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Mild Weather Warning!
Posted: 06/02/2010 by TPGDave

Hi all,

If you are in the South, it's been really mild the last week or so, so if you are using the box method or an outhouse or loft, please check your tortoises this weekend (I know you will be anyway).

There is a cold snap forecast for next week, it might be safer to make alternative arrangements for any that are found to be active.

I went and checked the tortoises after work last night. 4 Hermanns tortoises awake, (all males!). The temperature where they've been hibernating had risen to 12 degrees.
They'd walked out of their chosen dig in spot and were sitting under their basking lamps, as if waiting for them to come on! These guys were all bathed (Reptiboost!) and basked and are all eating.

They've been joined today by ALL my big female Hermanns.

No sign of any Horsfields or box turtles!

Re: Mild Weather Warning!
Posted: 06/02/2010 by tpgAli

You beat me to it Dave, i was going to put a similar post up warning of the fluctuating weather changes here. I actually dug all my russians up out of hibernation in the greenhouse last month as the ground was getting damp after all the snow and rain, if i hadnt of dug them up they would still be there. You wont see yours till spring i reckon :-)


Re: Mild Weather Warning!
Posted: 08/02/2010 by TPGDave

And now it's snowing. Ho humClick and drag me down to the editor

Re: Mild Weather Warning!
Posted: 08/02/2010 by tpgAli

Its stopped snowing here but its flipping freezing, ive got my greenhouse heaters burning at maximum just to keep my russians warm enough not to want to dig down again.


Re: Mild Weather Warning!
Posted: 09/02/2010 by Mac

Hi Dave,

What are you Hermanns feeding on this time of year? I've just got my 3 year old out of hibernation but I'm finding it difficult to find a good selection of weeds to feed him on.


Re: Mild Weather Warning!
Posted: 09/02/2010 by TPGDave

Hi Mac,

I got a bit wise this year, I have outdoor enclosures for my box turtles and they're basically just weed patches (boxies like a more humid environment that Med tortoises) so I threw a cold frame over one in the autumn and the weeds hve survived pretty well.  I think a lot of it depends how far sout you are, I've seen Chickweed, a few sow thistle, bristly ox toungue and mallow growing when out and about. I also feed mine cleavers (stickybud) in small amounts but a lot of people seem to have stopped doing this because of high goistogen levels in the plant (however the Gallium family of plants make up a third of the wild diet of Hermanns tortoises in some natural locations, so I figure a reasonable amount is ok).

I've also got huge patches of Campanula (Bell Flower) in the garden and these are pretty much evergreen. I also grow my own watercress in my garden pond. If you get a bag or two from the supermarket and throw it in a bucket or bowl of water outside, it grows like mad, it likes cold water and is fresher than the shop stuff.

Re: Mild Weather Warning!
Posted: 10/02/2010 by VivTPG

That's a good idea Dave about the water cress will try that this weekend!


Re: Mild Weather Warning!
Posted: 10/02/2010 by TPGDave

It might look like its all died off at first Viv but leave it for a couple of weeks and it sprouts new growth. The water only needs to be a few inches deep.

I found this out because I once left a bag of watercress in the fridge too long and it sprouted roots.Click and drag me down to the editor  For some reason I chucked it in the pond and now its there year round, it seems to like the cold too.


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