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Help ASAP (power outage)

Discussion in 'North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus)' started by KarenSoCal, Mar 8, 2019.

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  1. KarenSoCal

    KarenSoCal Well-Known Member

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    The problems:
    1. At least 9 hours without electricity (it just came on)
    2. Since I got Chug as an adult, I do not have a table, lights, CHE.
    3. Chug's fridge went from 42 deg to 55 deg.
    4. We've been having an unusually cold winter and spring--it is too cold for him to move outside. (high 40's, low 50's night; high 60's, low 70's day).

    The plan:
    1. Leave the fridge off and let him slowly warm to house temp.
    2. Then move him to a very large cardboard box. The box will only have underpads on the bottom, plus a dog crate hide with dirt in it. For a few days, just soak to rehydrate.
    3. When fully awake, rig a regular bulb for daytime basking, and off at night.
    4. Start feeding.
    5. When weather warms, out to enclosure. This also gives newly planted seeds some time to sprout.

    This isn't perfect, but will it work for 2 weeks or so? Once eating, he can have exercise time outside during warm afternoons. Gotta walk to poop! LOL!
    ascott likes this.
  2. Bee62

    Bee62 Well-Known Member TFO Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    Sounds like a good plan ! Spring is near. Let him slowly wake up. I am sure you will do every thing right.
    Good luck.:)
    KarenSoCal likes this.
  3. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    I have never brumated. However, waking him is the only thing I think would be safe. This time of year I dont think it would be wise to try and keep him in brumation or put him back in. Good luck.
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  4. Yvonne G

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

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    I would have just left him in the fridge and allowed it to cycle back down into the 40s.
    RosemaryDW, ascott and KarenSoCal like this.
  5. KarenSoCal

    KarenSoCal Well-Known Member

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    Considering how late it is in the season, that's what I think too.
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  6. KarenSoCal

    KarenSoCal Well-Known Member

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    I thought about that too. But I thought it might be too great a drop in temp. Then again, his core temp certainly isn't that low yet.

    Oh well, letting him start to warm up. Hopefully it will work out ok.
    wellington likes this.
  7. carlenesET

    carlenesET New Member

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    I’m sure Chug will be fine no matter what path you take in the next month or two. E.T. Is still outside in his burrow tucked away since October. I’m getting his habitat all ready for him and can’t wait to see him!!!
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  8. KarenSoCal

    KarenSoCal Well-Known Member

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    Hey! Hi! Good to see you!
  9. ascott

    ascott Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Here is where it gets tricky...and a bit gut instinct. I have the adult torts in my closet....they have done this for several years and all works well...(again, please note, adults and not babies)....the temp fluctuates indoors in the closet a little...usually a good steady 50...but sometimes a few temps more.....they do just fine. I do this based on all that worked for my dear ole Grams and the tort in her hands for a gazillion years that would find his way to the wood floor under the kids bedroom all winter in Los Angeles Ca....all winter....

    Yes, it is good to be able to "control" all temps during winter months but with a near adult / adult, they are a bit more forgiving... I certainly would not freak out.... :)
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  10. KarenSoCal

    KarenSoCal Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Ascott!
    I let him slowly warm to room temp in the turned-off fridge from Fri to Sun.

    Sunday I soaked him in lukewarm water, and I think he may have drank a swallow or two, but was sooo sleepy.

    I put him in a large cardboard box with a makeshift hide with some dirt in it, and a water pan.

    He walked around for about 10 minutes, went into the hide, and I haven't seen him since.

    He clearly is not ready to wake, so I will just leave him alone until he does. His box is low 70's.

    Do you think this is ok? To just leave him alone? He went to sleep the beginning of Dec, so has brumated for 3 months in the fridge. Last year I left him in for 4 months.
  11. ascott

    ascott Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Yes, I believe from what you have described he will be AOK :) I mean, life and nature is not 100% each and every day...a variable is fine. If you keep an eye on him, all should be fine :)
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  12. KarenSoCal

    KarenSoCal Well-Known Member

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    Well, I got up this morning and he was awake, half out of his hide!

    He had a nice soak, some romaine (didn't expect him to eat so soon), and back to sleep.

    A few minutes later he was sleeping under his light.

    He looks great!, clear eyes, no sniffles, just a bit groggy. I think he is fine...now if the weather would warm up some...
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  13. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member TFO Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    How is he today? It's so warm here this weekend, seems like it would be even warmer where you are? We're taking ours out of hibernation next weekend but Russians are scrappier than desert tortoises.
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  14. KarenSoCal

    KarenSoCal Well-Known Member

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    He's doing great! Eating, drinking, soaking, basking, no poop yet.

    But he got tired of being in the box, and tried to climb out. Sure enough, I heard a splash, and there he was, flat on his back in his water pan, looking at me like "well, what took you so long?? Get me out of here!!"

    So I decided he could go outside. He had a grand time exploring every nook and cranny of his enclosure. He nibbled on some grass, and went into his dog igloo. I put a tarp over it to keep out the wind, and he's all snuggled in.

    I'll wait a bit to open his burrow, just in case we have some cold nights. I want to be able to reach him and bring him in.

    Actually, I think the power going off was a blessing in disguise. I liked having him inside so I could watch him as he woke, started soaking, basking, and eating. Last year he went directly outside, and I couldn't monitor him as closely, and felt like running out to check him every hour, worried that something was wrong. This year was relaxed and easier.

    I think next year I will keep him inside like this year. Less stressful.
  15. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member TFO Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    Good to hear.
    KarenSoCal likes this.
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