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wont wake up
Posted: 08/02/2011 by Bushby

Hi all, Please can someone help me, I have a little Hermann Tortoise who is 3 years old. I have never hibernated him before as Ive been too scared. Well, around Oct he decided he would hibernate himself in his house so I left him for a week, woke him up and gave him a little bath. Then he just went back to hibernating again, so I just left him in his cage/house with his sand & soil to sleep. I checked on him every few days to make sure he was still breathing, all was fine.

Now that I want him to wake up I decided to get him up this morning. I put on his heater and UV light for a few hours to get it nice and warm before I woke him. He had a little bath & he ate, then about an hour later he went back to bed and hasn't woken since. What should I do???????? do I just leave him and he will come out when his ready or have I kade a huge bo bo by letting him sleep in his house all winter without putting him in a fridge etc...

Re: wont wake up
Posted: 08/02/2011 by tortoise7


I think you have done the right thing in bathing and turning temps and light on, and would continue to do that now. what are his weights like?. My little one wants to sleep, but I get her walking around, bathed and eating everyday, once she has done that then I let her go and have a sleep again. Hope I am helping here Click and drag me down to the editor
Hibernation isn't scary as long as you get well read on the subject, have a good reliable fridge and give yourself plenty of time to prepare before you put them into hibernation, plus checking on them regulary. Everyone will help you on this site so you won't be alone, we all have our moments, I know I have had plenty Click and drag me down to the editor

Re: wont wake up
Posted: 09/02/2011 by Bushby

Thanks Jane,

his weight- before he went to sleep he was 69g, now his 56g, so he has lost alot of weight. My little man in 3 years old. I did wake him up again today, gave him a warm bath, he ate again and went back to bed.

Its such a hard life being a tortoise isn't it.

Re: wont wake up
Posted: 10/02/2011 by tortoise7

Those weights seem very low to me, I would give two baths a day, get them walking around bit, and I think you need to get them checked over by a tortoise vet just for peace of mind. Can I just ask what you are feeding them on, and what set-up do they have?

Re: wont wake up
Posted: 10/02/2011 by Bushby

Thanks Jane.

Set-up.- He lives in a guinea pig indoor cage and has a UV light running all the way along the back of the bars and a reflective lamp/bulb which is around 30 degrees at one end. I put in half sand half soil all over the bottom of the cage. He has rocks and wood to climb over.

Food- He is a picky eater, the person we bought him off of last year fed him on pellets and cucumber. He loves cucumber but I have read that this is not good for him, so he eats baged salad and weeds from my garden. He wont eat dandelions and when I place the calcium powder on his food he refuses to eat. (picky little boy)

what do you think I should feed him just to get his weight up? his eyes look bright and he loves his baths. George showed more signs of moving about today, I woke him up and he stayed up for a few hours under his heater.

Also if its a sunny day is he ok to go outside now for a short while or is it just too cold for him? I have made a run with a lid and solid sides so no birds or cats can get to him. His only very little about 3 and a half inchs. Im sure he should be bigger than this.

Re: wont wake up
Posted: 10/02/2011 by tortoise7


Your set up sounds good.  It is good that he is awake abit more now. I think that now he is awake and feeding every day that he will start to put weight back on, it is tricky because you don't want to feed up too quickly or he might get lumpy shell. Hard when they have been on a bad diet, I had that problem when I rehomed my Molly, I hand fed her until she started eating and then got her eating it herself, you do have to be careful though because they can be terribly lazy and get used to being hand fed. I would give him some opuntia as it is is high in phosphate and calcium, and persevere with the dandelions. Do you use Nutrobal? maybe a little on some cucumber, I know cucumber is not the best but as long as you use it to just give the vits and help rehydrate(not as a meal) it will be Ok, even smear cucumber over the Dandelion leaves until he gets the taste for them, a little bit of trickery is sometimes needed.
The general rule is that they can go out when it is T shirt weather, I won't be putting my 4 yr old out until then even though she has an outdoor house with heating.
I must say he doesn't sound like the size of a three year old more like a year old., do you know where the person you brought him from got him?


Re: wont wake up
Posted: 11/02/2011 by Bushby

I will keep on trying him with the Nutrobal, but as I say the little sausage wont touch the food if its on there. He also litke apple, maybe if I try a little on there. I bought him a cuttle fish which he wont touch also.

The person who we got him off bought him from a pet shop Click and drag me down to the editor they sold him with a glass tank!! dont worry my little man is out of that! anyway, they gave her a certificate that has the year 2007 on it. Dont know if they lie? prob do.

We collected him from her last May and he loves being outside when its sunny, we only had him till the Oct then he went to sleep. The other owner said she had him for about 9 months before us so maybe he is really alot younger?

I did record his weight when we got him here is his chart:

30/05/10     49g

14/6/10      54g

20/7/10      61g

14/9/10     69g

what size and weight should a 3/4 year old Hermann tortoise be?

Thanks for all your help. Click and drag me down to the editor  Louise & George

Re: wont wake up
Posted: 12/02/2011 by tortoise7

Hi Louise & George
His weights are going up nice and steady, so that is good, and going by what you said he was 3" long which would be 7.5cms his weights 69gms, by my calculations he is at 0.16 which is quite low but not desperately so. I worked the weights out by dividing the length 3 times into the weights. Gauge is 0.16-     V.low
                                                                               0.17-8- average
                                                                               0.19/20 Average/bordline heavy
                                                                               0.21/22 overweight

 It is hard to give accurate sizes as they vary like humans, but here is a rough guide

1yr-   Length of little finger
2yrs-    "            Ring finger
3yrs-    "            Middle finger
5yrs-    "            Palm
10yrs-  "            Hand
With hi

of course it does depend on the size of your hand Click and drag me down to the editor
Where does it say the place of captivity was, on your certificate?
I think that because he did not have a controlled and proper hibernation, you just need to concentrate on getting him to take his vits, plenty of baths to rehydrate. With the cuttlefish, put it in the garden and let it get abit weathered, they don't seem to like  the fishy smell, it is important though that he has daily vits & calcium at his age, don't forget he is about 80-90% calcium built and growing, even fresh weeds contain certain amounts like dandies and plantain. have you looked at the link to The Tortoise Table website that is on the subjects list of TPG? If he doesn't produce health urates and poo's (check for worms) then I would get him checked over by a tortoise vet.




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