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help with hibernation

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#1 Guest_joanne5848_*

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 10:18 PM


i am planning on hibernating my tort next week and was going to do the fridge method but due to difficulties regulating the temp i have decided against this. i am now thinking about hibernating him in a box in my loft as it is quite cold up there but not too cold. at the moment the temp reads 12 degrees. is this too warm? obviously if the temp is not suitable then i may just overwinter him this year just to be on the safe side. how does anyone feel about this method or is it too dodgy? please someone i need some help asap.

thanks joanne

#2 Guest_lou lou_*

Guest_lou lou_*
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Posted 26 November 2007 - 12:20 AM

Hi, Yes 12 dedgrees would be too high. Ideally you want to be aiming around 5 degrees.


The critical factor here is TEMPERATURE. Temperature is absolutely critical to a successful and healthy hibernation. Insulation merely slows down the rate of heat exchange, it does not prevent it altogether. Thus, no matter how well you insulate, if you subject your tortoise's hibernation box to sub-zero temperatures for an extended period it will still get too cold. Similarly, if you allow your tortoise's hibernation box to get too warm for too long it will begin to use up valuable fat and energy reserves, and may even wake up early.

These critical temperatures are:

MAXIMUM = 50 F or l0 C
MINIMUM = 32 F or 0 C (Freezing Point)

Hope this helps!

#3 Guest_lorrylou_*

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 06:12 PM

Hi Joanne

I think that its very difficult to get a temperature low enough that will stay in the right range for long enough without using a fridge of some kind. What with global warming and central heating and insulated houses etc its likely that most locations are going to go above the range too often and for too long. A brick outhouse might be alright. The problem is that your tort could use up reserves becoming active at the 'wrong ' time.

If you are going to hibernate your tort anywhere its best to establish a reasonably stable temp for a period of days before you start the hibernation and 12C is definitely too warm for a tort to think he has to hibernate. Most lofts have loads of heat in them that rises through the house.

Filling plastic bottles with water an d placing them in a fridge can help to stabillise the temp. Hope this helps ab it.

#4 Guest_pies_*

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Posted 04 December 2007 - 11:45 AM

I wouldn't recommend a loft. Apart from rising heat from your house, there will be sunny days that can warm even the coldest loft.

That's a good idea with the water bottles so long as they don't rupture. But it has given me a mind to get some freezer blocks for the purpose, in case needed.

#5 Guest_squirrelann_*

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 06:30 PM

I am fridging my youngsters but my adults who have been hibernating for years are in the garage the temps in there are anything up to 12c but they've not stirred but the babies wouldn't go down at that temp so into the fridge they went.

#6 Guest_pies_*

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 06:58 PM

It's been getting a bit warm in my garage too, but my 2 haven't stirred at all. Gone down below 10deg now though.

Looks like we could be in for a cold snap. Forecast for Tuesday night is -7. From one extreme to the other in a few days.

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