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Started brumation during warm temps

Discussion in 'North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus)' started by PhilandShelly, Oct 23, 2019.

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  1. PhilandShelly

    PhilandShelly New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I think our ~2 year old cdts have started brumation in northern California, but I feel like it's too warm for that. Their enclosure is kept indoors (not fully insulated sun room). Temps in their hides have ranged from 60-75 degrees with 40-50% humidity.

    The previous keeper told us they brumated for months their first winter and we took them to a reptile vet to ensure they are healthy enough to brumate this winter.

    We had a week of 45-55 degree lows, which is when they really started to slow down. Though the ambient temperature where they are never dropped below 55 degrees.

    Shelly, 207 grams, actually weighed 208 grams after retreating to the hide, which has been a week or so. Phil, 273 grams, just spent his first 2 days without exiting the hide.

    Should we be concerned?
  2. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    My desert tortoises are not ready to brumate yet. Yes, the days are shorter and the nights are in the high 40s, low 50s, but they're still out grazing and eating downed mulberry leaves. Have Shelly and Phil stopped eating? They will stop eating, then they will come out every morning and just sit in the sun (under the light) for a bit, then go back into the shelter. They do this for about a week, then they go into the shelter and don't come out. That's when it's safe to say they are ready to brumate. I think being in a sun room where the temperature never gets below 60F is not really a good thing. If you want them to brumate, they need to feel the cooler night temperatures. They're sort of in limbo right now, not cold enough to brumate, yet not warm enough to digest their food.

    I don't brumate my young desert tortoises until they're three years old.
  3. PhilandShelly

    PhilandShelly New Member

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    Hi Yvonne,

    I'm a bit relieved to read your response. They did just that. Slowed their eating, then sat under the lamps for a few hours before going into their hides for the rest of the day. Shelly stopped eating a little over a week ago and Phil just stopped maybe 3 days ago. We've been testing out different parts of the house and crawl spaces to see where will hold a constant cooler temperature thinking we would have more time to figure it out, but it seems like they areven letting us know they are ready now...

    Also, we are still leaving the light on for them in case they change their minds, but they haven't so far.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
  4. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I would move the light up so there's still light, but not much heat reaching the floor of the enclosure.

    How about a closet in an unused bedroom? With the door closed it should stay pretty cool in the closet.
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