RT hibernation

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TortoiseLuv0131

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Hi!
I've had my Russian Tortoise for a little more than a year now. The first winter I didn't hibernate her, because we live in a very warm climate and I didn't want to make any mistakes, being still new. However, she wasn't really thriving during the winter and I think she'd do better in hibernation this year. Could you give me some help specifying the pros and cons of hibernation, how you hibernate your RT's, if it's even necessary in 60-70 degree winters?
Thank you so much!
TortoiseLuv0131
 

lynnedit

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The main question is: How is your tortoise doing now? Is she becoming active again, appetite up, bodily functions normal?
If so, you don't need to do anything differently. It is normal for Mediterranean tortoises to slow down over winter, even if kept inside. This is OK and won't hurt them. Of course, you continue to soak them weekly even if they are not eating.
You live in a very friendly tortoise climate, so as long as they have a dry area in the winter, it sounds as if she can live outside year round?

You will never find agreement on whether to hibernate or not. You have to base it case by case, on the needs of the tortoise, where in the world you live, etc. I have a male Horsfield that I did hibernate and it has helped him rebound.
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/thread-71394.html
My others slowed down in winter, stopped eating, but basked daily. They are fine now and eating avidly again.
 

TortoiseLuv0131

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5 Year Member
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Location (City and/or State)
Eastern USA
lynnedit said:
The main question is: How is your tortoise doing now? Is she becoming active again, appetite up, bodily functions normal?
If so, you don't need to do anything differently. It is normal for Mediterranean tortoises to slow down over winter, even if kept inside. This is OK and won't hurt them. Of course, you continue to soak them weekly even if they are not eating.
You live in a very friendly tortoise climate, so as long as they have a dry area in the winter, it sounds as if she can live outside year round?

You will never find agreement on whether to hibernate or not. You have to base it case by case, on the needs of the tortoise, where in the world you live, etc. I have a male Horsfield that I did hibernate and it has helped him rebound.
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/thread-71394.html
My others slowed down in winter, stopped eating, but basked daily. They are fine now and eating avidly again.

Thank you so much! Yes, my tort is doing just great now - very active and eating tons. I'm glad it's not completely necessary to hibernate her, because I wouldn't want her to be gone 2-3 months out of the year. (Although when we both get to be 70 I might try it. No, LOL, just kidding.) Unfortunately where I live it is very humid, especially during the summer, so I'm afraid Myrtle has to live inside. However, I take her on 30-60 minute runs every day which helps a little, and soon I might expand her indoor habitat.

Thanks so much to everyone who answered!


ascott said:

ben2684 said:
http://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/newhibernation.html

http://briantortoise3234.m.webs.com..._level=0&fw_sig_tier=0&fb_sig_network=fw#1203


I found both these articles quite helpful, I hibernated Terence for the first time in a bottle fridge kept at 5 degrees C for 12 weeks, it was so stressful as it was my first time, but I weighed him weekly, hope these help :)

Thank you both for the links, they were very helpful to me. I am leaning towards not hibernating currently, as it stays very warm (around 65-75 degrees F) in my home during the winter and fall and I could not provide the appropriate wind-down temperatures. Is there a way to combat this? Last winter, my tortoise seemed like she was trying to hibernate, digging frantically in her dig box, etc. and stopped defecating so I would like to hibernate her if I can. However, she was also ill with internal parasites during part of the winter so that probably also led to decreased activity. She started getting active and pooping again when I gave her the medicine and also when spring rolled around. So I don't know whether to attribute it to warmer temperatures or the medicine. (I'm thinking the latter by now because it was getting pretty warm before I gave her the medicine too.)
Thanks again!
-TortoiseLuv0131
 
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