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Mabel And Daphne's Hibernation Weight Question

hibernation weight

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#1 den2908

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    Denise
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Posted 01 February 2014 - 08:48 AM

Hi, 

 

Well Mabel and Daphne have been in the fridge for 7 weeks now. 

I just wondered if I could run their weights past you to see if I should be getting them up or am able to keep them in longer. 

They look fine and have not woken or eliminated.

 

Wind down = 3 weeks.

 

Wind Down start of week 1 : Daphne 137g and Mabel 108g (but ive a feeling a lot of that was poo!)

Wind Down start of week 2: Daphne 129g and Mabel 98g

Wind Down start of week 3: Daphne 130g?!! and Mabel 94g

 

First day in fridge: Daphne 126g and Mabel 87g

 

7 weeks later: Daphne 124g and Mabel 85g

 

As you can see there was quite a bit of weight loss in the wind down (esp. with Mabel) and then hardly anything once they went into the fridge. 

10% off their first wind down weight would be Daphne at 124g and Mabel at 98g! But I think that first weight wasn't accurate because a day later she did the most enormous poo.

Should I bring them out or keep them in?

 

Denise



#2 den2908

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    Denise
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Posted 01 February 2014 - 08:48 AM

Oh they are 3 years old btw.

 



#3 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 11:00 AM

Weight loss in wind down is not true loss, but elimination as you mention. I would leave them in if they were mine so long as hydration is good, which if they are not losing, it obviously is. I don't hibernate any for less than 8 weeks unless there is a problem. Good luck and well done :D



#4 den2908

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    Denise
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Posted 01 February 2014 - 12:27 PM

Thank you Sue, 

It is difficult to know how to judge it. I've heard it said that they shouldn't lose more that 10% of their weight from the start of wind down and that made me doubt myself a little.  I have a humidity monitor as well as a temp one and keep the topsoil damp underneath the surface. I also put a bowl of water in there and a wet tea towel. Since they've been in the fridge they've been really stable and i would rather keep them in because it's beneficial. Would you be able to give me some idea of how long I could leave them for if everything remains fairly stable bearing in mind that they are only 3 years old. Last year they did 9 weeks. How long would a 3 year old be in hibernation for in the wild? 

 

Also, another question I'd like to ask is about light and heat. I've been looking at temps for their natural climate and July and August are the hottest - up to 30 ish degrees. Am I right in thinking that because of the hotter temps in these months - food supplies would be scarcer and light and heat longer and hotter. Early spring and late autumn - light levels would be less and food fairly scarce? Late spring and Early autumn food more abundant and light levels slightly less. 

Im asking this because one of my tortoises shell is developing well and the other has a  2mm ridge where the  costal scutes meet the marginals - all the way round the shell - it is definitely more pronounced than the other shell growth when you run your finger over it. I know this is to do with her growth ring,  and ultimately my husbandry,  but the growth seems very good in between the scutes everywhere else. So I am trying to understand which part of my husbandry is wrong. If you have any ideas - I'd be really grateful. 

Thanks 

Denise



#5 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 02:23 PM

Hi Denise

A three year old in the wild would be the same as an adult in the wild and would vary slightly from year to year and locality to locality. In Turkey the spurs hibernate for around 3 months of the year give or take a week or two, so this is considered a safe length of time for little ones in fridge hibernation. Hermanns are of course the same. Sometimes in the wild, babies hatch late in the year and never emerge from the ground, staying underground until the spring sun warm the soil, when they appear and continue life as normal. I have seen this happen naturally in the Channel Islands, unexpectedly too. I left my one year old babies in this year for 8 weeks and the juveniles are still in from the beginning of November, I will be getting them up first, probably in a couple of weeks. I count the 10% weight loss from when they go into the box and always have done.

Yes, your assumptions about light levels and growth are accurate. I have had a couple of babies back for hibernation that showed the same phenomena that you describe with the shells too, although the owner has no idea how it happened to one and not the other, except that this is the bigger one of the two and probably it had a period of not digging down so much, when actually eating more. I have had it happen with a couple of my little ones too. One of my two first babies that I have kept, grew much slower than the other one, but was far more active. Despite this she is nowhere near as smooth as her sister, who was laying eggs while the small one was still half her size. Millie the bigger one, did tend to dig down more and hid away more in the garden, while Lily, the small manic one preferred to be climbing above ground, sleeping above ground and generally making her presence known, biting the toes of my visitors and so on. I imagine in the wild, she would have been taken by predators, leaving her much smoother sister behind in safety. Just me surmising of course, so the answer is never clear cut. Have a look at the humidity levels, sleeping arrangements etc for this little one and see if there is anything different to the other one.



#6 den2908

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    Denise
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Posted 01 February 2014 - 04:39 PM

Thank you for such a thorough response and for clarifying about the 10% weight loss. If that's the case they are doing ok then. :)
I know that the one with the strange shell growth (daphne) eats a lot quicker than the other and therefore consumes more. Im going to try feeding them separately..(with a temporary divider) in their table and run...just for feeding to see if that makes a difference. Both of them bury down ...but i might make a log of that this year to make sure. I really hope i can stabilise the growth...i dont want to get it wrong.

I'll continue with the hibernation then. My gut reaction is too try to replicate what theyd do in the wild.
Will keep monitoring.
Thanks again Sue...as always.
Denise

#7 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 06:39 PM

When I have several hatchlings together, I put the greedy bigger ones in the bath while the little ones are feeding as they an be intimidated by the greedy ones. By the time the bigger ones are bathed, the little ones have had a good feed and the bigger ones have to scout around more to find something. Sounds horrible, but it certainly evens things up lol



#8 den2908

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 07:23 AM

Hi Sue,
I need your advice...again. Hubby accidently left their fridge door open from midnight to 7 this morning. It was only open about 10 mm.
I looked at the max and min temps on the thermometers and the max is 11degrees. Their eyes are still shut but they appear to have moved a fraction. Do i need to get them up?

Denise

#9 Kelly

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 07:30 AM

I'd say as long as they haven't urinated they'll be fine. 






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