1. Welcome! Are you interested in tortoises? If so, we invite you to join our community! Our community is the #1 place for tortoise keepers to talk online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your tortoise and enclosure, and discuss any tortoise topic with other tortoise keepers. Get started today!

Brumation

Discussion in 'American box turtles' started by mike1234, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. mike1234

    mike1234 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2018
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    california
    I have a newly acquired 5 year old Box Turtle that lives in an outdoor enclosure in the central valley in CA with nights in the upper 30s to low 40s and days in the 50s to 70s. I'm worried about him still stirring in his enclosure. He has partially buried himself and he has shifted around a bit but he hasn't gone into full brumation. I soaked him and he ate a bit prior to this partial sleep state starting in early October, but he hasn't eaten since then. He seemed healthy and very active until early October. Should I bring him in, put him in a bin, or leave him outside partially buried? I want to do what's best for him, he's very friendly.
    Jodimsteinberg5 likes this.
  2. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    43,513
    Likes Received:
    22,241
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Southern California
  3. Yvonne G

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

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    77,246
    Likes Received:
    42,849
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Clovis, CA
    Your box turtle is fine. The weather here has been unseasonably warm too. some of my box turtles come out daily and some don't. They can go a long time without eating. Pretty soon it's going to freeze and then they'll all stay buried.
  4. mike1234

    mike1234 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2018
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    california
    Thank you very much! This has been a lot of help and now I will know what to do this year and next year. Keep the advice coming.
  5. ellie blumenthal

    ellie blumenthal Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2018
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location (City and/or State):
    Birmingham, alabama
    Tom I will go read of course, but I have an identical issue. In addition to my russian, who is inside, I have a wild box, a male, outside, who is definitely hibernating.
    I want to "dehibernate" him, since I was told by a zoologist that few of them make it.
  6. ellie blumenthal

    ellie blumenthal Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2018
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location (City and/or State):
    Birmingham, alabama
    Mike I have a similar concern in central Alabama. Basically identical to your post except he is not stirring, my box. I would like to dehibernate him before he perishes :(
  7. Cheryl Hills

    Cheryl Hills Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2016
    Messages:
    1,612
    Likes Received:
    2,032
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Youngstown, Ohio
    Your zoologists is wrong. Many box turtles hybernate and do not perish if given the right enclosure and area.
    PJay and mark1 like this.
  8. Yvonne G

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

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    77,246
    Likes Received:
    42,849
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Clovis, CA
    If that were the case box turtles would have gone extinct long ago.
    PJay, orv, ColleenT and 1 other person like this.
  9. ellie blumenthal

    ellie blumenthal Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2018
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location (City and/or State):
    Birmingham, alabama
    Well yes, some survive, he said.
  10. ellie blumenthal

    ellie blumenthal Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2018
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location (City and/or State):
    Birmingham, alabama
    He is pretty solid. Did herpetology, knows all about both horsfields and boxes... My box guy chose to hibernate in an acrylic enclosure ( with chips and we covered him with leaves and pine needles, too).

    The zoologist says about 30% of captive boxes will not survive hibernation...
  11. mark1

    mark1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2015
    Messages:
    811
    Likes Received:
    980
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location (City and/or State):
    ohio
    i have to agree with the previous two post , i've never had one not survive hibernation ..had a few , very few , come out it sick , but never a dead one ... box turtles are pretty easily hibernated correctly ...... to wake them up , just dig out , bring them inside , 80-85 degrees bright lights , full spectrum /uvb , 14hrs a day , high humidity (wet substrate) and lots of water ...... rain stimulates box turtles ....
  12. Yvonne G

