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Old 05-03-2017, 02:41 PM   #1
Jan W
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Default Semi natural hibernation

FORT TORT: The torts house in an upturned wardrobe, divided into 'chambers' sitting within an outbuilding. They have access to the outside, weather permitting. In their house is a ceramic lamp for warmth and just outside the entrance is an MV light/heat lamp for basking. There is also overhead lighting in the ceiling.

Bertie slowed down and went to sleep in October to wake up when it became warm and then go down the same time as Beatrice in November. He ate less and less, whereas Beatrice ate one day and then just stopped. However, he did not go under the light/heat source again.

During October they had access to the area where the ceramic lamp hung and the heat/light lamp. I wanted them to choose where they wanted to be and there was much choice on dark areas and cooler areas. Beatrice spent less and less time coming out to the light/heat source.

So I do not lose this post I will start a new one with the photos.
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Old 05-03-2017, 02:53 PM   #2
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Horsfields - Bertie & Beatrice

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Old 05-03-2017, 03:11 PM   #3
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Sorry I now seem to have trouble editing! Won't save.

Anyway, tort house in previous post is sitting on wooden planks (loft wood) on top of the concrete floor. I put bubble wrap all round the outside and used the loft insulation on most of the top and draped over. Where the torts hibernate, on the far side, I put ecotherm blocks round the outside too.

There was no way a rat could get in. Probably not into the outbuilding either, but having lost bantam to rats I was not taking any chances.
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Old 05-03-2017, 03:33 PM   #4
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Looking down on the house. Meshed top is where they normally sleep or spend time. Non meshed area is hibernation

chamber.

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Old 05-03-2017, 03:54 PM   #5
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Old 05-03-2017, 04:31 PM   #6
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Lots to explain but I am giving up after spending nearly 2 hours getting this far.

Key points:
Water available at all times but this was not touched as far as I could tell. This was in the usual area where the usually slept or spent time when awake.
All the insulation kept the temperatures stable. It was only when it dropped well below freezing I put the ceramic lamp on in the chamber next door to where they were. This kept the temperature at 5 degrees. (this year the electrician will be putting in everything I need for the heat to come on automatically - not available in time this year). Even stayed cold when it warmed up.
They have always gone under small towels, something I picked up for Tortoise Trust, so they did this again in hibernation, but partially burrowed down into the substrate.

Hope all makes sense.
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Old 07-03-2017, 05:52 PM   #7
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Brilliant photos though Jan, keep the thread going. Love to see a record of it all. Tort knox is amazing....You could section off for more torts and still have masses of room !!! CB
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Old 07-03-2017, 07:47 PM   #8
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That looks great Jan, lucky torts.
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Old 10-03-2017, 07:59 AM   #9
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Having moved house late on in the summer last year I had very little time to sort out anything for the torts so bought a round Keter tub (37 in B&Q) and half filled it with topsoil and left one panel off when assembling it so they could go in and out when they wanted to. This was placed in the greenhouse. I had a weather station sensor in the tub so I knew what the temps were in there from my house. The torts went in there and buried themselves about mid October. I then bought some Celotex insulation sheets and cut them to fit round the tub like a rectangular box and for added insulation I had a couple of 5 duvets over the top of that. Despite minus 5 temps at times the temp in there did not vary much, it was always above 5 but below 10 even when it was warmer in there.
In recent days it was 45c in the greenhouse but only 11c in the tub. Yesterday I had a look in and dug a bit of soil away and found them both and after leaving the lid off for about 20 minutes their heads popped out
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:25 AM   #10
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Thank you Jan and Alan. Some great information here. Has given me plenty to think about. I hope others who use similar methods can add to the thread.
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