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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-11-2018, 11:50 AM
Egg
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Abercraf, Powys
Posts: 4
Default Garage Hibernation

I am looking at possibly hibernation my 3 adult Hermanns in a laid back over wardrobe my garage. I am thinking of putting three opened 35ltr bags of sterile topsoil mixed with soft sand in the wardrobe and letting the torts dig thenmselves in. My concern is mainly temperature, which I am checking with a max/min thermostat over the next few days.
I cannot put the torts outside in the garden as it gets and stays very wet, almost flooding at times and my house is very small so I haven't got a cold enough room for a good cooling down period so I am sitting in am extra jumper etc and letting them get as cold as the house will allow.
I thought abut putting a fridge in the bees honey extraction shed and putting them in that (box method) but not sure if that is the best option or the garage.
Views, comments welcome.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 10-11-2018, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by mrchips View Post
I am looking at possibly hibernation my 3 adult Hermanns in a laid back over wardrobe my garage. I am thinking of putting three opened 35ltr bags of sterile topsoil mixed with soft sand in the wardrobe and letting the torts dig thenmselves in. My concern is mainly temperature, which I am checking with a max/min thermostat over the next few days.
I cannot put the torts outside in the garden as it gets and stays very wet, almost flooding at times and my house is very small so I haven't got a cold enough room for a good cooling down period so I am sitting in am extra jumper etc and letting them get as cold as the house will allow.
I thought abut putting a fridge in the bees honey extraction shed and putting them in that (box method) but not sure if that is the best option or the garage.
Views, comments welcome.
I used to hibernate my tortoises in the garage, when I used to box them up.
If possible it would be good to put polystyrene under the wardrobe to help keep temps even. Also all around the wardrobe if possible.
When I used to box them, I used polystyrene boxes (the sort tropical fish are transported in) I put an A4 paper box (or the like) inside the poly box. I used to put newspaper on the bottom of the A4 box, then put the wound down tortoise in. I put shredded paper around the tortoise. Put the lid on, with a hole for a thermometer to be put through. Then I put shredded paper around the A4 box, then put the poly box lid on with a hole for the thermometer to go through. The thermometer helped keep an eye on the temps inside the box. I also had a heater set to come on if temps dropped below 5c.
I hope this makes sense:0)
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 10-11-2018, 12:27 PM
Egg
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Abercraf, Powys
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That's almost all in hand. I've got sheets of insulation for the back (under) the wardrobe and for the sides. I know I'm living in Wales but am a little concerned about the max temperatures more than the minimum. If the weather doesn't take a dive for winter temps soon the torts may not settle for ages. Will picking them out of the soil and weighing them cause problems or do you think they will they just sleep through it?
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Old 10-11-2018, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrchips View Post
That's almost all in hand. I've got sheets of insulation for the back (under) the wardrobe and for the sides. I know I'm living in Wales but am a little concerned about the max temperatures more than the minimum. If the weather doesn't take a dive for winter temps soon the torts may not settle for ages. Will picking them out of the soil and weighing them cause problems or do you think they will they just sleep through it?

If it’s dark they may well sit on the top of the soil. It sounds mad, but running a plain strip light in the garage will encourage them to dig down as in nature I wouldn’t put any paper near to them, just soil. Paper wicks moisture from the body and causes weight loss I’m on the Welsh border and mine haven’t totally settled in a month, it’s fine and what they do in the wild. Just be sure the soil is slightly damp as it would be outdoors. I don’t weigh mine once theyve gone under the soil, so long as its not totally dry it will keep hydration (and so weight) up and they should lose no weight at all this way
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Old 10-11-2018, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrchips View Post
That's almost all in hand. I've got sheets of insulation for the back (under) the wardrobe and for the sides. I know I'm living in Wales but am a little concerned about the max temperatures more than the minimum. If the weather doesn't take a dive for winter temps soon the torts may not settle for ages. Will picking them out of the soil and weighing them cause problems or do you think they will they just sleep through it?
Sheets under the back is great, as it helps keep the frost/cold from getting in:0)
I live in the SE and all but one of my tortoises are down:0)
Make sure its cold where ever you are winding them down, and if possible cut out any light. As some tortoises can be scary not going down. But when its ready for them they do:0)
My tortoises dig down in the soil in my GH, and I dont always know where they are, so they dont get weighed at any time through hibernation. Provided the weather stays cold its fine. Living in the SE some days get really quite warm for the time of the year, but they still stay down even in my GH:0)
Once a tortoise is in hibernation, only high temperatures regularly and light will wake them. :0)
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 15-11-2018, 01:18 PM
Egg
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Location: Abercraf, Powys
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Got a lot of problems with getting the temperature down. The house is too small so I have not got a cold enough room to put them in. I have bought a dedicated torty, larder fridge and a couple of strong plastic boxes. These now have topsoil in and will fit snugly into the fridge.
I'm thinking of putting the boxes with the torts in, outdoors in the shade (it's really sunny here today and quite warm but still a lot cooler than the house). Should I put the lids on and clip them down? I've put airholes in the box right the way round. Is this likely to get them to 'dig in' so I can then put them in the fridge in a day or two or should I just put the boxes straight in the fridge.
The fridge temp is now holding a steady 5.4 degrees.
What do you reckon!
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Old 15-11-2018, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrchips View Post
Got a lot of problems with getting the temperature down. The house is too small so I have not got a cold enough room to put them in. I have bought a dedicated torty, larder fridge and a couple of strong plastic boxes. These now have topsoil in and will fit snugly into the fridge.
I'm thinking of putting the boxes with the torts in, outdoors in the shade (it's really sunny here today and quite warm but still a lot cooler than the house). Should I put the lids on and clip them down? I've put airholes in the box right the way round. Is this likely to get them to 'dig in' so I can then put them in the fridge in a day or two or should I just put the boxes straight in the fridge.
The fridge temp is now holding a steady 5.4 degrees.
What do you reckon!
It would be better if you had somewhere safe to put them outside at night, as the night temps would be colder and its dark. Or after dusk for a few hours, as again it will be colder and dark. Then you can put them straight into the fridge later in the evening:0)
Are the plastic boxes clear?
As tortoises need the dark to help them go down:0)
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I JUST TRY TO HELP
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Old 15-11-2018, 02:51 PM
Egg
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Abercraf, Powys
Posts: 4
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OK. That's no problem.

I can put them out in their boxes in the shade and into the shed for the evening and overnight once that has cooled. Then transfer the boxes into the fridge first thing in the morning when they will be coolest. Sounds like a plan.
I was concerned that they are not 'cooling off' enough and that it may be too quick a transfer from a cool room temp to a cold fridge temp.
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Old 15-11-2018, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrchips View Post
OK. That's no problem.

I can put them out in their boxes in the shade and into the shed for the evening and overnight once that has cooled. Then transfer the boxes into the fridge first thing in the morning when they will be coolest. Sounds like a plan.
I was concerned that they are not 'cooling off' enough and that it may be too quick a transfer from a cool room temp to a cold fridge temp.
Provided they are cold and not moving it should be fine:0)
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I JUST TRY TO HELP
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