Hibernation

Debs143

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Hey, I'm not sure if this is the right place for this but I'm looking for some advice. I am new to owning a tortoise... I have a 4month old Horsefield tortoise. I am wondering whether to hibernate him/her this winter, if I need to and how I go about it. I'm not very confident about doing it this year but if it is going to be best for Flash....... X
 

Blakem

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I owned a Russian tortoise for 4 years and never felt comfortable allowing him to go into hibernation. In order to keep him awake, you'll need to keep his temperatures at an average. This means, during the day keep a mercury vapor bulb lamp on, and during the night, a ceramic heat emitter. Your Russian will slow down dramatically. This means not eating much, not being very active, and sleeping a lot. You'll still perform your soaking a few times a week.

Welcome to the forum! Russians are a lot of fun.
 

Gillian M

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A very warm welcome to the forum.

How about posting pics of your tort and its enclosure?
 

Tidgy's Dad

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Hi, Debs, i wouldn't hibernate this year.
Overwintering is quite easy, as Blake says, you just offer favourite foods to encourage eating and keep up the temperatures and use light for 12 to 14 hours a day to simulate summer.
My Tidgy ( a Greek), has not hibernated yet, she gets sluggish for a while in the autumn, but recovers after 6 weeks or so and lives a normal life through the winter.
 

Yvonne G

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I don't allow them to hibernate until they're 3 years old.
 

Yvonne G

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I like them to have a bit of size on them before I put them through the stress of hibernation.
 

mlummus

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I owned a Russian tortoise for 4 years and never felt comfortable allowing him to go into hibernation. In order to keep him awake, you'll need to keep his temperatures at an average. This means, during the day keep a mercury vapor bulb lamp on, and during the night, a ceramic heat emitter. Your Russian will slow down dramatically. This means not eating much, not being very active, and sleeping a lot. You'll still perform your soaking a few times a week.

Welcome to the forum! Russians are a lot of fun.

During this sluggish period is it normal for torts to not eat several days in a row?
 

Blakem

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During this sluggish period is it normal for torts to not eat several days in a row?
It's normal for then to be sluggish, not eating much (if any) for a few days, and to sleep a lot. There should be some activity and you should still soak 2-3 times a week.
 

Sheldon.B

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Hi just checking out for some advice. I have Sheldon since March this year, he is a Greek male tortoise of 10 years. I checked with the previous owner and he was never hibernated. He is definitely sleeping more and eating a bit less, but still want out for a wander around. I keep his heat and sun bulbs on for about 12-14 hours making sure he has 10 hours without them on, but he wanders into his sleeping area more often? Should I hibernate him? Or just keep with what I am doing.
 

Tidgy's Dad

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My girl is a Greek, but she is only 5.
I have no intention of hibernating her this year and hope never to have to.
Some recommend hibernation, others say it's fine to overwinter if you provide the right conditions.
Basically i think it's your choice.
(personally, i wouldn't).
 
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