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How long should a 20 year old tortoise need?


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#1 Guest_jon.weston_*

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 10:29 AM

Steven has been hibernating for 2 weeks now, (he put himself to bed, obviously he is more experienced at this than me!), how long should i let him sleep for? A lot of the hibernation advice here is more for the younger tortoises...

#2 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 11:23 AM

Hi Jon,
Providing Steven is healthy and a good weight I would recommend a hibernation length of 16 weeks or just under 4 months. I also have an adult tortoise who I hibernate for 20 weeks or just under 5 months but she is much older at 50+ years. Hope this helps. Best of luck Jon. style_emoticons/default/wink.gif
Kind Regards
Freddy :D

#3 Guest_jon.weston_*

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 02:55 PM

My first hibernation update:

Steven's been hibernating for nearly two months now, and has lost less than 1% in weight since going down at the end of October! (1316g down to 1303g)
I've been a bit worried as don't have a fridge available so have been using the box method and have been keeping him in the loft where the internal box temps have been anything between 7C and 15C - completely uncontrollable! He hasn't moved about too much, just pointing in a different direction each time I check on him.

I guess he knows what he is doing!

#4 Guest_Pat_*

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 05:37 PM

I wish mine did - its my first hibernation! Good luck with you and yours

Pat x

#5 Guest_jon.weston_*

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 06:32 PM

I had been worried about the high temperature spikes, but his low weight loss shows he is neither fully waking nor is his metabolism speeding up. In the wild tortoises must sleep through a range of temperatures and not stay at a 'perfect' continuous temperature of 5C. He is kept outside for the rest of the year and gets whatever the weather throws at us and not in a tightly controlled enclosed environment with heat and UV lamps etc., and he has thrived 'naturally' like this for 20 years.

#6 Guest_jon.weston_*

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 03:04 PM

Just weighed him today and only 9 grams lost since last month - good work Steven!

#7 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 08:18 PM

Steven sounds like he's doing just great Jon! :wub:
Busy just 'doing his thing'. :D

Paula x

#8 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 08:25 PM

Hi Jon,
Sounds like Steven is doing just fine. I have a 50 year old tortoise who I also keep as natural as possible. I have to say I do fully understand your concerns and I wish you the very best of luck with Steven. Take care Jon. ;)
Kind Regards
Freddy :D

#9 Guest_littledeedee_*

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 10:06 PM

HA!
Steven... what a great name for a tort!

(just thought i'd say!)

#10 Guest_jon.weston_*

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 06:46 PM

Steven's up and strutting about like nothing has happened, and has drank and eaten well and has only lost 2.2% in weight since the end of October.
Heard him scratching around a couple of days ago and left him in case he went back off but was fully awake when I opened up the box to check on him.
First hibernation, (for me anyways), out of the way - phew!

#11 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 09:00 PM

Hey that's great news Jon! Another of the gang up and at 'em! :laugh:

Paula x

#12 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 09:01 PM

Hi Jon,
Congratulations. Glad to hear Steven got through his first hibernation with you OK. That's great news. My 50 year old 'Billiejo' is still hibernating. Hopefully, she will be out around mid-march all going well. Once again congrats with Steven Jon and thanks so much for keeping us updated. Roll on summer! ;)
Kind Regards
Freddy :D




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