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Hibernation

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#1 Allotment Rose

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 11:44 AM

Novice tortoise owner, I have just acquired an 8 year old male.  It has been kept in a vivarium for all its life and on the odd occasions has been out side.

It has never been hibernated but it has been checked over by the vet and it seems there is no reason why it can’t.

I have put it in tortoise table with the use of a heat lamp in an unheated shed. I have the use of a fridge and have been reading lots about this.

Since I brought him home he hasn’t eaten, are they susceptible to change?

Please could anyone give me advice? Will it just  go into hibernation mode naturally once the temperature drops?



#2 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 01:36 PM

Yes, tortoises nearly always react to a change in circumstances, even if for the better. It is never a good idea to hibernate a new tortoise for this reason, as they are under stress and it is stress that contributes to disease. Your vet should have told you this really :( You need to get him out of the shed as ambient temps and light levels will be far too low. He needs to be in the house, where he can see the light levels changing throughout the day and his temps need to be up to 32 degrees while he gets used to his new surroundings. If he picks up quickly, there is no reason you cannot hibernate him from January to March. You will need to weigh him now and monitor his weight as he needs to be a good weight for hibernation and the wind down period, which is from 3-4 weeks depending on his size/weight.

Hope this helps ;)



#3 Allotment Rose

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 07:45 AM

Thanks Wizzamum, He is back inside under the heat lamp and has already starting to eat. I have weighed him and will keep an eye on any fluctuations. I'm really trying to do everything right and make him as happy as possible. I'm sure there will be more questions to come.



#4 Guest_mediterraneansuze_*

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 02:13 PM

Agree with sue I wouldn't hibernate him this winter .

#5 Allotment Rose

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 11:28 AM

I have weighed him and he is just over a kilo, what is the best way to over winter if I'm not going to hibernate him. I have atort table but feel its too small , which I have now brought inside to a heated room. How long during the day should the heat lamp be on.



#6 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 12:26 PM

Give him as big an area as possible to wander and explore, but the floor of the house is not a good idea. If he is very active and seems to want to escape his table top frequently, then keep the temps lower, to reduce activity but enough to keep him feeding. This way he will not be as active as normal but will not go into hibernation. You will be able to monitor him then without him gaining weight and being too active. This will give him a slowing down period to assist in growth. You might need to play about with the lights to see what just keeps him going without him being too active or staying in his hide all the time. Monitor his weight monthly and make sure he is well hydrated, either by supplying water in his habitat or bathing several times a week.  I would offer him light and heat for around ten hours a day over winter. Hopefullyy next year you can get him outdoors.







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