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Collared brumation questions

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Posted by: Schell at Thu Nov 17 23:48:29 2011  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Schell ]  
   

Hello everyone,

I suppose this is my introductory post, although I have spoken to a number of you individually. I have also been a lurker for a couple of years on this forum, so I feel like I know a lot of you.

Please excuse the length of this post, but I figure folks may enjoy a discussion amidst all the inactivity. I'm also admittedly anxious about this whole brumation process since this is the first time I've bred collards. I have read boat-loads on this forum and in the archives about brumating collareds but still have a couple of questions:

1) What kind of humidity do you maintain during brumation?

I am of a couple of minds on this. The first is they're desert animals and are used to arid conditions and subjecting a collared to a cold and relatively moist environment seems counter intuitive. In this compromised state, they would not be able to fight off any respiratory infections so its best to keep them drier.

On the other hand, lets think for a second about where collards brumate in the wild. Typically under rocks in relatively shallow burrows that can be close to the surface. When the rains/snow comes, these soils become saturated. I've seen some photos of people who have flipped brumating lizards in the wild and the surrounding soils are completely saturated.

Also it seems like some animals drink if offered water, others don't. Wouldn't keeping humidity up alleviate concerns about dehydration during brumation? Also keeping mucous membranes in the lungs and throat moist would alleviate irritation and potential PREVENT routes of infection.

What do you all think? Does anyone have any actual data on what their humidity is in their brumation enclosure of choice?

2) How thin is too thin to brumate a collared?

The obvious answer is if you have to ask, its probably too thin. Well ok. but there's got to be some gray area here. I ask because my male was extremely active the entire three weeks between the time I stopped his food and the time I cut off the heat completely. He began this period with a nice thick tail and round belly. During the next couple of weeks, he lost a fair amount of weight off his tail and some roundness in his abdomen, but after-all isn't the point to clear the gut? He was still 35 grams when he finally went down which seems to be within the normal weight range and isn't too disconcerting.

I was over-anxious about leaving food in the gut before brumation, and perhaps should have been more aggressive in cutting back the temps faster, but I wanted to make absolutely sure the gut was empty.

Thanks for any insights you can provide.

Cheers,

Rob


   

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