Brumation?

Joined
Jul 9, 2022
Messages
31
Location (City and/or State)
Surrey, UK
Hello all,

The time of year has come for brumation. The only thing is, this will be my first time brumating my tortoise - although she has done it before, I haven't and I am just paranoid, I suppose. I will list below the measures we have taken in preparation for it, and please do give advice or tell me if I am doing something wrong.

I have starved and bathed her daily for the past month (during that time she excreted feces twice, so her gut should be empty by now), and she has been sleeping the whole day, only going under her basking light when I put her there, which I take as a sign that she is ready to go to sleep.
For her brumation box, she has a large plastic box (with a lid and holes drilled into it for ventilation) with a smaller cardboard box inside, with shredded paper between the two for insulation. In the smaller box, she has topsoil (fertiliser free) for her to bury into. The box is in our garden shed, and a thermometer is arriving soon. I am monitoring temperatures, and they won't drop under 4ºc (no idea what that is in farenheit), for now at least.

Around an hour ago, I put her in her box to go to sleep, and she hasn't yet burrowed down into the soil, but is instead pacing around looking rather agitated. Am I doing something wrong? Have I not adjusted her enough? Or does she just need more time? Advice would be appreciated, and please ask if you need more info.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
59,310
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hello all,

The time of year has come for brumation. The only thing is, this will be my first time brumating my tortoise - although she has done it before, I haven't and I am just paranoid, I suppose. I will list below the measures we have taken in preparation for it, and please do give advice or tell me if I am doing something wrong.

I have starved and bathed her daily for the past month (during that time she excreted feces twice, so her gut should be empty by now), and she has been sleeping the whole day, only going under her basking light when I put her there, which I take as a sign that she is ready to go to sleep.
For her brumation box, she has a large plastic box (with a lid and holes drilled into it for ventilation) with a smaller cardboard box inside, with shredded paper between the two for insulation. In the smaller box, she has topsoil (fertiliser free) for her to bury into. The box is in our garden shed, and a thermometer is arriving soon. I am monitoring temperatures, and they won't drop under 4ºc (no idea what that is in farenheit), for now at least.

Around an hour ago, I put her in her box to go to sleep, and she hasn't yet burrowed down into the soil, but is instead pacing around looking rather agitated. Am I doing something wrong? Have I not adjusted her enough? Or does she just need more time? Advice would be appreciated, and please ask if you need more info.
No soil. Soil is not safe to use. It is made from composted yard waste and all sorts of other weird stuff and it should be toxic or dangerous. There might be noxious smells form something in that soil. The makers and sellers do not intend for small animals to be living in/on it in closed containers. I've used orchid bark and coco coir, and both work fine.

What species of tortoise are we talking about? What is the temperature in the garden shed? How much fluctuation in temp is there during warm days and cold nights? What are you doing to keep temps from dropping under 4C?
 
Joined
Jul 9, 2022
Messages
31
Location (City and/or State)
Surrey, UK

No soil. Soil is not safe to use. It is made from composted yard waste and all sorts of other weird stuff and it should be toxic or dangerous. There might be noxious smells form something in that soil. The makers and sellers do not intend for small animals to be living in/on it in closed containers. I've used orchid bark and coco coir, and both work fine.

What species of tortoise are we talking about? What is the temperature in the garden shed? How much fluctuation in temp is there during warm days and cold nights? What are you doing to keep temps from dropping under 4C?
Pippi is a Hermann's tortoise, shed temperatures are going to be a degrees or so lower then outer temperatures (it is not insulated so no constant temperature) but temperatures are not going to drop too low this year where I am so the insulated box should be enough to maintain a consistent temperature. Days won't go above 7-8°c, nights shouldn't drop below zero. In colder events below 4°c I have the animal equivalent of a hot water bottle that I use for the guinea pigs that I could put outside the box to keep her warmer. Do you have any other suggestions?
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
59,310
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Do you have any other suggestions?
I think 7-8C is going to be too warm for an eastern hermanni.

For my suggestions click on the thread that PollyAda linked for you in post number 2. This isn't a quick fix with one sentence. This requires an understanding of some concepts.
 

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