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New Owner, Not Sure How To Hibernate


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#1 malmesburytortoise

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Posted 29 December 2014 - 04:38 PM

Hi everyone,

 

I have inherited a 3 year old Hermann's tortoise from a friends brother who wasn't looking after it very well and wanted some advice on hibernating it.

 

It is still eating (got it yesterday 28th December) but seems to be a bit slow and digs itself in overnight, I have a lamp on and it has been awake and about. I know a bit about tortoises (not this species) but would like some advice on what to do. Should I hibernate him this winter or keep him awake as he has been eating? Looking through this website it looks like I would only hibernate him for 8 weeks, with a 20 day wind down period. So if I started now he would hibernate for end of January into March.

 

How much should he weigh?

 

What is the best thing to do? I want to make sure I do the right thing, so he is happy and healthy for spring/summer next year. Any advice would be gratefully received!



#2 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 29 December 2014 - 06:41 PM

If it's not been well, then best not to hibernate this year as it could still be harbouring some problems. Wind down time is more to do with size than age as this can vary a fair bit. Digging in overnight is perfectly normal at any time of year, do not to be confused with hibernation. What lamps do you have as you need uvb as well as heat. Normally a three year old should weigh less than 100 grams just as a rough guide, mine weigh much less as in line with wild tortoises. This is how I do mine www.tortsmad.com/hibernation.htm

#3 mildredsmam

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 06:04 AM

Hi everyone,

 

I have inherited a 3 year old Hermann's tortoise from a friends brother who wasn't looking after it very well and wanted some advice on hibernating it.

 

It is still eating (got it yesterday 28th December) but seems to be a bit slow and digs itself in overnight, I have a lamp on and it has been awake and about. I know a bit about tortoises (not this species) but would like some advice on what to do. Should I hibernate him this winter or keep him awake as he has been eating? Looking through this website it looks like I would only hibernate him for 8 weeks, with a 20 day wind down period. So if I started now he would hibernate for end of January into March.

 

How much should he weigh?

 

What is the best thing to do? I want to make sure I do the right thing, so he is happy and healthy for spring/summer next year. Any advice would be gratefully received!

Hi welcome to the forum. :)

I think as you've just got him I would over winter him this year, and keep him awake, this will give you time to get to know him a bit more and make sure he's healthy, you could always look at hibernating him next winter, for him to be happy and healthy this spring/ summer the best you can do for him is look into making him an outside enclosure, so he can spend all the warmer months outside. :)



#4 Beermat89

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 11:14 AM

Hi
I agree with karen and Sue,if your tortoise is not 100% fit then never risk hibernation,also you have just got him so get to know you tortoise and its behaviour first as when you start to get to know them then you will be able to pick up signs when things arnt right with them.keep him ticking over the winter period keeping tempts up and the period when the lights and lamps on and hour or 2 shorter than Summer day light hours so say between 8-9 hours a day
Regards matt

#5 malmesburytortoise

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 11:33 AM

Thank you everyone for your replies, very helpful. It all makes perfect sense when you hear someone else saying it, like you say I have only had him for 2 days now so it will take a while to get to know him and how he is behaving. It looks like I won't be hibernating him this winter, I will follow your advice with the length of light etc. Is there anything else I should do when overwintering them? Do you change their diet? How much should they be eating?

 

I have already started planning for his enclosure next spring! My father in law has a 50 year old spur thighed that lives in an enclosure so I will get some tips from him as well. I don't think he has ever been outside so he is going to love being out and about next year.



#6 Beermat89

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 11:44 AM

Hi
Yes just over winter this year as otherwise you will be worrying well i worry about mine every hibernation lol.in the wild unfortunatly the weaker torts would pass away during hibernation but with our love and care in captivity this decreases this chance :).with a good diet and care next year im sure he will be back to perfect health for next winter :).for over wintering you will need to keep the food in take to a minimum more important to keep up hydration with nice daily warm baths,diet stays the same nice high fiber foods i.e plantains,danelions thistles stuff like that




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