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Now what??!

Discussion in 'North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus)' started by KarenSoCal, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. KarenSoCal

    KarenSoCal Member

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    Yesterday I brought my DT, Chug, in from an outside above ground crate. I soaked him, weighed him, and put him in a crate in the bathroom for the night to completely dry before putting him in the fridge for winter.
    This morning the towel under him was quite damp. It was clear, but I fear he may have urinated.
    Nights here are still in the mid 50's, so I am going to put him outside again for the time being.
    Do I soak daily and try again when nights get colder? He is in a soak right now and drinking a small amount.
    Daytime temps are mid to upper 70's right now.
  2. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 5 Year Member Platinum Supporter

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    I leave mine outside in their yard until they stop coming out of their shelter. They continue to come out even in pretty cold weather, but once the nights reach 50F or below, they decide its time to stay in. That's when I box them up.

    Water isn't as bad inside a tortoise as food is. He's quite ok drinking a bit.
  3. KarenSoCal

    KarenSoCal Member

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    Thank you Yvonne. To my knowledge, he had not been out of the crate for 10 days. But I think I was rushing things. I'm going to wait til night temp is 50 or high 40's.
  4. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Scroll down to post number 19 for the run down on how to prepare them for hibernation. Its a process.
    https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/looking-for-an-rt-hibernation-mentor.128790/
  5. KarenSoCal

    KarenSoCal Member

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    Thank you Tom. Read it completely.
    The difficulty is that I have nowhere in my house to lower temps over such a span of time, so have to let nature do it for me. His crate is in the coolest place I have outside. He stopped eating 3-4 weeks ago, walked around every few days for a few minutes, and has not come out of the crate in 10 days.
    As the day & night temps cool, when night gets to 50, I will bring him in to the refrigerator I have prepared for him.
    I realize this is not ideal, but having no cool garage or outbuilding, it is the best I can come up with.
    I'd like to hear what problems, if any, you would anticipate in this situation? Or if I should do something differently given what I have to work with?
  6. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    You don't need a cool area other than the fridge, when that time comes. Room temp is fine and you'll still be using a heat source for a while before you get to that point.

    The key is to make sure their gut is empty and they are well hydrated before going into the fridge for hibernation. During the process of getting them ready to hibernate, you can also monitor the fridge and adjust the thermostat as needed. Around 50 is good, down to 45 works too.
    KarenSoCal likes this.

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