TWO OF MY THREE DESERT TORTOISES REFUSE TO HIBERNATE

Carol S

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I have three 7 year old Desert Tortoises. One of them has been asleep in the rock and dirt cave/burrow for weeks now. The second one I thought was asleep for the Winter (as he had not come out for around two weeks) came out today and laid in the sun. The third one (the nosey one) comes out every day even if the sun is out or not. He, however, has stopped eating and seems sleepy, but will not give up and hibernate. I live in Alta Loma, CA. The weather here has been 36 degrees at night and around 70 during the afternoon. It is suppose to get warmer by Wednesday.

Does anybody have any idea what is going on with my desert tortoises?
 

Tom

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Some of them just do this. It may take a few years in a new place for them to get into a "routine". Just make sure he is underground every night, and you can soak and weigh him when he's up too.
 

ascott

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At this point, I would decide for him...what I mean by that is; if your temps are that low at night and don't really warm up during the day I would not leave the tort to remain in those cool temps at night....something is not meeting their needs, and I am not saying this to be rude :)D) I am simply saying that the set up may not be correct for three torts to share the same space...there may be issues of them not being able to settle in equally --so you may need to set them up for their rest in comfortable hibernacles....
 

thatrebecca

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Do all 3 use the same burrow? Is it the same space they brumated in last winter?

I'm amazed Nosey is still up every day! That's pretty funny.

My CDTs have been asleep for 4 weeks now. But they have no say. They're in the fridge. I have one who's like Nosey, and would probably still be marching around the yard if I let him.
 

Tom

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Angela brings up something I hadn't considered. DTs are pretty territorial. They don't usually use a communal burrow. Especially males. One of the other ones might be telling him to "Get out!"
 

Carol S

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Tom said:
Angela brings up something I hadn't considered. DTs are pretty territorial. They don't usually use a communal burrow. Especially males. One of the other ones might be telling him to "Get out!"

During the summer they dug a burrow in the ground and all three of them used it.
 

ascott

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During the summer they dug a burrow in the ground and all three of them used it.

So they dug an actual burrow all on their own? (no help from humans whatsoever)...how many feet down does it go? Why is the burrow not being used now for brumation since you are allowing outdoor brumation?

Also, keep in mind---this is a species, especially if males are involved, that will--without a doubt--be aggressive with one another and while in the wild it has been found that more than one tort will occupy a burrow--it is usually multiple females and it is speculated likely a matter of tolerance strictly for survival....

Have you checked the health of the one tort that has not shown himself for weeks now?

Also, please remember---simply because a tort has a certain behavior one day--does not mean it will not evolve the next into something totally different....just saying.
 

Carol S

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ascott said:
During the summer they dug a burrow in the ground and all three of them used it.

So they dug an actual burrow all on their own? (no help from humans whatsoever)...how many feet down does it go? Why is the burrow not being used now for brumation since you are allowing outdoor brumation?

Also, keep in mind---this is a species, especially if males are involved, that will--without a doubt--be aggressive with one another and while in the wild it has been found that more than one tort will occupy a burrow--it is usually multiple females and it is speculated likely a matter of tolerance strictly for survival....

Have you checked the health of the one tort that has not shown himself for weeks now?

Also, please remember---simply because a tort has a certain behavior one day--does not mean it will not evolve the next into something totally different....just saying.

During the summer they dug a burrow all on their own. That burrow would get wet and/or flood during the rain and therefore was covered up. During the summer they slept in their man made cave or in the burrow that they dug; whatever their mood was that day.
 

thatrebecca

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My two juvenile CDTs shared a burrow without incident for a while, and then the little one stopped wanting to go in at night. I started watching and realized her brother, my early riser, would block her in in the mornings. He came out first to eat and then sat in the burrow entrance when she was ready to come out to eat.

Needless to say, we split them up at this point, with each tort getting his/her own enclosure and burrow. Within 2 nights, my little one started putting herself away in her new burrow at night.

They're brumating separately indoors, but I just share the story as an example of 'burrow bullying' that might keep your torts from settling in to brumate.
 

Candy

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I have not hibernated mine either. I live in Alhambra where the weather is still in the 70's most of the time. I keep mine indoors on heat pads and if it's warm enough outside I put them out to eat and they do. They are doing wonderful and this way I get to see them all year long. :D
 
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