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first hibernation

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#1 Guest_titanya_*

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 08:54 PM

Hi all
my tort is now 3 years old and almost 6 1nches chin to tail.Last winter he went into a kind of semi hibernation for a couple of months where he only came out of his box about once a week for a drink and to eat.he lives in an enclosure in my living room with a heat lamp and a box to hide in .he spends a lot of the summer in the garden and is in good condition .he eats like a horse and loves to run about the house.my question is should i consider putting him into proper hibernation this year and how would i do it
thanx titanya

#2 Guest_lorrylou_*

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 01:01 PM


Hi Titanya the above is a link to a comprehensive guide to hibernation produced by the Tortoise Trust. This covers every aspect of hibernation. I printed this out as its quite a lot to read.

If hibernating, you will want to check your tortoise is the right weight for his length on the Jackson Ratio, details of which can be foudn on this site and also on the TT site.

Personally I hibernate my tortoises in a fridge. Before hibernation they need a wind down period in which food is withdrawn and heat and light reduced.

If you decide not to hibernate then I would advise you to keep your tortoise warm and active all winter, to do so you need UV light stimulation to copy a mediterranean summer.

I could easily be wrong as I'm no expert but I suspect you might have been a bit lucky last year with how your tort spent the winter.


#3 Guest_victor22_*

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 01:35 PM

The link in the above post is really good. The trouble with hibernating tortoises by the box method is that our winters are getting too warm. Last February the temperature went up to 13 degrees. Above ten and the torts can wake enough to start their metabolism working, but not enough to eat, so they start to use up their reserves. This is why the fridge (not freezer!) method is becoming more popular. I hibernated Victor in the fridge last year and Bentley will be joining him this year. It's a good talking point too, because people cannot believe it!

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