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#1 littlemiss

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 04:45 PM

Hello everyone,

 

my torts are two and a half and I am winding them down for hibernation using a guide from this site. It has been 8 days since I stopped feeding them (keeping their lights on full to begin with and then slowing turning the heat and UV bulbs down. One of the tortoises is still slowly moving around but the other one keeps burying itself deep under the soil and I have to dig it up in order to give it a bath. Is it ok to keep digging it up to bath it or is it already for sleeping?? According to the guide I had read, I was going for about 15 days winding down before I put them into the fridge.... The fridge is already to go and maintaining a good temperature of 5 degrees, stabalised with bottles of water.

 

Should I carry on with the wind down as planned and slowly switch to all lights and heat off (except background heat in the cool room they are based in) or should I switch lights off already?

 

Many thanks for your help- feeling a little twitchy as this is first time I have hibernated them!!! I tried to follow some advice last year which turned out to be bad advice and had to abort the idea  before we got to hibernation so am very keen to get it right this time.... it is a scary process!!

 

Kate 



#2 wizzasmum

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 05:48 PM

Yes it's fine to keep digging him up, but I'm wondering how much you've reduced the temps as they shouldn't be much lower after a week, just on for less time. Too low and he won't digest any food in there. What weight are they, as they might need a longer wind down. This is how I do mine www.tortsmad.com/hibernation.htm

#3 littlemiss

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Posted 30 October 2015 - 05:24 PM

Hello, thank you for your quick reply. I haven't turned the temperature of their lamps down at all. For the first five days the temperatures were on as normal for a full day. Now I have turned the timers down so that their day is shorter but the lamps are the same for the time they are on. Thank you for the link. I have been using the one on the front page of this website but I will check yours out now too. I am not at home at the moment and I don't know their weights without checking the book that I record their weights and things in... I will check and let you know though. Does it all sound ok so far? Kate



#4 wizzasmum

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Posted 30 October 2015 - 07:06 PM

Oh, with you saying you slowly turned bulbs down, I thought you must have. You need to check the weights to determine how long they wind down for. Meanwhile keep digging the one up, but don't hibernate until we know how long for.

#5 littlemiss

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Posted 01 November 2015 - 01:13 PM

OK, so Pumpkin is 135g and Patch is 150g. Is a 15 day wind down OK?? 



#6 wizzasmum

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Posted 01 November 2015 - 09:43 PM

OK, so Pumpkin is 135g and Patch is 150g. Is a 15 day wind down OK??

I would go for three weeks at this size, the lower time is for hatchlings.

#7 littlemiss

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 02:30 PM

Hi Sue,

Three weeks today and I have just bathed them, dried them, weighed them and put them in the fridge.

How long do you think I should leave them for? This is their first hibernation... (and mine!!)

Also, how frequently should I weigh them/ open the fridge now they are in?

Katie

#8 wizzasmum

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 03:53 PM

I'd do 8 weeks for starters Katie, weighing them to check for weight loss. They lose most at the beginning. Keep checking in and we will reassure you. Just a note, don't bother drying after bathing, the extra hydration is really good for them ;) I'd just open and close the door quickly once a day, it's plenty for a good air exchange. Do they have their own fridge?

#9 littlemiss

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 04:39 PM

Shall I weigh them weekly?? Yes they have their own fridge in the garage against a wall attached to the house. So far the temperature has been fairly stable at 6 degrees. There is a back up heater in case the garage cools but my dad assures me it is unlikely to get colder as it is attached to the house and the heat will come through the wall slightly. They are in topsoil and have already buried themselves in. Does that sound ok?

Thank you for the reassurances! They are needed :)

#10 wizzasmum

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 05:24 PM

I would leave them three or four weeks to settle, then weigh them monthly. If they have lost a lot on their first weigh in then do them weekly until you are happy they are settled. They can lose up to 10% of their initial weight in total, but if in correct conditions they usually lose nothing. Temps should be better in an attached garage, but be ready for a slightly earlier waking. If the garage has an up and over door, it's still possible it might freeze, so just be prepared.

#11 littlemiss

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 01:23 PM

So I've just weighed them. Pumpkin is down from 163g to 159g. Patch has gone from 136g to 131g. Patch seems more alert than pumpkin. Pumpkin isn't moving and has his head in his shell and seems very asleep. Patch isn't moving around but has his head out and you can still see his legs moving as he breathes. He's not as still. Does this all sound ok? They are three weeks in. Katie :)

#12 wizzasmum

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 07:11 PM

The weight loss is fine Katie. Do you have a response to touch with Pumpkin?

#13 littlemiss

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 07:46 PM

I don't know... should I go and check in the morning?? Should I just touch his leg?? He didn't do anything when I picked him up by his shell to place on the scales...

#14 wizzasmum

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 11:11 PM

There is usual a slight reaction, I would definitely touch his leg.

#15 littlemiss

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 08:55 AM

I shall go out and check. What's the plan if there is no reaction? Warm him up and see if he comes round? Feeling a little panicky now...!!! I'll let you know

#16 wizzasmum

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 09:56 AM

I shall go out and check. What's the plan if there is no reaction? Warm him up and see if he comes round? Feeling a little panicky now...!!! I'll let you know


Don't panic. If there's no reaction at all, check the eyes are not sunken and give lukewarm bath and we will go from there. If you wake him though he will have to stay awake, he can't go back into hibernation.

#17 littlemiss

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 06:53 PM

He responded to gentle touch. He's definitely in a deeper sleep than the other one but he is still responsive. Thank you for your advice today. I really appreciate it!! Hibernation is stressful

#18 littlemiss

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 06:54 PM

He responded to gentle touch. He's definitely in a deeper sleep than the other one but he is still responsive. Thank you for your advice today. I really appreciate it!! Hibernation is stressful

#19 wizzasmum

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 10:59 PM

That's good Some of mine are deep under the substrate and others are being a proper pain on top of substrate. Even after all this time, they still keep me on my toes
Hmm smilies are misbehaving again too.

#20 littlemiss

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Posted 09 January 2016 - 01:06 PM

It's been 9 weeks so I've woken them up this morning. They came round quite quickly and after an hour under a basking lamp they enjoyed a long, warm bath. I've not noticed any urine yet (but they may have)and they are showing no interest in eating but they are both wandering around their cage. Is that ok?
Katie




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