Hathling hibernation

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TortillaTheTortoise
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Joined: 10 Apr 2019, 06:07

Hathling hibernation

Post by TortillaTheTortoise » 13 Apr 2019, 14:46

I have a 2 week old angulate tortoise, It is currently autumn here and in 2 months its winter(1 June till 31 August) and I was wondering if I should be overwintering or hibernating it? I have a few questions:

He is outdoors normally on good warm days and indoor when the weather is cold and overcast(rarely) so he has no UV lights, in hibernation do tortoises need UV? Does it stay in its cage or do I move it to a separate container in a different area for hibernation?

Im scared to fast it because its so small and it only seems to be eating succulents and aloe and it doesn't eat kitchen veg or fruit. I have seen it pee but not poop unless it's hidden in the soil. I grow plants in his enclosure and collect weeds and grasses so it can eat whenever it wants. It does try to chow the gravel outside but I always stop it, if he had eaten a piece without me seeing could it cause impaction?

I also noticed it has sharp see through growing things on the sides of his shell, I believe caused either by too much calcium or vitamin D? I've only had it for a week so I still need to get a cuttle fish bone for calcium.

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Nina
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Re: Hathling hibernation

Post by Nina » 13 Apr 2019, 15:51

Hi,

Did you see my reply to the other message you posted a while ago? The reason I ask is because you never responded, so in case you didn't see it here is a link to that thread: https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/sit ... php?t=1094 When you write a message, below the box you are writing in there are some options and you should tick the box that says 'notify me when a reply is posted' and that way you can see the responses you get. I also wrote some answers to your other post asking about diet but there was no response from you to that either, so I don't know if you saw it, but it is here: https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/sit ... 3144#p3144

I don't know what country you live in, but Angulate tortoises often don't hibernate in their native Cape and Southern Namibia but they do hibernate if they are outside their area. However, I would not hibernate your tortoise this year, as he is very small and you have only just got him, so you aren't yet familiar with his ways, to know if he is unwell. To hibernate a tortoise must not have any food in its stomach and needs to be in a cold area. They don't need UVB when hibernating. Have a read of the links to care and diet sheets that I recommended in your other thread.

It's really great that you are growing plants for him! It might be a good idea to cut the grasses up into tiny pieces and mix that with succulents. If you wet the food then the bits will stick together, and he will get a taste for grass. Too much fruit might not be so great, so I would concentrate on the grasses as the main part and the succlents as the second part of the diet.

Tortoises do often nibble at gravel -- particularly small white stones. Sometimes this is an indication that they are low on calcium, but often it is just because they are curious. My tortoise used to have a passion for small pebbles, and I did my best to remove them from the outdoor enclosure, but you can never get them all out. It is possible that they could cause impaction, but most often they just go in one end and come out the other in his poo. Do by all means get the cuttlefish bone. Sometimes tortoises don't like it when it is fresh, and it helps to leave it outside in the rain for a month or two. You can also use your fingernail to scrape some off onto his food, and if you wet the food then the powder will stick to it. You can buy calcium supplements, or pure calcium carbonate powder and sprinkle that on too.

Tortoises need huge amounts of calcium, but If you live in the southern hemisphere and he is outdoors a lot, then you probably don't need a vitamin D3 supplement, but if he is indoors a lot, and without a UVB lamp then you should use a supplement because they need the D3 to enable their bodies to absorb the calcium in their diet (they are mainly shell and bone, so a lot of calcium is needed to maintain that).

Not sure what the growing things on the sides of his shell are, but send us a nice close-up photo and we'll do our best to see what they are. It could just be new growth. Often the edges of the top shell are almost transparent when they start to grow.

I hope this helps, but please let us know if you have seen our answers to the other questions you posted, as we are not sure if you have seen them (but if you tick that box I mentioned then you will be notified when we respond).

Nina

TortillaTheTortoise
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Joined: 10 Apr 2019, 06:07

Re: Hathling hibernation

Post by TortillaTheTortoise » 13 Apr 2019, 20:30

Thanks for the replies, I did tick the notification box this time I think, I view the forum on my phone so it's hard to see full screen of everything

Today it was overcast with humid rain and my weather app said there was low UV so I didn't bother to put it(I always say it coz I'm not sure if it's a boy or girl yet) outside today because if it was in the wild realistically on that day it wouldn't even of gotten any sun or UV. But I'll look into getting a UVA and heat bulb. Also are there any plants or foods high in Vitamin D3?

I found out it just trampled over the carrot anyway and didn't eat it, but I saw he at his favourite succulent(I need to look up the name) because it's beak was full of green smudges lol

My country is currently in a drought so I'm hoping the winter is warm so it would be easier to overwinter, I used to love the rain and cold weather now whenever it's cold and rainy I'm like nooooo because now the tortoise can't go outside XD

All my photo files are too large

*EDIT I found the name is blue spruce stonecrop, I have plenty growing in the backyard

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Nina
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Re: Hathling hibernation

Post by Nina » 13 Apr 2019, 23:12

Hi, and i'm glad you saw the other replies (you should be notified when I post this one).

What country do you live in? Is it one of the countries where the Angulate tortoise lives naturally in the wild? I am in the UK, and no tortoises are native to our country (our weather is too terrible for any sensible tortoise to want to live here)!

