Russian tortoises over wintering in Phoenix

Future4Animals

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I had a group of 10 Russians outside most of the year last year. November came around and most found a nice hole to dig into when the weather temperatures dropped. I positioned some overturned plastic totes around the enclosure and most went inside and dug in underneath those. Fast forward to say about February I saw a few pop out and start walking around. The problem is temperatures were still dropping down to the 40s at night. Most would just go back and dig back into their holes. Fast forward to March about three or four Russians were exhibiting runny noses and lethargy. I brought those inside and began nursing them back to health.

My question is should I have set up their winter location in a different way? I have seen those frames work that have a clear top that opens and closes. I'm wondering if I should have created a few of those and make sure those individuals stayed in those frame setups till the weather truly stayed warm all day long and night. Any thoughts?
 

wellington

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In captivity the brumating species should not be left on their own to brumate. It should be done properly with the assistance of the human
@Tom can help further.
 

Tom

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I had a group of 10 Russians outside most of the year last year. November came around and most found a nice hole to dig into when the weather temperatures dropped. I positioned some overturned plastic totes around the enclosure and most went inside and dug in underneath those. Fast forward to say about February I saw a few pop out and start walking around. The problem is temperatures were still dropping down to the 40s at night. Most would just go back and dig back into their holes. Fast forward to March about three or four Russians were exhibiting runny noses and lethargy. I brought those inside and began nursing them back to health.

My question is should I have set up their winter location in a different way? I have seen those frames work that have a clear top that opens and closes. I'm wondering if I should have created a few of those and make sure those individuals stayed in those frame setups till the weather truly stayed warm all day long and night. Any thoughts?
Are you in Chicago or Phoenix?

In Phoenix it is WAAAAAYYYYYY too warm to lave them outside. They can't brumate with temps in the 60-80s every day. It needs to be a constant 36-39 for Russians in my experience.

First read this one:

Then this one:

The first thread will explain how to house them and control temps to get them better again. The second thread will explain what went wrong and what to do next year.

This thread has more general info:
 

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