At what temperatures will my tortoise start to slow down?

JaySparks

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Here in london the morning temperatures are about 10-13 degrees and I've already started to see some ice forming on cars. My tortoise enclosure is about 20c in the morning. I wont be brumating my tortoise this year because he has only turned 1 and from what I've read you shouldn't brumate them in the first year if they are captive. Is it necessary to brumate them in captivity? I have an eastern hermmans.
 

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Here in london the morning temperatures are about 10-13 degrees and I've already started to see some ice forming on cars. My tortoise enclosure is about 20c in the morning. I wont be brumating my tortoise this year because he has only turned 1 and from what I've read you shouldn't brumate them in the first year if they are captive. Is it necessary to brumate them in captivity? I have an eastern hermmans.

Each tortoise handles this differently depending on many factors. If your tortoise is inside most of the time and you maintain bright lights, UV and a long photoperiod, the outside weather should matter less, but most of them still notice the shorter days and cooler temps.

The hibernation question is highly debatable. Is it "necessary"? No. Not at all. Is it beneficial? Should it be done? Some people think yes and others no. I'm of the opinion that if a given species hibernates in the wild, then they should hibernate in captivity too. I've heard people for years saying not to hibernate babies in their first year, or first two or three years, and I see no reason not to. They'd hibernate in the wild, wouldn't they? Done correctly, there is really no more risk than not hibernating them.

So don't feel like you have to hibernate your tortoise, but go ahead and hibernate it if you want to. We'll help and offer tips either way you choose.
 

JaySparks

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Each tortoise handles this differently depending on many factors. If your tortoise is inside most of the time and you maintain bright lights, UV and a long photoperiod, the outside weather should matter less, but most of them still notice the shorter days and cooler temps.

The hibernation question is highly debatable. Is it "necessary"? No. Not at all. Is it beneficial? Should it be done? Some people think yes and others no. I'm of the opinion that if a given species hibernates in the wild, then they should hibernate in captivity too. I've heard people for years saying not to hibernate babies in their first year, or first two or three years, and I see no reason not to. They'd hibernate in the wild, wouldn't they? Done correctly, there is really no more risk than not hibernating them.

So don't feel like you have to hibernate your tortoise, but go ahead and hibernate it if you want to. We'll help and offer tips either way you choose.

From what I hear tortoises that hibernate tend to live longer than those that don't.
 

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From what I hear tortoises that hibernate tend to live longer than those that don't.

We had a member here named Terry Allen Hall, who passed away a few years ago, that argued against hibernation. He'd had his tortoises going for 22 years and counting without a single hibernation. All were healthy, made babies every year and showed no indication of any problem.

@GBtortoises has done it both ways for decades and he's indicated that the only difference he sees is the predictability of when they breed and lay eggs. Hopefully he'll see this and chime in. From reading his prior posts, it seems he is of the opinion that hibernation is purely a survival response to unfavorable environmental conditions. Not sure I agree that its that simple, but he's a very knowledgable guy when it comes to all things Testudo.

I don't know that anyone has seen any indication that lack of hibernation shortens their lifespan. In fact, tortoise lifespans are a great big unknown. No one knows how long any of them live. Their have been several on record that lived over 100 years. One was 280 years old.
 

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We had a member here named Terry Allen Hall, who passed away a few years ago, that argued against hibernation. He'd had his tortoises going for 22 years and counting without a single hibernation. All were healthy, made babies every year and showed no indication of any problem.

@GBtortoises has done it both ways for decades and he's indicated that the only difference he sees is the predictability of when they breed and lay eggs. Hopefully he'll see this and chime in. From reading his prior posts, it seems he is of the opinion that hibernation is purely a survival response to unfavorable environmental conditions. Not sure I agree that its that simple, but he's a very knowledgable guy when it comes to all things Testudo.

