Hibernating C. angulata in Captivity

Koen

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HI All,

just wondering, does any of you hibernate your Angulata's of known anyone who does?

Cheers
 

Sterant

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I have an adult male out at a friends place (he can announce himself here if he wishes) and we hibernated him last year, and are doing it again this year. Now this is done outdoors, in a Mediterranean climate, so its somewhat close to what might be experienced in some parts of the natural range. I have two females that were left outdoors in El Cajon, CA for 12 years - all year. I don't have any experience or information regarding artificial hibernation outside of a reasonable analog to the natural range. My adults I keep in NY are outdoors all spring/summer and into the fall. When I bring them inside, I let them drop to 50 at night and raise into the low 70's during the day. They do slow down a bit but they don't shut down, or do anything near hibernation.
 

Koen

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Thanks Sterant for your reply.

As you may have seen in previous of my posts I have been thinking about keeping Angulata for about 2 years now but due very limited information on hand, I am taking it easy and try to learn as much as possible in the mean time.

I had some success with the Chersobius but they have remained indoors so no comparison here. I live in Belgium so the weather is usually **** with a quite a lot of rainfall during spring and autumn. I have been successful in keeping my Mediterranean guys outdoors all year around in heated greenhouses and they thrive. The majority of them hibernates but on occasion when I have to keep 1 awake i leave them in their especially insulates heated greenhouses where temps reach Mediterranean levels, even during winter so I am still contemplating whether this would be an option for the Angulata's but allowing them to hibernate would be beneficial and I always prefer keeping animals outside for the obvious reasons but just need to make sure they thrive obviously.

Can you help me a bit in terms of the setting your male has hibernated in terms of temperatures, length?

thanks a lot.

Koen
 

Tom

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Hi Koen. I'm the friend Sterant mentioned. I've got his young male and last year in winter he just did not want to stay awake. I tried keeping his night box in the mid 60s (18-19C) and gave him a heat lamp for day time, but it was a no go. He wouldn't eat, bask, or be active in any way. We decided to let him hibernate a bit. I soaked him daily and let the temps gradually drop. His hibernacula stayed in the 40s (4-9 C), and he slept for about 10 weeks like that. In spring time, I gradually warmed him back up and began the daily soaks for a couple of weeks, and he was up and ready to go again. He's done great all summer long, and only now are we getting ready to hibernate him again. Daytime highs are still mid 80s here (29C), so I'm still feeding him and soaking two or three times a week. Usually by mid to late November, temps drop a bit more, and then I'll begin winding him down for his winter slumber.
 

Sterant

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In addition to what @Tom just said, the best advice / suggestion I can give you about Chersina is to stay away from wild caught specimens. Take the time to find CB animals (and not CB in South Africa - those are not CB no matter what the sales guy tells you). Find a breeder in Europe and get young CB animals and grow them up. CB chersina are super hearty and don't seem to have any of the issues we classically associate with chersina in the US.

If you are curious about hibernation temps, look at the annual temps in South Africa or El Cajon, CA. you will see that winters are wet and temps are generally in the upper 40's to low 50's at night and upper 50's during the day. That goes on for 3 months or so in SA.
 

Koen

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In addition to what @Tom just said, the best advice / suggestion I can give you about Chersina is to stay away from wild caught specimens. Take the time to find CB animals (and not CB in South Africa - those are not CB no matter what the sales guy tells you). Find a breeder in Europe and get young CB animals and grow them up. CB chersina are super hearty and don't seem to have any of the issues we classically associate with chersina in the US.

If you are curious about hibernation temps, look at the annual temps in South Africa or El Cajon, CA. you will see that winters are wet and temps are generally in the upper 40's to low 50's at night and upper 50's during the day. That goes on for 3 months or so in SA.
Hi guys,

Thanks for the reply. It really helps and it gives me confidence to give it a shot and should I notice a significant change in behaviour I can still bring them in.

Obviously CB! I have taken about 2 years to prepare myself. I am a passionate keeper breeder and not a collector plus I run the ESF Studbook for the Testudo hermanni hermanni so definitely aware of the importance of buying CB animals. ☺

Cheers guys and keep up the good work with the working group!