If your tortoise is only a hatchling then we wouldn't be able to tell the sex, but if it is at least five or six years old we can probably tell, so if you send us a photo of his underside (does he or she have a name yet?), clearly showing the tail, we might be able to tell you.

There aren't really any foods that will provide the Vitamin D3 that he needs, but in the UK you can buy supplements like Nutrobal which contain that. However, if you live nearer to the Equator or than we do, then the sun will be stronger and when he is outside he should be getting sufficient UVB. He doesn't need to be outside every day, but indoors he will need heat (an ordinary household bulb can work). Do remember that if you are getting a UV bulb that it is UVB that you want and not UVA. You can buy bulbs meant for reptiles that either have combined heat/light and UVB, or you can use a lightbulb to provide heat and a fluorescent strip UVB bulb.

Blue spruce stonecrop is Sedum reflexum, and that is absolutely fine for him to eat. Most tortoises get a bit of diarrhoea if they eat too many succulents, but Angulates can eat more than most and be fine. But do try to get him to eat grass too (you can cut up stonecrop and mix it with grass so that he gets some grass accidentally, and that will give him a taste for it.

And you are absolutely right not to put him outside when it is cold and rainy.

If your photos are too big, and you don't know how to reduce them in size, you can send a couple to us and we will reduce them and post them for you. Just send them to photos@thetortoisetable.org.uk I'm really looking forward to seeing photos of him, as we don't see Angulate tortoises in the UK very often.

Best wishes,
Nina

TortillaTheTortoise
Posts: 26
Joined: 10 Apr 2019, 06:07

Re: Hathling hibernation

Post by TortillaTheTortoise » 14 Apr 2019, 07:47

My tortoise(Tortilla) is not from the wild so I'm not sure if they are native here (I can't say which country I live) or not, I do know that they live wildly in places where ive been camping before

I can't get a picture of the underside because it peed the last time and I don't want it to pee on my phone, but it's only 2 weeks old (it's so small, Just a bit bigger than a large coin lol) so I guess I'll have to wait a while for it to mature to tell it's gender. It does have a long thin tail with a thinner tip, and at the bottom shell under the tail it's a v shape smoothing out.

I thought it was UVA because I saw care sheets saying they need a UVA bulb to help with their calcium absorption. Is there a difference between UVA and UVB?

Its so cute because it likes to sleep on my lap when I watch TV, it even stretches it's back legs out like it's basking. It's gotten very comfortable being held.

I only have a Gmail account and not an email account, so I can't send photos to that email :(

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Nina
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Re: Hathling hibernation

Post by Nina » 14 Apr 2019, 12:29

Hi,

You can get a photo of his underside without him peeing on your phone if you just lie him on his back for a moment and take the photo from above. Hope that helps.

Oh, yes, you will have to wait a while to tell its gender. Have you given him a name though?

UVA is fine for tortoises, but what they really need is UVB, and there is a big difference between the two. UVB light reacts with the skin of a tortoise to produce vitamin D3 and that enables the tortoise to metabolise the calcium in its diet. So it is UVB that helps with calcium absorption, not UVA. The best source of UVB is the sun, and I am hoping that you have more sun in the country where you are living than we do in the UK. Can you tell me if you are in the Northern or Southern hemisphere? If you can't then that is OK.

I might be mistaken, but I thought that Gmail was Google's email service. Anyway, maybe we can do this another way. Did you get the private messages I sent you the other day, asking if you had seen my posts on this forum? I will send you another private mail now, and I will put my email address in it. If you click on that, or recopy it into a new message, you ought to be able to send me a message that will be completely private and no one will be able to see it other than me. Let me know if this works, and if it does then you can send me photos that way, I think.

Nina

TortillaTheTortoise
Posts: 26
Joined: 10 Apr 2019, 06:07

Re: Hathling hibernation

Post by TortillaTheTortoise » 14 Apr 2019, 20:58

Its name is Tortilla, I live in the southern hemisphere, we do have a lot of sun even in winter, I took tortilla out today for a run around the garden and to catch the afternoon sun because the weather hasn't been great this weekend so luckily he was able to go out today.

I'm going to try resize the photos

thanks for ur help :)

TortillaTheTortoise
Posts: 26
Joined: 10 Apr 2019, 06:07

Re: Hathling hibernation

Post by TortillaTheTortoise » 14 Apr 2019, 21:04

I've resized a photo
Attachments
IMG_20190414_220115.jpg
This is tortilla

TortillaTheTortoise
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Joined: 10 Apr 2019, 06:07

Re: Hathling hibernation

Post by TortillaTheTortoise » 14 Apr 2019, 21:05

It likes to sleep with its head on plants
Attachments
IMG_20190414_220200.jpg

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Nina
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Re: Hathling hibernation

Post by Nina » 14 Apr 2019, 22:09

Oh my goodness, he is absolutely gorgeous! I can see why you have fallen in love with him -- he looks so sweet. Living in the Southern hemisphere means (depending on how close to the equator you are) that the UVB from the sun will be stronger, so that is very good for him.

Thanks so much for posting the photos -- he really is a beautiful little tortoise!

Nina

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