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Herbella's First Hibernation


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#1 MiriMaran

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 01:58 PM

As many of you will know from my other posts I have was given an 8 year old Hermann female this summer who, with her previous owner, has spent the winter in a tortoise table and the summer outside on a gravelled area.  She has never hibernated.  We were told not to let her outside if it was below 21C and bring her in at night if the temp dropped below 10C.  Our vet said if she is digging down outside that means she's too cold and needs bringing in.  I have read quite a lot of info on hibernation and preparing a tortoise when they live outside sounds OK, but what if they are currently snug and cozy indoors?

 

We will soon be making her a permanent out door area that will have a cold frame as her house probably with a tubular heater (thanks Karen for that bit of advice) for cooler nights.  Its all in the planning stage at the moment.

 

However, my main concern is hibernation as Herbella and I are new to it!  I am planning to buy a herp incubator/hibernator.  She is currently in my sons bedroom in the tortoise table with the sides built up and 4" of topsoil.  She has a UV/heat lamp during daylight hours.  The question is how do I prepare her from hibernation if she is indoors?  When the weather cools down and we want to warm the house I can turn off the central heating in Harry's bedroom, but do I also turn off the heat lamp?  When I stop feeding her do I also remove the cuttle bone?  Then she will only have topsoil and water.  Her appetite has definitely decreased in the last two weeks so I think her body knows whats happening, but how can I make sure it all runs smoothly for her.  I am sooooooo nervous about hibernating and Harry, my 11 year old son, doesn't want to do it all as he's very worried it will all go horribly wrong.  He adores her.  What do I do if I stop feeding her now, but the weather doesn't cool down sufficiently?  Sorry lots of questions and I suspect I'm doing a nervous ramble here so I better stop!  :blush:



#2 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 05:12 PM

Personally if you have only had her that long I would keep her up this winter, but try not to let her gain any weight. Keep temps up and light as much of the table with very bright light to encourage feeding and activity levels. If she's not hibernated before it should be relatively easy to do ;) She should not be living outdoors now to be honest.

#3 Freddy

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 06:49 PM

I agree. Best to get to know your tortoise first before hibernating her. Do make sure she has plenty of heat and light over the winter period. Maybe consider hibernation next year.

Take care.

Freddy



#4 MiriMaran

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 01:47 PM

Thank you. I've only been leaving the lamp on during daylight hours. Should I leave it on for longer to mimic summer time?

#5 Beermat89

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 02:02 PM

Hi there,yes leave the lights and heat lamp on for 12-14 hours aday as your over wintering

#6 MiriMaran

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 08:48 PM

Ok. Thanks.

#7 MiriMaran

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 07:10 AM

Herbella is hardly eating anything. I'm guessing she's getting into hibernation mode, but how do I stop her? Her lamp is on for 14hrs.

#8 Beermat89

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 04:35 PM

Hi
Aslong as you keep the light levels up and back ground heat up then its fine as you dont really want her to put on any weight on at all over winter.she will eat when shes hungry!her built in body clock knows its that time of year so shes not going to be as active anyway

#9 MiriMaran

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 01:42 PM

Ok. Thank you.




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