I don't know that anyone has seen any indication that lack of hibernation shortens their lifespan. In fact, tortoise lifespans are a great big unknown. No one knows how long any of them live. Their have been several on record that lived over 100 years. One was 280 years old.

I'm starting to do a shopping list for winter. I was thinking of buying this material https://www.amazon.co.uk/Biard-Doub...5448&sr=8-1&keywords=insulating+material&th=1 do you think the light will cause him damage if this is reflective?
 

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JaySparks

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What would you use that material for?
i'll be using it to insulated the enclosure. I'm currently using a pvc sheet and its doing a good job the only thing is that I've noticed that the heat is not being retained as much due to the weather getting colder. This material is used for insulating and is a lot thicker.
 

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Each tortoise handles this differently depending on many factors. If your tortoise is inside most of the time and you maintain bright lights, UV and a long photoperiod, the outside weather should matter less, but most of them still notice the shorter days and cooler temps.

The hibernation question is highly debatable. Is it "necessary"? No. Not at all. Is it beneficial? Should it be done? Some people think yes and others no. I'm of the opinion that if a given species hibernates in the wild, then they should hibernate in captivity too. I've heard people for years saying not to hibernate babies in their first year, or first two or three years, and I see no reason not to. They'd hibernate in the wild, wouldn't they? Done correctly, there is really no more risk than not hibernating them.

So don't feel like you have to hibernate your tortoise, but go ahead and hibernate it if you want to. We'll help and offer tips either way you choose.

The question is: How many of the torts in the wild overlive the hibernation ? How many babies ?
I have two Hermanni hatchlings too. They are 1,5 years old. I don`t want them to hibernate, because I think there are too many risks for their lifes.
 

GBtortoises

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This topic continues to be one of those never ending debates on TFO. First, I'd like to point out how correct the OP is by stating that tortoises brumate (not hibernate). Knowing the two makes a difference and better understanding of it's necessity, or not. Brumation is a state of lethargy, not of deep sleep like hibernation. When a tortoise or any reptile is brumating, they are not in a suspended state as a hibernating mammal is. They are essentially in a semi awake state, eyes closed, cognizant of their surroundings but unable to react with any amount of urgency because of their reduced body temperature core. While in brumation tortoises react to temperature changes in the soil around them. When temperatures get colder, they begin to dig deeper. When the temperatures warmer, they move upward. The warming of the soil above them is precisely what brings them out of brumation in the spring. But, for every time they have to reposition themselves, they're expending valuable energy reserves. Those same reserves are required for their survival through brumation. Realistically, brumation can be stressful on them each and every time. It's only purpose in nature is to survive less than ideal environmental conditions when temperatures are too cold sunlight intensity and duration is limited and food is non-existant.

Take away the environmental adversity and you remove the need for a reptile to brumate. The idea that a tortoise must brumate simply is not true and has been proven over and over again since we've been keeping them for the past 60+ years in captivity.

Some examples and disputes to the claim of brumation necessity:

"You shouldn't brumate a baby tortoise for the first year or two".
Why not? They brumate from day one in the wild. In fact, many babies born later in the in season don't ever leave the nest until spring. If it is necessary for their survival why would you not do it from the start in captivity? Wouldn't that affect chances of survival if you don't? How come they survive when you don't brumate them the first couple of years? Or when you never brumate them at all? Yet they survive just the same.

"They only need to brumate for 4-6 weeks".
In the wild tortoises in most areas brumate anywhere from 18-30+ weeks depending upon what the weather conditions in their geographic location dictates. So if it's necessary for them to brumate why such a short time in captivity? What is 4 weeks doing for them?

"My tortoise lost weight while brumating so I woke it up".
First of all, they will always lose weight during brumation because they are burning energy, as little as it is. Their bodies are still functioning just at a very, very slow rate. They're still breathing, their hearts are still beating. What they are not doing (or should not be doing) is processing foods and wastes.

