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Hibernate or not ?


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#1 Guest_michele_*

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 11:50 AM

My tortoise was hatched in 08-Carapace measures 4.4cm and her weight is 22grms i know she/he is very small.Would you hibernate this year ?

#2 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 09:26 PM

Hi Michelle. The weight of this tortoise would appear to be about right for his length accroding to the Jackson ratio which is a very rough guide. The measurement of carapace length has to be very accurate at that size for the ratio to help much at all. There is a lot to take into account including how well you know this tortoise, what kind of summer he has had and are you confident that he is in good health generally? If you've only had him a short time then maybe you would feel more confident keeping him up.

Its a very personal decision that every keeper has to make. I'm in favour of hibernation but I don't always hibernate all of mine every year. Many of us think its better for them to have hibernation but the fact is that its not essential and some keepers don't ever do it all.

I've never found any serious research on this subject but many people believe that in the first couple of years the risk is higher.

I'm not advising against hibernating though and its useful to get different opinions and read up on it before making a decision.

#3 Guest_michele_*

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 10:02 PM

QUOTE (Ozric @ Aug 27 2009, 10:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi Michelle. The weight of this tortoise would appear to be about right for his length accroding to the Jackson ratio which is a very rough guide. The measurement of carapace length has to be very accurate at that size for the ratio to help much at all. There is a lot to take into account including how well you know this tortoise, what kind of summer he has had and are you confident that he is in good health generally? If you've only had him a short time then maybe you would feel more confident keeping him up.

Its a very personal decision that every keeper has to make. I'm in favour of hibernation but I don't always hibernate all of mine every year. Many of us think its better for them to have hibernation but the fact is that its not essential and some keepers don't ever do it all.

I've never found any serious research on this subject but many people believe that in the first couple of years the risk is higher.

I'm not advising against hibernating though and its useful to get different opinions and read up on it before making a decision.
Thanks very much,will probably not hibernate this year as i have only had him a few months,will think about it ! Thanks


#4 Guest_lilacgeorge_*

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 10:24 AM

QUOTE (Ozric @ Aug 27 2009, 10:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi Michelle. The weight of this tortoise would appear to be about right for his length accroding to the Jackson ratio which is a very rough guide. The measurement of carapace length has to be very accurate at that size for the ratio to help much at all. There is a lot to take into account including how well you know this tortoise, what kind of summer he has had and are you confident that he is in good health generally? If you've only had him a short time then maybe you would feel more confident keeping him up.

Its a very personal decision that every keeper has to make. I'm in favour of hibernation but I don't always hibernate all of mine every year. Many of us think its better for them to have hibernation but the fact is that its not essential and some keepers don't ever do it all.

I've never found any serious research on this subject but many people believe that in the first couple of years the risk is higher.

I'm not advising against hibernating though and its useful to get different opinions and read up on it before making a decision.



Ozzie, you know I love you dearly but I am going to disagree with a statement you have made - nowt personal or reflective on you ...... sorry wub.gif wub.gif wub.gif wub.gif (be warned...I will be using the 'in the wild' statement lots... rolleyes.gif )

'but the fact is that its not essential and some keepers don't ever do it all'

It is essential as it's part of their evolution. Tortoises would naturally do this in the wild and even captive bred torts start to wind down as the colder months hit us. They would hibernate regardless of their weight, health etc as it is part of natures process of elimination. It benefits them as it restricts their food intake - they are designed to only eat for certain months of the year - feeding them continuosly would speed up their growth and contribute to lumpy shells and MBD. I would reference this but have unfortunatly lent my books out to a new owner!!! rolleyes.gif

We have a choice with captive bred tortoises - but it is just that - OUR choice not the torts! It is unfair not to hibernate them just because we are scared!!! Would you keep your dog indoors all the time cos you are too scared to go out in the dark? Would you keep your horse stabled 24/7 cos you are too scared he may throw you? Would you keep your child indoors 24/7 cos you are too scared he'll get kidnapped/murdered/infections????? I think the answers to these questions would be no so why keep your tortoise awake year round because you are scared!!! If you really don't want to hibernate then surely you are better of choosing a breed that doesn't hibernate - harsh but true!

I agree though that if the tortoise is unhealthy - ie, receiving vet treatment, RNS, shell rot etc then yes it's best not to hibernate them. As for the weight issue - according to the JR Tally is 'seriously' underweight.....she is not - it really does depend on their shape and size, as you have mentioned the JR is a rough guide and should be treated as such. In fact when I got Tally in the September she wasn't eating at all, come december when I hibernated frank, she still wasn't eating, she'd been checked by a vet and was deemed healthy enough so I hibernated her - kind of a do or die situation really! At this stage she hadn't eaten for over 3 mths and yes her weight was probably down. I hibernated her and she woke in March as a pig!!! LOL!!! Only joking (obviously) but the hibernation obviously kick started her metablism and she now eats really well. I also got Teefa and Archie in the autumn and still hibernated them as the breeder assured me they were healthy and I had no reason to disbelieve her.

