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Tortoise Has His Own Hibernation Plan?


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#1 tortygirl

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 03:12 PM

Hi, we have a 2 year old herman who has never hibernated before.  He/She (not sure)! has had a great summer outside all the time in his enclosure.  He hates coming in now and will quickly be scaling the walls of his table top indoor setup despite minimal heat.

 

Anyway, just as we were pondering about hibernation this winter, he seems to have his own agenda and has buried himself deep in the soil in his enclosure.  This was about 5 days ago now.  I am now not sure what to do.  Do I leave him there as it's not too cold but get him up before any frosts arrive?  Or dig him up now and keep him up.  

 

He's quite safe from predators/floods and because he was still outside, hadn't been eating so I think he would have an empty stomach.

 

Not sure what to do for the best here?  Any advice would be most welcome.  Thanks

 



#2 tortygirl

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 10:07 AM

Any advice??  This is my daughter's tortoise and her hamster died this week, so I would hate for anything to happen to this little guy.



#3 firebelly

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 05:56 PM

I'm not an expert by any means, but until someone else comes along, I would say hibernation outside in just a garden enclosure is definitely  not an option. He/She needs to be healthy and at a decent weight to survive, would need a proper wind down period and to be hibernated in a fridge kept at 5 degrees. There is a lot of info on the site if you search hibernation. I would personally get the tortoise up and quickly set up your indoor enclosure and give warm baths to make sure He/She is not dehydrated . Not sure where you live but it has been far too cold up here in the north east to leave a tortoise outside especially overnight. 

Hope that helps,

Wendy



#4 tortygirl

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 08:22 PM

Thanks Wendy for the reply.

 

I'v been checking the temps out there and we're down to 8 degrees at night here in the south west.  I think we'll have to dig him out as I don't want to risk his health.  Although knowing his determined little character, I suspect he won't be happy!

 

thanks again

 

Helen



#5 firebelly

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 09:15 PM

Hi there,

 

I'm sure he won't be but he doesn't know you're just looking after his health  :wink: . Mine was charging around desperately looking for an escape route when I first brought him in & wasn't very keen on bathtime either !Now though, he seems to enjoy his soak as long as I top up with warm water !

 

Take care

 

Wendy



#6 tortygirl

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Posted 20 October 2016 - 04:14 PM

Well I dug him up this afternoon... He's fine, not lost any weight and within half an hour was busy trashing his tortoise table!



#7 firebelly

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Posted 20 October 2016 - 06:58 PM

Thats good to hear !  :phew:



#8 mildredsmam

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 02:28 AM

Well I dug him up this afternoon... He's fine, not lost any weight and within half an hour was busy trashing his tortoise table!

Hi tortygirl, welcome to the forum.

Sorry I missed this post, it's good you've brought him inside now as the temperatures are getting too low and it's better to do a controlled hibernation than leave him to do it him self in the garden, some tortoises dig down in September/October time and their owners can't find them and they come up fine in spring but it's less of a risk when your keeping an eye on him, fridge hibernation works really well this is how I hibernate my younger torts and if you feel you would still like to hibernate him then we can help with any questions you have. x



#9 tortygirl

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 05:18 PM

Thankyou Karen.  He really caught me unawares by digging in like that!  Think I may try a more controlled hibernation as his weight is good but will do the proper wind down first.  Right now, he's a live wire and already fallen on his back twice!

 

Helen



#10 mildredsmam

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Posted 22 October 2016 - 02:49 AM

Thankyou Karen.  He really caught me unawares by digging in like that!  Think I may try a more controlled hibernation as his weight is good but will do the proper wind down first.  Right now, he's a live wire and already fallen on his back twice!

 

Helen

Hi Helen,

Yes my babies are still active, they'll go into the fridge probably just before Christmas or just after for 8 weeks, I run the fridge for a few weeks before hand to make sure the temperatures are nice and stable. x






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