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Advice Needed Pretty Please!


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#1 littlemiss

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 01:20 PM

I adjusted the timing of the lights on the tortoise table a while back to make their days shorter ready for hibernation. I then switched them off altogether and stopped feeding them. I kept them indoors still for 4 days. Then I moved their table outside onto my balcony. I was out yesterday and they were asleep by the time I got home at three. Today they are still asleep. One is dug deep into the soil, one is on the surface under a hollow log. They are just over one year old. Lifting them doesn't wake them. Their eyes are closed and they are cold. Still breathing though! It isn't particularly cold at the moment.... But is it possible they have gone into hibernation? Should I leave them on the balcony, move them into the fridge or give them some uv light? It hasn't quite been two weeks since their last meal... Is that long enough for them to have digested it?? Having a little panic here on the isle of wight and would be so grateful if someone could advise me... Thank you, Kate

#2 Beermat89

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 05:18 PM

Hi kate,
2 weeks is not long enough to be sure their gut are empty,they need 3-4 weeks.to be honest putting them out on the balcony really wasnt the best move at the min with dropping temperatures.to clear the gut they still need basking temps and lots of warm baths to encourage them to pass poop.if you put them under heat and bring them indoors might mess up their cycle,its a hard 1 hopefuuly some1 more experienced will be along shortly
Regards matt

#3 Beermat89

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 05:22 PM

They wont be totally asleep yet as can take up to a couple weeks if temperatures stay below 10c.your going to have to bring them in to carry clearing the gut but im not sure by doing this it will be safe to carry on with hibernation.

#4 littlemiss

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 06:12 PM

Oh no :'( I had been told that they needed two weeks to wind down at their age with some time indoors to start and then outside to start cooling them down!!! Should I abandon it for this year??? Or bring them in n try again later in the year????

#5 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 07:30 PM

At a year old and if less than 40 - 50 grams then two weeks is enough, but they need heat during the wind down period and cannot wind down outdoors on a balcony. I would be too worried to let these hibernate now and would bring them in to overwinter them to be safe. I'm wondering why they were put out in the cold during wind down, as this would have stopped their gut from moving the food along. Did you soak them during this period and did they pass any faeces at all? I would think they are at serious risk of gut fermentation if not brought in and warmed up now, to allow the gut to move freely. Yes, I would abandon this year and then look into proper wind down for next year. Have you been checking their weight and stools during wind down? Can I ask who gave you this awful advise?



#6 littlemiss

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 08:31 PM

Ok just phoned dad ina panic n he's coming roundto help me bring the table in... should i do anything tonight or let them warm up and then put uv n heat lamp on tomorrow???? Can get them out n soak them now??? Or put lamp on tonight??

#7 littlemiss

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 08:33 PM

The advice was from a local lady who has two torts as well. I got chatting n said i was overwhelmed by all the conflicting online advise so she gave me her winding down plan :( I'm so worried now... Do you think they are going to be ok??????

#8 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 08:38 PM

You mean they are outside now and overnight? They need to be got inside now as it is far too cold for baby tortoises outdoors in the UK after September. Just bring them indoors now and leave in deep substrate at room temps until tomorrow. Then, tomorrow, switch lights and heat back on and continue as normal. Just a thought, but are these two of my babies? If not, did the breeder not give you contact at all times and care sheets? This lady  needs to be told that she is giving out dire information and that before long there WILL be a disaster as this is one of those hit and miss scenarios where a tortoise might just survive, but certainly will not be thriving. Hopefully they will be OK, but any longer and they might well not be!



#9 littlemiss

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 08:44 PM

No they didn't come from you and I didn't receive information on hibernation when I got them. Don't worry, I shall be finding the lady who gave me this advice and will certainly put her straight!!! They have been outdoors. They are inside now and their lights will be on in the morning. I shall offer them food too. I feel so horrible that I have done this to them... I really thought I was doing it right :'(

#10 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 10:16 PM

Phew, I think your tortoises just had a very lucky escape. I have had hatchlings go to the Isle of Wight and sincerely hope they were not to this particular lady, otherwise they might not last very long. When in doubt, always try to think of what happens in the wild and even if not sure, think about how the temps will change gradually and not from sunny warm days, to sudden winter conditions. This odd change in weather would be why some wild ones might not make it.

Why not ask your friend to join the forum - you never know it might just save some tortoises lives ;)



#11 littlemiss

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 06:13 AM

I will suggest it to her! I have just been to check on mine and they are up and under the light now it has come on. I will venture out shortly and find them some weeds to munch. Next winter I will be running my hibernation plan past people on here before I begin it!!! Thank you so much for your advice last night - from me and pumpkin and patch x

#12 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 08:13 AM

No problem, it's what we are here for :) don't forget to give them a good soak before feeding etc

#13 littlemiss

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 02:50 PM

I soaked them and they pooped- then I put in some food and they went nuts!! So there was definitely undigested food in their tummies :( 



#14 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 03:40 PM

Very lucky torts indeed. Hopefully you have managed to relay this to the person suggesting they were fine doing things her way ;)






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