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5 Year Old Hermann Tortoise Help Needed


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#1 Wylde_girl

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 08:01 AM

I have been given a lovely, friendly 5 year old Hermann tortoise who my boys adore. We got him in September when it was lovely and warm. Prior to coming to us he lived in a tank and had never been outside!!! When we got him we bought a large guinea pig hutch with sleeping area and run which he slept in at night in my utility room which is on back of garage (no heating though). He enjoyed wandering around the garden during the day and put away at night. The hutch has a ventilated cover to keep out draft and is filled with the soft reptile chip. He is well loved and tended too. Of course now it is getting cold and I have kept him in the hutch as he just wants to sleep. He has never hibernated. I have researched hibernation and it is quite worrying. I have weaned him off food and he has done a couple if poos. We love him so much and don't want anything to happen to him. I have now covered his hutch with thick carpet and a thick blanket and given him extra bedding. The thermometer reads 10 degrees. Do I leave him or put him back in a tank with heat source? I just want him to have a normal life rather than being stuck in a tank. Please advise. The summer was so much easier!. Thank you

#2 mildredsmam

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 01:24 PM

Hi welcome to the forum. :)

How long have you stopped feeding him for, for the wind down the 1st couple of weeks you need full heat and lights but no food gradually reducing the hours, the gives any food time to digest, they need full heat for this to happen any undigested food left through hibernation can be fatal, the reptile chip substrate is no good for a number of reasons, he would be a lot better with top soil that he can dig into, you would also need some form of back ground heat in the garage on a thermostat to stop the temperatures dropping below 5c, the weathers quite mild at the minute so the temperatures are higher, but this will change soon.

My opinion if you've only had him since September then I would over winter him ( keep him awake ) he would do a lot better been inside the house were the back ground temperatures are higher, with full heat and uv. :)  



#3 Wylde_girl

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 04:01 PM

Hi Karen

Thanks so much for your reply. I was very naive when I agreed to take on the tortoise as I thought he would live outside in the summer and garage in winter. Now I have to find sonewhere in the house for this tank! In just a short time we love him so will do whatever he needs. Does he need uv lamp and heat lamp if in the house 24/7? I have read that a tank isn't good for the tortoise because of the glass, they tend to bash into it. Should I buy a hibernation box ready for next winter? So many questions! Sorry. Xx

#4 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 06:59 PM

I agree to overwinter him this year, but not in a tank, he needs open topped accommodation and no heat or light overnight as you are copying his natural existence. He will dig down at night to thermoregulate, but needs a good dense substrae such as soil to do
this, as Karen suggested. Don't buy a hibernation box, these are just money makers for commercial outlets ;) Good luck.

#5 Wylde_girl

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 08:13 PM

Thank you so much Sue and Karen. I have found a lovely tortoise house which is 40x20x8. It has an arm for the heat lamp and a mesh lid. I can move him wherever I want, inside or out! Hopefully in the spring and summer he can enjoy the garden again.

I agree with you Sue, I really didn't like the idea Iof him him a tank or box! So if he does hibernate next year what do I use?

Much appreciated.

#6 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 08:42 PM

The first thing to consider when hibernating is if you have somewhere that stays at 5 degrees C If you don't have a suitable garage or cellar, then a fridge is your next option. Wind down is very important though, to empty them properly first. This is how I do mine www.tortsmad.com/hibernation.htm any box is fine, so long as a stable temperature is maintained.




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