Males tortoises, especially, may pace back and forth along the same stretch of wall. They often turn inward, half climbing on the wall and scraping their shells. This is normal behavior for a tortoise, even if it drives you crazy. Your tortoise is not trying to get out or find a mate. It's what they do at this time of year when the testosterone is up. Not to worry; your tortoise is just fine. … [Read more...] about Is Your Tortoise Pacing?
Is Your Tortoise Pacing?
Before brumation, be sure to hydrate your tortoise well. A soak or two should do it. You want your tortoise to sit in lukewarm water that comes about half way up its shell. Place the tortoise in the water and wait. Stand by to remove the tortoise when it's ready. It may drink for 20 or 30 minutes or more. It submerges its head and takes water in through the nose and mouth (also the cloaca, the rear opening). Watch the throat to see your tortoise swallow. Let it stay as long as it wants. … [Read more...] about Soaking Your Tortoise
Some tortoises are already brumating and others not quite yet. Learn more about brumation such as why your tortoise should brumate outside in a well-insulated burrow (in their native habitat). Look at the Brumation PowerPoint presented at Tortoise Group's September meeting. … [Read more...] about Brumation
During rainy weather, temporarily cover the burrow with a tarp or plastic sheet, being careful that the water will not run into the burrow opening or onto the area where the tortoise is brumating. Weight the tarp with rocks or other heavy items in case of high winds (example shown in picture). Remove the cover when the rain clears to avoid trapping warmth under it. Heavy, rain-saturated soil could eventually leak water into the burrow. So, it's worth a bit of effort to keep the precious … [Read more...] about Rainy Winter Weather
Many people are concerned about the below-freezing temperatures. Tortoises that are in well-insulated burrows will be fine. The burrows will do their insulation job. To cut down on air circulation, you may wish to ball up some paper and put it in the burrow opening while the temperatures are so cold. (Don't seal the burrow.) Remove the paper by February. If your tortoise does not have much protection, put him in a cardboard box using the following guidelines. … [Read more...] about Cold January Weather