Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Tortoise Newbie... Hope We Are Doing It Right!


  • Please log in to reply
59 replies to this topic

#21 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*
  • Guests

Posted 09 April 2015 - 06:38 PM

Seriously Keith, I've picked a tortoise up in winter that was basking using natural sunlight which was quite warm. There was snow on the ground but her shell was warm. Now, obviously I am not advocating putting torts outdoors in the snow, this one escaped from the conservatory during a forced overwintering, while I was changing her indoor substrate. I wouldn't have liked to be in a tee shirt though. I've also picked up very cold inactive torts during hot weather, when they did not have access to the sun for basking.
In what way was it misleading?

#22 Beermat89

Beermat89

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 680 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Somerset
  • Interests:Tortoises/reptiles,fishing/football

Posted 09 April 2015 - 06:50 PM

I agree,my torts were out this morning by 7am this morning as their lamps come on at 6am so were out stomping around with a slight ground frost!i was frozen but where my little shelled friends had warmed their core tempts up the outside tempts (3c) didnt worry them

#23 JerryMaffz

JerryMaffz

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 103 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 09 April 2015 - 06:56 PM

 Would they have gone out without having first warmed under the lamps I wonder?



#24 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*
  • Guests

Posted 09 April 2015 - 07:15 PM

Absolutely, Herbie, my overwinterer had gone out before her lamps were on. My greenhouse torts now are up and about with the natural light. I don't put the lamps on until I am around. Temps in the greenhouse were 15 degrees first thing this morning and they were gathering in the part where the suns rays were most noticeable.

#25 JerryMaffz

JerryMaffz

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 103 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 09 April 2015 - 07:30 PM

That's why I advocated the use of a coldframe to the original poster Sue.



#26 Scutchings789

Scutchings789

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 15 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Odiham, Hampshire

Posted 09 April 2015 - 08:59 PM

Thanks for both posting on here...

I am new to this, we have only had Nigel a few months, he has had some major changes to his lifestyle.
When we got him he had always lived in wood chip and hay, he only ate damp pellets but we have slowly changed his environment  to topsoil, regular baths & lots of freshly grown weeds! He has still never dug down so I am worried about the specific temperatures I can leave him outside in. I'm sure I am going to worry about him for the first couple of weeks as I'm not sure he will dig down if he needs to. It is deep enough for him & he probably will just get on with it but I want to keep an eye on the specific temps for the first week or so... hope that makes sense.  



#27 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*
  • Guests

Posted 09 April 2015 - 09:10 PM

Hi there
It must be very confusing for you with all the different advice being thrown around. When in doubt always think about what they would have in the wild. In nature they are up and about after hibernation when temps at night are really still very cool. At this time of year they dig down to conserve warmth and moisture, so you need to give him a good depth of dense substrate such as soil, to help him thermoregulate and cope with lower temps. The lower the night time temps, the greater the chance of him digging down. Tortoises are very highly geared to do what nature dictates, so the best thing is to keep an eye on him and make sure he is covered by substrate for a couple of nights if he is not doing this for himself. He will soon sort himself out. Well done for giving him a new start ;)

#28 Beermat89

Beermat89

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 680 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Somerset
  • Interests:Tortoises/reptiles,fishing/football

Posted 09 April 2015 - 09:55 PM

Hi jerry
Yes they most probs would have,their heat lamp blew last spring and for a couple of days they had no back up heat but still went out and about,its supprising how little tempts they need aslong as they have a little sun and also depends if they are used to silly warm night time tempts that are warmer than their day tempts that why i dont mommy cuddle them to much but it pays off!

#29 Guest_Barney_*

Guest_Barney_*
  • Guests

Posted 09 April 2015 - 10:10 PM

[Removed content of post myself due to deciding I didn't have anything useful to say after all! Sorry for any confusion.]



#30 JerryMaffz

JerryMaffz

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 103 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 09 April 2015 - 10:23 PM

Hi jerry
Yes they most probs would have,their heat lamp blew last spring and for a couple of days they had no back up heat but still went out and about,its supprising how little tempts they need aslong as they have a little sun and also depends if they are used to silly warm night time tempts that are warmer than their day tempts that why i dont mommy cuddle them to much but it pays off!

 

This all makes perfect sense Beermat.The day / night differential is a valid point. I've taken a few readings in my coldframe  and so far they have all been higher than my night indoor temps.

However, I'm wondering if letting a tortoise that has not hibernated (used to indoor temps all winter) out to fend for itself at this time of year is the same thing but on a grander scale...A hibernated tortoise would see current outdoor temps as warmer, but an overwintered tortoise would see it as cooler and perhaps act differently..for this reason I am giving Jerry a gradual acclimatisation to outdoor living..Next year, after his first hibernation, will be different...I think that Nigel (love that name) was also overwintered so thoughts on this might be appreciated by Scutchings789 as well as myself.



#31 Guest_Stella_*

Guest_Stella_*
  • Guests

Posted 10 April 2015 - 07:42 AM

I see the difference you are talking about Keith with my creep. The older 'garden' tortoises seem to be very hardy and will be outside looking for their sunny hill at 6am and stay outside all day doing their thing, and then always be the last to go into their hides in an evening. They do like to wander to their sunny hill when we get that lovely autumn sunshine, and yes their shells do get surprisingly warm. They don't tend to hibernate until late November, early December.

The various 'rescues' did need to acclimatise to the outdoor world. For example 'lived in a viv' Georgia decided she needed to start her hibernation process in at the end of August of the first year I had her, and is still an early hibernator. She was real hard work to keep active. So yes, they will do what comes naturally but I myself would be wary of putting a tortoise used to being indoors straight outside without careful monitoring of how it is warming up and what it is eating.

I am sure we shall all agree, the recent lovely hot weather has been great for our tortoises, but we know the old saying of 'never cast a clout til May is out'.......meaning basically don't take your vest off before the end of May!!! We are sure to get some cooler weather before the summer really begins. X x xhugs x x x

#32 Guest_Stella_*

Guest_Stella_*
  • Guests

Posted 10 April 2015 - 07:55 AM

Attached File  image.jpg   107.88KB   0 downloads

Georgia now, enjoying the early morning sunshine on the sunny hill!! X x x hugs x x

#33 Scutchings789

Scutchings789

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 15 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Odiham, Hampshire

Posted 11 April 2015 - 06:05 PM

Sorry to post on here again... After more advice!!

Nigel has been out in his new enclosure all day today, he seems to be enjoying exploring! We have put more plants in for shelter and made him a cold frame.

Nigel is in the cold frame and has dug down!!! Woohoo!! I was so worried he wouldn't dig down!

My question now is do I leave him there for the night? It is going to drop to 4oC during the night according to the weather report. I was going to bring him in originally until it gets a bit warmer and I was worried he wouldn't dig down but he seems quite happy and settled at the moment...

Thanks for all your help and advice it is really appreciated!
Claire

#34 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*
  • Guests

Posted 11 April 2015 - 06:17 PM

Hi Claire
I'm not sure where you are but I've left mine out in the greenhouse tonight, with backup heat as we have strong winds forecast. If you are due a calm night and he is sheltered, I would be inclined to cover him with more earth if tomorrow's forecast is good. If you rein any doubt, then get him out gently but quickly and cover him back up in his normal sleeping quarters. At least you know now that he knows how to do what nature intended ;)

#35 Guest_Barney_*

Guest_Barney_*
  • Guests

Posted 11 April 2015 - 06:32 PM

Hi Claire

 

the forecast of 4 degrees C is relevant but that doesn't mean that it is going to be 4 degrees at tortoise ground level. And the temperature just under the surface of the soil is different again - and higher.

 

As Nigel has dug down into the soil inside the coldframe then my guess is that the soil there might be warm, especially if there has been any sun on that area during the day.

 

We all have to make these tricky decisions for ourselves but if there is going to be some decent weather tomorrow I'd be inclined to leave the tortoise where he is and he will be in the right place to get the best of it.

 

No need to apologise for asking questions because that is the whole point of the forum!



#36 Guest_Stella_*

Guest_Stella_*
  • Guests

Posted 11 April 2015 - 06:54 PM

Hi Claire, if the cold frame is secure.......nothing can get into him, then I would leave him where he is!!! You probably won't sleep much tonight but things will get easier as time goes by. However, the decision has to be yours for what you are comfortable with. X x x supportive hugs x x x

#37 Scutchings789

Scutchings789

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 15 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Odiham, Hampshire

Posted 11 April 2015 - 07:04 PM

Thanks so much for all advice...

His whole enclosure is predator proof so nothing can get to him...

The sun has been on his enclosure from about 9am - sunset so I guess he has found the warmest spot! Weather forecast for tomorrow is good... Will go and check on him before we go to bed!

#38 Guest_Stella_*

Guest_Stella_*
  • Guests

Posted 11 April 2015 - 07:07 PM

I hope you have a good nights sleep.......but I suspect you won't x x x xhugs x x

#39 Loopylou

Loopylou

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 16 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 18 April 2015 - 07:37 AM

Can I but in and ask about the cold frame - if I had an enclosure like he one this ladt had outside, how and when would I use a cold frame? Would it go over the whole enclosure? Just on the cooler days? Would you only do this when home, I'd worry I'd put one over then go out and it would get hot and the little one would get too hot??

 

Sorry for jumping your thread scruthings - I've not got as far as actually getting a tortie yet so your wel ahead of me!!



#40 Guest_Stella_*

Guest_Stella_*
  • Guests

Posted 19 April 2015 - 06:23 PM

Hi Loopylou, I do not have a cold frame......I invested in a greenhouse, but only because I have loads of torts.... but I think the cold frame idea is to have an area that a tort would go to heat up on cold days.
I would suggest it doesn't cover the whole of the outdoor enclosure, but gives your tort of a place to warm up. If you think of a small scale greenhouse...... On really cold days the greenhouse ( cold frame) would be warmer than outdoors. So instead of being inactive, torts warm up and are able to go about their day to day activities. You will probably find that once warmed up they will venture outside and make the best advantage of the Uv available. X x. Xhugs x x




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users