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#1 Chris E

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 09:28 PM

hi hoping someone may be able to help. I have a Hermans tort who is around 5 - 6 years old. She lives outside in a custom built fairly large enclosure. I live in Devon so we tend to have fairly nice weather. Hibernated her last year for the first time keeping her in a box in a fridge. Have found this year about a week ago she has buried herself, and am not sure if I just leave her or what?! Any help much appreciated

#2 Beermat89

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 09:35 PM

Hi welcome to the fourm :)
Do you mean shes dug down outside in the garden?if she has then i would dig her up unless you can put something over her and be able to provide heat by a heater on a thermostat when tempts drop to low.did she have long enough wind down period with out food?
Regards matt

#3 mildredsmam

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 05:45 AM

Hi Chris, welcome to the forum. :)

Can you give us a bit more details please, do you mean she's dug down in the outside area of her enclosure, or inside area of her enclosure, does this contain any form of heat, as Matt as already said you would not be able to just leave her dug down through the winter with out any form of back up heat if the temperatures fall too low, also has she had the correct wind down period before hand as this can be dangerous if not. :)



#4 Chris E

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 10:53 AM

She has dug down within the enclosure, funnily enough she is under the heat lamp area, although I hadn't been putting the light on. As for wind down, not really sure, she had only eaten a tiny bit of what I had been giving her, and in the last week seemed to eat nothing. Don't know if this helps

#5 mildredsmam

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 12:21 PM

Hi Chris,

Tortoises need a 4 week wind down before hibernation depending on there size, which they need full heat and light for the 1st few weeks then gradually reducing the time the lamps are on, but with no food this gives them time to digest all there food so they have an empty gut, they need heat to be able to do this, they also need regular baths to make sure there well hydrated, if this is not done before hibernation there is a very high chance your tortoise could die during hibernation, if it were my tortoise I wouldn't take the risk leaving her I would dig her up and wake her giving her heat, you might find this will be better done with her indoors now. :)

In the future if you wanted her to hibernate in her enclosure you would need to have some form of heating on a thermostat in case the temperatures drop too low, she will also need very deep substrate to dig down in, but she would need the correct wind down first, hope that helps. :)



#6 Chris E

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 01:33 PM

Thanks Karen if I do this would I have to bring her in over winter now, and not hibernate her this year?

#7 mildredsmam

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 05:46 PM

Hi Chris,

With the weather change it's really too cold for them to be outside now, unless there in some sort of well insulated heated shed etc, I think she would be better indoors where the ambient temperatures are higher, how long has she had no heat for, do you weigh her on a regular basis, has she lost weight.  :)



#8 Freddy

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 06:48 PM

Hi Chris,

Karen has given you some excellent advice. I would have little to add except to say that when a tortoise has previously hibernated it is usually primed to do so again. So over-wintering can prove difficult in this instance. Although your tortoise had dug down for a week, chances are the milder Devon ground temps meant she had not gone fully into hibernation. Personally, I would dig her up and keep her indoors with heating for the next couple of weeks. The heat will ensure her bodily functions are working and will help clear her gut. You can then gradually lower the heat, complete her wind-down and place her into hibernation. I do think your predicament is a tricky one. You may feel the risk is too great. If you choose to postpone this years hibernation it is entirely understandable. The decision is yours.

I wish you the best of luck whatever you decide. 

Kind Regards

Freddy



#9 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 09:26 AM

I agree that if she has only been down a week ,that full hibernation will not have kicked in yet and you can continue to wind down for enough time to have given her her four week wind down. If less than 500 grams then three weeks will be enough.




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