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Over Winter Now?


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#1 jacqui99

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 04:25 PM

Hi

 

New to this as rehomed Edna and Enid in April so this is first hibernation.

Done it by the Tortoise Trust book with starvation,  wind down and baths etc and Enid seems settled in the fridge (went in 9 days ago).....however, when I weighed Edna today (she's been in for 8 days) I noticed a tiny amount of urate substance and she seemed more awake than I expected (head out, eyes half open)......and now I have just rechecked to make sure was urate and she has just done a poo....

I'm going to have to overwinter her now because of the urination alone aren't I?

 

Jacqui

 



#2 wizzasmum

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 05:48 PM

A lot depends on what substrate you are using for hibernation. When they dig down outdoors and hibernate naturally, they can actually come up heavier than when they went in, which is great. When hibernated in very dry conditions though, there’s more chance of weight loss. After 8 days, she won’t be properly in hibernation, it takes a few weeks for them to settle, even at correct temps. Have you weighed her? If she’s lost a large percentage then it’s probably best to take her out, but if it’s only a small amount, you could give her asoak at this stage and see if she takes any fluid on board and pop her back in. The poo is not important, provided you’ve wound her down at correct temp as the poo will have been in the rear of the bowel, not the stomach.

#3 jacqui99

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 05:55 PM

That's intersting thanks Sue, I had thought that once out that was it and i'd have to keep her out. The other two (i'm also minding my cousins) slowed down greatly and stopped eating nearing wind down but Edna just didn't seem to slow down at all during the same time period and same conditions.  They were all starved for 4 weeks during wind down so not so concerned about poo.....just the urination and warming her up to bath her will kick start her metabolism......also not greatly impressed with my 5c wine fridge as it has never got below 7c, although the other two torties seem to be coping well at this temp.  none of them has lost much weight at all during first week.

Such a minefield this hermann's keeping !

 

Any other advice very much apprecaited.



#4 wizzasmum

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 09:24 PM

If you’ve already warmed her up, yes it’s best to keep her out, but if not she will be fine.

#5 jacqui99

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 09:32 AM

So, Edna is now up and back in summer mode, she was eating within 2 hours of being up so really pleased I got her out. When I removed Edna's box Enids went up to 9c (I replaced empty space with large water bottles). Im trying nit to check her too often as aware she's still settling but am worried about the temp (she still has her head extended). Sidney is below her at 7.8c and seems fine. Do I leave well alone for another week and reweigh/check for urates? Do I move to our household fridge which seems to be keeping 7-8c ?
Enid was very sleepy for last 2 weeks of wind down so I am 70% wanting to leave well alone for a while.....she was ok on Jackson ratio.
Thanks 😣

#6 jacqui99

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 09:32 AM

So, Edna is now up and back in summer mode, she was eating within 2 hours of being up so really pleased I got her out. When I removed Edna's box Enids went up to 9c (I replaced empty space with large water bottles). Im trying nit to check her too often as aware she's still settling but am worried about the temp (she still has her head extended). Sidney is below her at 7.8c and seems fine. Do I leave well alone for another week and reweigh/check for urates? Do I move to our household fridge which seems to be keeping 7-8c ?
Enid was very sleepy for last 2 weeks of wind down so I am 70% wanting to leave well alone for a while.....she was ok on Jackson ratio.
Thanks 😣

#7 wizzasmum

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 03:31 PM

Tortoises often hibernate with head out if there isn’t a lot of dense substrate around them, it’s fine. I don5 check mine in the first month as it does disturb them. Your household fridge would be ok if you don’t open it too often as that will alter temps and don’t use a fridge that is a fridge freezer combi. Daft question, but is your fridge on the highest setting and not the lowest? Were they originally wild caught? If home grown, the Jackson ratio isn’t a lot of use as shell density is usually very different to wild ones, which the ratio was formulated for.

#8 jacqui99

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 03:59 PM

Hi
Fridge is a wine chilled that is supposed to go down to 5c. During weeks of checking it stabilised at around 7c but now doesn't appear to be getting quite that low on higher level.....
They were 'home grown' and we rehomed them in April this year....we were told they were attic 'hibernated' last season but one of them woke and started wanderjng around 😟.....I have a string suspicion that was Edna!!!!
Enid lost a fair amount of weight during wind down but in last 10 days in fridge has lost 0.3% (883g to 880g). I'm going to reweigh/check next Monday and see what's going on....hopefully her and the fridge will be fully settled by then 🤔

#9 wizzasmum

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 04:34 PM

The problem with drinks chillers is that because they are not rated for food, there’s no law to say those temps can be maintained. You would be better looking for an actual fridge that is rated for food to be honest. Attics are dangerous places for hibernation as the chances of sticking at 5 degrees are zero. They get warm when the sun comes out and freeze when the weather is at its worst as the insulation is below the tortoise not above. Many tortoises used to die this way. The weight lost in wind down isn’t true weight, just the gut emptying :)

#10 jacqui99

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 05:51 PM

Thank you, you've been really helpful. I do have another larder fridge in the same room so if the chiller doesn't stabilise below 7c I'll move her into there where it's currently stable at 5.5c.
Can't wait until February!

#11 wizzasmum

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 06:13 PM

That sounds a better idea. Good luck :)




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