortoise trust for many years, and i really do believe they have a very good knowledge base and good views on tort husbandry however in order to learn more we must always adapt, innovate and update otherwise we wouldnt have got this far today. As for using a Viv it is NOT the best solution and it took much research and hard work getting it right, unfortunatly my parents moved and i had to leave home, i am not in a position at this time to get a mortgage and have the luxury of a garden. I have not sold or given away my torts i love my reptiles to bits i also breed ghecko's and water dragons just cant part with any of them. Although during the summer my torts spend much of their time in my families gardens, i do however overwinter and hibernate them in my flat and have developed a very good system for doing so..

Its not a standard Viv it has been customised and changed new grills fitted to the back to make sure air flows through whilst maintaining basking spots low humidity etc, one glass panel has been removed and it is connected to an indoor pen or enclosure if you like with hiding sopts live plants and a water feature. I will get some pics of it and post them soon..

There are many good people here who clearly love torts and know how to look after them but seem to be stuck in a rut with old habits from gathered from one source, my friend who works at the zoo and went to shuttleworth college of agriculture does not put any of his reptiles through bad conditions or mix species that are uncompatable, i think you have been to one place had a bad experience therefore being quick to accuse them ALL for doing bad things to reptiles..

#18 Guest_Radicaldave_*

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Posted 17 September 2005 - 09:55 PM

i joined this forum to get different views and learn from others as well as pass on some of my knowledge im not here to argue about my unconventional methods im here to progress take fresh idea's and build on them for the future and well being of reptiles and herps in my care so please think carefully before you impune my reputation..

#19 Guest_jill 1_*

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Posted 17 September 2005 - 11:49 PM

Thank you Radicaldave; your views are refreshing. We all want to do our best for our torts. and learn from the experience of others. I lost one of my torts. in July and was obviously gutted and recently I have been worrying about whether to hibernate my other one this year for the best. My instinct is not to because he is so young. This forum is great as long as one person does not persist in the view that theirs is the only and correct one.

#20 Guest_nikki_*

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Posted 17 September 2005 - 11:51 PM

Do you have photographs of your tortoises in their environment to share with us and show us what you mean?
Nikki




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