Box Turtle hibernation question.

tacotheturtle

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We have a 3 year old box turtle that was given to us from a friend who has a mating pair in her yard. Her turtles have the run of her (sizable) yard. We named him taco and he did great last spring/summer/fall then he went into hibernation (outside) at the end of October. He came out a little over a week ago during some really warm days. I filled up his little pool. A few days later it got much colder and he buried himself again. He hasn't come back out. Should we be worried? Should I try to dig him up? The weather has turned here and it's pretty consistently warm. Thanks for any advice. We love taco.

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mark1

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did he eat when he was out ? it's pretty normal behavior to show up in the spring and then disappear when it gets cold again ........ being as little as he is i'd get him out on nice days and get him to eat and drink , personally i find it a relief when i see these guys start eating after 7-8months of not , especially the tiny ones , just don't take his spot away , let him dig back when he wants ....... if it got cold and they didn't dig back in , i think that would be something to worry about .
 

tacotheturtle

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did he eat when he was out ? it's pretty normal behavior to show up in the spring and then disappear when it gets cold again ........ being as little as he is i'd get him out on nice days and get him to eat and drink , personally i find it a relief when i see these guys start eating after 7-8months of not , especially the tiny ones , just don't take his spot away , let him dig back when he wants ....... if it got cold and they didn't dig back in , i think that would be something to worry about .

he didn't eat he was really only out for a day/day and a half. so i should dig him up? it's been really nice out
 

mark1

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i would , i don't do much for my turtles other than give them every advantage i can ......... i'd soak him in warm water and get him to eat some worms , start putting food in his pen for him , and let him do his thing ..........
 

tacotheturtle

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i would , i don't do much for my turtles other than give them every advantage i can ......... i'd soak him in warm water and get him to eat some worms , start putting food in his pen for him , and let him do his thing ..........


thanks! that was my plan- but I wanted to see if anyone had advice. we're kind of winging it. the woman who gave him to us doesn't do much for them either. some worms. some fruit. some water.
 

ColleenT

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one of my turtles passed away after hibernation, but she had other health issues going on. ( her leg was amputated 2 years prior.) idk what caused her death, the vet offered to necropsy her but then never got back to me.

Hibernation can be hard on these guys. yes a good soak in Warm, but never hot water, and offer some food. Cooked yams and scrambled eggs are a good meal to try. i am north of Philly, but similar weather. i think your baby should be up for now. But give him a place to shelter from the hot sun.
 

ColleenT

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How far down do they bury themselves?

i am not sure. when we built the enclosure just over 2 years ago, we put 3 ft of soft dirt in the den area. we had dug down 3 fet, and made a 3 ft sq area of just soft mixes of dirt, leaves, peat, etc..so they can easily go 3 ft down. I don't dig them up once they hibernate, so i have no idea how deep they go.
 

tacotheturtle

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did he eat when he was out ? it's pretty normal behavior to show up in the spring and then disappear when it gets cold again ........ being as little as he is i'd get him out on nice days and get him to eat and drink , personally i find it a relief when i see these guys start eating after 7-8months of not , especially the tiny ones , just don't take his spot away , let him dig back when he wants ....... if it got cold and they didn't dig back in , i think that would be something to worry about .

Do you know how far down they dig? I’m trying to dig him up. I’ve gotten down almost 2 feet and no taco. It’s a secure enclosure I don’t think he got out or anything got in.
 

mark1

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usually inches , temperature drives them deeper , at this time of year I doubt it's anymore than a couple inches at most .......check real good in corners and along the edges , don't throw any of the dirt outside the pen , and be aware your not burying him deeper ....... I've had lots of turtles I couldn't find pop up later , some of them in some pretty small areas .......
 
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