Breeders for many decades have had their tortoises successfully reproduce and produce fertile offspring year after year without ever brumating the adult tortoises. Those offspring have grown to adults and gone on to do the same, again without ever brumating. So again, if brumation is a "necessity" for their survival, how did all of these tortoises survive?

The real danger can be brumation itself. In the wild tortoises have many more resources to facilitate their successful brumation such as prime locations, fall food sources and exposure to sun, albeit diminished, to help control ground temperatures. Still, things like deep frosts, flooding and rodent attacks can be fatal to them while brumating.
In captivity there is absolutely no reason that tortoises need to be exposed to the diverse weather conditions that result in their brumation.
If maintained at regular activity temperatures, light intensity & duration they will remain active and continue to thrive just fine with no inclination to need to brumate. After nearly 60 years of us keeping tortoises in captivity on a large scale there is still no evidence whatsoever that tortoises need to brumate and no evidence of any side effects of them not brumating.
I have personally been keeping tortoises and turtles for just about 35 years, have brumated and have not brumated and have seen no difference in any of the animals that I have in terms of their activity, longevity or health whatsoever.
 

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The question is: How many of the torts in the wild overlive the hibernation ? How many babies ?
I have two Hermanni hatchlings too. They are 1,5 years old. I don`t want them to hibernate, because I think there are too many risks for their lifes.

In the wild? I have no way of knowing, but I would imagine a lot of them survive over the winter, only to be eaten upon emergence in the spring.

But doing it correctly and in controlled conditions in captivity, with an understanding of what is going on causes no problems at all. I've been doing it with all sorts of reptiles for decades with no problems. Only time I've ever had a problem is when I did it incorrectly outdoors, based on the advice of someone in a very different climate. That was with Argentine tegus.
 

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Has anyone discussed decreasing daylight as a factor? I know light has an affect on other animals like birds and people have used supplemental light to prevent a slowdown of egg production or to boost breeding. My tortoises and turtles seem to have a natural slow down from December thru February even though the temperature may reach 75+ on some days.
 

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Has anyone discussed decreasing daylight as a factor? I know light has an affect on other animals like birds and people have used supplemental light to prevent a slowdown of egg production or to boost breeding. My tortoises and turtles seem to have a natural slow down from December thru February even though the temperature may reach 75+ on some days.

Many times.

In spite of GBs feelings on the matter, this is one of the reasons that compels me to believe that temperate species should be hibernated. Even if you have them indoors in a warm room with warm temps, and bright lights for 14 hours a day, many of them still want to hibernate. It can be a struggle to keep them up, active and eating even when great care is taken to prevent it. They seem to "know" its time to slow down and prepare themselves for winter, even when it doesn't look or feel like winter in their enclosure.
 

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I have never had a tortoise attempt to "hibernate" indoors when kept at correct activity level temperatures and light duration and intensity. Never. They will however aestivate for periods indoors when kept too warm consistently and/or ambient humidity is too low. What triggers a tortoise (or any animal) to brumate/hibernate? If it's not reduced temperatures and light what is it? Sorry Tom, I don't accept the simple answer that they just "know". All facets of every animals lives, including humans, are controlled by their environment. Some are naturally occurring, some are purposely controlled (by humans).
You may want to consider the fact that a tortoise brumating/hibernating "indoors in a warm room with warm temps and bright lights for 14 hours a day" is actually aestivating, not hibernating. An action that is often done in those exact conditions described and which commonly takes place. Other than the general appearance of sleeping, there are differences between the two actions.
 

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I have never had a tortoise attempt to "hibernate" indoors when kept at correct activity level temperatures and light duration and intensity. Never. They will however aestivate for periods indoors when kept too warm consistently and/or ambient humidity is too low. What triggers a tortoise (or any animal) to brumate/hibernate? If it's not reduced temperatures and light what is it? Sorry Tom, I don't accept the simple answer that they just "know". All facets of every animals lives, including humans, are controlled by their environment. Some are naturally occurring, some are purposely controlled (by humans).
You may want to consider the fact that a tortoise brumating/hibernating "indoors in a warm room with warm temps and bright lights for 14 hours a day" is actually aestivating, not hibernating. An action that is often done in those exact conditions described and which commonly takes place. Other than the general appearance of sleeping, there are differences between the two actions.

