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#1 Guest_paulakim_*

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 10:40 PM

hi all, right i,m confused aleady about this hibernation thing. are you all talking about a normal food fridge? :unsure: and if so is there any other way they can be hibernated, as i hav,nt got room for a fridge and how low does the temp have to be so as they,ll hibernate. and does hibernation just happen when the temp drops to this figure? am a bit worried about this hibernation thing allready an i hav,nt even go my tortoise yet!!!

#2 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 07:58 PM

Hi There,
If you click on the Hibernation link at the top of your screen you will find a very useful guide to hibernation. If you are unable to use the Fridge Method of hibernation there is also the Box Method. The same hibernation guide as above applies only this time you put your tortoise in box of topsoil and place it with a lid in a cool,quiet and dry place were temperatures reach no less than 0 degrees and no more than 9 degrees. A thermostat can be used to check the temperatures but they must never be allowed go outside this range. You will also need to put some ventilation holes in the box and seal it up against rodents. If after reading the hibernation guide you have any further questions, please feel free to ask and we will be delighted to help. Best of luck ;)
Kind Regards
Freddy :D

#3 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 09:44 PM


Hi Paula,

As temperatures outside drop and light levels decrease in the autumn the little guys would naturally begin to prepare to hibernate. As body temperature reduces torty slows down. At temperatures of below 10C torty will barely move at all. As temperature decreases all bodily functions are reduced. At 5C heatbeat is slowed to 4 beats per minute.

In Wolfgang Wegehaupts book (naturalistic keeping and breeding of Hermanns tortoises) he also says that metabolism begins to work at 8C, therefore he recommends a hibernation temperature range of between 3C and 7C.
This is why so many of us use the fridge for hibernation ideal torty temperature!

Paula x

#4 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 10:35 PM

Providing temperatures don't consistently reach 0 degrees or 9 degrees your tort should be fine! The ambient temperature range tends to be broader with the Box Method as the hibernation location is frequently in a shed , attic or outhouse so is subject to our varying climatic temps. But topsoil temperature also plays a part. The Box Method is a little more natural than the fridge. Haven't said that the temp. range I have given you is about as conservative as it gets for the Box Method. Indeed, I have successfully hibernated my own tortoise this way for over 30 years. And that can't be bad, can it? Best of luck. ;)
Kind Regards
Freddy :D
P.S Personally, I like to talk more from experience than the written word.

#5 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 05:38 PM

:laugh: Do we ever agree Freddy?! :D

You have done a great job with Billie Jo. One day I shall speak from greater experience... but in the meantime I can only share what I read, and what I have learned about my own torts. :laugh:

Paula x

#6 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 06:00 PM

Hi Paula,
You have been on this forum giving advice long before I was ever here and your knowledge is exemplary. We are all learning all the time. Best of luck ;)
Kind Regards
Freddy :D

#7 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 10:10 PM

Freddy you ol' flannelpuss! :wub:

Paula x

#8 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 12:25 AM

Hi Paulakim

if you are just starting out with tortoise keeping and haven't even got your tort yet then you might decide to keep the tortoise up all winter this year. I think hibernation is the best thing for them but only if we are clear on the health of the tortoise.

Basically, yes a tortoise will slow down and all his functions will reduce or stop when temps get low enough.

Billie Jo is primed for hibernation by natural conditions. She is also used to hibernating each year and it would probably be difficult to keep her up. Billie Jo has made an adaptation to the conditions which nature has provided where Freddie is and this is inspiring but a lot of tortoises from that era were unable to adapt and have not survived. Freddie has attuned himself to Billie Jo but this doesn't happen overnight.

Its your call of course and we'll offer some support here whatever you decide.

#9 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 01:59 AM

Personally, I can't see any reason not to hibernate a tortoise if it is healthy and a good weight ;)
Freddy :D
P.S Billiejo is not unusual. All tortoises need to hibernate.

#10 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 12:16 AM

Hi Oz,
Thank you for your most kind and astute comments. I suppose I've been lucky with Billiejo over the years. I have always tried to keep things as natural as possible for her. I can understand that for others hibernation can be a worrying time , especially for those with younger tortoises. However, I can't see any reason not to hibernate a tortoise if it is healthy and a good weight. The only advice I would give from my own 30 years experience hibernating Billiejo is that if you want your tortoise to live a long, healthy and happy life then you should hibernate it annually.

Kind Regards

Freddy




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