Hibernation

MichaelL

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Nov 18, 2018
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Ocala, Fl
Hello everybody, so I have set my mind on hibernating my russians this year, my third winter with them and first time I plan on hibernating. I have seen and read so much about hibernating, and initially wanted to do it outdoors because here in Ocala, Fl we barely get any rain during winter and last winter it never went below freezing. I am too worried, though, about doing it naturally and plan on doing it in the fridge.

The downside is I can't really get another fridge separate from the food one we use. (I am a teenager and my parents won't let me buy a separate, expensive mini fridge for the Russians because I've already spent tons on them :(

I plan on breeding the russians this year and know it is natural and stimulating for them to hibernate, and I REALLY want to do it this year because I love treating them like they would be living in the wild, naturally, as well as having waited a couple years and wanting to see them come out of hibernation more stimulated and wanting to mate.

Am I able to use our food fridge to hibernate?
 

Yvonne G

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I wouldn't. Just box them up in a cardboard box full of shredded newspaper and place the box somewhere where it will be cool, dark and quiet. The temp should be between 40F and 50F, and on the low side of that spread is best. It might be hard to find a spot like that in Florida.
 

RosemaryDW

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I would not hibernate my tortoise in the food fridge intentionally (have done it once when I wasn’t comfortable with the temps holding in her own fridge, would not do it again). You don’t know what will get into the hibernation box from your fridge—I sometimes get moldy vegetable, my tortoise shouldn’t be exposed to that.

I also would not hibernate outside in your area; it barely gets cold enough at night for a Russian to hibernate and it is too warm during the day. That is not how a Russian hibernates in the wild; I don’t see how they could have a stable, true hibernation in your climate.

If you can’t afford a fridge, you should keep them up as you have done in prior years. Sorry. :(
 

MichaelL

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Nov 18, 2018
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Location (City and/or State)
Ocala, Fl
I would not hibernate my tortoise in the food fridge intentionally (have done it once when I wasn’t comfortable with the temps holding in her own fridge, would not do it again). You don’t know what will get into the hibernation box from your fridge—I sometimes get moldy vegetable, my tortoise shouldn’t be exposed to that.

I also would not hibernate outside in your area; it barely gets cold enough at night for a Russian to hibernate and it is too warm during the day. That is not how a Russian hibernates in the wild; I don’t see how they could have a stable, true hibernation in your climate.

If you can’t afford a fridge, you should keep them up as you have done in prior years. Sorry. :(
Everything you said is true, thanks a ton. They’ll be fine anyway, but thanks for clarifying!
 

MichaelL

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Nov 18, 2018
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934
Location (City and/or State)
Ocala, Fl
I wouldn't. Just box them up in a cardboard box full of shredded newspaper and place the box somewhere where it will be cool, dark and quiet. The temp should be between 40F and 50F, and on the low side of that spread is best. It might be hard to find a spot like that in Florida.
Yeah you’re right, it doesn’t get cold enough for me to hibernate them outdoors so I’ll just keep them up again. Thanks!
 
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