OK, LETS TALK ABOUT HIBERNATION AND THIS WEATHER. I KNOW ITS LOVELY TO BE HAVING UNUSUALLY WARM WEATHER AT THIS TIME OF YEAR BUT FOR US TORTOISE OWNERS IT IS A VERY WORRYING TIME!! I HAVE BEEN CHECKING MINE DAILY AND ALTHOUGH THET ARE ASLEEP AND FINE I HAVE BEEN LIFTING THE LIDS EVERY DAY AND PROPPING THEM UP ABOUT 4 INCHES SO THAT THE WIND AND AIR GETS THROUGH SO THE HOUSES DON'T WARM UP. IF YOU ARE WORRIED THAT THE SUN WILL WARM YOUR HOUSES UP TOO MUCH OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS THEN DO THE SAME OR IF YOUR HOUSES ARE SMALL THEN YOU COULD LIFT THE WHOLE THING TO A SHADED COOLER END OF THE GARDEN TO ENSURE THE SUN DOES NOT WARM IT UP. YOU CAN THEN MOVE IT BACK NEARER THE SPRING SAY THE END OF FEBRUARY. NONE OF MINE HAVE MOVED SO I THINK IT IS FINE BUT IT DOES SEEM THE SEASONS ARE GETTING WARMER AND WARMER!!
ALL WE CAN DO IS WAIT AND HOPE ALL WILL BE WELL AND IF THE MOST AWFUL THING SHOULD HAPPEN THEN IT IS SOMETHING WE HAVE NO CONTROL OVER AND IT WAS MEANT TO BE..
HORRIBLE TO EVEN THINK ABOUT LET ALONE MENTION BUT IT IS THE CIRCLE OF LIFE....
HI EVERYONE, I WOULD JUST LIKE TO SAY A HUGE THANK YOU FOR ALL THE WONDERFUL CARDS AND GIFTS I HAVE RECEIVED THIS YEAR YOU ARE ALL AMAZING.
I WISH YOU ALL A PEACEFUL CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR XOXO
How to set up your tortoise lighting
THIS IS AN INFORMATIVE ARTICLE ABOUT LIGHTING ESPECIALLY THE LAST PART REGARDING THE MERCURY VAPOUR BULB WHICH YOU ALL HAVE TO BUY. AS YOU KNOW I WRITE ALOT ABOUT THE LIGHTING IN YOUR CARE SHEETS BUT I THINK YOU WILL FIND THIS ARTICLE INTERESTING..
Despite the growing interest in keeping tortoises, information about tortoise lighting is still a little difficult to find, and often a little too vague to make much use out of.
Tortoises need light, UVB and heat
Tortoises are no different from any other species of reptile – cold blooded, they need enough light to be able to move around comfortably, enough heat to thermos-regulate their metabolic processes, and enough UVB light to create vitamin D3 in their bodies.
The latter part about UVB and D3 is where a lot of tortoise keepers go wrong, and sadly it can have fatal consequences.
Tortoises need plenty of UVB light from above in order to put their dietary calcium to good use. UVB light helps them to synthesise vitamin D3, helping turn the calcium in to a strong skeletal structure and shell.
Without this process in place, tortoises suffer from a lack of ability to generate D3, absorb calcium, and therefore weak bones and shells. This is called Metabolic Bone Disease, or MBD for short, and is characterised by a lack of movement, brittle bones and a soft and spongy shell, unable to take the weight of their internal organs, crushing the tortoise under their own weight – sometimes fatally.
This is why a source of UVB light is essential, especially during the early developmental years, and for females undergoing the reproductive process, and therefore needed more calcium to forms the eggs and embryos inside them.
How much light, heat and UVB does my tortoise need?
This all depends on what species your tortoise is, and therefore what kind of habitat they have evolved in during their species’ time in the wild.
Some may require a little more heat than others, coming from a hotter climate and therefore thermo-regulate at higher temperatures. Likewise, some might require less or more UV depending on their optimum exposure levels in the wild.
