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Tank Wants To Hibernate!


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#1 crusty

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 11:08 AM

Hi guys,

 

I need some advice, I got Tank in September and as it's my first time with a Tortoise I was planning on not hibernating him this winter.

 

He lives in a Tortoise table in our kitchen/dining room at the moment with the normal heat bulb and UV tube, with topsoil as the substrate, but over the last couple of weeks he's been eating less and has become less active. he use to just snuggle down a bit to sleep but now has buried himself down deep, I have dug him out and bathed him but he just reburies himself after an hour or so.

 

Should I leave him be or keep digging him up and bathing him?



#2 mildredsmam

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Posted 23 December 2016 - 03:01 AM

Morning, i would still wake him up and bath him and offer him food even if he doesn't stay up long, have you checked the temps in your table lately and has the table plenty of light. :) 



#3 Andyc

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 09:43 PM

Good day,
Mine is doing the same, I've turned one heat lamp off, and one uv light and she keeps tucking herself in dark corner and sleeping, not eating now either. I was doing the wind down so feeding less and lower temp. What's next stage? She is steady weight of 302. What do I hibernate her in? Soil? Sreadded newspaper? Many thanks
Andy

#4 mildredsmam

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 04:38 AM

Good day,
Mine is doing the same, I've turned one heat lamp off, and one uv light and she keeps tucking herself in dark corner and sleeping, not eating now either. I was doing the wind down so feeding less and lower temp. What's next stage? She is steady weight of 302. What do I hibernate her in? Soil? Sreadded newspaper? Many thanks
Andy

Hi Andy,

How long have you been doing the wind down and when was she last fed, I hibernate mine in soil newspaper would be too drying for them, do you have some where in mind to hibernate her. :) 



#5 crusty

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 08:48 AM

Morning, i would still wake him up and bath him and offer him food even if he doesn't stay up long, have you checked the temps in your table lately and has the table plenty of light. :)

 

Hi Karen,

 

Yes temps are good, 32 under the basking lamp and 20/21 in the cooler areas, every time I wake him up and bath him he doesn't eat and digs back down within five minutes, and he hasn't passed anything in his bath water for over a week now, he really can't resist his natural urge to hibernate.

 

So as he hasn't eaten anything for ages I'm thinking of letting him hibernate and putting him in the garage in his table, it hasn't been getting too cold in there, when it was -4 the other day it was still +5 in the garage and seems to stay around 8 and I'll have a heater on a thermostat if it drops below 5.

 

Kev.



#6 wizzasmum

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 10:29 AM

You can only hibernate him in his table if the soil is deep enough to form a protective layer when he's dug down, which is unlikely. Tortoises still move around when hibernating to get correct temps. If they can't dig low enough to escape the cold, then they could die. 8 is too warm for a constant hibernation temp. If he really has to hibernate I would use a fridge and make sure he's not eaten for several weeks.

#7 Andyc

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 01:23 PM

Hi, it's been just over 2 weeks no food now, and she beds down for couple of days at a time. Then has walk round for a little and then beds down again, I'm either going to put her in fridge garage or just in the garage, should I buy her in a box with soil? With paper on top?

#8 wizzasmum

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 07:20 PM

What does tank weigh? Two weeks is only ok for hatchlings, so you might need to look at keeping up temps and bathing a week or so longer. If the fridge is in the garage, bear in mind that if the garage freezes, so will the fridge as they can't actually raise temps at all. An indoor fridge would be better tbh.

#9 crusty

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 08:11 PM

Tank weighs 101g and measures 84mm which brings him up a bit light on the Jackson ratio calculator, yesterday he surprised me by waking up on his own and having a wander about his table for an hour.

A fridge is not an option, I haven't got one other than the household fridge, but if he's underweight I'd Imagine hibernation is not an option so I'll continue waking him up and giving him his daily baths.

#10 wizzasmum

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 11:41 PM

The Jackson ratio is only useful for wild reared hermanni and spur thighs, so prob not appropriate. Waking, warm baths and high light levels will be your best option to be honest.

#11 mildredsmam

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 04:32 AM

Hi, it's been just over 2 weeks no food now, and she beds down for couple of days at a time. Then has walk round for a little and then beds down again, I'm either going to put her in fridge garage or just in the garage, should I buy her in a box with soil? With paper on top?

Hi Andy,

2 weeks wind down won't be long enough with her weighing 320g she needs longer, do you mean the fridge is in the garage your going to use as Sue has said above they don't work well when the temps drop really low this will be the same with the garage it's self you would need some form of heater in there on a thermostat set so the temps don't drop too low, I just have soil in my boxes nothing else I have plenty in so they can dig under the soil if they choose too. :) 



#12 crusty

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 12:09 PM

The Jackson ratio is only useful for wild reared hermanni and spur thighs, so prob not appropriate. Waking, warm baths and high light levels will be your best option to be honest.

 

Thanks, that's what I'll keep doing, just feels cruel  :(  but next year I will make sure Im have a fridge ready for him :)



#13 wizzasmum

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 04:57 PM

Thanks, that's what I'll keep doing, just feels cruel  :(  but next year I will make sure Im have a fridge ready for him :)


Just think tortoise and not human lol. Many people go wrong thinking of them along human or mammal lines ;) good luck.

#14 Andyc

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 02:49 PM

Would 12 deg be to warm for hibernating? I have a beer cellar that is constant 12deg?

#15 wizzasmum

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 05:58 PM

Yes, far too warm, they will wake at 10 degrees and start to lose valuable body fat.

#16 Andyc

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 10:14 PM

Ok, will have to be fridge then, what size box you suggest? Like shoe box size?

#17 wizzasmum

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 11:28 PM

Yes, that will be big enough for a 300 g tortoise. Put plenty of substrate in, giving him room to move.




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