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

Our first hibernation
Posted: 02/01/2010 by davesears

Looks like im late to get mine into hibernation. Despite owning our 2 Hermanns (born 2006 & 2007) for the last 2 years years this is our first time at hibernation.

Ive downloaded all the guides and have used the guide for preparing juveniles turning it into a 20 day spreadsheet checklist. They are on day 17 now due to go into their fridge on 20th Jan.

Before starting to prepare them they was checked and both passed healthy by the Jackson scale. Ive purchased the fridge mentioned in earlier posts and that will be used in my garage as my house is too warm for this model of fridge only managing to get to 7 degrees - Im targeting 5 degress.

As stated in the guide i will weigh just before they go into their individual boxes and make a note of the 10% loss danger weight. How often should I check their weights?

Temperatures in my part of Kent are about zero degrees at the moment, with the coldest part of winter normally mid Feb. What is an ideal/average time in hibernation for these age torts?

Thinks that it for now :-) Happy new year all

Dave & Cathy

Re: Our first hibernation
Posted: 02/01/2010 by Row

Good luck with your first hibernation.

Mine (horsefields) have just come out of theirs and mine 1st hibernation. Would have like to have done it later like yourselves but they knew best!!!!!

I know what your going through really is worrying.

All the best and I'm sure all will be fine.

Row, Tetley and Twiglet (the Piglet!) x

Re: Our first hibernation
Posted: 02/01/2010 by davesears

Sorry I said the 20th Jan - I meant the 20th day was on 5th Jan doh!

Re: Our first hibernation
Posted: 03/01/2010 by Dave K

Hello there,

This is probably being a bit picky but please be careful with fridge temperatures if the fridge is in the garage. If the temp in the garage goes to zero or below so will the fridge eventually. The fridge can only cool to the temperature set on the thermostat, it cant warm air so if the garage is frezing the fridge will follow. Just need to keep a close eye on it, perhaps get a digital thermomenter with an alarm that you can set to go off if a critical minimum temperature is reached?

Hope it all goes well for you, I'd start with 8 weeks and if its all going well maybe extend it a week or two.



Re: Our first hibernation
Posted: 03/01/2010 by davesears

Hi Dave

Ive really not dsescribed what Im using to hibernate my torts very well. Its the Herpnursery II - operates with a temperature range of between 5 to 60 degrees. This does not get down below 7 degrees in my house where the ambient temperature is approx 22 degrees indoors. So Im forced to use my garage which has full electric powerpoints.

I'll aim for 8 weeks if all is going well as you suggest - how often should I check/weigh my torts.

Thanks for the advice


Dave & Cathy

Re: Our first hibernation
Posted: 03/01/2010 by Dave K

Hi there,

I'm not that familiar with the Herpnursery so it might be worth checking that it can automatically switch from cooling to heating to get a stable temperature rather than just having an incubation and hibernation mode.

With small tortoises undergoing their first hibernation I'd check them over weekly. Using this hibernation method its non intrusive to quickly check their weight if you like and you can have a quick look around their rear for any signs of urination in the substrate and if you touch a back leg you should get a small reaction from the tortoise.

Hope it all goes well for you!

Re: Our first hibernation
Posted: 13/01/2010 by davesears

Day 9 of our hibernation.

Ive been checking temperatures daily and all looking good so far.

Ive just done the weekly check and weight check. Both looking okay no signs of urination and I got a small reaction when the back leg was touched.

Stomp our youngest Hermann (2007) is still at his start weight of 203g.

Stig the older Hermann (2006) has gone from a start weight of 190g down to 187g in 9 days. Is this normal?


Dave & Cathy

Re: Our first hibernation
Posted: 13/01/2010 by VivTPG

Hi Dave and Cathy, congratulations on your hibernation Click and drag me down to the editor, sounds like its going fine.  Three grams is ok, just keep an eye on it as you have been, as long as its no more than 10% he will be ok.

Regards VivienneClick and drag me down to the editor

Re: Our first hibernation
Posted: 28/02/2010 by davesears

Hi all

Im planning to take our 2 Hermanns out of hibernation Sat 6th Mar. They went into their fridge on the 4th Jan.

Been making daily temperature checks, and roughly weighing and reaction checks every 4 days.

4yr old Stig original weight was 190g and has dropped to 185g.

3yr old Stomp original weight was 203g and has dropped to 199g.

Is this the right time to take them out of hibernation?

Really do appreciate all the advice received.


Dave & Cathy

Re: Our first hibernation
Posted: 01/03/2010 by TPGDarren

Hi Dave & Cathy,

6th March sounds good:-) - just over 8 weeks.

Hopefully the weather will be even warmer.

Re: Our first hibernation
Posted: 07/03/2010 by davesears

Both torts out of hibernation yesterday. Eating, drinking, bathed and full body functions working.

Thanks for all advice and the excellent help sheets.

Dave & Cathy

Re: Our first hibernation
Posted: 08/03/2010 by TPGDarren

Glad to hear it all went OK:-)

All my adults up this weekend too:-)


web designer: