Jump to content


Photo

Weight After Wind Down


  • Please log in to reply
30 replies to this topic

#1 Becca

Becca

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 39 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Sunderland

Posted 04 January 2015 - 10:44 AM

Hi all,

I hope hibernation is going well for everyone so far.

We've been winding Derek down for exactly three weeks today. He did seem quite active still at first but over the last few days he has really slowed down and he didn't come out at all yesterday. Today was going to be the day however I have weighed him and I am slightly concerned that he may have lost too much weight. He was 81g on 23rd November, 82g on 23rd December however he only weighs 75g today. He has been bathed regularly as well as him making use of his water himself.

Has he lost too much weight or is it still ok to hibernate?

Becca

#2 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*
  • Guests

Posted 04 January 2015 - 12:02 PM

It's not true weight Becca, just the loss of food from his gut, it was probably full before. The weight you monitor is after wind down. When did he last poop and did it look normal?

#3 Becca

Becca

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 39 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Sunderland

Posted 04 January 2015 - 12:56 PM

His last poop was just over a week ago, he had three in the week, all looked normal but the last one was smaller than usual, which I presumed was natural given that he hadn't eaten.

I had thought he would be lighter due to having an empty stomach but didn't know if it was too much.

Everything else seems to have gone well in wind down. He has even tucked himself straight back into his corner after his soak today.

#4 pompeypoole

pompeypoole

    Tortoise Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 94 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hampshire

Posted 04 January 2015 - 01:08 PM

I think that the weight loss is typical. My hatchlings will loose a small amount of weight but as Sue says this is just the gut emptying. As owners we tend to worry but you will find that your tortoise its just doing what nature intended. Once in hibernation you need to monitor its weight. My youngsters loose very little (if any) once hibernation starts.

#5 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*
  • Guests

Posted 04 January 2015 - 03:58 PM

They usually lose most at the beginning of hibernation, while the metabolism is settling. I tend not to disturb them for a month or so.

#6 Becca

Becca

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 39 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Sunderland

Posted 04 January 2015 - 05:04 PM

Thanks for your help.

Sue, when you say you tend not to disturb them for a month is that not even to weigh them? I was going to weigh him once a week but do you think I should leave him completely for the first month?

He will be in a little shoe box, with his usual soil, in a lucky herp fridge. He has been in the box in the garage today which is about 9degrees and he has settled into the soil nicely. we will be putting him in the fridge tonight as temperatures aren't stable overnight in the garage. The fridge has been on for two weeks now and has stayed between 4 & 6 degrees.

#7 crotchetybear

crotchetybear

    Tortoise Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 71 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Worcestershire
  • Interests:Tortoises, my dogs, animal welfare, conservation and environment, wildlife and travel.

Posted 04 January 2015 - 06:44 PM

Hi,

 

I hope your hibernation will be successful but just a cautionary note (see my previous posts under Lucky Herp fridge).

 

Make sure you keep a close eye on the temps once you put the tortoise in the fridge. I put my one-year-olds in one of these (brand new and purchased specifically for hibernating the little ones) at the end of November and all seemed fine for the first four weeks - temps between 4.5 and 6.5 degrees, which was as I found over the couple of weeks before I put them in. I check and weigh them weekly and was surprised to find that, last week, one was awake and there was fresh poo. As neither had urinated, or lost significant weight, I decided to persevere but - on close monitoring found that, for no apparent reason, the temperature in the fridge was creeping up to 8.5 degrees during the daytime. This should still be within safe limits but, having another fridge available and quickly carrying out a temperature check on it, I have moved them. The temperature in the new fridge stays below 6.5 and they are - seemingly - asleep.

 

Interestingly, without the box in it, the lucky herp fridge is keeping more stable temps so it may be an issue of air circulation within the unit - I wonder if my box is a bit on the large side for it. I'm going to leave mine where they are now as they are due up in three weeks but plan to evaluate the lucky herp fridge more fully to, hopefully, use it successfully next year - so would be very interested to know how you get on.

 

Good luck,

Chris



#8 Becca

Becca

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 39 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Sunderland

Posted 04 January 2015 - 07:14 PM

Thanks for the advice. I've had the box in to give an idea of what temps would be like but I'll definitely keep a close eye. I have an in/out thermometer set where the box is.

#9 Becca

Becca

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 39 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Sunderland

Posted 04 January 2015 - 07:17 PM

I will definitely update as to how I get on with the fridge 😊

#10 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*
  • Guests

Posted 04 January 2015 - 10:36 PM

Thanks for your help.
Sue, when you say you tend not to disturb them for a month is that not even to weigh them? I was going to weigh him once a week but do you think I should leave him completely for the first month?
He will be in a little shoe box, with his usual soil, in a lucky herp fridge. He has been in the box in the garage today which is about 9degrees and he has settled into the soil nicely. we will be putting him in the fridge tonight as temperatures aren't stable overnight in the garage. The fridge has been on for two weeks now and has stayed between 4 & 6 degrees.


