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Posted: 08/11/2011 by Lynn1

Hi Team

I have tapped into your knowledge on a number of occassions and i need to do it again. 

My old tort Henry died this year and he used to go into hibernation all by himself [never came in or used heat/light lamps] when he was asleep i used to put him away in his hibernation box from end of Oct until March when he would start to stir.  So whilst i thought i was okay doing this i really didnt do anything.

HOWEVER - Toby my new tort this year Spur thigh Toby 7 yrs old is still not in hibernation .  His wind down commences and then he wakes up.  I am bringing him in at night incase frost gets him but he is out all day and doesnt get any extra light or heat when he is in or out.  This has been going on for about three weeks now and whilst he looks well i am worried he is wasting away and is underweight for hibernation [i suspect he never has hibernated].  His length is 150mm [15cm] and weight is 491g.  Given this the Jacksonration show he should weigh close to 750g. Do you think he is underweight?  Do you think i should over winter him and feed him up?  i know he wont like it he tries to climb out of his table top [a converted book shelf with sand/soil substrate and other torty things] because he is used to his outdoor run which is more natural.

I have of course read the tort links on hibernation but your input re keep him awake or not would help.

Again thanks Click and drag me down to the editor

Re: Hibernation
Posted: 10/11/2011 by tortoise7

Hi Lynn
We all gather back around this time of year, always something about hibernation we need a second opinion  Teehee
His weight it good , so I wouldn't worry on that. It is said that when you first get a tort it is best not to hibernate the first year as you don't know the history, that gives you a year to see how they behave. However on saying that if he hasn't been hibernated before then at the age of 7 he should have been, for his own health reasons. I think you need to treat him a bit different to Henry (sorry of your loss) and do a controlled winddown, how are you planning to hibernate him? I am going to start the winddown on my two now even though they are still eating quite happily, their metabolism soon starts to kick in and they prepare themselves to shut down for a lovely long sleep. Not sure if this helping to answer your question, but please question more if it has not. The others will share their opinion with you I am sure.
Kindest Regards

Re: Hibernation
Posted: 10/11/2011 by Lynn1

Thanks Jane,

What meathod are you using? Are your two currently outside or half and half.  I feel that by bringing in Toby each evening, he warms up and starts to wake up but its too cold out there in the night. What do you think?

I would like to do the box meathod for hibernation.  Can i copy your daily/weekly routine for wind down - blow by blow account please. if you prefer please use my email

thanks again



Re: Hibernation
Posted: 12/11/2011 by tortoise7

Hi Lyn

Sorry for delay in replying got caught up.
Firstly I bring Keya & Molly in everynight anyway for security reasons. For the first two weeks of winddown, I keep the temps the same  (above 18) as you want the food to digest and pass through, then after that I drop the temps and lighting gradually over the next emaining 3 wks for Molly 2 weeks for Keya (Adult over 2kg 5 week winddown, Juveniles 3-4 wks winddown) until eventually I get to 5c before putting them in the fridge. I will email my winddown sheet to you monday when I have access to a scanner so you can see more clearly what I mean.
That is for Fridge hibernation, box hibernation I am not sure on: The main thing is that you know for sure that there has not been any food consumed during the winddown time.

Re: Hibernation
Posted: 12/11/2011 by tortoise7

Just to add on,  not only no food consumed, but that the food has been passed through, which can only do that when the temps are kept to a level where it keeps the gut active to digest the food just consumed and still in the stomach, that is why the temps are as normal the first two weeks, and then gradually decreased, still keeping the gut active until the last week and a half when the cool down procedure starts, and the undigested food will have been processed and will pass through. You do still give baths right up to the last 2-3 days, longer if they wee before then.


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