View Full Version : OT - Any Tortoise owners out there?
02-20-2007, 01:59 PM
I have a lovely desert tortoise named Daisy. We have had her for almost a year now. She is quite young. I think less than five years. So technically, we don't know she's a she. Anyway, last year, the first year we got her, she did not hibernate. However this year, she is definitely trying. She sleeps 24/7 and doesn't eat or drink a thing that I have been able to tell. Online I have read many articles and done lots of research. Technically we could have put her in a shoe box and put her in the garage for safe keeping while she hibernates, but I just didn't like the sound of that. :-)
Anyone know anything about tortoises? I have all the links and have read tons, I was just looking for some moral support. :shrug:
Jan in CA
02-20-2007, 02:07 PM
Well, I actually know NOTHING about tortoises, but my aunt in Lancaster, CA had one for years. I'll ask her about it..
02-20-2007, 02:09 PM
Andee my dear, I can help you :muah: My dads owned a reptile store for 20 years and I pretty much lived there. I have had many a Tortoises myself.
How warm are you keeping her? Have you changed her heating or anything in the cage? What type of heating lights do you have and how many?
You could put her in the garage, but I wouldnt. I never did with mine. I shut off the main heat lamps and left the heating pad on. If you dont have a heating pad, trying switching out your bulbs to a lower watt like 50W. Or you can just shut everything off and leave her in her cage, its up to you. Leave her like this untill about the last week of April first week of May. Then you will slowly bring the temp back up to normal. The drop in temp will make her body feel as if she is going into hibernation, and the raise is temp will simulate spring. It might take her a couple weeks to fully come out of it, but when she does, she will be hungry.
Let me know if I can help anymore Andee :hug:
02-20-2007, 02:28 PM
We live in the california desert, so our regular daily temperatures are already up into the 70s. Much of what I read about her said hibernation was over around March. :shrug:
Her current lamp is at 75w, and is on from 9:00am to 3:00pm. It is about 80 in her little house right now. At night it gets down to about 70. She has already been sleeping like this for about 4-6 weeks. I don't have anything in there right now that she can go into, because she outgrew her little house. Should I put her under something? Here is a picture:
We are getting ready to convert an outdoor portion of our yard for her to live it, as she is going to need more space than she has now. We took her because the person that had her received her as a gift and didn't want her. I am a sucker for a hard-luck pet!!!
How do I know if she is okay during this time???? I think she hibernated this year because it was really unusually cold this year, unlike last year. So even without a change in her heat light, she could feel it getting colder.
02-20-2007, 02:46 PM
No, you dont have to put anything under her right now. You can actually leave your lights off untill March, it isnt going to phase her( I suggested April or May because I wasnt sure how long she ad been like this). I use to check on mine by picking her up and making she was still breathing. Because of where you live, I dont think it would get cold enough outside to hurt her, so you are golden. Once she is outside, the ground will provide her heating and cooling system. If it gets too hot for her, she will burrow into the ground to cool off, and when she is cold, she will burrow again to stay warm because the ground will still hold heat from that day.
It isnt so much that she feels the cold, its her body is programed to know that this is the time to hibernate. Even if you kept her super hot, she would start to slow down and get slightly lathargic (sp?) around this time anyway. My Red Foot tort use to do it when I didnt hibernate her and when I breed snakes, even if I didnt hibernate them that year, they would still stop eating and being active.
02-20-2007, 02:47 PM
She is soo cute. I really want to get another one. Torts are the best :hug:
02-20-2007, 02:53 PM
I love her so much. She is so smart. She comes when you call her name (a little slowly :teehee: ) and she likes to watch the dogs. Althought I don't let her near them. I have heard horror stories about dogs and torts!
It is going to take a lot of work to make her home outside, because of the burrowing. And she is currently too small to be in an uncovered space outside, because apparently owls and coyotes find tortoises a rare delicacy!
It doesn't hurt her to wake her up every now and then?
Jan in CA
02-20-2007, 03:43 PM
My aunt's tortoise lived outdoors in their yard. Their old Basset Hound never bother him. I remember that she put him in the closet to hibernate and I remember that he scratched at the patio door to go out, but that's all I remember.. :??:
I sent her an email.
02-20-2007, 03:59 PM
That is so cool! They are really smart. And really social.
I worry about the dogs, because I was corresponding with a tortoise expert who said her dogs lived with her tortoise for 8 years and then one day, the dogs killed the tortoise. She had never had any problems with her dogs ever. So that made me thing. I keep small dogs, so eventually, daisy will be bigger than them!
02-20-2007, 05:36 PM
It never hurt my tort to wake him up, and Ive never heard of any problems with waking on up so far :shrug:
I use to let my red foot play with my dads dog. I would set him in the grass and whenever he would go to far, Tilly (the dog) would go, pick up him up and bring him back toward the house. It was funny. I could understand about owls and other prets though. I never worried with Tilly though. If she could live 10 years with a ferret who use to lick her eyes while she slept, sleal her food and attack her everyday, I trusted her with the Tort. She use to do the same ting with the the ferret as she did with the tort, bring him back when he went to far outside. She was part border collie, so that might explain her "hearding" instinct :teehee:
02-20-2007, 05:43 PM
Thanks for all the advice :hug:
I can't get over how no matter what I post at this forum, I can always find kind support and responses! Someone here ALWAYS knows the answer to what I am asking. I just :heart: this forum!
Jan in CA
02-20-2007, 08:12 PM
My aunt wrote me back:
Jan, our tortoises name was Henry. He went in and out the pet door like the other pets and when he was ready to hibernate he went into a corner of the family room for about 3 weeks then he went to the coat closet in the living room ( we let the door stand open when he started to sleep in the family room). He would sleep in there from Oct. to March then do the opposite, he came out and slept in a corner for about 3 weeks then went outside. From then til the next Oct. he was mainly outside, would eat a plate of fruit and veggies everyday plus all the flowers he could reach. They love rose petals. He would chase the cat and loved his nose rubbed. We had neighbors who did put theirs in a box on a garage shelf for the winter. Don't try to move or waken them once they are asleep. It can kill them. If they ever see Daisy on her back, turn her over as she will die that way, drown in their own body fluids. That is how they fight each other, trying to flip the other over. They will live and grow for years and are nice pets.
02-20-2007, 09:04 PM
Thanks Jan! I have only ever seen her on her back once. When we became too big for her little house, she would sometimes crawl on top of it and once she fell off an onto her back. My stomach flips every time I think of that and what might have happened if it had been during the day when I am gone! We took out the little house after that and she needs a new one now. I guess it is time to turn off her little heater light and let her do her thing.