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First Hibernation Q How long to wind down


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#1 Guest_Guest_Ping_*_*

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 01:55 PM

Hi there. I am new to this hibernation thing so would like some help please. I have 2 Hermanns both 17 months old. I have a wine cooler sorted and have been monitoring the temp on that for 2 weeks now and all seems fine with that. I started to wind them down, day 1 being yesterday, however I am not sure how long to wind them down for before putting them in the fridge? When reading the notes on hibernation on this website I am not sure if I should follow the time period for 1 year old or the 2 year old, can anyone help please?

#2 Guest_Lin_*

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 12:58 PM

I wound down my 18 month old for four weeks. He was still pooing in the fourth week.

#3 Guest_arnhib_*

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 01:18 PM


Hi there. I am new to this hibernation thing so would like some help please. I have 2 Hermanns both 17 months old. I have a wine cooler sorted and have been monitoring the temp on that for 2 weeks now and all seems fine with that. I started to wind them down, day 1 being yesterday, however I am not sure how long to wind them down for before putting them in the fridge? When reading the notes on hibernation on this website I am not sure if I should follow the time period for 1 year old or the 2 year old, can anyone help please?
Hi
Yes 4 weeks is ok for that age, just in case you ar not sure of the way it's done
It's very important that the tortoise's digestive system is empty of all food when it goes into hibernation but at the same time, that it's fully hydrated. If the tortoise's stomach contains food during hibernation, it can rot inside it and eventually cause death. Tortoises need to empty out for *approx.* 4 weeks prior to hibernating but must be given the opportunity to drink regularly. When you are winding your tortoise down, it means *no food at all*, not just a little bit because he is looking at you with pleading eyes.



Below is a weekly guide to winding down:

The tortoise is to be given *no* food during any stage of the wind down period, this is very important. It is also very important that they are given ample opportunity to drink and are fully hydrated. Bath your tortoise every other day which as well as hydrating him, will encourage him to empty himself out.



WEEK 1

At the beginning of the wind down period, tortoises need to have day length and temperatures that are approximately the same as summertime. This will keep their digestive systems working fully and therefore pass any recently eaten matter through the system. You may find, due to the weather, that they are slightly slower than they were in the summer but be prepared for some pleading looks. DON'T give in!



WEEK 2

During week 2, you can keep the temperatures the same as week 1 but in lesser quantities. Therefore, you should be aiming to turn the heat/uv lamps on a little later in the morning and off a little earlier in the evening. This will simulate their shorter day lengths in the wild. Towards the end of week 2, make the "daylight hours" shorter still making it a gradual process.



WEEK 3

By week 3, you will find that your tortoise is coming out from his hiding place less and less. You can now leave the basking lamps off completely and just have a gentle background heat available such as a tubular heater if in an outbuilding or your central heating if it is inside the house.



WEEK 4

During the beginning of the final week, any background heat should be turned down to a bare minimum. You will probably find that the tortoise is not coming out at all now and is inactive. Towards the end of this week, give your tortoise its final bath (not warm enough to stimulate him) and make sure he is thoroughly dried. Place the tortoise in the box that he will be hibernating in. Place the box in a cool place such as an unheated room or a safe outbuilding. If you are using the fridge method, this will cool him down further which will more closely match the fridge temperature. At the end of the 4 weeks (and as long as he isn't still passing anything in his bath water), the tortoise should be ready to go into its hibernation quarters. Make sure you weigh your tortoise before it goes into hibernation






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