You're in > TPG Members Forum > Hibernation > Hibernating

Posted: 09/11/2015 by B.J

Hi, my Horsfield is 13 yrs old and I have had him for 18 months. Last year I overwintered him as it was our first winter.  This year I have followed all the advice on your hibernation care sheets and put him into his fridge a week ago today. The temp was 7 initially but over the week I reduced it and by Saturday it was down to 4.1.  On Sunday night I could hear him moving around and this morning I have taken him out to do his first weight check. His weight has dropped by 6% from 366g to 343g and he is not inside his shell. His limbs and head are out, his eyes are closed, I touched him but his movement was minimal.  Is this normal?  Did the movement last night mean I have left him too warm and hence his weight loss is almost to the max. Should I reduce the temp to 3 and leave him another week or bring him out and over winter him again.  All advice will be very gratefully recieved, this is so stressfulClick and drag me down to the editor

Re: Hibernating
Posted: 09/11/2015 by Tom


If he was moving around last night, I would be a bit concerned by "minimal movement" today. Don't panic .
Just touch a leg tomorrow (with minimal disturbance) & 'post' what happens. 

Are you sure that your scales are accurate ? I cannot understand a drop in weight of 23g in a week, at 7C reducing to 4C., in a tortoise with an 'empty' gut.

Update us tomorrow pm please,

Re: Hibernating
Posted: 10/11/2015 by B.J

Thanks Tom, 

I weighed him this morning and you're right the weight was wrongClick and drag me down to the editor
 He was 365g,  a 1g drop in a week so less than 1%Click and drag me down to the editor.  
But he was still moving around, and he is not inside his shell. I touched his leg and he moved into his shell. 
Is it because he is a Russian and takes longer to get down to the right temperature?  
Should I reduce it to 3.5?  
 Thank you for the advice.

Re: Hibernating
Posted: 10/11/2015 by Tom


It can take time.
Hermanns & Spur-thighed like to hibe in moist soil, this also helps to stabilise the temp.
The literature states that Horsfields should be kept dry. Try a deeper container with several inches of soil, I suspect that it will 'submerge.' That should help it to settle.
3.5C - yes a good idea.

Let us know,

Re: Hibernating
Posted: 13/11/2015 by B.J

I've changed his box for a deeper smaller one as you suggested. 

It has taken me until today to get the temperature down to 3.5, so now I will wait and see if he stops moving/ digging. He was still really active up to this afternoon. 
I REALLY hope this hibernation lark gets easier over the years


web designer: