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Advice on hibernation needed
Posted: 20/10/2009 by minniechops


This could potentially be the first year that I hibernate my horsefield tortoises. I have been measuring them and weighing them and as yet I have not been winding them down. George = 94mm and 183gm and Humphrey = 101mm and 218gm. It is quiet difficult to read the Jackson Chart as they are right at the bottom and george is not even on it. But according to it my two are underweight. The have access to food 5 out of 7 days and have a wide variety of leafy food. They are still going outside when it is dry and not to cold. They have a heat lamp in their hutch and come and go as they please. They have slowed down alot in the last month. They tend to warm up, eat, wander for a bit them go into a corner and go to sleep for the rest of the day.

I guess my question is should I attempt to hiberate them. I know I need to give them a period of wind down of 6 weeks with no food.So if I am to hiberate them then I need to start now and if not then they can carry on. Other than their weight they are in good health, no runny noses or puffy eyes and they are both alert and happy. They have always been underweight ever since I got them. Not sure what to do about it. They eat what they want then leave the rest.





Re: Advice on hibernation needed
Posted: 20/10/2009 by minniechops

Just to add to this, I have just looked at the Mcintyre chart and according to that they are on the lower side of average to low. Also, I have been working out how much weight they have gained in the last year and George has gained 28gms and Humphrey 34gms which I think it about right.

Re: Advice on hibernation needed
Posted: 22/10/2009 by TPGDarren

Hi Zoe,


You're quite right, the Jackson Ratio shouldn't be used for Horsfield tortoises at all and the McIntyre ratio is quite new and really is only a rough guideline.

May I ask which method of hibernation you are thinking of using?

Also I would look at winding them down for only 3 weeks as they are relatively small. Even adult tortoises are generally only wound down for 4 weeks, possibly longer for large adults. Have you started wind-down at all yet?





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