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First time hibernation!
Posted: 04/12/2012 by unhindered

Hi guys, I know there have been lots of posts here and I'm probably just going to repeat something someone else has already said! But as the title suggests I am about to hibernate JD for the first time since I found him 4 years or so ago! I have had him checked out at the vets (bruce maclean) both in the summer and about a month or so ago and he said JD is all set and gave me some advice. But of course I am worrying about the poor guy he is looking oh so sorry for himself and hasn't had any food in a week now poor thing! I am intending on putting him in the fridge a week tomorrow all being well! The temps are being monitored and has been between 3 and 6 degrees so far so looking good, I have good polystyrene chips to use as substrate as bruce suggested they are the most hygienic thing to use. Will a cardboard box suffice to put him in? and could I be forgetting anything??

Re: First time hibernation!
Posted: 04/12/2012 by wizzasmum

A cardboard box will be fine, but if your fridge has a cooling element at the back, be careful not to put the box too near as it can freeze the eyes if temps drop. Bruce McLean is a good vet but I would not be using polychips as tortoises do occasionally eat a little of the substrate and this could cause impaction. No-one worries about hygiene under the ground, so as long as there is nothing  mouldy I would not be too concerned about this. Soil is fine as is coconut fibre, so long as it has a light spraying occasionally to keep humidity up. If he is adult then he needs to wind down a lot longer than a week - 4 weeks is recommended for adults and three weeks for juveniles.  2 weeks is not long enough for them to empty the gut fully. Have you been giving him cool baths over his eind down periods and keeping lamps on for shorter periods?

Re: First time hibernation!
Posted: 08/12/2012 by unhindered

Hi, I was feeding him every other day for 2 weeks and now im not feeding him for two weeks which is what i was instructed to do. I have been bathing every day but am now bathing every other day. He is roughly 11 but don't know his actual age as I found him, is that juvenile or classed as adult? I've slowed down his lamp times a little. i usually have him in soil/sand substrate so i could just use that.

Re: First time hibernation!
Posted: 13/12/2012 by unhindered

I have kept him winding down for another week so im hoping to put him in the fridge on tuesday, i am still a bit worried though as I haven't done it before, I am checking the fridge temp every day and its been fine apart from yesterday it was slightly under 3 degrees. its in the garage so I will keep checking and I do have an alarm so that should be ok I think. He is still moving about a bit but hes almost ready to go to sleep now I think, I will shorten his light some more and continue to give him baths every other day as I don't want him to dehydrate. Am I supposed to wait until he is completely asleep before I put him in the fridge or do I just put him in anyway?? And I know I need to open the fridge every day to renew the oxygen and weigh him once a week to check hes not lost a substantial amount, and also check to see if he has urinated etc but is there anything else I am forgetting?? Sorry I am so nervous about doing this


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