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RE: What a warm fall we've had

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Posted by: vichris at Wed Dec 2 21:18:06 2009  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by vichris ]  

>>Just finally brought the boxies in last weekend, soaked them and weighed them all. I haven't seen them above ground for several weeks, but it really hasn't been that cold yet. They had all gained weight nicely and looked great, so they should be worry free for winter. I put them in the garage for awhile because my basement hasn't even really cooled down yet. This is the warmest November I can remember in Iowa. I don't even have ice on my koi pond yet and just took the pumps out last weekend too, just because I figured its time. I think I will leave them in the garage untill it gets bitter cold then move them to the basement to their usual spot by the sliding glass door, but thinking about leaving them in the garage for a colder brumation this year, to maybe help stimulate breeding next year, anyone have ideas or oppinion about that? please chime in. The garage is attached to the house but it does get very cold, definately below freezing at times in the middle of winter, if its' -30 outside i'm sure it's 10-20F in the garage maybe lower? There are times when the ice won't even melt off our cars in the garage all night, so I know it's well below freezing. Usually I would have moved them to the basement at the end of Oct. ususally around Halloween time. In the middle of winter I have taken temps in their tubs in the basement between 50-55, but maybe that really isn't cold enough for true brumation? I could put them in the refrigerator in our basement, less beer space, more turtle space.
>>Any thoughts, ideas, oppinions would be helpful to making a decision. thanks guys
>>Jeff Benfer

Hey Jeff,

We've had a cool start for fall here in the southwest. We even had snow before Halloween which is really unusual here. I haven't seen any of my turtles for over 6 weeks now. I've put a good amount of fall leaves in my enclosure. We are right about a mile high where I live so we see daytime temps in the upper 40 to low 60. This year we have mostly seen low 50 daytime temps. Nights are in the high teens to mid 20s. We'll occasionally get down to the single digits.

This is the first year my turtles are spending the winter in their new enclosure. I built it on the south facing side of my yard which is where most of my turtles brumated when they had the run of the yard. Ive always been suprised at how shallow most of my turtles dig in during the winter. Most of them are just below the surface so they are pretty exposed to some really cold temps. When I was a kid I used to dig up my turtles during the winter just to satisfy my curiosity and was always suprised at how shallow they were. I remember some pretty bad winters back then too.

I always brumated my snakes at lower temps also. I never let them get down into the 30s but they often were expose to mid to low 40's (I raised thayeri and some other kingsnakes). I never had any problems with them breeding and I always had good fertility with my snakes. Most of my competitors brumated in the 50-60s and often had their females lay slugs.

I would say if you have some good substrate for them to burrow in and maybe put their tub on a peice of carpet or something to give a little insulation underneath they should be good in the garage.

BTW my sister from Nebraska and her family were here for Thanksgiving. They mentioned how cold it was here compared to the Omaha area.

Hey did you have any luck finding any of that "low fat high protein product" from your local woods? I did.

"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane"- Marcus Aurelius


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