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Bathing my herman

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#1 Guest_BenImo_*

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 01:51 PM

Not sure if this is the right place to post this but I am very confused. We bought a 4 year old Herman in August who has been inside all his life so we have spent the last few weeks with him in and out of the house. I think we have that bit sorted now with next year him going out more. We were told not to hibinate him as he's never hibinated before but having read the forum and hibernation advice I think we should go for it. However, I can't seem to get the bath bit. He just tries to get out the whole time. What temperature should the water be? and how deep - should it be up to the bottom of his shell?

Apart from the bathing he seems to be active and eating but I'm worried he's not getting enough fluid to remain hydrated.


#2 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 03:34 PM

Hi Ben

Most keepers when they get a new tortoise later in the year, they dont hibernate them, as they really need to know the health of the tortoise well before entering into hibernation. Plus the fact they are scared:0)
Firstly where did you get your tortoise from please?
If from a shop, then the tortoise might well have hibernated before, as they come from tortoise farms. If you got him/her from a breeder then the chances are the tortoise has not hibernated, if its a hatchling.
If he/she were mine, I would worry about hibernation a little later on. As its a little early for small tortoises to hibernate. Its always best to do this at the coldest time of the year. Which would be winding your tortoise down in early December, so he/she is asleep during Jan and Feb. As eight weeks is the recomended length of time for a first time hibernation.
If you are confident and you think your tortoise is healthy, then there is no real reason why you cant hibernate this year.

The water should be tepid and up to their chins, which would depend on their size:0)
Some tortoises dont like being bathed and rush to get out. You just have to be firm:0) Also make sure the container you are using is not clear, as if they can see out of it, they want to be out of it:0)

#3 Guest_BenImo_*

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 04:02 PM

thank you for this, i will be firmer with him over bathing. He is 4 and we bought him from a pet shop who said he had been with a breeder before and has never been hibernated. We'll try see how thinks go later in the year when it gets colder. LEt's hope there are some more nice days to have him outside as at the moment we're only doing a few hours at a time as he's never been out before apparently

#4 Guest_Pat_*

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 04:03 PM

Hi Ben, welcome to the forum.

Mine sometimes love their bath and sometimes they dont - sometimes I see them drink and sometimes I dont. But I have found that if I put the bath (a red plastic celebrations tub) in their table half under their heat lamp they will stay a little longer. Obviously you need to keep an eye on them as they can tip over in their scramble for freedom.

Also I have a couple of shallow walk through plant saucers around their table and their outdoor enclosure so they can have a drink when they want. Mud is a tell tale sign that they have used it!

You will get to know your new additions preferences. It is usually a good time to do their weekly/monthly weigh in as well.

Hope this helps, not experienced enough to answer your hibernation query - it is our first time this year!

Pat x

#5 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 05:05 PM

Hi Ben and welcome to the forum,
I would agree with what Sandy has said and wouldn't have much to add to her great advice. Providing your tort is healthy and is a good weight for it's size (see Jackson Ratio link above) you should consider hibernating it in a couple of months. Best of luck Ben.
Kind Regards

#6 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 05:20 PM

Ben it does depend on where you live in the country as to whether you leave your tortoise outside or not. But if he/she is in a secure area, and has a house of some sort to go to if the temps drop. He/she should be fine.
I live in Kent and yesterday, I had all my 28 hatchlings outside in a coldframe and a large rabbit cage. And this is one of the few times I have had them out, due to me being on hols or the weather has been bad. They were all still up and about at 3-30pm. I get them out when and where I can. An hour in sunshine (which it was here yesterday, not today) is worth four or five of being inside.
My last years hatchlings I had left have been outside since May with no extra heat, other than a coldframe. I brought them in today. They also will go out again if we have some sun.

#7 Guest_jay_*

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 05:24 PM

Hi Ben
welcome to the forum
bathing times can be different for each tort,my torts nearly always have a long drink at first my torts wanted to get out straight away i dont think they were used to having baths but now they are used to there routine and they wallow in it and stay in for ages,i bought my second tortoise Becky at the beginning of this year and i will be hibernating her at the same time as my male tort,i personally would over winter your tort this year and go for hibernation next year as you will be able to do regular weight checks and get to know your tort first and this year you can ask lots of quesions ready for next year.
Jay,H and Becky

#8 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 05:58 PM

Hi Ben,

Welcome to the forum. biggrin.gif
Our little guys are all so different! rolleyes.gif
It depends on the time of day I bath my little guys as to how they behave, if I get them up early (I have to go to work), pop them under their lamp for 1/2hr before bathing them everyone is usually happy, they will wallow for a while and then have a bowel movement, if I leave them later.. well then they are far too busy for this bathing lark and there will be a torty scramble to get out!! laugh.gif
If I had to get them up and bath them straight away without popping them under the lamp they would just wallow in the lukewarm water and forget the bowel movement!! laugh.gif

Paula x

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