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What Age To Hibernate

Hibernation age

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#1 Dorian

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 09:21 PM

Hi I am new to tortoise keeping I have my vivarium up and running my Herman is 1 and 1/2..I have read lots but cant find any info on what age to hibernate...Someone told me 4 years. is this true....If I keep the lighting on for a 14 hours will this stop hibernation when the time comes....Do I want to do this. I have also heard preventing the natural need for hibernation is bad for them...Should i Hibernate this year or wait till she is older and more hardy...please help...

#2 Freddy

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 09:34 PM

Hi There,
No need to worry just yet.
2/3 years old is time enough to hibernate your tortoise.
Hope this helps.
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Freddy

#3 Chrissyan

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 10:41 PM

Welcome to the forum Dorian. :) I am guessing that you bought your tortoise from a pet shop, hence the vivarium, it was probably recommended by them. Vivarium's are not really the best environment for Mediterranean tortoises, although plenty of people do use them. Perhaps later you may be able to change your viv for a tortoise table, although I don't think you need to worry. if that is not possible any time soon. As Freddy said, give your tort a couple of years before worrying about hibernation.

#4 Kelly

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 07:11 AM

There are plenty of experienced tortoise keeper that hiternate their tortoises from a hatchling for 4 weeks or so to start with. However, like everyone says, if you're new to all this you're best to overwinter him/her for the first couple of years.

I haven't hibernated my young tort yet. I only got him last September and wanted to give him the first year to settle in. That way I can ensure that he is fighting fit and has sufficient fat stores before I let him have the big sleep. :)

#5 Freddy

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 07:34 AM

8 weeks is the minimum time for a hibernation to have any benefit .This is usually done with a first time hibernation or with a tortoise aged 1 to 3 years old. ;)
Kind Regards
Freddy

#6 Kelly

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 12:16 PM

So would you not start with 4 weeks then, Freddy? It'll be Norman's first hibernation this winter, so I'll be on here all the time looking for advice! :wacko:

#7 Freddy

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 02:45 PM

Hi Kelly,
It would be pointless hibernating Norman for just 4 weeks as it wouldn't be worth your while and would be of no benefit to him.
Best to go with the minimum length recommended for a first time hibernation, which is 8 weeks.
For more information see also the hibernation link on the home page. Hope this helps.
Kind Regards
Freddy

#8 mildredsmam

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 05:23 AM

hi dorian welcome to the forum if i get a new tortoise i dont hibernate straight away, i like to make sure there fit and healthy and a good weight, if you wanted to hibernate the end of this year you have plenty of time to do research and then make a decision :)

#9 Hettie

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 07:53 PM

Hi Dorian,

In the wild torts obviously hibernate from their first winter, but... the mortality rate is said to be higher, and so then you have to weigh up risk. In keeping torty as a pet I wouldn't hibernate this year. A lady with lots of experience that used to post regularly said she never hibernated a tort under 35g. As a new keeper just enjoy getting to know your little shelled one. The 14 hour light thing is to try and trick torty into thinking it is summer.

Paula x




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