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Juvenile Hibernation Diary


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#1 Kelly

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 06:21 PM

THE NIGHT BEFORE DAY 1:

I thought I'd do a daily diary while I'm doing Norman's 3 week windown. The big day starts tomorrow and I must say I'm quite excited! :winkgrin:
I devised my own hibernation plan (see attached document) based on this: http://www.thetortoi...bernation04.htm

My partner's bringing his fridge over this weekend, so I can get it all set up for him. He's been monitoring the temps at his house and they seem nice and stable. I just hope it does the same for me here at my house. Posted Image At least I have three weeks to get any problems sorted.

Norman's been slowing down all this week naturally anyway, despite still getting up every morning for a bask and breakfast, he's been putting himself to bed in the early afternnon. I think he's sensed that the ambient temps have dropped a little....

However, today he's been marching round like it's summer again! TYPICAL!!! :rofl:

...... Watch this space..... Day 1 tomorrow...... :fingers_crossed:

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#2 Kelly

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:10 AM

WEEK 1:

No food
20 minute warm baths daily
Basking lamp 32-35oc
Background temp 20oc
Lights on 12 hours (6.30am-6.30pm)

DAY 1:

Start weight: 278g

Jackson Ratio: 022 (Details of how to work this out can be found here: http://www.tinytorto...y%20growth.html)

Body Mass Condition: 0.01 (This can be worked out here: http://www.ahailey.f9.co.uk/cond.htm)

"Observed mass of your 108 mm male T. hermanni (M) = 278 g
Predicted mass (M') = 271 g. Observed is 103 % of predicted mass
Condition index log (M/M') = 0.01
Compare the condition index with the graph for wild tortoises
This value of condition index is in the centre of the graph. The observed mass of your tortoise is as expected."


Norman's carrying a little extra padding to see him through the wind down period and can afford to lose 7g. The little chubbalub! :rofl:

#3 Kelly

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:12 AM

DAY 2:

Norman's been marching round his tortoise table like a man possessed today! :blink:

No poos as yet..... but judging by the mess in his tortoise table..... I dare say there's a few hidden amongst the mess in there. :rofl:

#4 Kelly

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:14 AM

DAY 5:

Norman's been eating cuttlefish today! :o: I found a big chunk out of the middle of it..... needless to say it has now been removed. Any other time he doesn't touch the stuff! TYPICAL!!!! :hmm:

#5 Kelly

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:35 AM

DAY 6:

I've spent today getting the fridge all set up so that it has two weeks to stabilise.

This is the hibernation box that I've decided to use.
Posted Image
There's a plastic tub with soil for him to dig down into inside it.
Posted Image
The box will keep him safe in the unlikey even that he wakes up and decides to go for a wander inside the fridge! It'll also help to keep his temperatures stable as it will offer a bit of insulation against fluctuating temperatures when I open and close the fridge door.

I've packed some water bottles into the empty spaces to help to stabilise the temperatures.
Posted Image
Posted Image

I've got three digital thermometers.... one inside the fridge to monitor the interior temp and a probe to monitor the temp inside the hiberation box. This has a min/max alarm and records min/max temperatures.
Posted Image

The other two are on the top of the fridge..... one also keeps an eye on humidity levels and the other has a min/max alarm.
Posted Image

All I have to do now if remember to open the fridge a few times a day, so that he doesn't suffocate. :blink:

#6 Kelly

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:42 AM

WEEK 2:

No food
20 minute warm baths daily
Raise basking lamp 25-28oc
Background temp 20oc

Day1: Lights on 11 hours 6.30am-5.30pm
Day2: Lights on 10 hours 7.00am-5.00pm
Day3: Lights on 9 hours 7.30am-4.30pm
Day4: Lights on 8 hours 8.00am-4.00pm
Day5: Lights on 7 hours 8.30am-3.30pm
Day6: Lights on 6 hours 9.00am-3.00pm
Day7: Lights on 5 hours 9.30am-2.30pm

DAY1:

Start weight: 273g (Only 5g lost :yay: ..... and he can still afford to lose another 2g to be of an 'ideal' weight)
Jackson Ratio: 0.22
Body Mass Condition: 0 (Perfect! ;))

"Observed mass of your 108 mm male T. hermanni (M) = 273 g
Predicted mass (M') = 271 g. Observed is 101 % of predicted mass
Condition index log (M/M') = 0
Compare the condition index with the graph for wild tortoises
This value of condition index is in the centre of the graph. The observed mass of your tortoise is as expected."


So far so good. :thumbup:

#7 Kelly

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 12:28 PM

DAY 2:

I've made some ammendments my hibernation document today to ensure that the wind down period runs smoothly. A few tweaks here and there to times that the lights go on for which I think will work better for him. I've also ammended my posts too to reflect the changes. :thumbup:

#8 Pennytort

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 09:12 PM

Hi Kelly
It's great to see your pictures. I hadn't planned on getting more than one themometer, but looking at your set up I have just ordered another in case one stops.

Also it's been really helpful to read your diary. Puzzle and jigsaw still seem to have a lot of energy!!!

