Help Brumating in Los Angeles

Rebs

New Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2015
Messages
7
Hi. I need help. We have two desert tortoises, Lance and Gwennie, in Highland Park, Los Angeles. They came with our house and for the five years we've been here they have successfully brumated in a burrow they dug - it even worked through El Nino - the tortoises placed it at the top of a slight slope and even created a berm around it.

But, there is construction going on near the burrow now and it's not safe this year so we need to brumate them inside. Since construction began, one has been living in a dogloo in my friend's yard and one has been living in a dogloo in my other friend's yard. Meanwhile, I just had a baby! (my first) Amdist pregnancy/birth we totally over looked getting a pre-brumation vet check-up which we should have done since they've had the stress of being in unfamiliar territory for the last couple of months. Now they are apparently ready for brumation, have been mostly inactive for around two weeks and I need to figure this out ASAP, hopefully before the rain starts tomorrow.

I feel totally overwhelmed with the responsibility of all these lives depending on me and I need to figure this out ASAP, hopefully before the rain starts tomorrow. Do we do bins in the garage? Will the garage be cool enough? Refrigerator? Closet? Can we block off heat to an area of our house? I have no idea if these spaces will stay cool enough. I'm finding so many different methods for boxing, I just want someone to give me an exact shopping list. I also would PAY someone very well who has experience with this to come over and figure out what would be the best place to put them. Anyone?

The tortoises's shells are approximately 10" wide by 16". I have a babysitter for the next few hours but I'm overwhelmed even looking through all the tortoise forum previous posts to figure out what would work for us.
If anyone has any advice or words of encouragement or is available for hire please let me know. I live near a home depot and could get supplies there.
- Rebecca

P.S. Edited to add - is it too late to get a vet check-up now that they're this close to brumation?
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
88,990
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
We have many members in SoCal. It would be really nice if someone could come over and give you some pointers.

Here's how I used to do it:

Take a cardboard box, about the size of a computer paper, Xerox, box and lay a whole Sunday newspaper, folded in half, on the floor of the box. Then put the tortoise in and fill up the rest of the box with shredded paper. Either put the lid on the box, or if a box with flaps, lock the flaps in place to form a lid. Place the box up on a shelf in the garage, or in a back bedroom closet where it won't be disturbed, with the door shut.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,396
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hi. I need help. We have two desert tortoises, Lance and Gwennie, in Highland Park, Los Angeles. They came with our house and for the five years we've been here they have successfully brumated in a burrow they dug - it even worked through El Nino - the tortoises placed it at the top of a slight slope and even created a berm around it.

But, there is construction going on near the burrow now and it's not safe this year so we need to brumate them inside. Since construction began, one has been living in a dogloo in my friend's yard and one has been living in a dogloo in my other friend's yard. Meanwhile, I just had a baby! (my first) Amdist pregnancy/birth we totally over looked getting a pre-brumation vet check-up which we should have done since they've had the stress of being in unfamiliar territory for the last couple of months. Now they are apparently ready for brumation, have been mostly inactive for around two weeks and I need to figure this out ASAP, hopefully before the rain starts tomorrow.

I feel totally overwhelmed with the responsibility of all these lives depending on me and I need to figure this out ASAP, hopefully before the rain starts tomorrow. Do we do bins in the garage? Will the garage be cool enough? Refrigerator? Closet? Can we block off heat to an area of our house? I have no idea if these spaces will stay cool enough. I'm finding so many different methods for boxing, I just want someone to give me an exact shopping list. I also would PAY someone very well who has experience with this to come over and figure out what would be the best place to put them. Anyone?

The tortoises's shells are approximately 10" wide by 16". I have a babysitter for the next few hours but I'm overwhelmed even looking through all the tortoise forum previous posts to figure out what would work for us.
If anyone has any advice or words of encouragement or is available for hire please let me know. I live near a home depot and could get supplies there.
- Rebecca

P.S. Edited to add - is it too late to get a vet check-up now that they're this close to brumation?

If they haven't eaten for two weeks, and they've been soaked a few times, then I'd put them in boxes in a fridge. I was never able to keep it consistently cold enough with all our winter warm spells. 96 degrees on Thanksgiving a couple of years ago! 80s and 90s in January. I've found 48-50 to be just right for DTs to hibernate.
 

jontom

New Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
1
Location (City and/or State)
LOS ANGELES
Hi Rebecca,

Similar problem here, also in Los Angeles. She just refuses to go to sleep! My tortoise is about the same size and I'm trying to figure out how to get her in a box *and* fit that box into a refrigerator.

Right now she tries to climb out of the box. Waiting for another cold day. I'll report back!

-John
 

Tanyabobanya

Active Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Feb 12, 2017
Messages
125
Location (City and/or State)
Los Angeles
Hi Rebecca,
I’m in Los feliz and have 2 desert tortoises as well. After posting many panicked pleas for help, I took the advice of an experienced (and patient) tortoise owner on here. because no room stays consistently cold in our home, I bought a mini fridge with no freezer and a digital temp display which is at 47 degrees now I think. I put them each in a canvas storage box which I already had, cardboard is good too, with shredded newspaper (which I should probably add more over them). I open the door every day to circulate air and pray to whoever is out there that they stay well. This was/is really stressful without having a new baby (but 2 tweens) , so I feel for you but if I can do it I think you can too! Good luck and if you need it I can come help you out. -Tanya
 
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top