Hibernation for my boys?

Soren

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Joined
May 3, 2021
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4
Location (City and/or State)
Philadelphia
Hello everyone! I haven't posted on here ever but i've been stalking around whenever I need advice. I have 2 tortoises at the moment, a russian named Rohan and a marginated named bruno. I know its not generally recommended for them to be housed together, but I learned that after they'd been together for a while. I'm always checking for signs of aggression and Bruno has a nice moist hide for when he needs that extra humidity. Rohan is believed to be around 4 years old and Bruno is around 2-3

I've decided im going to at least try to hibernate rohan next winter, and had some questions

1. I live in pennsylvania, so winter temps are kind of inconsistent and I don't have a garage. Would a mini fridge/ incubator work best?
2. Bruno is still a little baby, is it safe to hibernate him? I know it generally leads to longer lives, but is it better to wait until he's older?
3. I've heard both that they should be kept alone while hibernating but also that they should be given baths. Which is best?
4. How long should they be starved before hand to make sure their tummies are cleared out?
5. Should I schedule a vet appointment beforehand just to make sure they're doing good? Both of them are healthy little things, heavy and active. They have good but not crazy appetites and love going on walks to the park. No signs of any ailment, but would a check up still be best?

Sorry for all the questions, I've just totally fallen for my boys and I want to make sure they have the longest and happiest lives possible.
 

Lyn W

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
20,423
Location (City and/or State)
UK
There are threads about hibernation but there are many experienced members who hibernate their torts who will help you.
My tort doesn't hibernate but as I understand it they need to be healthy (in the UK tort associations offer free vet checks).
I've seen recommendations that you don't hibernate babies or any tort the first year or two you have them to make sure they are fit.
I know they have to have empty stomachs before hibernation as food could rot in their stomach and kill them but there are ways and means of achieving this.
Many people use fridges to keep the temps low and even so that they aren't waking early on warmer days.
I'm pretty sure you don't disturb them at all and only soak when they come out of hibernation.
Hibernation is not without risk and needs to be managed properly - I'm glad my tort isn't a hibernating species. Torts also hate change so taking them out of their home is stressful for them.

Be careful taking them to parks and public areas where pesticides or fertilisers could have been used and where other animals could be peeing and pooping leaving pathogens that could make your torts ill or hidden dangers that they could swallow.
The best thing you can do to keep them happy and healthy is to give them their own enclosures.
 
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