Brumation Chamber

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
89,002
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
My Texas tortoises are all tucked away, nice and safe, in their brumation chamber:

brumation chamber a.jpg

They've been coming out and sitting in the sun, but then two nights ago the temperature dipped down into the low 40'sF and I haven't seen any of them for two days now. So I lifted the lid, raked up all the dead grass and leaves in their yard, and covered them with the garden detritus. Then I blocked their door, closed the lid, made sure it fit snugly, and started piling up leaves and grass clippings. I had raked up those clippings a week ago, then spread them out so they're not green. Green grass, when piled up, gets too hot to use as an insulating cover for the brumation chamber.

The desert tortoise brumation chamber shares a wall, but is in the next door yard. Likewise, with them I hadn't seen any come out for two days, so I opened the lid and filled up the chamber with dried leaves. then I blocked the door:

brumation chamber b.jpg

and started raking up all the leaves and dead grass to put over the top.

brumation chamber c.jpg

I didn't quite have enough leaves to completely cover the chamber, but there are still plenty of them left on the trees (leaves are the bane of my existence. I rake almost every week-end for a month or so before I've gotten them all picked up).

These two chambers are sitting on masonry caps (rectangular stepping stones), so there's a nice cement floor and the tortoises can't dig. Then I add a thick layer of soil and a bit of dried leaves. The tortoises live comfortable in these "shelters" all year. In the summer, the shade from the large mulberry tree keeps the inside comfortably cool, and in the winter, the rigid foam insulation and all the leaves covering them keep the tortoises from freezing.
 
Last edited:

Maro2Bear

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
May 29, 2014
Messages
12,393
Location (City and/or State)
Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA
My Texas tortoises are all tucked away, nice and safe, in their brumation chamber:

View attachment 257089

They've been coming out and sitting in the sun, but then two nights ago the temperature dipped down into the low 40'sF and I haven't seen any of them for two days now. So I lifted the lid, raked up all the dead grass and leaves in their yard, and covered them with the garden detritus. Then I blocked their door, closed the lid, made sure it fit snugly, and started piling up leaves and grass clippings. I had raked up those clippings a week ago, then spread them out so they're not green. Green grass, when piled up, gets too hot to use as an insulating cover for the brumation chamber.

The desert tortoise brumation chamber shares a wall, but is in the next door yard. Likewise, with them I hadn't seen any come out for two days, so I opened the lid and filled up the chamber with dried leaves. then I blocked the door:

View attachment 257090

and started raking up all the leaves and dead grass to put over the top.

View attachment 257091

I didn't quite have enough leaves to completely cover the chamber, but there are still plenty of them left on the trees (leaves are the bane of my existence. I rake almost every week-end for a month or so before I've gotten them all picked up).

These two chambers are sitting on mason caps (rectangular stepping stones), so there's a nice cement floor and the tortoises can't dig. Then I add a thick layer of soil and a bit of dried leaves. The tortoises live comfortable in these "shelters" all year. In the summer, the shade from the large mulberry tree keeps the inside comfortably cool, and in the winter, the rigid foam insulation and all the leaves covering them keep the tortoises from freezing.

Someone has been very busy! Nice work.
 
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top