charlotte shell

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charlotte shell

Postby cylee5 » Sun Dec 11, 2016 5:43 pm

i live in south east england and sort of inherited a testudo ibera over the age of 100. a few months ago she was driven about 10 miles from cosy garden sheltered from wind and predators. she lived there in freedom without incident for over 50 years. she had two small houses stuffed with straw, one in a shed which she would go to herself to hibernate every year. she also had a diet of iceburg lettuce, cucumber, tomato and whatever grew between the grass i imagine.

then on her first night at my house her cage was broken in to by what the vet suspected was rats because she only lost a back toe/claw. we had to go out of town to see a vet qualified to treat tortoises who said she was perfectly healthy besides to wound which i continued to treat with iodine to the wound twice a day and a bath in warm water twice a week. when i would bathe her i would also give her a very quick shower in the bath just the rinse of the mud and when i would apply iodine i would wipe it clean first with a most sensitive wet wipes on the market. i soon made the garden so she could roam freely during the day and fed her very well thanks to your saviour of a website.

she continued to make a good recovery and grow to a weight of 2kg, her shell is exactly 20cm long so from what i understand she was 300g over the necessary weight for hibernation. as the climate cycled in to autumn she grew very uninterested in food and far more interested in sleep so i completely cleared a small shed for her with the 50/50 mix of topsoil and playsand she was used to at our residence. after 6 weeks of fasting and just the odd bath for hydration she went in to hybernation. now i am concerned she is not hydrated enough tho as i only saw her drink out a dish a couple of times because i was working almost all the time she was awake but i kept her with two clean & fresh dishes to drink from in very obvious places

i thought i had done everything by the book so she would have a very good hybernation but i later read that you should not attempt to hibernate a newly aquired tortoise and that thier temperature should never go below zero celcius. if she hadn't come out of hibernation three times i probably wouldn't have searched for this information either.

so the first time she came out of hibernation she had buried in to an unsheltered pile of top soil/playsand mix which was outside the tortoise house but in the corner of the shed, i had not checked on her for a few days and found her upside down when i did. she seemed fine still but anyway i then added the straw in to her tortoise house because that's what she was used to but i saw she had moved to a different part of the house after a few days and was no longer half buried in her home. she didn't stir when i stroked her shell so i just stuffed the house with straw. freexing night where coming next so i covered her house in many many blankets but a few days later she had moved a bit away from the wall of her tortoise home.

now i feel unsure about any of the set-up especially now she is not buried at all and if i should be checking on her and letting the warm air out in the process. please, any guidance or insight or anything would be greatly appreciated. i love her very much
cylee5
 
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Re: charlotte shell

Postby Sandy » Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:03 pm

cylee5 wrote:i live in south east england and sort of inherited a testudo ibera over the age of 100. a few months ago she was driven about 10 miles from cosy garden sheltered from wind and predators. she lived there in freedom without incident for over 50 years. she had two small houses stuffed with straw, one in a shed which she would go to herself to hibernate every year. she also had a diet of iceburg lettuce, cucumber, tomato and whatever grew between the grass i imagine.

then on her first night at my house her cage was broken in to by what the vet suspected was rats because she only lost a back toe/claw. we had to go out of town to see a vet qualified to treat tortoises who said she was perfectly healthy besides to wound which i continued to treat with iodine to the wound twice a day and a bath in warm water twice a week. when i would bathe her i would also give her a very quick shower in the bath just the rinse of the mud and when i would apply iodine i would wipe it clean first with a most sensitive wet wipes on the market. i soon made the garden so she could roam freely during the day and fed her very well thanks to your saviour of a website.

she continued to make a good recovery and grow to a weight of 2kg, her shell is exactly 20cm long so from what i understand she was 300g over the necessary weight for hibernation. as the climate cycled in to autumn she grew very uninterested in food and far more interested in sleep so i completely cleared a small shed for her with the 50/50 mix of topsoil and playsand she was used to at our residence. after 6 weeks of fasting and just the odd bath for hydration she went in to hybernation. now i am concerned she is not hydrated enough tho as i only saw her drink out a dish a couple of times because i was working almost all the time she was awake but i kept her with two clean & fresh dishes to drink from in very obvious places

i thought i had done everything by the book so she would have a very good hybernation but i later read that you should not attempt to hibernate a newly aquired tortoise and that thier temperature should never go below zero celcius. if she hadn't come out of hibernation three times i probably wouldn't have searched for this information either.

so the first time she came out of hibernation she had buried in to an unsheltered pile of top soil/playsand mix which was outside the tortoise house but in the corner of the shed, i had not checked on her for a few days and found her upside down when i did. she seemed fine still but anyway i then added the straw in to her tortoise house because that's what she was used to but i saw she had moved to a different part of the house after a few days and was no longer half buried in her home. she didn't stir when i stroked her shell so i just stuffed the house with straw. freexing night where coming next so i covered her house in many many blankets but a few days later she had moved a bit away from the wall of her tortoise home.

now i feel unsure about any of the set-up especially now she is not buried at all and if i should be checking on her and letting the warm air out in the process. please, any guidance or insight or anything would be greatly appreciated. i love her very much



Most sites and forums do recommend not hibernating a newly acquired tortoise. But in wild caught elderly tortoises who have hibernated their way for most of their lives, are really hard to stop going into hibernation. Even if the required temps are reached.
It sounds as though your tortoise house placing is not cold enough through out the day. If the area can warm up (I also live in the SE and temps on some days get quite warm when its sunny). Tortoises need at least a week or two of cold weather to really settle them down into hibernation.
Some keepers use the fridge method, as they can control the temps easier.
I let my tortoises bury down into the GH soil with a GH heater to come on if temps drop too low. They then can choose when to start burying down. Each tortoise is different.
Do you know the temps inside the shed?
Do you know the temps inside the box in the shed?
Putting sacks etc on top in really cold weather is great, as it will help protect your tortoise from freezing.
Tortoises will move around in hibernation, as they will try to dig up if temps get warmer and down if they drop. So moving around is not a problem as long as its not all the time.
If she were mine, and when you check her, she does not move. I would get a large box (preferably a poly box that fish are transported in) and a smaller box she will fit in. Then put the smaller box and tort in the larger polybox. If you have to keep her in the shed, then cover with blankets . This will help keep temps stable within the box.
Also invest in a digital thermometer a place in the box, with the reader outside, so you can monitor the temps.
I hope this helps.
Sandy
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Re: charlotte shell

Postby cylee5 » Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:01 pm

okey dokey! sorry i've taken so long to reply, been doing some christmas stuff but i set-up the thermometer on friday and also got to check her position. so she hasn't moved, still not buried and her house temperature reads one degree higher then the outside temperature shows on my app. i'm very glad she hasn't moved but do you think she will be ok? i'm not sure what i should do if the temperature in her house drops to zero degrees

and should i do the polybox thing? she has to stay in the shed i'm afraid, there's no electricity there either and i don't know what GM soil or heaters are, sorry :3
cylee5
 
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Re: charlotte shell

Postby Stuart » Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:02 pm

cylee5 wrote: i don't know what GM soil or heaters are, sorry :3


Sandy wrote GH soil and heaters...and it's just an abbreviation for Greenhouse...
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)
Stuart
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Re: charlotte shell

Postby Sandy » Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:29 pm

cylee5 wrote:okey dokey! sorry i've taken so long to reply, been doing some christmas stuff but i set-up the thermometer on friday and also got to check her position. so she hasn't moved, still not buried and her house temperature reads one degree higher then the outside temperature shows on my app. i'm very glad she hasn't moved but do you think she will be ok? i'm not sure what i should do if the temperature in her house drops to zero degrees

and should i do the polybox thing? she has to stay in the shed i'm afraid, there's no electricity there either and i don't know what GM soil or heaters are, sorry :3



As Stuart has said GH is green house:0)
If you think temps will drop below 5c just cover the box as much as you can with sacking, old carpets or the like. This is to stop frost getting in. Or just bring the house into a slightly warmer place over night if possible.
Sandy
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Re: charlotte shell

Postby cylee5 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:38 am

so pretty much sorted geezers & squeezers! i think at least, the thermomiter shows the temps stay more steady, warmer in the cold & cooler in the heat like soooo i checked on her yesterday and she still hasn't moved and the thermometer is set to sound the alarm if temperature reach outside of 0 to 15 degrees celcius. i have me a gh heater too which i figure to set to 10 degrees celcius, woo! long words! thanks for all your help guys! merry christmas & a hapoy new year! :)
cylee5
 
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Re: charlotte shell

Postby cylee5 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:40 am

P.S. i got no other indoor options :( poo
cylee5
 
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