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1st Hibernation issues.

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#1 Guest_kerry_n_vera_*

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 10:53 AM

Hi Every1. Im new to the forum so dont laugh for my stupid issues.

I Have a 3 year old Hermann named Vera who I am planning on putting into hibernation this year for the first time. Vera has been fed up and is now going through wind-down time with her light being turned off sooner each day. She is having regular tepid water baths and enjoys them very much. I have a seperate fridge ready for her monitored and being kept to 5 degrees so not too cold.

So my question is will vera go to sleep before i box her up in the fridge, or do i box her up still awake?

Very worried that she might not make it and little bit scared to be honest!

Please help.
:-) :-)

#2 Guest_maz_*

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 08:04 PM

Hi Kerry,
First let me welcome you to the forum,and let me say that nobody will think your issues are stupid, I have Leopards which dont hibernate (thank goodness) so I really cant help with your problem but I am sure that someone with experience of hibernating will soon come on and help with your questions, the people on this forum really are a fantastic bunch and have helped me a lot in the past. Please dont be afraid to ask anything that worries you.
Love Maz:* :*

#3 Guest_Darran_*

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 08:50 PM

Hi Kerry,
Everything you are doing is correct.
I use the fridge method and my torts are still awake when I put them in the fridge.I use shoe boxes full of shredded paper and I can hear them burying down but within a few hours they settle.
I know hibernation is a worrying time but with careful monitoring eveything will be fine.How long are you planning to hibernate?
Good luck

#4 Guest_victor22_*

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 01:29 PM

I used the fridge method, satisfactorily, last year, but it is scary. It is also very off-putting to open the fridge and find the tortoise looking up at you. It took Victor about a week to finally go to sleep. In that time he did a quarter of a turn a day.

#5 Guest_kerry_n_vera_*

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 11:05 AM

Thanks guys.
I was only going to hibernate for about six weeks as its the first time im very scared!!!!

is 6 weeks long enough??


#6 Guest_victor22_*

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 11:25 AM

I was going to do 8 weeks last year and did 7. I think 6 is supposed to be the minimum.

#7 Guest_lorrylou_*

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 12:10 PM

Hi, many say that 8 weeks is the minimum because for a shorter time the stress of hibernation isn't balanced out by the benefits. If the tort seems fine after 6 weeks I'd encourage you to hang on for another few weeks if you can.


#8 Guest_kerry_n_vera_*

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 12:34 PM

How do i kno if she is doing fine after 6 weeks?? how often am i meant to weigh her whilst in hibernation and will taking her out of the fridge not wake her up??

All these questions. first timers eh??? lol.

#9 Guest_victor22_*

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 04:24 PM

I occasionally poked victor's leg to make sure he was still alive - they'll still move them. You can take them out and weigh them - it doesn't wake them up as long as you don't keep them out long. They are only supposed to lose 1% of their body weight per month. You are supposed to bring them out of hibernation if they do a wee (How do you know?) because they use the fluid in their bladder for reserves of water.
It's really awful when they go to sleep with their head hanging right out. I was glad that Victor pulled it back in his shell before finally going to a deep sleep.

#10 Guest_kerry_n_vera_*

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 05:21 PM

Thanks all for the help. I have got her a little vodka fridge ready for her tee hee. she likes the stuff.

I hope vera doesn't sleep with her head out she will look dead.

so if i hibernate her for 8 weeks i will only need to weigh her once in this time to check she doin ok.

no doubt i will be back asking loadsa questions bout when its time to wake her up again!


#11 Guest_lilacgeorge_*

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 07:27 PM

Hi Kerry, how you doing? Welcome to our great forum!

If the fridge has a glass door I would cover it with a tea-towel or something as I found that Mine wouldn't sleep until I did - maybe it was the light shining in or the activity going on outside the fridge... who knows? But he did settle of to sleep once I covered it up. As already said I would do 8 weeks as an absolute minimum. Make sure you wind down for around 4 weeks. And a few days before putting her in the fridge move her into a cooler room.

You will worry all the time she's in there... its natural but honestly they are better of for it (in my opinion and proved in my case!)

There is no such thing as a silly question - well not on this forum anyway so ask away!!!! You might ask something that someone else was thinking of ;-)

#12 Guest_kerry_n_vera_*

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 11:58 PM

We Have been winding down for a few days now.

How many days are you supposed to stop feeding em for before she hibernates???

Oh I bloody hate not knowing if im doing it right n it scares me potty. So is the fridge method the best way to go then??

#13 Guest_victor22_*

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 02:30 PM

I find the website www.thetortoisehouse.com has a very clear article on hibernation, covering different methods, wind down and waking up.

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