No I'm sorry Gary. This is just one more thing you and I are going to have to disagree on, and I don't care for your condescending tone. Again. Apparently, if you haven't seen something first hand, it can't exist. The possibility doesn't seem to exist in your mind that other people might have seen things that you haven't.

To your "never", I say most temperate species of tortoises in this area lose appetite and slow down their activity levels as we enter fall. And even though people keep them lit and warm, they still want to go down for winter. If the right things are done, they can be snapped out of it and kept up, but some are more persistent about it than others. Nearly every Petco or Petsmart russian wants to go down for winter. Many of them will enter a hibernation like state, even when temps and lights don't change at all. Yvonne has mentioned and had success with using a little "mini-hibernation" to snap some of these tortoises out of their persistent desire to brumate for the winter.

My outdoor housed tegus all did this same thing. September 15th would come and they went down, not to be seen again until April. Didn't matter what the weather was doing. We have lots of 100 degree September days and 90 degree highs into late October. They knew it was time to go to ground. The babies housed indoors in constant conditions did it too.

So whether you chose to accept facts or not, these multitudes of tortoise do just know when fall and winter are setting in, even when they are housed indoors.

If you just want to continue arguing for the sake of arguing, I'm yo' huckleberry. Let's dance.
 

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What triggers a tortoise (or any animal) to brumate/hibernate? If it's not reduced temperatures and light what is it? Sorry Tom, I don't accept the simple answer that they just "know". All facets of every animals lives, including humans, are controlled by their environment.

I wonder if barometric pressure could be a factor in 'just knowing '. The amniote paratympanic organ is not found in turtles, but either a homologous structure or a derivative of the spiracular organ could be at work. The ability to sense barometric pressure would allow a perception of the overall environment, including the future environment, which would be advantageous to survival.

Just a thought.
 

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I wonder if barometric pressure could be a factor in 'just knowing '. The amniote paratympanic organ is not found in turtles, but either a homologous structure or a derivative of the spiracular organ could be at work. The ability to sense barometric pressure would allow a perception of the overall environment, including the future environment, which would be advantageous to survival.

Just a thought.

I don't have the answer to your query Steve, but I've pondered this one a lot. I'll share two related anecdotal stories to illustrate my thought process on this matter: 1. Bert Langerwurf imported around 200 WC young Argentine Tegus years ago. He collected them from the Southern portion of their range because it snows down there and those populations would hibernate (brumate…) every year. He brought them to his Northern Hemisphere home in Alabama, and obviously the season were backwards. It took a few years, but he was eventually able to get about 40% of those original animals to reproduce. The other 60% never did. They couldn't adjust to swapping hemispheres, even after years had gone by. Fascinating! Why? Why did only 40% adapt and make the change? Why didn't the others? Incidentally, 100% of the Alabama hatched CB babies from those original animals reproduced for him once they reached maturity. Somehow, I don't know how, those lizards just knew.
2. Animal Migration. I've always been fascinated by how animals circumnavigate the globe. How do the same great white sharks land at the Farallon Islands at the same time of year, every year? We know some of them go to Hawaii, but where do all the others go? How about all the birds that fly thousands of miles twice a year, or the Monarch butterflies? Sea turtles that hatch, go to sea for years, and then return to the same beach where they hatched to lay their first eggs? Enough set-up… On to the point: I watched a show on Homing Pigeons. How do they do it? They had three main theories with strong evidence to support each one. Theory one was magnetite particles in the brain that allow the birds to orient themselves to the earth's magnetic fields. They tested the theory by placing little magnetic helmets on some birds and releasing them. It messed them up at first, but then they figured it out and made it home just fine. Theory two was landmarks. They changed the roof shape and color of the loft, but the birds still figured it out. Theory three was navigating by the sun. They tested this one by putting groups of birds in "light-proof" enclosures where they controlled the lights completely. Over a period of weeks, they slowly adjusted the time of day forward by two hours. When they released the birds, they went up, did their sighting circles that they always do, and then took off in the direction where home was two hours ago, according to the sun's angle. It was clear they were using the sun as their guide. But about 1/3 of the way home, the whole flock course corrected and put themselves on the exact trajectory home for the current time of day. All made it back.

