1. Welcome! Are you interested in tortoises? If so, we invite you to join our community! Our community is the #1 place for tortoise keepers to talk online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your tortoise and enclosure, and discuss any tortoise topic with other tortoise keepers. Get started today!

Winter eating slowdown

Discussion in 'Debatable Topics' started by Pond_Lilly, Nov 29, 2017.

  1. Pond_Lilly

    Pond_Lilly Active Member 5 Year Member

    Feb 26, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Tampa, FL
    I posted the initial thread years ago (https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/winter-eating-slows-down.37558/) and once again I see the slow down in eating in my now 6 cherryheads. Interestingly, in 2011 I posted roughly at the same time, Dec. 9. My torts spend their day outside, but sleep inside, as I take them in.

    We debated in 2011 what is going on, with various theories being proposed, i.e. daytime duration, temps, pressure, etc. I wonder if other cherryhead (or other torts) keepers in Florida (or elsewhere) see the same? I wonder also what happens with wild cherryheads in winter?

    Another question is whether or not this slowdown is beneficial or not, maybe it slows growth/prevents pyramiding, maybe something else? In even broader sense, is it more beneficial to give torts "seasons", even when kept indoors, compared to keeping them in highly stable, highly controlled environment?
    MissMarg&me likes this.
  2. Alaskamike

    Alaskamike Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    South Florida
    (These ads do not appear for registered members.)
    I've noticed this slowdown with serval torts; Aldabra, Sulcata& Leopard. Here in South Florida, temps change, humidity & angle of the sun. I'm sure the torts feel this more a curly than we do. Animals are season & weather cycled in their behavior & biology.

    We can bypass some of that with artificial UV, heat , foods available , etc. I suspect however, that since I raise mine outdoors it has much more impact.

    As to benefit , I don't know. Certainly there is no harm as long as they don't get dehydrated or too cold. Pyramiding should not be impacted at all.
  3. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

    Jan 9, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Southern California
    What sort of weather and seasonal variation do cherry heads encounter in the wild? Being from the tropics, I'm guessing there isn't much variation.

    By contrast, here in North America, we are not in the tropics and even Florida experiences a true temperate climate with winter days being much shorter than summer days, light values changing drastically from winter to summer, and vastly different temperatures from summer nights to winter nights.

    This being the case, I do think there is benefit to giving "seasons" to temperate species like russians, CA desert tortoises, or greeks. I don't think there is benefit to giving large seasonal variations to sulcatas or cherry heads. These two species are very adaptable and can survive the unnatural seasonal variation in our climate with a little help and electricity from us, but this doesn't make it something desirable that we should try to do. In fact, I think the opposite is true. We should be trying to reduce seasonal light and temperature variations in tropical species.
Similar Threads: Winter eating
Forum Title Date
Debatable Topics Winter Eating: Slows Down? Dec 9, 2011
Debatable Topics cold winter inside for tropical species Sep 29, 2011
Debatable Topics How many tortoises get seriously ill or die as a result of eating "bad" weeds? Jul 11, 2017
Debatable Topics Sulcata only eating grass and hay Apr 26, 2017
Debatable Topics Is Tortoise-Breeding creating a Time-Bomb? May 14, 2016

Share This Page