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#1 Kelly

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 07:16 PM

Well.... Norman's had his pre hibernation health check and the vet said he's a lovely healthy tortoise. :) I've left him with a nice fresh poo sample to test for worms and should have the results by Thursday at the latest.

He said to let him empty out over 3 weeks before putting him in the fridge..... which I knew was correct for his size..... however advised a 4 week hibernation for his first one. :unsure2: Although I have read this advise before..... I have also heard that there's no point in hibernating for less than 8 weeks..... what does everyone think?

Shall I meet both opinions in the middle and make it a 6 weeker? :rofl:

#2 Kelly

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 07:29 PM

..... oh and he also said that he has a slight deformity to his tail.... bless him..... I always thought that it was normal for it to bend upwards and thought no differently! :rofl:

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He has no trouble passing anything.... so in my eyes in just makes him more unique. At least I'll be able to identify him in a tortoise line up!!! ;)

#3 Freddy

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 07:29 PM

Hi Kelly
A 3 week wind down sounds about right for a juvenile tortoise. I would hibernate Norman for the minimum 8 weeks and extend this by another 2 weeks if he is losing little weight and all is going well. I wish you the best of luck with your first hibernation and am sure everything will be just fine. Take care.
Kind Regards
Freddy

#4 Freddy

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:09 PM

Hi again Kelly,
I have heard the 4 week hibernation advice before. Personally, I don't think it would be worth your while or be of any benefit to Norman. Besides it takes tortoises the first 2 weeks of hibernation just to settle down. If you feel more comfortable hibernating for the 6 weeks then by all means do so. Sue should be on later and may be she could give you her opinion. Anyway, at the end of the day it is your call. A 6 week hibernation wouldn't be a disaster in my opinion. Take care Kelly.
Kind Regards
Freddy

#5 Kelly

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 06:31 AM

Thanks Guys. :)

It's so much easier when they're older and have been hibernated before, because nature tends to take it's course more........ they know what they're doing and you know what to expect of them.

The first time hibernation with the young 'uns is a bit more daunting. :unsure2:

I'm going to take each day as it comes I think. Monitor his weight weekly and do a daily check on temps and general well being and aim for the 8 weeks. :thumbup:

#6 Freddy

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 08:08 AM

Hi Kelly,
That sounds like the best and most sensible approach. :) Best of luck. ;)
Freddy :D

#7 Kelly

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 02:20 PM

:yay: Norman's faecal smear and flotation results came back today all clear. :yay:

I weighed him this morning and he's put enough podge on to see him through the winter. ;)

He's 0.22 on the Jackson ratio and his observed mass is 'as expected' ......104% ..... so he's got a bit of fat to keep him going during the big sleep. :)

#8 mildredsmam

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 04:48 AM

morning kelly have you tried this for his weight alot of people are using this now instead of the jacksons ratio http://wzeu.search-r....co.uk/cond.htm
you will see a big difference in him next year when he wakes up :)

#9 Kelly

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 06:28 AM

Yes... that's how I worked out his body mass..... at 104%. He's got a little extra padding to see him through. ;)

#10 Hettie

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 10:41 PM

Hi Kelly,
Glad to hear Norman is worm free! :)
I was going to say if he had worms to seek advice about treating them and whether it was a bit close to wind down to treat him as it takes about 4 weeks to get them clear and then more time for them to recover fully from the medication.
I don't know the answer... only that I would ask the question. :rolleyes:
I was advised by a very knowlegable torty keeper to ideally worm June/July to allow recovery from hibernation.

Paula x

#11 Kelly

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 07:07 AM

That's what the vet advised. He said that if the test has come back positive, he would have left treatment until after his hibernation.

I did worm him myself a few months after I got him last year, just in case he did have any..... (seeing as he came from a tortoise farm :(). I never saw any signs of an infestation though. It's nice to get the result back from the vet just to be sure. :)

#12 Kelly

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 04:18 PM

I've just devised a 3 week wind down plan for Norman. Can I have some feed back from those that have done this before..... Any suggestions would be welcome. :)


WEEK 1:

No food, warm baths daily.

Basking lamp 32-35oc.

Background temp 20oc.

Lights on 14 hours (6.00am-8.00pm)



WEEK 2:


No food, warm baths daily.

Raise Basking lamp 28-30oc.

Background temp 20oc.

Day 1: Lights on 13 hours (6.30am-7.30pm)

Day 2: Lights on 12 hours (7.00am-7.00pm)

Day 3: Lights on 11 hours ( 7.30am-6.30pm)

Day 4: Lights on 10 hours (8.00am-6.00pm)

Day 5: Lights on 9 hours (8.30am-5.30pm)

Day 6: Lights on 8 hours (9.00am-5.00pm)

Day 7 Lights on 7 hours (9.30am-4.30pm)



WEEK 3:


Day 1-3: No food, tepid bath daily.

No basking lamp.

Gentle background temp 18oc.

Day 4-6: Turn all heating off.

Day 7: Final bath.... Dry thouroughly.

Put tortoise hibernation box in cool room (8-10oc) for a few hours.

Put box in fridge (5oc)

#13 Freddy

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 05:38 PM

Excellent timetable for wind-down, Kelly. Very meticulous. You seem to be well organised. Well done! ;)
Kind Regards
Freddy :D

#14 MeImNot

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 07:57 PM

wow Kelly, you should work for NASA!

Best of luck :)

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 09:23 PM

Norman Is the most pampered tort I know. ;)

#16 Kelly

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 06:32 AM

wow Kelly, you should work for NASA!

Best of luck :)


How do you know I don't! ;)

:rofl:

#17 Kelly

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 06:03 PM

Just over two weeks and counting until the start of Norman's wind down. I'm planning to get the fridge on and the temperatures stabilised during the those three weeks too. Hopefully there should be no problems.... I've pre-tested it and it seems to remain at a pretty constant 5oc with very little intervention on my part. :)

I've been doing some meticulous planning..... See my attached Hibernation Plan and Monitioring Chart. ;)

Attached File  Hibernation Checklist.doc   47.5KB   12 downloads

I don't think I've left a stone unturned! :rofl: Can the more experience hibernators please let me know if there's anything I might have missed?

#18 Guest_Chrissyan_*

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 06:58 PM

Sorry Kelly, but I have no experience at all of hibernating, however all your hard work now has Rufus' name on it. :thumbup: That's the problem with t'internet , too much plagiarism. :giggle:

We can do it together. though Rufus is not going a fridge, we have no room whatsoever for one, he will be going in our utility room,

#19 MeImNot

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 07:12 PM

You've missed only one thing...jumping in the fridge with him lol :P

I dont hibernate myself, but this is excellent planning on yr part.

#20 Kelly

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 07:13 PM

LOL :rofl: I'm glad it's proved useful to you. ;)

If you start the same time as me then we can go through this process together.

I've based it all on Freddy's hibernation link:
http://www.thetortoi...bernation04.htm

All I need to do is add my weights in and work out the Jackson ratio and the body mass condition (both of which you can find here:
http://www.tinytorto...thy growth.html
http://www.ahailey.f9.co.uk/cond.htm

Once I've got his start weight on 1st Dec, I can work out what a 10% loss will work out as. If his weight drops below that while I'm doing my weekly weigh in, I 'll pull him out. :)

I've got 2 probe thermometers with min/max alarms, that I'm going to set at 2oc and 8oc..... that way, I'll have time to adjust temps if need be, before they drop below 2 or go above 10oc.




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