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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 29-09-2018, 09:22 PM
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Default Tortoise hibernation

Hi,
I acquired a tortoise this year. I don't know how old it is, but it isn't young.
It has different places to sleep, all outside. It has chosen to go up a 45deg air-raid shelter covered with soil, and a brick stone 'house' on top, where the sun shines in the morning, tends to be the warmest place. My garden is mostly shady, this time of year.
It sometimes comes out and down the shelter, walks round the garden, then back later.
I put food out but it seems it has stopped eating. Is it preparing for hibernation? It seems early to me!
Thanks, Camerart.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 29-09-2018, 10:03 PM
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I am by no means a tortoise expert but which species is very important.
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Old 30-09-2018, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camerart View Post
Hi,
I acquired a tortoise this year. I don't know how old it is, but it isn't young.
It has different places to sleep, all outside. It has chosen to go up a 45deg air-raid shelter covered with soil, and a brick stone 'house' on top, where the sun shines in the morning, tends to be the warmest place. My garden is mostly shady, this time of year.
It sometimes comes out and down the shelter, walks round the garden, then back later.
I put food out but it seems it has stopped eating. Is it preparing for hibernation? It seems early to me!
Thanks, Camerart.
Tortoise react to day light and they know its getting towards the time of the year when hibernation is due:0)
They do when treated as in the wild (outside as much as possible) start to eat less, (its in their genes to do so) and get ready for hibernation.
I live in the SE of England and I know all of my adults are in the process of winding down. I have stopped feeding them, but allowing them to graze if they need to. But are staying in their greenhouse and even with heat are not moving around. I know one of them will be down in the soil by the middle of October, her choice:0)
Day light and temps always induce hibernation:0)
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Old 30-09-2018, 03:35 PM
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Hi,
I think it's a Herman's tortoise.
As mentioned, she dozes most of the day in the air-raid shelter 'house' and if I pick her up she's quite warm sometimes, as it a little oven.
I would have though it was a bit early to hibernate, as I've read they usually spend about 3 months hibernating, so she would wake p December/Jan.
She seems ok, so I'll let her do what she wants.

Thanks, C.
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Old 30-09-2018, 04:00 PM
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How secure is it? I would think from what you've said a rat could get in?
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Old 30-09-2018, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camerart View Post
Hi,
I think it's a Herman's tortoise.
As mentioned, she dozes most of the day in the air-raid shelter 'house' and if I pick her up she's quite warm sometimes, as it a little oven.
I would have though it was a bit early to hibernate, as I've read they usually spend about 3 months hibernating, so she would wake p December/Jan.
She seems ok, so I'll let her do what she wants.

Thanks, C.

She’s not got a calendar in there, so she won’t know to wake in December/Jan when it’s freezing. She will sleep through to March/April and probably dehydrate and die unless she’s very lucky. Still, I dare say she knows she’s not in the Med and ‘knows what she’s doing’.
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Old 30-09-2018, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Shellsfeathers&fur View Post
How secure is it? I would think from what you've said a rat could get in?
Hi S,
I read about mouse/rat nibbling.
Unless I get suggestions, or find out what to do, I plan to wait till she has less movement and it is reliably cold, I will put it in an insulated box, with ventilation, and put it into the air-raid shelter, which is constantly cool. I'll check it regularly.
C
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Old 30-09-2018, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueBoyle View Post
She’s not got a calendar in there, so she won’t know to wake in December/Jan when it’s freezing. She will sleep through to March/April and probably dehydrate and die unless she’s very lucky. Still, I dare say she knows she’s not in the Med and ‘knows what she’s doing’.
Hi S,
Do I detect a hint of facetiousness in your reply?

When I put her in the box, I won't forget the calendar.

Can you inform me of any suggestions, to avoid her dehydration and death.
C.
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Old 01-10-2018, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camerart View Post
Hi S,
Do I detect a hint of facetiousness in your reply?

When I put her in the box, I won't forget the calendar.

Can you inform me of any suggestions, to avoid her dehydration and death.
C.
Yes! I’d suggest following a good tortoise hibernation regime. Guesswork is why so many tortoises in the past died in hibernation. If your tortoise isn’t completely empty, food can ferment and kill it. It can’t empty completely without heat to aid with digestion. I recommend this for beginners www.tortsmad.com/hibernation There are also excellent tips here www.tortoises.net My own hibernate naturally in deep soil, but in a carefully monitored environment, not in an open air raid shelter which will be used by mice, rats, hedgehogs etc all of which can kill a tortoise.
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Old 01-10-2018, 09:14 PM
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Hi S,
Since she's been fasting, she stays mostly in the 'house' on the shelter. I've picked her up a few times, and she's pretty warm. I also read that they benefit from a warm bath too.

I'll look at the links you posted,
Thanks, C.
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