Basically I would advise that if your tort is new or you are too scared too hibernate then just hibernate them for the minimum 8 weeks. It really does benefit them health and growth wise.

There, I've said it, I shall step down from my soap box now, but before I go...if anyone is sitting there thinking - excuse me you have no right to tell us to hibernate...just think to yourself...do you have the right to stop a natural process? If you really don't want to hibernate please reconsider your breed of choice....

This is not aimed at anyone so please do not take offense! It is my personal opinion and as Oz has already said different opinions help!
wub.gif

#5 Guest_michele_*

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 11:47 AM

Oh i'm not scared to hibernate at all,i was worried as she is so small and having to stop feeding her/him for so long,he / she would be so underweight.Oh dear have i started something here ??????????????????????????

#6 Guest_layla_*

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 02:56 PM

QUOTE (michele @ Aug 28 2009, 12:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Oh i'm not scared to hibernate at all,i was worried as she is so small and having to stop feeding her/him for so long,he / she would be so underweight.Oh dear have i started something here ??????????????????????????



Hi hun, no you've not started anything, different opinions that's all.

I have had Ethel since january, she has not been hibernated at all, she is only 2, so I have only had her a few months. but I know my little one and feel that if she was unwell or not eating enough then i would spot it.

But i am determined to hiberate her this year as 'I' feel this is natural for them, if Ethel was poorly in anyway I would keep her awake. I feel with the guidance of the more experienced keepers on this forum I will be ok....don't get me wrong i will be as worried and stressed as the next person, and am planning on doing the minimum of 8 weeks as suggested, but if all ok will leave her for longer.

But as others have said this is personal choice, if you feel that your little one is to small or you feel that it is not fit enough then I do understand your worries and I to would keep it awake during the colder months.

Jacqui

X

P.S. Dawn I only spotted the ITW statement once.....hehehehehehe x

#7 Guest_michele_*

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 03:49 PM

THank you Layla ! still thinking about it ???????

#8 Guest_Hermie + Pebble_*

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 07:07 PM



It's what they do naturally. If you fridge them then they are checked daily as you need to open the door to refresh the air in there, without disturbing them though, but this again, in the wild (sorry) other animals are wondering around making a noise etc, so there wouldn't be complete silence, they can be taken out if they wake.

(sound way more confident than I will be come winter!! wink.gif )

#9 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 07:34 PM

No problems here! A little debate is always good and everything is in friendship and the common cause of the welfare of the tortoises we keep.

There isn't really a great difference between me and Dawn on this subject, but I guess I'm a little more cautious. Its well worth doing all our prep carefully for hibernation. For a 22g tortoise you really don't want a very long wind-down period if you decide to go ahead. Sometimes the advice given is so many weeks/days without food before hibernation going by how old the tortoise is, but I think we should take account as well of size.

During wind-down you wouldn't want your tortoise to use any of his reserves up by making it too long. This can happen if your tortoise is indoors being kept indoors where its very warm and maybe quite bright for 12 hours a day with UV lamps. The light and heat is stimulating the tortoise and keeping his metabolism going when there isn't any food allowed. This can lead to the wrong kind of weight loss pre-hibernation.

In the uK we are mostly very anxious to make sure the digestive system is completely empty because of a fear of food rotting in there. Keepers in Europe don't place so much importance on this.

Whatever risks there might be to hibernation these can be minimized by taking care with our arrangements. For me this involves quite a lot of weighing before starting wind-down, during the wind-down and again when hibernation starts and during that as well. A rate of loss of weight that seems alarming in terms of the tortoises' total weight indicates to me that I should re-consider what to do next.

Now I'm going to try and avoid too much worrying about hibernation for a few weeks anyway!

#10 Guest_lilacgeorge_*

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 10:00 PM

LOL!!! Well said Oz!!! I'm also gonna relax and enjoy the time I have left with my little shelled ones rather than worry about something thats not gonna be happening for a few months yet....

(Thanks for not taking offense! See, thats why this is such a fan-blooming-tastic forum! Anywhere else you'd get ripped apart for even daring to suggest a difference of opinion! wacko.gif )

#11 Guest_kaybee_*

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 12:44 PM

Hi Michele, I have a little one the same size/weight as yours and I will be hibernating her along with the others, as long as she stays healthy as she is now.
This is also my first hibernation, I will be using the fridge method and taking as much advice from everyone on this forum as I can!
I feel that with all the help and support you get on here I can hibernate them all with alot more confidence! biggrin.gif

#12 Guest_michele_*

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 01:35 PM

QUOTE (kaybee @ Aug 29 2009, 01:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi Michele, I have a little one the same size/weight as yours and I will be hibernating her along with the others, as long as she stays healthy as she is now.
This is also my first hibernation, I will be using the fridge method and taking as much advice from everyone on this forum as I can!
I feel that with all the help and support you get on here I can hibernate them all with alot more confidence! biggrin.gif
Wow you are the first person who has a tiny tort like mine,apart from a friend who has a slightly bigger one .I know she isn't going to hibernate hers,that's why i wasn't sure what to do,i would also use the fridge method as i have one in the garage so ideal.Thanks





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