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newby horsfield owner
Posted: 16/08/2010 by EmmaJason

we have just bought our very first horsfield today and she seems to be settling in just fine she is 2 years old. I have been reading some of the forum comments and other articles on the internet about when to hibernate, but am getting some mixed results. when is the best time to start hibernating. I am worried that we wont get it right can anyone give some advice?

many thanks


Re: newby horsfield owner
Posted: 19/08/2010 by TPGDave

Hi Emma and welcome to the forum.

Its always good to get a few months under your belt to make sure your tortoise is 100% healthy for hibernation. As its quite late in the year there may even be a case for foregoing hibernation this time round. However, I've hibernated young tortoises and turtles as late as January for 4 to 8 weeks. It is worth getting your tortoise checked by a vet, if all is well you could aim for a short hibernation in the new year. As long as you have an indoor setup to keep your tortoise active up until you are ready to hibernate. Have a read through the hibernation section of the site and let us know if you have any questions.

Re: newby horsfield owner
Posted: 20/08/2010 by EmmaJason

many thanks for the reply. We took Esi to the vet the day we got her, he checked her over and gave her a clean bill of health. he did mention that she was a little small and suggested that she not be hibernated this year. We do have an indoor set up (UV light and Heat lamp etc). but we were recommended to put her outside until the temperature drops below 10 deg celcius, then use the set up we have. We have built her an enclosure similar to the ones in the photo gallery. She seems to like it but we are worried that it may not be suitable and she should be indoors. should we leave her outside monitoring the weather or keep her in? many thanks for any further responses

Re: newby horsfield owner
Posted: 20/08/2010 by TPGDave

Hi Emma,


Personally I dont see "small" as a reason not to hibernate a tortoise, underweight maybe but small tortoises can be hibernated fine.

Your tortoise should be ok outside for a while longer.  Obviously as Autumn arrives the temperature drops will make a tortoise start preparing itself for hibernation so this is the time to bring them in if you are over wintering them. I think a very important consideration is the night time temperature. Once this dips below 10 degrees C a tortoise will go into hibernation mode regardless of daytime temperatures.



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