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

Posted: 23/10/2009 by tobiesmum

hi everyone,

am just starting the winddown  with daisy but just want to check that she will be ready. a few questions.

she is 3 and a half years old and weighs 352gms and measures 5 inches/13cm is this ok?

how long do we have to do the wind down for, does she come under the juvenile category?

daisy is in the lounge at the mo and even with her heat lamps off the background temp is around 18 is this too warm do i need to move her?

i was planning to do the fridge method of hibernation but she would have to go in our domestic fridge (no freezer section) would this be ok for her? i do have a brick built shed but would rather do the fridge method.

what substrate do i use?

please help

Re: hibernation
Posted: 23/10/2009 by kohimagirl


I would say do the juvenile wind down, and yes I think you should move yours to a cooler place. When I was winding down Annabel (fwho has just gone into my shed) I turned the basking lamp off for a week and then the heating in the spare bedroom, then she had a week in the garage, before going into the shed.

I cant answer the substrate question as I dont use a fridge, but no doubt someone else will tell you.



Re: hibernation
Posted: 24/10/2009 by TPGDarren


That seems quite light to me for her length?
Would you mind confirming the length and weight please?


Here are the calcs using the Jackson Ration:-

Weight (grams) / (length x length x length)  - length in cm

352 / (13 x 13 x 13)


352/2197 = 0.16

  • less than 0.16: An underweight tortoise needing special care.
  • of 0.17: Light for hibernation, unless an active male, or an animal with unusually flared scutes.
  • of 0.19: Normal, and safe to hibernate
  • of 0.21: A very good weight, ideal condition.
  • of above 0.23: Possibly too heavy, check for puffiness (water retention)



Re: hibernation
Posted: 24/10/2009 by tobiesmum

I just weighed her again and it now says she is 329gms they are new digital scales although the same ones I used to get 352gms so am confused now. Also daisy is a horsfield and I thought the jackson ratio was for hermans? Is she still too light then, should I start feeding her agian she not eaten for two days this will be the third

Re: hibernation
Posted: 24/10/2009 by TPGDarren

Thank Goodness for that:-)

Sorry - so easily done, I've just been answering lots of questions regarding Hermanns tortoises - your quite right:-)

So long as she has been eating well during the summer and has been healthy - I'm sure she will be fine.

(PS it might be an idea to get some new scales)

Re: hibernation
Posted: 24/10/2009 by tobiesmum

They are new scales but didn't realise the whole surface area is the weighing area not just the central circle must have been pressing on it before.

So is she a good weight for hibernation? Do I need to move her to a cooler room or just alter the lights this week and switch of all together next week and then move. What should the background temp be b4 she goes into fridge and will she be ok in a domestic fridge with no freezer section.

Loads of questions I know but this our first hibernation aswell and am a bit nervous

Re: hibernation
Posted: 25/10/2009 by tortoise7

Hi tobies mum

I done my first hibernation (Fridge) last year on my adult (Rehomer) but being inexperienced I didn't feel confident to do Keya (Hermans 3.5 yrs old ).   Everything went really well regarding wind down temps, and bring her out of hibernation, but I felt there was a more relaxed way to do it. I have had a look at the TPG care sheet and I will be following that this year for Molly and Keya, as it is straight forward and looks a far simpler method than the regime I followed last year. The hardest part, which no-one can control is how the weather goes with respect to temperatures, it is very mild at the moment, so I am keeping mine going for as long as I can, they are both eating for England so I am letting them go with it. I am planning on starting Mollys wind down next week-end, that will be for 5 wks as she is a big girl, luckily I have a habistat thermastat so I can regulate the temps in outside for Molly, but for Keya when I do her, I will be running around the house with thermometers seeing where in the house the temps drop so I can keep moving her around on the gradual temperature drop, so she becomes acclimatised to the 5c temp of the fridge. I also keep a weight chart so I can keep
Hope I have been some help, of course alot depends on Tobie's set up etc as we all differ and have to adapt accordingly to where we live and facilities we have. I am a pure novice myself and will probably be keeping the TPG team busy with my questions but I feel pretty confident that I will be OK with the care sheet, watch this space, good luck

Jane Keya & Molly

Re: hibernation
Posted: 25/10/2009 by tortoise7

OOPs sorry meant Daisy not TobieClick and drag me down to the editor , and the chart I keep is pre wind down and then I keep another chart over the hibernation weigh in's. Not wishing to sound chart crazyClick and drag me down to the editor  but  I do keep a regular chart for both Keya & Molly when I weigh them every month, and what they are eating weed names etc.
Bye for now Jane



web designer: