Emergency (maybe) brumation question

nancykj

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Oct 7, 2013
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hi all,
been getting cold here in the san fernando valley. my torts have been in their brumation boxes in the garage since late november. they have wooden boxes, filled with alfalfa hay. they have brumated in these boxes for 20 years. the first 18 in venice beach, this is their 2nd winter in colder inland valley. tonight, because it is predicted to be especially cold, i checked on them. the little one responded as he always has in winter, hissing and withdrawing his leg. what scared me was my big boy. he did not respond at all to my touching his rear leg, and then actually pulling it just a bit. no response. his leg felt ice cold. so i uncovered him from the hay and touched his head, and he did respond to that, but very sluggishly, just moving his front legs and his head a littel. just enough that i knew he was still alive.
my question: is he in trouble? or is he just really asleep?
to be on the safe side, i moved both torts away from the garage window, which they were directly next to, and closer to the garage wall that abuts the house. as temps will drop into 30's for next couple nights, i thought that would be prudent.
do i need to do anything else?
 

Grandpa Turtle 144

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I have AZ desert torts and I leave mine outside all winter with bailed grass and I have no problems it was 38 dagrees the last couple of nights so you shouldn't have any problems . But if you don't feel comfortable bring it in the house don't gamble . I hope I've helped a little .
 

nancykj

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I have AZ desert torts and I leave mine outside all winter with bailed grass and I have no problems it was 38 dagrees the last couple of nights so you shouldn't have any problems . But if you don't feel comfortable bring it in the house don't gamble . I hope I've helped a little .
thanks grandpa! you did help! i think i just needed a reassuring word. i will put a remote thermometer in the box today so i can monitor the temp. happy new year to you!
 

Tom

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You need to know the actual temperature in the box. Don't go by how it "feels". I think this species hibernates best at 45-50 F and I'll bet yours have been a little warmer than this in the past. Down to the high 30's is fine too. The "reaction" from your big boy sounds ideal for a DT in the middle of hibernation. I would put a temperature probe in the box and then stop messing with them.

The area where you are now is MUCH better for them than the area where you were.
 

kathyth

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Nanc
You can go to Home Depot and get an Acurite temp sensor for less than $20.00
Put the probe in the box. From your house, you will know the temp inside his box.
Your Favorite Sister

Oops.... I see you already did that. Good!!
 

nancykj

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Oct 7, 2013
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You need to know the actual temperature in the box. Don't go by how it "feels". I think this species hibernates best at 45-50 F and I'll bet yours have been a little warmer than this in the past. Down to the high 30's is fine too. The "reaction" from your big boy sounds ideal for a DT in the middle of hibernation. I would put a temperature probe in the box and then stop messing with them.

The area where you are now is MUCH better for them than the area where you were.

thanks tom! when i lived in venice, i never thought about the actual temps, altho i was always aware that the immediate coastal enviroment was not ideal for these tortoises! i never even meant to have tortoises. i am just an animal lover and these 2 guys needed emergent removal from their respective environments. so, i just put them in the garage for the winter, and somehow they survived all those years!
anyway, yes i now have a probe in the big guy's box, the little guy is in his box, side by side, so i will rely on the one probe.
it got down to 42 last night, today so far a high of 54, so i think we are in the ballpark.
and, i will stop messing with them!
 

nancykj

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5 Year Member
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Oct 7, 2013
Messages
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Nanc
You can go to Home Depot and get an Acurite temp sensor for less than $20.00
Put the probe in the box. From your house, you will know the temp inside his box.
Your Favorite Sister

Oops.... I see you already did that. Good!!

you are my favorite sister. just don't tell terr and andrea!
 

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