What's the point of all this? Those pigeons somehow knew where home was. We don't yet know how they know, but they obviously know. It seems to be a combination of several factors and possibly more, other factors that we don't know about yet, but it is an undeniable fact, that homing pigeons know how to get home from 100s of miles away. Well, our tortoises know when its time to hibernate. (Call it brumation or winter slumber or whatever you want…) How do they know when they are indoors in a temperature controlled reptile room with no windows and lights set on timers? I don't know. But they know. I find the process of studying and trying to figure it out fascinating.
 

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As I was a child Herman and Greek tortoises had been selled in pet stores for cheap money.
My grandpa bought me a tortoise and in we tried to hibernated her but she died because of wrong conditions I suppose. The next ( poor ) tortoise also died in winter.
Then I got 2 tortoises and because of our bad experiences we don`t want to try to hibernate them.
These two torts had been semi adult when I got them.
They lived and roamed free in the house of my parents. Their "hide" was underneath a radiator of our central heating. When autumn came they`ve always lost their appetite and sleep underneath the warm radiator.
I soaked them so that they can poop and they go to "sleep" again. Sometimes for a few weeks, but not longer. When the sun shines in winter the torts sometimes came out and search for food. They eat a little, I soak them again and they went to sleep again.
They do this for several times until the spring comes.
Sometimes the bright winter sun fools them and they want to get out ( they have an outdoor enclosure in our garden ). But when the weather is cloudy again, they went to sleep again.
They were always healthy and thrive altough they never do the "right" brumation. But they want to sleep short periods in winter. They must know or feel that it is time for brumation.
That are my experience from the past with brumation of tortoises.
Today I own 2 young Herman tortoises and I will have I close watch how they behave when the winter comes. Now they are still eating and coming out every day for hours. They live indoor in a terrarium with light and heat.
 

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"No I'm sorry Gary. This is just one more thing you and I are going to have to disagree on, and I don't care for your condescending tone. Again. Apparently, if you haven't seen something first hand, it can't exist. The possibility doesn't seem to exist in your mind that other people might have seen things that you haven't."
Speaking of condescending.
Tom-I'd be interested to know how much experience that you really have keeping, breeding and raising Testudo species and for how long. One thing no one ever sees me doing is commenting on the care, habits or environmental needs for Sulcata or Leopard tortoises and rarely ever any other species except Testudo. Why? Because while I have kept many species of tortoises and turtles over the years, I consider myself being the most experienced at maintaining Testudo species. You however seem to know best about everything so I'll leave the comments to the expert of all things tortoise - you.
No worries of me ever involving myself in any thread that you have already commented on again. That way you can lead people to believe whatever you'd like. I would love say so much more but I am already risking my ability to remain on this site.
 

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Tom-I'd be interested to know how much experience that you really have keeping, breeding and raising Testudo species and for how long.
I'm happy to share. Always have been. I started working with Testudo in my pet shop days back in 1986. Since that time I've cared for and kept dozens of them, helped friends and family with their Testudo, and shared in their joy when their tortoises bred. Never bred my own. Never kept any long enough for that because I've had other interest and pursuits. I've rehabbed a lot of sick ones and raised a lot of young ones.