But one thing is for sure, being non-nocturnal reptiles, they need all 3 types of lighting to live healthy, happy lives.
The most likely to enjoy a spell outside in an open topped, wire covered run where they can enjoy the heat, light and UVB from the sun in British summer time, European tortoises like Horsfield and Russian enjoy a more temperature climate. A UVB lamp (flood type lamps work best to ensure the UV light reaches every bit of the environment) that provides around 10% to 12% UVB light, and heating set to around 34 degrees as the basking end of the setup.
Slightly warmer, Med species like Marginated, greek and leopard tortoises enjoy 12% UVB for vitamin D3 synthesis and temperatures just above 34 degrees Celsius at the hot end.
Hotter temperatures are needed for metabolic function (34 degrees or more), but tortoises like Redfoots receive only a little UV in comparison. This is due to the blocking effect of the rainforest canopy and vegetation, meaning around 5/6% UV bulbs are just fine for these guys.
Mercury Vapour Bulbs
Designed and made to cater for all the needs of tortoises, Mercury vapour bulbs provide all the heat, light and UVB needed by your tortoise, all from one handy source!
While the components of a tortoise setup and be bought separately in the form of a UVB light, halogen light and various other overhead heat lights, a mercury vapour bulb has everything covered in one.
Available for the last 4 years, and the new generation just being released at the moment, these bulbs are superb for those keeping their tortoise in an open-topped environment like a tortoise table.
Position the bulb vertically (to protect it from the powerful convections currents inside when switched on), Mercury Vapour Bulbs work best at around 17" to 19" inches above the tortoise to achieve the right temperature without being so hot that your tortoise won’t want to spend time under it.
Tortoises don’t tend to bask much, so if you never find your tortoise under the light itself, you might want to consider moving it to their favourite spot. ALWAYS, put food under the bulb area so your tortoise gets the best rays whilst eating...to change food into calcium rich strong bones..
HI ALL NEW KEEPERS. I WOULD JUST LIKE TO SAY HOW WONDERFUL IT HAS BEEN MEETING YOU ALL THIS YEAR. THERE HAVE BEEN SOME OTHER HALVES WHO WERE REALLY NOT INTO IT AT THE START BUT WHEN IT CAME TO PICKING BABY UP THEY TOO FELL MADLY IN LOVE. ONE GENTLEMAN SAID HE HAD NEVER SEEN SUCH A BEAUTIFUL, PERFECTLY FORMED CREATURE IN HIS LIFE !!!
IT ALWAYS MAKES ME SO HAPPY KNOWING I HAVE CHOSEN THE RIGHT HOMES FOR MY PRECIOUS BABIES AND WITH ALL THE KNOWLEDGE I CAN GIVE I KNOW THEY WILL BE HERE LONG AFTER ALL OF US HAVE GONE. KNOWING CHILDRENS CHILDRENS CHILDREN WILL BE CARRYING ON THIS WONDERFUL LEGACY .
GERTIE IS AS YOU KNOW OVER 150 AND SHE IS STILL DOING REALLY WELL, SHE HAS GONE TO SLEEP WITH ALL THE GIRLS AND AS ALWAYS I ASK ALL THE ANGELS TO LET HER WAKE UP FOR ANOTHER YEAR..
SO, A HUGE THANK YOU TO ALL MY NEWBIES WHO HAD TO PUT UP WITH ME ASKING 100S OF QUESTIONS AND GIVING SO MUCH ADVICE THEIR EARS HURT!! BUT ULTIMATELY WENT AWAY WITH THE KNOWLEDGE THAT I AM ALWAYS READY AND WILLING TO HELP AS MUCH AS I CAN IN GIVING THESE WONDERFUL BABIES THE VERY BEST CARE AND START IN LIFE....
WELL IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN !!
