Brumation

Daniel Freel

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Apr 19, 2016
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Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
I've always brought my eastern box turtles in for the winter. This season I want to naturally brumate them to try to encourage breeding next season. They are native to my area (zone 7a) New Jersey. I'm looking to learn any information and tips on how safely do this process. I know I'm months ahead of schedule but I'm trying to have a good concept and the knowledge to feel 100% comfortable in doing so before the time comes. Thanks in advance.
 

Tjsalyers

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Jun 25, 2020
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85
Location (City and/or State)
Indiana
I've always brought my eastern box turtles in for the winter. This season I want to naturally brumate them to try to encourage breeding next season. They are native to my area (zone 7a) New Jersey. I'm looking to learn any information and tips on how safely do this process. I know I'm months ahead of schedule but I'm trying to have a good concept and the knowledge to feel 100% comfortable in doing so before the time comes. Thanks in advance.
I would probably not because there so used to being warm all year round so if you do it could kill them if you. Do feed them a good amount of food before letting them hibernating
 

Pastel Tortie

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North Florida
Actually, for turtles going into a full hibernation / brumation, they need to be empty. I don't worry with it because I'm in Florida, where my boxie just adjusts her activity level and does whatever she feels like (or not).
 

Pastel Tortie

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I don't remember which members up north do what to get their box turtles ready for winter. @mark1, @PJay, and others might be good to weigh in on this one.
 
Joined
Mar 26, 2018
Messages
17
Location (City and/or State)
Corpus Christi, TX
The biggest thing is to ensure they have adequate cover, plenty of deep soil, and cover from rain and snow. I have a 3-sided plywood brumation chamber that I place in their pen and cover it with a few inches of earth. I place plenty of loose soil inside it along with plenty of leaf litter. I cover 1/2 of the pen with a tarp to keep out rain but keep the other half open to allow sunlight in. Nature will take over and you will occasionally see them out (but moving very slowly) even in winter if its a really sunny or mild day. That's my routine and it has worked well for me.
 

Turtulas-Len

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Aug 3, 2010
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Southern Md - Northern Neck Va
The only thing I do with the eastern box turtles that live in my yard is gather them up in the fall and place them in a 16 x 24 ft pen and give them plenty of fallen leaves to get under. My turtles live pretty much wild all year. I always have food available for them, even late into the season. They know when to stop eating and they usually eat until late fall. I'm not sure they need to be empty of food while resting over winter. They don't dig deep into the ground either thats why you should give them a high layer of leaves and or straw because the leaves and straw will pack down over time. If you pen them like i do make sure none are right against the outside wall (mine is wood) move them away from the wall and make sure there are several inches between the turtle and the wall. I don't do any rain protection. They get rained and snowed on in the wild. Sometimes I can't find them all to put in the winter pen but the ones I don't find show up the next spring. I don't rake the leaves in the big yard until the next spring because of the hatchlings I didn't see may be hiding under them for winter protection. If you need more leaves than what is available in you yard I have neighbors that bring me leaves every year. I bet yours would help you out if you ask them. I'm old and have been keeping and watching eastern box turtles for over 60 years, they are smart and tough and know how to take care of themselves. you just need to give them what they need to do it.
 

ColleenT

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Jan 19, 2016
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Location (City and/or State)
Lehigh Valley Pa
mine live outdoors. i have 4 three-toeds in PA, which is NOT their natural habitat. they are found much more south. Every year, they stop eating in the early fall. then they do whatever they want until they go underground. they still have water outside, but they stay down until about May. they they come out. when i see them out, i soak them for about 20 minutes, then place back into the enclosure. they don't eat right away, it takes a little time for their appetites to kick up. it surprises me every year, how strong they are to live thru the harsh winters we have.
 

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