I have not kept as many as you, and have not done as much as you have with them. I've constantly complimented you and your knowledge of Testudo and your ability to ID all the subspecies. I've always looked up to you as a Testudo expert. But that doesn't mean you know everything, and it doesn't mean I know nothing. It doesn't mean I haven't seen what I've seen. To say they don't slow down and try to hibernate in fall and winter is absurd. Totally ludicrous. Can they be kept up? Yes. Of course they can. That doesn't mean they don't know its winter and slow down even when kept warm and well lit. When you make assertions like that, it makes me question the high esteem I hold you in.

One thing no one ever sees me doing is commenting on the care, habits or environmental needs for Sulcata or Leopard tortoises and rarely ever any other species except Testudo. Why? Because while I have kept many species of tortoises and turtles over the years, I consider myself being the most experienced at maintaining Testudo species.

Yes you do. You typed up an angry reply to me when I was telling someone what night temps to keep their sulcata at. You started with some tirade about what you think temps in the wild were and how what I was saying was wrong and unnatural. I replied back, but before I could read your response our posts were deleted and the mods stopped our discussion. I will concede that you usually only comment on Testudo, but lately it seems like you only reply to tell them what I said was all wrong. Like the soil sand thing. You ignore the problems that I and others have seen with sand and soil, and choose to bury your head in the proverbial sand claiming that you've never had a problem with your sand soil mix. Well lots of people say that, but you know who doesn't say that? The people who used it for years and then had a tortoise get impacted. Pay for an impaction surgery or two, or lose a tortoise to sand impaction, and you might sing a different tune. Heck, just go watch someone else's tortoise get impaction surgery, and that should be enough to change your mind about that advice. You know, I rode a street bike for 22 years. I'd take it up to triple digit speeds almost every time I took it out. Never crashed, never had a problem and I'm still alive. Only got caught speeding one time in the whole 22 years. These facts do not make it good advice to tell people to do what I did. I saw several other men die doing what I did. I didn't have to die myself to realize that what I was doing shouldn't be done, and I shouldn't be telling others to do it. Sand kills tortoises Gary. Soil made with toxic plants or toxic chemicals can kill or harm tortoises too. I'm glad you haven't had a problem with it, but that doesn't mean its not a problem. Look beyond your enclosures. Speaking of experience, do you get out much? Have you seen how tortoises are kept in other parts of the country and world? Have you talked with keepers from AZ, CA, FL? Been to their places? learned from their experiences? I only hear you talk about what happens at your place in your enclosures. I hear other people relate experiences and things they've learned from other keepers with different sets of circumstances than themselves. If I ever want to know how to keep tortoise the way you do in upstate NY, you are the first person I'd ask. Your experience there is second to none.

You however seem to know best about everything so I'll leave the comments to the expert of all things tortoise - you.

This is another absurd claim. I rarely comment on threads from species I don't have experience with and when I do, I preface the comments with my lack of first hand experience and keep the answers about tortoises in general. You can see this on RF/YF, Manouria, Aldabra, Egyptian, Gopher, Indotestudo, Hingeback, spider and other tortoises that I have little or no experience with. If I cared to, I could find many such examples of my claiming to be inexperienced and lacking first hand knowledge of the species in question. I try to be helpful, but I know where my lane is, and I stay in it.

No worries of me ever involving myself in any thread that you have already commented on again. That way you can lead people to believe whatever you'd like.

Sad. Mean old Tom won't bow to everything you say, so your gonna take your ball and go home… Grow up man. We are here to talk tortoises. Talk. Share your opinions and experiences. We can reach a truce. You share your thoughts and I'll share mine. Let the people decide who they want to listen to. If you think I'm wrong, you have a duty to speak up. We are not going to agree on everything. That is okay. Even if you don't like me or what I have to say, I still respect your immense knowledge and experience with Testudo. When you aren't belittling me and refuting every claim I make, I enjoy your posts and I learn from them. You have a lot to offer to this community and to the tortoise community in general. I don't agree with your brumation theories or your substrate choices. My first hand experience has taught me otherwise. So what? You don't stop helping people learn and take better care of their tortoise because someone doesn't agree with you. That's childish. Are we not both reasonable adults here?

