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Yearling Hibernation


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#1 babettebeau

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 10:44 AM

Hello

 

How long the hibernation for a Hermann yearling should be? I have read 8 weeks (subject that all goes well).

When these 8 weeks should be? Over December and January? Or November, December?

 

I have seen on the forum some great information for preparation to hibernation. Thank you to the keepers who posted them.

 

Sabina



#2 mildredsmam

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 02:50 PM

Hi Sabina,
8 weeks is best, i would aim for 8 weeks but they can always be woke up earlier if needed i hibernate my hatchlings Jan/ Feb as they seem to be the colder months and i still find some weeds up till then x

#3 babettebeau

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 04:58 PM

Thank you Karen. I have a couple more questions coming up in my head, if anyone can share experiences please:

 

1) I imagine they need soil rather than coconut coir in the box in which they will hibernate for 8 weeks. If the yearlings are used to dig down in coconut coir, would they be ok to dig in soil? Do you think it will be a good idea to do the wind down with a soil substrate rather than coconut coir?

 

2) I understand that a tortoise needs to be weighted during hibernation.

- How frequently?

- How do you weight them when they are in deep hibernation sleep without stressing them? Do you take them out of the box with the minimum disturbance? What if they are under the soil, do you still take them out, but then will they dig down again in the soil when i put them back in the box or do i put them back into place in their hole and cover them with the soil?

 

3) What percentage of the initial weight are the yearlings supposed to loose in 8 weeks of hibernation (assuming they do not urinate during the hibernation)?

 

Many thanks!

 

Sabina



#4 pompeypoole

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 09:20 PM

My experience,
1) I use topsoil and the fridge method for my hatchlings. Works really well.
2) I don't get too hung up on frequency of weighing. Weekly. You can weigh them whilst they are deep in hibernation. They will not wake until the sense temperature rising. You can always weigh them in the tub with the tortoise in. I like to weigh the hatchling itself as you can also do a quick check to see if it as passed anything.
3) they should not loose much weight at all. It does depend on there weight at start of hibernation. Passing urine is not good, you will need to wake it.

Pre hibernation wind down is also important. Have a read of the information on Sue's Web site, lots of useful information.

#5 mildredsmam

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 04:36 AM

Me too, i also use topsoil in the boxes and use the fridge method for my hatchlings it works really well.

I agree that pre hibernation wind down is important and getting it right is a must, but were here to help when the time arrives. x



#6 wizzasmum

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 08:25 AM

Same here, but I don't weigh them in the tub as there is no way of knowing if weight loss is soil or tortoise. A hibernating tortoise is in a deep sleep. It might move when you disturb it, but it moves around underground too. I don't weigh for the first month as it takes time for them to settle deeply.

#7 babettebeau

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 04:55 PM

I have additional questions on hibernation...My questions are specific to yearlings tortoises (13 months at the moment, 30gr and 32gr). Hibernation target period: January and February 2017.

 

Settlement time

I understand that we should let the yearling tortoises settle when they are in their box in the fridge.

1)      If they hibernate for 8 weeks, how long should you let them settle?

2)      Is that correct to say that when you let them settle, you leave them in their box in the fridge, i.e. not take them out for weigh monitoring? (Of course you open the fridge for air flow).

3)      When you let them settle, do you check on them i.e. touch them to check if they still move? How frequently to do touch them to see if they still move? What if they are under the substrate, do you uncover them and touch them to see reaction and cover them again with substrate?

 

Weight monitoring

4)      When weight time comes and if they are burrowed under the soil, do you undug them and remove the soil on them, weigh them and put them back into their burrow and cover them with soil, so basically put them back where they were before?

5)      If they are burrowed under the soil, is it obvious to see if they have urinated when you check on them? Is loss of urine makes a big difference in weight variation?

 

Boxes

6)      If you have more than one yearling tortoise, it is better to put them in their own box, so that they stay separated in the fridge?

 

Substrate

7)      What should the humidity % of the soil in the box that goes in the fridge?

8)      Is that 100% soil only that you use or also add dead tree leaves for example?

 

Thank you very much for your feedback.

Sabina



#8 mildredsmam

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 04:43 AM

I have additional questions on hibernation...My questions are specific to yearlings tortoises (13 months at the moment, 30gr and 32gr). Hibernation target period: January and February 2017.

 

Settlement time

I understand that we should let the yearling tortoises settle when they are in their box in the fridge.

1)      If they hibernate for 8 weeks, how long should you let them settle?

2)      Is that correct to say that when you let them settle, you leave them in their box in the fridge, i.e. not take them out for weigh monitoring? (Of course you open the fridge for air flow).

3)      When you let them settle, do you check on them i.e. touch them to check if they still move? How frequently to do touch them to see if they still move? What if they are under the substrate, do you uncover them and touch them to see reaction and cover them again with substrate?

 

Weight monitoring

4)      When weight time comes and if they are burrowed under the soil, do you undug them and remove the soil on them, weigh them and put them back into their burrow and cover them with soil, so basically put them back where they were before?

5)      If they are burrowed under the soil, is it obvious to see if they have urinated when you check on them? Is loss of urine makes a big difference in weight variation?

 

Boxes

6)      If you have more than one yearling tortoise, it is better to put them in their own box, so that they stay separated in the fridge?

 

Substrate

7)      What should the humidity % of the soil in the box that goes in the fridge?

8)      Is that 100% soil only that you use or also add dead tree leaves for example?

 

Thank you very much for your feedback.

Sabina

Hi Sabina,

I let mine settle for the 1st couple of weeks,  for piece of mind I do some times touch one of the legs to make sure they move the movement is only slight but they do move.

I only use topsoil in their boxes nothing else and it depends on the size of the hatchling and box as to how many I put in I don't have them all in their own boxes but do make sure they have some room to move about, once they have settled I weigh them once a week and check them over until it's time for them to wake up. x



#9 babettebeau

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 12:24 PM

Hello

 

Me again with a few questions, thinking too much ... :thinking:  :thinking: My questions are for the windown period prior to hibernation for Hermann yearlings:

 

1) What should be the temp of the water the tort soaks in during the windown period? Do you make the water less and less warm like you do for the heat lamp?

 

2) Is it correct to assume that yearlings should be soaked in water until just before they go in the fridge?

 

3) Do you put the empty box with substrate in fridge in advance before the tort gets in? Or you let the box cooling down at the same rate as tort and then the box with tort inside go together in the fridge?

 

4) What is the optimal humidity % that should be in fridge and in the substrate which is in the box?

 

5) How to keep the right humidity level in fridge and in the substrate in the box? My tort book says humidity can be improved with wet towels, bowls with water, mist in the fridge. What is your experience?

 

6) For a two weeks windown when do you stop completely the heat and light after reducing gradually? Is it on day 14 (last day) or before? If before how many days before?

 

7) At what temp should a tort be just before getting in the fridge? I want to avoid a sudden thermal shock before getting into a 5 degree environment in the fridge.

 

Thank you very much. My questions are very specific, but as a newbie the more details i have the better I learn, and the best it is for the two little ones.

 

Sabina






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