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Anyone in Lancaster?

Discussion in 'North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus)' started by Tyler Fulco, Feb 4, 2018.

  1. Tyler Fulco

    Tyler Fulco Member

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    So I have a DT and he’s 15-20 years old, male, and In hibernation. What I need to know is when I should take him out of his box because it’s getting hotter. I need answers from people in Lancaster, CA.

    Thanks,

    Tyler
    Samson likes this.
  2. Cowboy_Ken

    Cowboy_Ken Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Howdy Tyler,
    I’ll try and drum up so local to you on the forum help from members with the same type tortoise that can share with you what they do. I lived down in that magical of warm temps and rare rainfall, I even had a desert tortoise from California. But he was large and my back yard was enclosed and certainly of a large enough size for him, so he lived his days outdoors and brumated in a deep burrow he had made under an old hibiscus bush. And mind you that was 40-45 years ago. Because “Popeye” was an adult he had lived this way the entire time we were together. Sorry, but I’m no help for you concerning youngin care. How old is the little guy? Or rather how big is it compared to something? 1/2 a softball, 1/2 a lime ? I’ll do a search here on the forum and look for an introduction that y’all might have posted and read that. @Tom @Yvonne G
  3. Tyler Fulco

    Tyler Fulco Member

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    IMG_4347.jpg


    He’s 15-20
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  4. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Tyler, It is too warm to hibernate them outside above ground in our area. I'm just South of you in SCV, but I hunt in Palmdale and Lancaster several times a week. They need to go down in late November or early December and stay down until Early March. With this warm weather we've had all winter they can't hibernate, but the short days and cold nights aren't good for them either. Above ground they are teetering in a weird sort of limbo. You need to make a choice. Either get a fridge and properly hibernate the tortoise with the correct cool down and warm up procedures, or make a heated night box and don't let the tortoise hibernate at all. After 15-20 years the tortoise might fight you on this, so proper hibernation is probably the best way to go.

    P.S. Never feed apples or fruit to a DT. The sugars are horrible for their GI tract and especially bad when they are teetering on the edge of too warm to hibernate, but too cold to function properly.
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  5. Tyler Fulco

    Tyler Fulco Member

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    Thank you for the advice, but I don’t have a fridge that he can hibernate in, nor can I make a heat box because I don’t have any room. He is in a box in coat closet with no A/C and no activity. The box is filled with straw and it has a towel over with a 5 inch opening so he can breath.
  6. Tyler Fulco

    Tyler Fulco Member

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    Thank you for the advice, but I don’t have a fridge that he can hibernate in, nor can I make a heat box because I don’t have any room. He is in a box in coat closet with no A/C and no activity. The box is filled with straw and it has a towel over with a 5 inch opening so he can breath.
  7. Tyler Fulco

    Tyler Fulco Member

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  8. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    What is the temperature in his hibernacula?

    If you don't have room and can't get the things necessary to take proper care of your tortoise then give the tortoise to someone who can and will. The tortoise needs what it needs. Your lack of space and inability or unwillingness to get the needed stuff is not an excuse to let this tortoise die a slow death in the wrong conditions.
  9. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

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    Hi Tyler. I think all of us Californians are having the same problem as you. First of all, if you place the hibernaculum in a well insulated, unheated spot, as you have done, it should stay cool enough. Have you checked the temperature inside the box? I like to use cardboard because the cardboard material doesn't allow for condensation like the plastic bin does. The tortoise's respirations are very low, but just the simple act of breathing causes condensation on the inside of the plastic. You don't want that. So I fill a cardboard box with shredded newspaper and close it up. Then I place the box into an unplugged chest-type freezer. The temperature inside the freezer stays in the low 40Fs all winter.

    Once I hear the tortoise scratching around in the box I know it's time to get him out. I then put him outside in his yard. If the weather turns cold again, or if it rains, I make sure he's inside his shelter outside, and I block the door so he can't come out. His body is acclimated to being cold, so the cold, rainy snap won't hurt him as long as he's in his shelter.
  10. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

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    I just took another look at your picture. The hay is ok, but you don't have enough of it. He needs to be nestled down in the center, all covered up. This helps maintain the cooler temperature in the bin.
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  11. Tyler Fulco

    Tyler Fulco Member

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    I think he is just fine how he is. I am fully able to take care of my tortoise. I’ve asked many tortoise owner on this forum and I’ve got many answers saying he’s fine. He is in a large box full of hay that is in a coat closet with no activity or A/C so nothing disturbs his sleep cycle. Do you think that is a good hibernation spot. I have included photos of the box in another response.
    Kenno likes this.
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