I would love say so much more but I am already risking my ability to remain on this site.

Me too Gary. Me too.
 

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I would love say so much more but I am already risking my ability to remain on this site.

I thought of more to say after I finished the last reply…

  • You called into question my experience level. I have no problem with that. I don't make assertions without something to back them up. This thread is about hibernation. (Call it brumation or whatever you want. Everyone knows what we are talking about. And rattlesnakes aren't poisonous, they are venomous...) I explained my Testudo experience, but there is so much more to it than that. As a little kid, lots of friends and family had CA desert tortoises in their yards. It was pretty common back in those days. I saw lots of examples of success and failure, year after year. Once I started in the pet trade, I had dozens of customers with DTs and other species. I observed and I learned. I've been hibernating my own tortoises for decades. But wait… there's more… I've also been hibernating temperate lizards like Mexican ctenosaurs and Argentine tegus for years too. And in recent years I've had the pleasure of learning about and administering "winter cooling periods" for a bunch of Northern blue tongue skinks. SA leopards hibernate in some parts of their natural range too. I've spent the last 7 years not letting mine hibernate. I've had countless discussions with people here in SoCal, and AZ too, about how sulcatas don't hibernate, and how attempting to do so frequently results in death. Just had another one here the other day. How many of these hibernation experiences have you had Gary. Or is your experience strictly limited to Testudo? Have you hibernated many DTs there in NY?
  • Have you ever asked yourself: Who is this Tom guy and why is he saying these things? I've asked myself that about you. Am I some 12 year old looking to get attention and fit in? Am I some 90 year old that has been keeping tortoises since before anyone on this forum was alive? What is my motivation for saying soil or sand could be bad? Where did I come up with that? You've been using sand and soil for years with no problem, so what is this other dude on the internet's problem? It seems that you've concluded that since Gary hasn't had a problem in his own collection of tortoises over the years, then no one else could possibly have had a problem either. Tell me I'm wrong. Explain how all the cases of sand impaction from soil sand mixes didn't happen. Tom must be delusional. He must be some crazy person who imagines wild and extravagant tortoise ailments and then talks about these tortoise impaction fantasies on the internet. Right? Is that not what you are saying? When did you realize that only your experiences mattered and that no one else anywhere in the world could possibly have anything of value to add if it conflicts with what you've seen in your enclosures at your house?
  • Almost every Testudo keeper I've seen recommends a sand soil mix. They do it in the UK, all over Europe and here in the USA too. Its almost universal. Been that way since I started reading reptile books in the 70s. I've seen other universal reptile edicts like this too. Almost every sulcata book you read will tell you, almost word for word, that they are a desert species, come from arid regions, and they must be kept dry on dry substrate or they'll get respiratory infections and/or shell rot. This too is almost universal. The largest sulcata producer in the world is still using rabbit pellets as a substrate for his babies. Guess what? Both assertions are wrong. We once all thought they were right, but some people along the way figured some things out, and have done their best to tell others what they've learned. Sulcatas babies should;t be on rabbit pellets, and Testudo species of tortoises shouldn't be on a sand/soil mix. Some people have just closed their minds and can't be reached. They lash out at people who are trying to correct old incorrect knowledge. They don't won't accept that they were wrong and that new info has been learned by others. They frequently harbor disdain and dislike for the people who point out that they were wrong all those years. I'm not one of those people. I was wrong all those years, and I'm happy to have learned better. I'm happy that someone figured out these problems and shared their knowledge with me so I didn't have to learn the hard way and figure it all out myself. Different strokes for different folks, I suppose.
Open your mind Gary. Other people have experience and knowledge too. You are not the only one. Its okay to learn from the mistakes of others.
 
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