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

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    77,246
    Likes Received:
    42,849
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Clovis, CA
    That's just so off base. I have around 35 or 40 three toe box turtles in a box turtle yard outside. I've had them in that yard for 30 years or so, adding new ones and adopting out old ones. I've lost one or two to brumation over the years, but certainly NOT 30% of them. Mainly I lose them because they were rescues and came from bad conditions. I know you have faith in this guy, but he's just so off base with his facts.
    PJay and mark1 like this.
  13. mark1

    mark1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2015
    Messages:
    811
    Likes Received:
    980
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location (City and/or State):
    ohio
    when you throw the word captive in there , it's possible ..... lots of folks have box turtles , left with proper conditions they will do a great job all by themselves ........ deprived of proper conditions they will die ......
  14. ellie blumenthal

    ellie blumenthal Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2018
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location (City and/or State):
    Birmingham, alabama

    So I should leave my box alone? No weighing? No hydration while brumating?
  15. ellie blumenthal

    ellie blumenthal Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2018
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location (City and/or State):
    Birmingham, alabama
    Well, he did enter that acrylic tank by himself.. All we did is cover him up with leaves and pine needles... But it is not a natural brumation location. :(
  16. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    43,513
    Likes Received:
    22,241
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Southern California
    This would only be true if you counted all the people who do it wrong, or just leave them outside subject to the cruel whims of Mother Nature in a relatively small artificial captive enclosure. Done correctly, as outlined in my linked post, I've never lost any animals to include several tortoise species and lizards too.

    I know of many many tortoises that have died because people leave them outside to figure it out for themselves.
  17. Yvonne G

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

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    77,246
    Likes Received:
    42,849
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Clovis, CA
    I don't mess with any of my brumating turtles and tortoises.

    My box turtle yard is on a very slight slope. I pile a mish/mosh of broken pieces of lumber in a corner at the top of the slope, then I piled up leaves and garden trash to cover the wood. All of the turtles dig into and under the wood, and the big pile of garden trash over the top keeps them from freezing. Being on the upward end of the slope, it never floods.

    So let me make sure I have the picture correctly: You have an acrylic 'box' laying on its side and the turtle is inside the box. Then you've stuffed the box with pine needles, leaves, etc. You can also pile up garden trash and leaves over the top of the box. I like my mound to be at least 2' high.
  18. ellie blumenthal

    ellie blumenthal Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2018
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location (City and/or State):
    Birmingham, alabama
    ]

    So let me make sure I have the picture correctly: You have an acrylic 'box' laying on its side and the turtle is inside the box. Then you've stuffed the box with pine needles, leaves, etc. You can also pile up garden trash and leaves over the top of the box. I like my mound to be at least 2' high.[/QUOTE]


    YES. we have a large enclosur e- teh box lived there, tere was a little pnd, shallow, food, climbing mounds. Then he as the temp dropped decided to hibernate, but chose that sill ACRYLIC box. With substrate, bark. and needles and leaves. on top also - but on top of the tank!

    oy.

    I would rather unbrumate the guy....

    I have a store-bought russian, too, and he is doing well now I talked to you folks.
  19. mark1

    mark1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2015
    Messages:
    811
    Likes Received:
    980
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location (City and/or State):
    ohio
    my thought is to hibernate properly they need access , contact , with the natural ground , the ability to dig into it …….. it is what they use to thermoregulate when hibernating , the ground temps are way more stable than the air temps ………..
    Pastel Tortie, PJay and orv like this.
  20. ellie blumenthal

    ellie blumenthal Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2018
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location (City and/or State):
    Birmingham, alabama

    I decided to let the box be as is. I will let you all know in the spring.
    Here, ground temps are freezing at times, when above-ground is passable, and he is insulated by leaves and needles.. Was told by that expert that un-brumating can cause death if early. :(
Similar Threads: Brumation
Forum Title Date
American box turtles Eating before brumation Nov 2, 2018
American box turtles Brumation at cold indoor temps Nov 1, 2018
American box turtles Box turtle brumation questions. Sep 27, 2018
American box turtles First Year Brumation Success May 3, 2018
American box turtles Brumation Jan 12, 2018

Share This Page