Koen
 

CarolM

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Hi There,

Just from the perspective of their natural range in SA. My male does slow down and when the winter is cold (SA Cold and not Your kind of cold) I do not see him out and about at all. He finds a spot somewhere in the garden and hides out. The female on the other hand I see out and about all year round. BUT she does slow down in winter. My CB babies however remain the same all year round granted they are only between 1 year and 2 years old, I however have always kept them in their inside enclosure with their temps between 25 c (77f ) and 30c (86f) on each side of the their enclosure respectively. At these temps indoors they have remained the same throughout the year. I will probably be leaving the older one outside come winter this year (with a heated house for it to retreat to). But they are currently enjoying their outside time in the very warm temperatures we are having here at the moment.
 

Koen

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Hi Carol,

Thanks for your contribution. The temps you mentioned when keeping them inside are the temps I will achieve in their Greenhouse outside. This can also be achieved during Winter when the Greenhouses are insulated but preferably will allow hibernation. Again. If it doesn't work out I have the capability to bring them in.

When it gets really cold the CHE's will do their work just as they do with the hermans. Not that I am comparing them but have all the data on hand to allow for exact temps to be achieved in the greenhouses.

Are their any growth charts on hand for the Chersina's somewhere so i can have a comparison to keep a sort of track?
 

CarolM

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Hi Carol,

Thanks for your contribution. The temps you mentioned when keeping them inside are the temps I will achieve in their Greenhouse outside. This can also be achieved during Winter when the Greenhouses are insulated but preferably will allow hibernation. Again. If it doesn't work out I have the capability to bring them in.

When it gets really cold the CHE's will do their work just as they do with the hermans. Not that I am comparing them but have all the data on hand to allow for exact temps to be achieved in the greenhouses.

Are their any growth charts on hand for the Chersina's somewhere so i can have a comparison to keep a sort of track?
From My side not so much, (you can go and have a look at my thread Kang and Rue - and you should be able to see their growth rate etc. I started it when I found them) I am not that experienced but the little bit that I have had with mine is that they are all different and grow at different rates. But I will say this, if they are brought up from the get go in ideal conditions then they grow really well and quite fast. When brought up under dry conditions I have found (Like my first one - I only changed his growing conditions when he was over 6 months old. It was somewhere between 6months and a year. I would have to go back and check his thread to get the correct time frame ) that they grow at a much slower rate. Interestingly there is another lady who on the odd occasion posts thread on the wild ones found in her garden and they grow at a much slower rate than the CB ones, or at least my CB ones. But then again there is a huge difference when comparing notes from various sources compared to just from one source. As far as I know TFO is still compiling data with regards to the Angulate Tortoises. However whenever I have issues, I always consult Mark, Sterant and Tom.

Have a look at this thread.

https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/angulate-hatchlings.162748/
 

Kapidolo Farms

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There are populations pretty far inland (no marine influence) where they have been seen out and about with frost on their shell. The most local city is Calvinia.

Check out the climate data here for that location . http://fallingrain.com/icao/FACV.html

This reference is in the "lit" as well.
 

Koen

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HI all,

It has been a while but in the mean time I have decided to reserve 2 Angulata's from a breeder in Valencia spain. There are not many European breeders that have CB so when I came across the breeder, we starting chatting I felt very comfortable with him so decided to make a reservation on 2 of them.

With the Covid still around I am not sure when I will have them but will keep you guys in the loop on how things work out. The goal still is to keep them out all year around so plenty of time to setup their enclosures and start testing. If you guys want I will post an update every now and often on how I am setting things up.

Cheers all.

Koen
 

Sterant

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HI all,

It has been a while but in the mean time I have decided to reserve 2 Angulata's from a breeder in Valencia spain. There are not many European breeders that have CB so when I came across the breeder, we starting chatting I felt very comfortable with him so decided to make a reservation on 2 of them.

With the Covid still around I am not sure when I will have them but will keep you guys in the loop on how things work out. The goal still is to keep them out all year around so plenty of time to setup their enclosures and start testing. If you guys want I will post an update every now and often on how I am setting things up.

Cheers all.

Koen
Thats good. I hope it all goes well. CB is certainly the way to go. And back to the original start of this post - we hibernated the male again out at @Tom 's place this year. Went really well and the male is doing great, so thats 2 years of outdoor living in California. Tom is planning to outline a hibernation process here sometime soon.
 

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