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Posted: 21/12/2011 by JaneHeath

I have a five year old Herman Tortoise that stopped eating and started burying his self two weeks ago.  I have been told to hibernate him and am a little unsure what to do as there are many conflicting instructions on the internet.  I have been told to put him in a box covered in shredded paper and a thermometer and keep this in my fridge.  I have been told that the ideal temp should be 5deg but am struggling to keep my old fridge to maintain this temp and it keeps dropping to 2degrees.  His weight is only 146grammes and he measures only 115mm so i think he is underweight to hibernate but i am struggling to keep him warm enough not too.  Can someone please advice me on what i should be doing to ensure his wellbeing.  Thank you

Re: Hibernation
Posted: 21/12/2011 by DavidWYork

Hi there, if you click on the left of this screen where it says The Tortoise, there is then a section all about hibernation details and wind down. I hibernate mine in large plastic boxes of moist soil, about 35 cm deep. I keep them in my unheated downstairs hallway. There the soil temperature is today at 4 deg c. Last winter it was between 2 and around 7 deg c. there. If too cold, I move them up a stair or two. Using soil really seems to minimise temperature fluctuations. I have a digital alarm thermometer, and two mercury Max/Min ones, to be certain. Read previous q's and a's under hibernation queries too for extra info. Come back if still unsure, and good luck. Anyone using unheated sheds or garages:


Regards, David nr York.

Re: Hibernation
Posted: 22/12/2011 by tortoise7

Hi and Click and drag me down to the editor

To add to David's good advice. How long have you had your tortoise?.
I would definately say NOT to hibernate your tortoise, if you have measured him correctly, then he is very underweight, here is the correct way to measure a Hermans

What is your set up like, and what heat light are you using?

Re: Hibernation
Posted: 06/01/2012 by JaneHeath

He is not actually my tortoise and i have never had an experience with tortoises.  He moved in while his owners moved house, and they don't have room for him anymore.  As i am at work my heating is only one for a few hours at night and is generally cold.  He does have a heat lamp but as he is in a large tortoise house (Wood box on legs) as soon as he moves away from the heat he ventures into cold territory.  I did not decided to hibernate him after speaking to the local vet but he just stopped eating for three week nearly and buried his self in some hay i put in there. I know he is underweight and should not be hibernating but don't know what to do to stop this now. He has been in my fridge for two and a half weeks now and i have been weighing him twice a week and yesterday he had lost 1gramme.  I know this is an irresponsible possible to be in and i wish i had known more before i got to this position with him.  His owner now has him up for sale if he survives.  I hate the fact that i was unprepared and would never of allowed him to be in this situation if he were mine.


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