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northern tortoise keepers


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#1 Guest_tiggy_*

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 07:30 PM

i am going to hibernate my girls this year and i would like to know how other tort keepers in the north hibernate theres.its a lot colder in the north than the south and i wondered if anyone hibernated outside in the box method.ive thought about the fridge way, but i was wondering if there is any other way that is safe for the colder weather in the north.......tiggy

#2 Guest_hermann bruce_*

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 07:42 PM

i use the fridge but this year am gonna have to try sumthing diffant as my fridge is not big enough anymore!!maybe try the box!!will av to read up a bit first though!!

bruce

#3 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 08:02 PM

Hi Tiggy,
Where I am in Ireland is similar to the weather in the lowlands of scotland or parts of northern england. I will be using the box method located in my garage. I will be keeping a close eye on winter temps though. If they fall below 1 degree celsius or rise above 9 degrees celsius I will have to move the hibernation box to a safer location. Hope this helps. Best of luck. ;)
Kind Regards
Freddy :D

#4 Guest_tiggy_*

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 07:24 PM

freddy, last year we had cold about 3 below. what did you do then and where did you put your box?....tiggy

#5 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 08:05 PM

Hi Tiggy,
When temps got really cold I put the hibernation box in a cellar. It is recommended that the location you choose for the box be attached to at least one wall of your house. This way it gets some of the house temps which stops the hibernation box from freezing. I have decided to use my garage as it is attached to the house. An attic is also a good place. Personally, I would avoid using something like an outdoor shed as it can be exposed to very cold, wintry temps. It would also be a good idea to get a thermostat so you can check the temps of the hibernation box from time to time just to make sure everything is OK. Anyway Tiggy, I hope this information helps. If you have any further questions please feel free to ask. I would be delighted to help. Take care.
Kind Regards
Freddy

#6 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 10:46 PM

I have only used the fridge method. If I had a completely secure place I would consider trying a natural digging down method. Due to the conditions here I would have to give them a fair bit of help and keep a close eye on it. If I had a greenhouse I think I would have tried this by now because as long as the greenhouse was largely frost free it is very unlikely that the temp would go too low. A few inches down from the surface the temperature of the soil is very very stable.
If the tort was well dug in it would be important to put a probe down with him to monitor the temperature just in case.

I know a couple of people who have been taking readings of the temp a few inches below ground over a long period of time and it hardly changes at all. Even in open ground it is very rare to get frozen soil more than 3" down.

One reason I haven't tried this yet is fear of rats.

The box method wouldn't work for me because the outside temperature is far too unstable here. It works well for Freddy and of course with such a large tortoise the mass of animal is so much greater and will tend to stay at a stable temperature. Smaller ones heat up and cool down so much quicker.

#7 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 10:30 AM

Hi Tiggy,
Ozric makes some excellent points about smaller tortoises including his Hermanni Hermanni. However as your THB's are much bigger they should easily be able to cope with the Box Method providing you have a suitable location. Personally, I wouldn't be brave enough to allow Billiejo to bury herself outside, in our climate!
Best of luck. :)
Kind Regards
Freddy :D

#8 Guest_tiggy_*

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 06:41 PM

thank you everyone, i think im siding on the fridge, im worried that we have a really cold spell with the box the torts will not be warm enough. although i do like the sound of beding them down in a box. its a lot to think about....tiggy

#9 Guest_Robink_*

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 09:44 PM

i use the fridge but this year am gonna have to try sumthing diffant as my fridge is not big enough anymore!!maybe try the box!!will av to read up a bit first though!!

bruce


Hi Bruce,
I use the box method, I find it works well for me. You need to find some polystyrene boxes the type your tropical fish centre have, they normal throw them out. I thn put a few holes in the top of the box and on the side and the find a cardboard box that fits inside , I then use shredded paper to put in the cardboard box then the sleepy tort and place tort and cardboard box in the polystyrene box and place lid on, and place in garage, I do check them every week and make sure temps stable, if a drop in temp I cover boxes with a quilt. It works fine for me at the moment. Good luck!

#10 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 10:24 PM

thank you everyone, i think im siding on the fridge, im worried that we have a really cold spell with the box the torts will not be warm enough. although i do like the sound of beding them down in a box. its a lot to think about....tiggy

Hi Tiggy,
It's important that you choose a hibernation method you are comfortable with. At the same time, there is no harm in looking at alternative methods, that's what they are there for. You will find a useful guide to hibernation and the various methods employed by following this link:-
http://www.thetortoi...bernation04.htm
Hope this helps.
Best of luck. :)
Kind Regards
Freddy :D

#11 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 11:06 PM

Hi Bruce,
I use the box method, I find it works well for me. You need to find some polystyrene boxes the type your tropical fish centre have, they normal throw them out. I thn put a few holes in the top of the box and on the side and the find a cardboard box that fits inside , I then use shredded paper to put in the cardboard box then the sleepy tort and place tort and cardboard box in the polystyrene box and place lid on, and place in garage, I do check them every week and make sure temps stable, if a drop in temp I cover boxes with a quilt. It works fine for me at the moment. Good luck!

Hi Kay,
I hibernate my tort the same way! In the garage with a quilt and everything! :laugh: Great minds think alike it would seem! :laugh:
Kind Regards
Freddy :D

#12 Guest_tiggy_*

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 07:29 PM

:) thanks everyone, i think i am going to go for the fridge hibernation, just because it seems the best one for me.

thank you freddy, the link you gave me was great. really clear and easy to understand. it put my mind at rest............tiggy :laugh: :laugh:




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