No, I don't weigh them that often. No-one does it underground and I like to keep things as natural as possible. Too much disturbance I feel is not good for them.

#11 Beermat89

Beermat89

    Advanced Tortoise Member

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

Posted 04 January 2015 - 11:28 PM

Agree,ive only just done the first weighing of mine after being in hibernation for 8weeks,they can take up to 3-4weeks to actually settle down so weighing weekly would do more harm than good.if the humidity is kept up then there shouldnt really be a problem if the tortoise was 100% fit and wind down completed correctly to clear gut.
Regards matt

#12 Beermat89

Beermat89

    Advanced Tortoise Member

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

Posted 04 January 2015 - 11:41 PM

Also ive had temps fluxuating between 3-11c over the last 8weeks with no weight loss at all ,all tho my male has a bit but nothing to be concerned about.if tempts do rise for a day in to double figures in my opinion its not to much of a problem as in the wild tempts would fluxuate daily.last hibernation was the same and had no ill effects on my torts,i used the fridge method previous years but to be honest it hasnt made any difference to doing it naturally in the shed

#13 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*
  • Guests

Posted 08 January 2015 - 05:19 PM

If we keep a hermann tortoise metabolism going at normal speed by keeping the heat up and denying food then of course it does deplete the energy stores of the animal.
 
What happens with the wild ones is that the temperaures go down as winter approaches and as a result the tortoise stops eating of it's own accord. This is completely different to the very artificial preparation for 'hibernation' that happens when as a keeper we keep the tortoise active and hungry and do not let it eat anything.


I not sure anyone's wind down regime involves keeping torts active and hungry
Ozric! Mine certainly doesn't, that woul not be very kind :(

#14 Beermat89

Beermat89

    Advanced Tortoise Member

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

Posted 08 January 2015 - 05:36 PM

A tortoise can go weeks with out food im sure 4weeks is a stroll in the park for them or wind down and hibernation would be classed as animal cruelty which its far from

#15 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*
  • Guests

Posted 08 January 2015 - 06:06 PM

A tortoise can go weeks with out food im sure 4weeks is a stroll in the park for them or wind down and hibernation would be classed as animal cruelty which its far from


In the Med Matt, they do have a stroll around while winding down but rarely are they seen eating anything at all, it's a bit like our own torts at the end of the season, when they stop eating despite being offered basking facilities in their hides. Mine have always behaved thisvway, being inherently aware that hibernation time is imminent.

#16 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*
  • Guests

Posted 08 January 2015 - 06:08 PM

My understanding is that the standard wind down involves a week of full heat and light 12 hours a day. This clearly results in hunger which is why keepers are told to remove everything from the enclosure that they might possibly eat.
 
Proponents of this method have been known to recommend removing the substrate so the tortoise can't eat it. I think it's fair to say this is a hunger situation!


I would not go along with forcing a tortoise to starve under normal feeding conditions. I suggest you have a look at tortsmad hibernation guide. Very natural and 100% successful.

#17 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*
  • Guests

Posted 08 January 2015 - 06:52 PM

I have not lost a tortoise to this practice in over thirty years. If the tortoise is hungry, why does it not search out food and why do they stop feeding at the same time of year each year? As in the other post Ozric, I would prefer to continue this subject, if at all, off the forum. My website is www.tortsmad.com, feel free to criticise via the links given there. Have a nice evening ;)

#18 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*
  • Guests

Posted 08 January 2015 - 08:47 PM

Well, as you have quoted one of my posts I suppose I have to reply. As the said tortoise was eating substrate as temps were too high, it made sense to remove anything edible until the keeper gotitbback on the right track. No idea where you saw this, as I just reply to posts as they happen and don't ho on a mission to find 'evidence'.
Please do not surmise how my torts wind down Ozric, you are totally wrong in that respect as you will see from my previous posts and this is a dangerous thing to say, just in case new keepers think that ey can do this, thinking that I di it. I DO NOT. They have heated hides, which makes no difference as they are highly geared to what they as tortoises have evolved to,do. If I were to,allow them to wind down in the garden with no,help in the UK they would soon be very dead tortoises.

#19 Becca

Becca

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 39 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Sunderland

Posted 31 January 2015 - 10:45 PM

Just a little update. Derek has been in hibernation for four weeks now. I have had a little peek on him each week but resisted disturbing him. I have however weighed him today and I am pleased to say he has only lost 1gram so far, so hopefully all will be well in another four weeks.

For anyone who was interested in how the lucky herp fridge has been, it has continued to maintain 5-6 degrees consistently.

In relation to Derek's winding down period, he did begin to do this naturally himself. We noticed that he wasn't eating as much and wasn't as active, so it was clear to us that he was ready to prepare for hibernation.

😊 🐢

#20 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*
  • Guests

Posted 31 January 2015 - 11:00 PM

Well done Becca. So glad all is doing well for you and Derek. The next four weeks will be over before you know it. :)




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users