brumation question

Tolis

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I have always kept my testudos outside to brumate on their own initially because of ignorance, later after discovering this forum because of lack of dedicated fridge and large number of tortoises and lack of indoor enclosure with lamps and everything for the transition period to get them ready for the fridge.

This season my smallest weakest tort did not dug and dissapeared like the rest just stayed above ground looking lethargic. I stepped in on December 1st and put it in a small carton box with soil and put it in a fridge in the vegetable compartment where the temp is 45-47 F. I did this over night with low temps to minimize temp drop shock. I did not mess with it just left is as is since, and it hasnt moved or tried to dig itself below soil but I assume even if it wanted it cannot find the strength being so cold in fridge.

My plan is to keep it there until the rest of the torts to wake up from brumation. Since the vegetable compartment is the warmest place inside the fridge and I keep the fridge on the lowest setting, I am not sure how to gradually exit it from brumation so it is not shocked by the sudden rise in temp. I would appreciate your advice on that.

Thank you in advance
 

Tom

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When the time comes, I would pull the tortoise out of the fridge at night after it cools off and put it into a dark enclosure that is just room temp with no lights. That is gradual enough to avoid shocking the tortoise or causing any problems. That is how I usually do it.
 

Tolis

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Sad day today, I pulled the tort out of the fridge last night and checked it this morning. It's unresponsive and that ring around the neck I have never seen before looks like death swelling to me...
I will keep hoping and soaking but Im not optimistic.
Temps were spot on 7 degrees Celcius in the fridge, perhaps the lack of preparation for fridge brumation was the defining factor.
RIP little guy you will be missed. I always had a soft spot for him.
 

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mark1

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sorry to hear about your tortoise...... how many have you lost brumating them outside? when the tortoise initially did not dig in , you shouldn't have hibernated it.......... ill tortoises are said to bask more often during brumation than non-ill tortoises..... the reason , theorized, is to stimulate their immune system........

if a tortoise cannot brumate safely outdoors in cyprus , how does the species survive ?
 

Tolis

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sorry to hear about your tortoise...... how many have you lost brumating them outside? when the tortoise initially did not dig in , you shouldn't have hibernated it.......... ill tortoises are said to bask more often during brumation than non-ill tortoises..... the reason , theorized, is to stimulate their immune system........

if a tortoise cannot brumate safely outdoors in cyprus , how does the species survive ?
I let all my torts brumate naturally outside. They slowly dissappear one by one digging into the ground. The smallest weaker one did not last winter so I decided to put it in the fridge. It looked lethargic with closed eyes and I figured it didn't have the strength to dig itself.
Perhaps the correct choice was to keep it awake in an indoor enclosure to gain strength. I dont have one so I did the easy alternative. Well, we live to learn by our mistakes.
On the bright side spring brought us an unexpected surprise. It must have hatched and stayed underground during the winter.
 

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mark1

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i hibernate eastern box turtles outside , if i see one out when they shouldn't be , i keep them awake by bringing them in with spring/summer like conditions for the winter ....... it's not always that they were ill, but more than once i've seen some that were ill and required medical care over the winter....... i go with the "better safe than sorry" approach ...... coming out during a mild winter after a warm spell doesn't automatically get me to bring them in the house as long as they look healthy and disappear when it gets cold again.......
 

wellington

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Sorry for the loss. But never brumate a sick tortoise. If one doesn't dig down when it normally would, then it's safe to assume something is wrong and keep them up for the winter in a proper heated enclosure.
 
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