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Mike et al

Member Since 01 Sep 2013
Offline Last Active Mar 08 2015 07:45 AM

Topics I've Started

Worried About 1St Hibernation

09 January 2015 - 05:53 PM

Hi, I'm new to forums so hopefully ive done the right thing posting this as i have. I'm after a bit of reassurance as its my wife and i first Herman Tortoise hibernation. We bought our Tortoises 1.5 years ago when they were a year old and kept them awake last winter on the advice of the breeder.

I know we're a bit late starting to hibernate them but the time flew by on the run up to Christmas and before we knew it it's January.

Anyway our wind down plan Is well underway as it started on 31/12/2014

At start of wind down period Dougal weighed 101g and was 78mm in length, ratio 0.21and Toto weighed 74g and was 70mm in length, ratio 0.2

Our plan is To use a 4 stage, 18 day wind down period with no food and 20min warm baths daily, planning for an 8 week hibernation taking it around 19th March

Stage 1:- 1st to 5th Jan kept at same temperature and light conditions as normal. This stage is now complete, Dougal lost 15g and Toto only 2g, Dougal was very active and obviously hungry, hard to resist feeding them but we did.

Stage 2:- 6th to 10 th Jan, kept at same temperature but gradually reducing the time the heat light is on to only 4 hours by 10th. This stage is nearly complete, Dougal now is 79g so has lost 22g, Toto is 65g so has lost 9g. It seems a lot of weight loss for Dougal, too much ? He is very active still compared to Toto who is very much more sleep orientated.

Stage 3;- 11th to 15th Jan, going to turn off light completely and move them to a room at about 15c, will keep bathing and weighing.

Stage 4:- 16th to 18th, I'm going to move them to cooler location at about 10c for first two days then about 8c for last two days before they go in a fridge, bathing daily.

19th Jan into the fridge, much to my wife's dismay, I must admit I'm also a bit concerned but know from the forum it's the best for them.


1. Does the plan sound ok? It's based on the guidance notes from the forum and couple of plans I've read also on the forum, Kelly's and another one, sorry cant remember the name of the person who prepared it as I've been reading so much info on hibernation recently.

2. Its their first hibernation, they are 2.5 years old, and mine as we've only had them for 1.5 years and kept them awake last winter at the instructions of the breeder (hence I'm panicking a bit, my life won't be worth living if anything happens to them my wife has told me!), just want to check that they aren't too small/underweight for it? Is Dougal losing too much weight? It must surely just be poo which is a good thing.

3. I have a new drinks cabinet that is maintaining a nice stable temperature but may be a little warm at 7.7c to 8.7c which is set to max although its fairly empty with currently only 3 bottles of beer in it, what do you think? Perhaps if I move it to a warmer location it might cool down further, it's in cool spare bedroom.

Any advice very much welcome and appreciated.