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Baby Herman Advice


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#1 obeeone

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Posted 04 November 2016 - 06:14 PM

Hi All
I have a 4 month old Herman that I wanted some advice with. She seems to have slowed down dramatically over the past week or so and I wondered if she might be preparing or ready to hibernate. I hadn't intended on hibernating her this year, on the advice of the breeder I bought her from, but now am questioning that. In short, is 4 months old too young for hibernation?
Thanks!

#2 wizzasmum

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Posted 04 November 2016 - 07:52 PM

No it's not too young, I do it every year. What weight is it?

#3 terrypin

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Posted 05 November 2016 - 07:05 AM

I agree never to young for hibernation but my concern is if your tortoise is being kept indoors under controlled conditions why is it slowing down. In my experience Hermanns are not as affected by a slight reduction in daylight hours as in reducing the heat. If this were hatchling Graeca graeca then I could understand natural daylight shortening may affect them but not Hermanns. Do you weigh regularly and has there been any reduction lately. How frequently do you soak your hatchling and does it have permanent access to clean water. Whilst I agree hibernating very young tortoises is OK they must be 100% healthy.



#4 wizzasmum

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Posted 05 November 2016 - 10:20 AM

Have to disagree here Terry. I have always seen a natural slowing in my hermanns. Not so much as with horsfields, but definitely a lowering of appetite and retiring/ digging down much earlier than in summer. Yes, they need to be 100% healthy I agree, but as I say, mine always show slower behaviour at this time of year. Even my Leo's when I had them slowed down over winter.

#5 obeeone

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 11:20 AM

Thanks for the replies. I may have sounded a little over dramatic.. she hasn't ground to a halt but the amount of time she is active does seem to be reduced and she is going to sleep earlier now. She does have fresh water although she rarely drinks from it.. we give her a Luke warm soak every morning and she usually submerges her head so I'm thinking this is when she drinks?

She is currently 41g, shell measures 5 and a half cms in length. She is approximately 4 months old. As I said, the breeder said not to hibernate this year but I've been reading up and watching her and beginning to think maybe she is wanting to. If I decided to go ahead and hibernate I would probably aim for 8 weeks max.. does this seem OK?

#6 wizzasmum

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 12:23 PM

Anything less than 8 weeks isn't really hibernating, just starving and then waking. Given that it takes a few weeks to truly go into hibernation properly, you need at least a month on top of this to get any benefits ;)

#7 terrypin

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 04:17 PM

Have to disagree here Terry. I have always seen a natural slowing in my hermanns. Not so much as with horsfields, but definitely a lowering of appetite and retiring/ digging down much earlier than in summer. Yes, they need to be 100% healthy I agree, but as I say, mine always show slower behaviour at this time of year. Even my Leo's when I had them slowed down over winter.

You must of course advise using your own experiences Sue. I still feel this 4 month old tortoise if it is being kept under completely artificial conditions why is it slowing down , what is the trigger. My adults have not eaten for 4 weeks now and it is only this last week I have left the greenhouse doors open and the temperature has dropped that they have really slowed down and most are staying dug in. When I have overwintered hatchlings in the past provided they had adequate heat and lighting they would remain active and eating.



#8 wizzasmum

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 05:48 PM

You must of course advise using your own experiences Sue. I still feel this 4 month old tortoise if it is being kept under completely artificial conditions why is it slowing down , what is the trigger. My adults have not eaten for 4 weeks now and it is only this last week I have left the greenhouse doors open and the temperature has dropped that they have really slowed down and most are staying dug in. When I have overwintered hatchlings in the past provided they had adequate heat and lighting they would remain active and eating.



You could say that about any cold blooded creature Terry. Why would a spur thigh slow down where a hermanni wouldn't? The natural habitats are very similar. Remember that the Channel Isles are more temperate than most of mainland U.K. And if this little one is north of the Midlands then I think it's a natural slowing down. Checked my adults today and they are all fast asleep, still with some natural moving about but all eyes tightly shut now. I have managed to keep hatchlings going over winter, but it's always been more of an effort than a natural occurrence. Given the choice they get up later and retire earlier, despite the added heat.

#9 wizzasmum

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 05:51 PM

Hi All
I have a 4 month old Herman that I wanted some advice with. She seems to have slowed down dramatically over the past week or so and I wondered if she might be preparing or ready to hibernate. I hadn't intended on hibernating her this year, on the advice of the breeder I bought her from, but now am questioning that. In short, is 4 months old too young for hibernation?
Thanks!



Have you spoken to the breeder, to check their experiences with this occurrence? How long have you had it, 4 months is very young so I'm guessing not long

#10 babettebeau

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 07:02 PM

For comparaison, Shanti and Namaste (my 2 babies Hermann) have slowed down too as they currently go to sleep about 2-3 hours earlier than when i had them at the end of August,and this is despite same heat and light in the enclosure. I am locatee in London.
Today they ate less, usually they eat everything!
Sabina

#11 terrypin

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 07:28 PM

OK guys outnumbered do as you wish.

#12 wizzasmum

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 08:52 AM

For comparaison, Shanti and Namaste (my 2 babies Hermann) have slowed down too as they currently go to sleep about 2-3 hours earlier than when i had them at the end of August,and this is despite same heat and light in the enclosure. I am locatee in London.
Today they ate less, usually they eat everything!
Sabina


It's a perfectly natural slowing down Sabina as you have noticed. It's good to have all these comparisons though, to make your own conclusions. My little ones are just emerging now at coming up to 9am, whereas they would be a good hour or so earlier in summer. Don't get me wrong, they are still feeding, but not so greedily as earlier in the year, which is good as slow weight gain is important. They will be hibernated from end of December for 8 weeks.

#13 babettebeau

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 08:57 PM

Yesterday I started to synchronise light and heat with sun rise times and sun set times to make it more natural and to send them hints that hibernation is not far away. They will windown during the last two weeks of December then hibernate in the fridge for 8 weeks.




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