HIBERNATION, A WORD THAT WORRIES MOST TOROTISE KEEPERS ; I KNOW I AM ONE OF THEM. BUT WE HAVE TO TRUST IN OUR TORTIES ,THEY KNOW WHAT TO DO THEY KNOW THE SEASONS HAVE CHANGED AND IT IS TIME TO HAVE A REST. ALL MY GIRLS AND BOYS WENT TO SLEEP A LITTLE WHILE AGO.THERE WERE ACOUPLE OF STAGGLERS BUT THEY TOO HAVE NOW GONE TO SLEEP.
I HAVE BEEN INUNDATED WITH QUESTIONS ABOUT HIBERNATION AND ALL I EXPLAIN IS HOW I HAVE DONE IT FOR OVER 36 YEARS AND IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN SUCCESSFUL . EACH KEEPER MUST MAKE THEIR OWN DECISION ON HOW THEY CHOOSE TO DO IT. BY DOING IT AS NATURAL AS POSSIBLE SEEMS TO BE THE BEST WAY TO GO AS THE TORTOISE GOES TO SLEEP IN IT'S OWN HOUSE FILLED WITH GOOD FRESH DRY HAY THAT HAS BEEN SHAKEN TO REMOVE DUST. THE HOUSE IS FLOOR LINED WITH LINO AND THE HOUSE HAS AIR HOLES. I ALWAYS OPEN THE DOOR AT LEAST 3 TIMES A WEEK TO ALLOW FOR FRESH AIR TO RUN THROUGH. I ALSO PUT A GOOD FEW DROPS OF, GOOD LAVENDER OIL, TEA TREE OIL, CITRONELLA OIL AND PEPPERMINT OIL ONTO THE TOP LAYER OF THE HAY; THIS WORKS TO KEEP IT FRESH AND KEEPS THE BUGS AWAY .
GERTIES 2 BABIES HAVE ALSO GONE TO SLEEP THIS WINTER!! THEY HAD A GREAT SEASON OUT SIDE(THEY WENT OUT IN MARCH FULL TIME) SO BECAUSE THEY ARE REALLY HARDENED OFF AND A GOOD WEIGHT WHEN THEY DECIDED TO BED DOWN I LET THEM DO IT.THEY ARE 2 1/2 NOW AND I KNOW IN THE WILD THEY WOULD DO IT AT ONLY A FEW MONTHS OLD SO I HAVE TO TRUST IN WHAT THEY DO HARD AS IT IS.
SO , ALL WE CAN DO IS WAIT ..... AND WAIT..... FOR SPRING TO ARRIVE. TO ONCE AGAIN REJOICE WHEN WE HEAR THAT FAMILIAR SCRATCHING SOUND OF OUR MUCH LOVED TORTIES WAKING AND WAITING FOR A BATH AND A CUDDLE.....
HI ALL, HATCHLINGS HAVE STARTED ARRIVING AND IT IS GOING TO BE ANOTHER WONDERFUL SEASON.MY BEAUTIFUL GERTIE HAS AGAIN LAID EGGS AND AFTER CANDLING THEM I AM AMAZED SOME OF THEM LOOK GOOD SO I'M KEEPING MY FINGERS CROSSED....
HI EVERYONE, WELL LETS HOPE SPRING IS FINALLY HERE.
SOME OF MY GIRLS AND BOYS HAVE WOKEN UP BUT HAVE NOT EATEN YET WHICH IS NORMAL.
GERTIE IS AWAKE AND HAS HAD SOME LETTUCE!! I AM SO PROUD OF HER I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO FEEDING HER LOTS OF BANANAS !!
LOLA HAS DONE REALLY WELL OVER THE WINTER AND NOW WEIGHS OVER 8 POUNDS !!
I HAVE BEEN CLEANING OUT THE PENS AND GETTING EVERYTHING READY FOR THE COMING SEASON.
LET ME KNOW HOW ALL YOUR TORTIES ARE DOING AND IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS I CAN HELP YOU WITH...