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#1 karenhackwood

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 01:34 PM

i have two five year old torts.  Currently they are outside day and night.  I am new to keeping them - how do i start the process towards hibernation.  Do i bring them in to my sheet and give false light and heat and gradually shorten their days or do i leave them outside until say end of September?

:)



#2 Kelly

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 06:04 PM

Here's an excellent link which I used as a basis for my first hibernation. x

 

http://www.thetortoi...bernation04.htm



#3 Freddy

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 06:56 PM

i have two five year old torts.  Currently they are outside day and night.  I am new to keeping them - how do i start the process towards hibernation.  Do i bring them in to my sheet and give false light and heat and gradually shorten their days or do i leave them outside until say end of September?
:)


Hi Karen,
Kelly has given you an excellent link. Tortoises usually start to slow down when temps change around September. Personally, I would leave them outside until then. When you do eventually have to bring them indoors It would still be wise to provide heat and light but I would gradually shorten their day until they stop eating altogether. Then it will be time to start their wind-down. As they are both 5 year old's and a fair size it might be difficult to provide lengthy indoor accommodation. Hopefully you will be able to manage with them for a few weeks indoors. As this is a first time hibernation and they are already well grown I would aim for an 8-12 week hibernation. Which means you should be aiming to wind your torts down in October to hibernate them in November. Anyway, I hope this helps. Take care and best of luck.
Kind Regards
Freddy

#4 jay

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 07:29 PM

Hello Karen

Kelly has given you a great link there is also some hibernation plans on the site which are also worth looking at,i have always gone by Dawn's hibernation plan from this site.I start to think about wind down in november so they are asleep for christmas time and i use there outside house.

Jaynex



#5 Freddy

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 11:18 PM

I agree with Ozric. Different ways can definitely work for different keepers. It can also depend on your geographic location and local climatic conditions. What may be suitable for someone in Scotland or Ireland may not be suitable for someone in the milder autumn climate of southern England. What I would say is the longer you can keep your tortoise eating the better as when they slow down and stop eating this is the cue for wind-down. It can also be difficult to keep 2 five year old Hermanns going until Christmas and can be an extra struggle when trying to accommodate them for any length of time indoors. Of course we can only do our best but if you can delay or lengthen hibernation in any way, your torts will, as Ozric says, be ready to go outside when the weather is suitable again in Spring.
Best Wishes
Freddy

#6 karenhackwood

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 08:10 AM

Thank you all for such useful information, really helpful.......have to think about it all now. :) 



#7 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 08:20 AM

There are different ways that can work for different keepers. I keep mine outside as long as possible - they have some heating in their accommodation. They will tend to slow down to some extent in late September and then I bring them inside and keep them warm and under bright light until December. So in my case the tortoises slow down a bit, then come indoors and get speeded up again. I like to do it this way because I have a lot of control over the slowing down. If they were already half slowed down when I began the wind-down I would feel I didn't know what stage they were at. So I slow them artificially starting from a point of summer type conditions.
 
I've not had a problem with doing it this way. But some keepers will say that once their tortoise starts to slow down there is nothing they can do about it, so for them it's best to let the slowdown continue. 
 
I don't like mine to be hibernating until christmas. The advantage of this is that they can be woken up and got ready for going outside when the weather is suitable. If I got mine up in February they would have to stay indoors for months before they went out.


I find this is easier to do with hermanns, but horsfields are literally impossible to keep going at times whether kept indoors or not. They are much more highly geared to hibernation, due tot he extremes in temps in their natural terrain.

#8 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 01:13 PM

They are the actual devil to control, even second generation captives :(

#9 Hellymack

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 09:23 PM

Hi everyone this is my 1st post... I have been following forum since rehoming George back in April this year. He is a 5 yr old rescued hermann and he has a palatial existence here in Leicester thanks to my husband and his hard work.

George has been checked out last week by tort society who said he is weighing/measuring perfect on Jackson ratio 115mm long with 347g weight, good eyes, beak etc so that he is good for hibernating this year... Problem is that as the weather took a quick turn for autumn and he is winding down already and I am seriously worried it is too early!

Can you experienced keepers give me some pointers on whether I should let him go now or get him inside and warm him up for a few weeks to delay the hibernation and how long should he go down for?


Thanks for reading

Helen

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 10:18 PM

Is he outdoors 24/7 still? If so he needs to be brought in now as there is a danger of ground frosts overnight. If kept outdoors, he will start to wind down due to the 10 degree drop in temps recently in most parts. He is fine to go out during sunny periods, but needs to be checked in overnight unless he has a heated hide area out there.



#11 Hellymack

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 07:41 AM

Thanks for reply. George is outside but he has a heated box within insulated shed. I have been checking temps and lowest night temp is 10.9.

I plan to start bringing him in tonight and then putting him out in the heated box with accesa to his run every morning when weather is good enough and then start hibernation mid oct and once he goes down plan for 16 weeks.... What would you suggest?

#12 Beermat89

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 08:43 AM

I start to wind mine down if they havnt already started themselves,the 2nd week in october and give them about 3weeks to wind down to go in the fridge 1st week of november for 16 weeks

#13 Hellymack

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 08:32 PM

Hi everyone

I followed your advice and George went into his box on Monday (4th nov)

Should be leaving him to settle or checking him daily? I don't want to disturb him but also want to make sure he is ok?

His box has topsoil and shredded paper and is kept in garage with temps ranging in his box from 7-9 degrees currently.

All advice welcome x

#14 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 11:07 PM

Hi everyone

I followed your advice and George went into his box on Monday (4th nov)

Should be leaving him to settle or checking him daily? I don't want to disturb him but also want to make sure he is ok?

His box has topsoil and shredded paper and is kept in garage with temps ranging in his box from 7-9 degrees currently.

All advice welcome x

Hi Helen

Try not to disturb him much for the first month or so, as he will still be settling down. After this settling in period, he should not notice if you check him and you can safely weigh him quickly and put him back. It's Ok to have a quick peek and touch his leg to look for response meanwhile, but be very quick so as not to disturb ;)



#15 Hellymack

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 06:58 AM

Thanks so much I was worried

#16 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 10:24 AM

We all worry about our torts in hibernation a little bit, even after 30 odd years (and some have been very odd lol). It's just so alien to a human. I used to be the same with my koi carp. They would obviously have loved me to continue feeding them for longer. One year a friends daughter went outdoors in winter and threw food into them - all but the goldfish died and I had to start all over again. My granddaughter was distraught as she had named them, so now all koi food is hidden until spring.






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