Anne x

#9 Hettie

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 10:28 PM

Ah they're no bother!! Lol!
Looking good Kelly. :)

Paula x

#10 Kelly

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:35 PM

DAY 5:

Norman was up this morning, at 7am, even though his light hadn't gone on. Bless him. He looked really sad. :sigh: I hate the way he lumbers down to his feeding slate and then simply sits there staring at it, in order to make me feel bad for not feeding him.

I've stopped tort watching him. At least then he can't make me feel guilty. :rofl:

The past few days he has been a bit more active because it's been warm. I weighed him and his weights dropped a little..... to 269g. Still a good weight for hibernating and since the start of the wind down he's only lost a total of 9g. I raised his lamp a bit more to cool down his basking spot a bit more...... Hopefully that should help.

#11 Kelly

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:35 AM

WEEK 3:

Day 1-3: No food
Tepid baths daily
No basking lamp
Gentle background temp of 18oc

Day 4-6:Turn all heating off

Day 7: Final bath..... Dry thoroughly
Put tortoise in hibernation box in a cool room (8-10oc) for the last day
Put box into fridge (3-5oc)


DAY1:


Start weight: 269g (Only 4g lost since last week)
Jackson Ratio: 0.21 (Perfect!)
Body Mass Condition: 0

"Observed mass of your 108 mm male T. hermanni (M) = 269 g
Predicted mass (M') = 271 g. Observed is 99 % of predicted mass
Condition index log (M/M') = 0
Compare the condition index with the graph for wild tortoises
This value of condition index is in the centre of the graph. The observed mass of your tortoise is as expected."

Norman's slowed right down now and spends most of his day in his hide. I've had to put my hatchling in another room for this week in preparation for making the room cooler in a few days. At present I'm finding the room was staying too warm what with the lights being on in the other table, despite their being no other heating on in the room.

#12 Kelly

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:38 PM

DAY 3:

Everything seems to be going to plan now. :thumbup: Norman's been sleeping in his hide all the time and I'm just waking him to get him out for his tepid bath.... He's then straight back in his hide again. Hopefully they'll be very little weight loss this week. :fingers_crossed:

I feel less guilty about not feeding him now. At least I no longer have pleading eyes to contend with! :rofl:

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 10:14 PM

I bet you will glad when he is finally hibernating. We will definitely hibernate Rufus next winter. It's just a question of working out where. :giggle:

#14 Kelly

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:36 AM

DAY 4:

Well, today's the day when the temps drop even more. :flu: I've opened the windows in my bedroom now. Looks like I'll be double duveting for the next few nights until he finally goes in the fridge! :huh:

Oh, the sacrifices we make for our torts eh? ;) I'm sure we're all slightly barmy. :rofl:

#15 mildredsmam

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:00 PM

DAY 4:

Well, today's the day when the temps drop even more. :flu: I've opened the windows in my bedroom now. Looks like I'll be double duveting for the next few nights until he finally goes in the fridge! :huh:

Oh, the sacrifices we make for our torts eh? ;) I'm sure we're all slightly barmy. :rofl:

i know what you mean kelly mine are in my bedroom windows open, roll on friday when they can go in the fridge i dont do the cold well lol :)

#16 Kelly

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 07:51 AM

DAY 7:

Well, the temperature in my bedroom has been on average 15oc over the past few days..... Today's the day to drop it even further before he goes into the fridge tomorrow.

Norman's in the bath, right now..... having his final 20 minute soak...... then I'll dry him thoroughly, before putting him in his hibernation box.

His hibernation box was in my porch last night, while I monitored the temperatures, which dropped to a low of 8.4oc, which is perfect before I pop him in the fridge...... ;)

#17 den2908

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 04:35 PM

Congratulations Kelly on getting Norman through his wind down. It has been a really interesting read so far and so helpful for newbies like me. I hope you dont miss him too much...but i think you probably will. sending hugs. You deserve a very big glass of wine after you pop him in the fridge. I hope you keep us posted on how he gets on.
Denise :)

#18 Kelly

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 07:22 AM

WEEK 1 OF HIBERNATION:

Norman spent yesterday and last night in the porch. The temps dropped to a low of 8oc, so at least I know that this is an area I can use as a temporary measure in the event of a fridge emergency like power failure!

When I checked the temperature on the top of his shell this morning with an infa red thermometer, he was 6oc....... perfect for going in the fridge..... and that's where he is now. Safely tucked up. :)

Based on his start weight of 278g, 10% weight loss would bring him down to 250g. This morning he weighed in at 269g (no weight loss at all this week) so he's looking good. :thumbup:

I must admit although everything has gone to plan, I can't help still feeling really apprehensive. I hope the little fella is going to be O.K. :fingers_crossed:

I'm going to really miss him. :cry:

#19 mildredsmam

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 08:26 AM

you,ve done a great job with this hibernation diary kelly :thumbup:
norman will be fine, to be truthfull ive been hibernating mine for a few years now and still panic their going to be ok.
mine went into the fridge yesterday.

#20 Kelly

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 08:35 AM

Thanks Karen. :) I've spent the whole year doing research, so I would get everything right...... next year it will be little Hazel's turn too.....

This winter, I think I'm going to feed her every other day, cutting the lighting and heating on the non feeding days so that she doesn't grow too quickly.




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