Another week or two ?

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Another week or two ?

Postby olly » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:49 pm

Hi,

Daisy, my Horsfield, is 6 yrs old, and her 4th hibernation.
Previously, she started at 8 weeks, then 9, twice, and now 10, this time.
Today is 9 weeks exactly, and I`ve weighed her, and checked her out. All is good.
Her weight at the start was 533g, and now it`s 525g.
My question is, am I being a bit premature, taking her out next week, or should I be aiming at 11-12 weeks now?
Is she "adult" enough for the extra time, or should I stick to my 10 week plan, and increase next year?
Appreciate your thoughts
olly
 
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Re: Another week or two ?

Postby Stuart » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:11 am

This is the second thread I've read in the last few days which describes an incremental approach to the length of hibernation, determined by the age of the tortoise.

Is there any validity in this approach?

I can see that the practice fills the gap between the notion that babies might be hibernated for a shorter length of time than adults, and our idea of what might constitute a reasonable adult hibernation.

Ultimately and ideally our controlled hibernations are an attempt to emulate natural behaviour, but Andy's contribution to previous discussion: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=11430&p=95209&hilit=juvenile+hibernation#p95211 suggests that natural behaviour can be very varied!

[If you conduct a search for babies or juvenile hibernation, you'll see there's been quite a bit of discussion of this.

No absolute definite answers, though.]
Stuart
Hermanns (old female and 5 home-bred offspring), iberas (two), kbn (rescue), leopard, horsfield (rescue), stars (2 - long term loan), red-eared sliders (5)
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Re: Another week or two ?

Postby olly » Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:06 pm

Hi Stuart,

You are so right about no definite answers !!
Thank you for the link, anyway. It appears, so many factors are at play, that you can only determine what to do with each individual, rather than an across the board set rule.
The link shows just how impossible it is to recreate that natural hibernation period.
Also, when is a Horsfield an "adult"?.....It varies from 6-8 yrs, maybe.
I can only do what really matters for Daisy, so I`ll check her again next Thursday, and make my decision then.
You know, this opens a whole new can of worms, as to whether anyone should be keeping tortoises, or any reptiles, as pets, when their environment is so specialised to them.!.....no wonder reptiles are fast becoming the next abandoned pet and, being handed in to charities in droves !
That said, I simply love Daisy to bits and, have taken all my advice re: habitat, food, hibernation etc from TT, and I`m totally committed to doing my very best for her...........as naturally as I can !
She has her annual check up with Craig Hunt, at Sileby, who is always pleased with her progress, and that, in itself, is a big comfort to me.
I hope everyone else gets reassurance from this site, as I always have, since getting Daisy.
olly
 
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Re: Another week or two ?

Postby Stuart » Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:30 am

Hi Olly,

I'd completely missed the fact that yours is a Horsfield. Andy's fieldwork relates to testudo graeca (I think)

I don't know what their hibernation patterns are in the wild, but suspect that, unlike Andy's subjects, they go down and stay down, and for quite a long time. In fact, they have a very short above ground feeding window, I believe (which is why they're so easily overfed in captivity).

None of which helps you with your decision!

As for your more general point:
You know, this opens a whole new can of worms, as to whether anyone should be keeping tortoises, or any reptiles, as pets, when their environment is so specialised to them.!.....no wonder reptiles are fast becoming the next abandoned pet and, being handed in to charities in droves !
I've often thought this myself.

We really ought not to be doing this. (Why am I trying to keep Indian stars and an African leopard tortoise in the far north of England? Mediterranean hermanns are challenging enough.) The only consolation is that we know so much more than previous generations, and have much better technology to enable us to get a bit nearer to natural range conditions, even if it all remains compromise, and sometimes, massive compromise.
Stuart
Hermanns (old female and 5 home-bred offspring), iberas (two), kbn (rescue), leopard, horsfield (rescue), stars (2 - long term loan), red-eared sliders (5)
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Re: Another week or two ?

Postby Tortoise Trust » Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:59 am

I do not think there is any absolute answer. I think that you just have to judge things based on the individual animals in question and including factors such as weight, hydration status, etc.

Some of this you can only know by "being there" and using your own experience.
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Re: Another week or two ?

Postby olly » Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:44 am

Update:
Well, Daisy`s fine, so she`s still in hibernation.
Of course, Stuart`s completely right, in saying Horsfield`s are used to being down for a longer period of time, so I`m happy to leave her where she is. I take a quick peek every other day, but take her out for a proper look, every Thursday.
This is her 11th week.
I have no idea how Stuart, or any of the others, like Bigjoe, who have several tortoises, cope, so well done to you all.........
I shall stick with just my Daisy, as my anxiety levels couldn`t cope with more !! :o
Actually, that was the case, in the beginning, but it`s getting easier and easier, as the years go on, and there`s no point having any tortoise, unless you`re going to enjoy the experience, as well !...I love her to bits ! :D
Thanks again, to everyone, who have always helped, since the start !
olly
 
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Re: Another week or two ?

Postby Stuart » Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:55 pm

olly wrote:I have no idea how Stuart, or any of the others, like Bigjoe, who have several tortoises, cope, so well done to you all.........


Well, space is an issue (both in the fridge and now out of it) and so is electricity, and, at the moment, salad purchases!
Stuart
Hermanns (old female and 5 home-bred offspring), iberas (two), kbn (rescue), leopard, horsfield (rescue), stars (2 - long term loan), red-eared sliders (5)
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Re: Another week or two ?

Postby olly » Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:46 pm

Hi ,
Well....Last Thursday, was 12 weeks, to the day, and I did it !.......Daisy finally came out.
A little anxiously, admittedly, I took her out as soon as I got up, she lost a little more than 1% in weight, but otherwise fine.
She spent most of the day yawning, had 2 good long baths, but didn`t do a great deal.
No different to last year, in fact.
I didn`t put any food down either, my diary told me she wasn`t interested on her first day, after previous hibernations, so I didn`t bother this time.
Day 2, bathed again, morning and afternoon, a lot more alert, ate a small amount, not much else.
Day 3, baths, ate more, HUGE wad of "cottage cheese" :lol: and later a good ole poo !!.... :roll:
Day 4 to present day.......delighted with her progress.....lots of activity, lots of baths, plodding all round her pen, eating lightly, but consistently.
It`s all gone down in my Daisy Diary, for next year. It really does help to look back, and compare notes, and to log her weight etc.
Phew....glad that`s another year out the way....Lovely to have her back......missed her....
Hope everyone else has had a Good One !
olly
 
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Re: Another week or two ?

Postby Clara » Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:17 pm

Well done Olly. Always a relief once they are up and about again. :)

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Re: Another week or two ?

Postby Tracy33 » Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:26 pm

Good news Olly with Daisy .
I also keep a dairy on my tort , as you say , it very handy to look back on .
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