Should I let my box turtle hibernate??

TurtleBonBon

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I have had a box turtle for 2 years now. She is over 20 years old. I haven't let her hibernate before since I keep her inside all year, but I'm not sure if the previous owners did or not.
The last 2 years she would slow down in the winter, but keep eating.
This year she has been refusing food for about 3 and a half weeks, even her favorite treats like worms and blueberries. She has managed to eat 2 or 3 of each in total over the time and a few bites of turtle food but generally isn't even interested in eating. I've tried everything I can think of, and many different foods.

I amthinking she is determined to hibernate, since she is also burrowing during the day even with the heat lamp & uvb on.
I am afraid it could be dangerous since she hasn't been eating anything for so long and was extremely active for 1.5 weeks of the not eating.
Should I let her hibernate or continue to keep her warm and try to get her to eat?
I read that you could try hibernating for a week or two, then check on them. I am considering this.

Her eyes, mouth, and skin look ok and she is alert and moving her head around when not sleeping. I don't think she is sick, just sleepy.
I wasn't worried when she started fasting because this happens occasionally and then a few worms will convince her to eat other foods. Now, she will not eat or come out of her hiding place at all.

I am in California, so it is not too cold here. I have the heat to 75-80 during the day, and 55-60 at night. There is a uvb light. Its almost time to replace it. The substrate is dirt and spaghum moss, maybe 3", with a tile and rock basking area. Her box is 5'x3' with 2 hiding places, one humid. I haven't changed anything. I leave the lights on from 8am to 8pm but I know she can tell it's winter and I'm not fooling anyone, even though outside temps are 60. Maybe 45 at night. It is totally dark by 5:30 though.

I have a closet that doesn't get heating and would be a good place to hibernate.

appreciate your advice
 

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Toddrickfl1

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Pull her out and soak her in warm water for about 20 minutes everyday. After you soak her place her right in front of some food. She should snap out of it after a little while.
 

TurtleBonBon

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Enclosure is described in my post. I spray it down every day.
I've been putting her in warm water every morning. She looks around but won't touch any food in the bath or after the bath. Usually attacking fruit in the bath is her favorite thing
 

TurtleBonBon

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Enclosure is described in my post. I spray it down every day.
I've been putting her in warm water every morning. She looks around but won't touch any food in the bath or after the bath. Usually attacking fruit in the bath is her favorite thing
 

Pastel Tortie

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Do you have a gram scale (kitchen scale)? Start weighing your turtle at every soak, and make sure you write it down. It will help save your sanity. It's the turtle's weight over time that will let you know if there's reason to worry. If the turtle maintains weight during the winter, you can just continue as you've been doing.

You might consider replacing that UVB bulb early... The turtle might perk up a little.
 

mark1

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do away with the 5-60 degree temps , keep it 75-85 all the time .......
 

Loohan

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I wonder...
Is a box turtle behaving like that necessarily "wanting to brumate"?
Might it not derive some benefit similar to those associated with brumation merely by slowing down and fasting? And meditating deeply on matters of cosmic importance? Without the risks of brumation?
Would it not possibly be happy hanging out as it is?
Does a turtle HAVE to be eating just because it's not brumating?
What do wild boxies do in a mild winter?

I have 2 adolescent boxies i keep indoors. I haven't brumated them in years. What happens is, the younger one prefers to hang out where it's warm and eat. The older one usually gravitates to a cool area and seldom eats. Both seem fine.
Any time it is warmish and sunny i put them outside to soak in stock tanks. If it's cold for a while i soak them indoors every couple days.
Maybe as the small one gets older he will act more like the other.
 

TurtleBonBon

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I've been soaking her in water every day for a week and she will not eat either in the water or after she gets out. She used to love attacking fruit in the water. She is alert and looks around, sniffs the food then ignores it. I leave it by her all day and it is never touched. I've been trying pellets, different kinds of fruit, and worms.

It makes sense to let her do her thing, but it's not good if she stays awake and never eats. She is using energy and still occasionally walks around but won't touch food at all.
 

Loohan

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I've been soaking her in water every day for a week and she will not eat either in the water or after she gets out. She used to love attacking fruit in the water. She is alert and looks around, sniffs the food then ignores it. I leave it by her all day and it is never touched. I've been trying pellets, different kinds of fruit, and worms.

It makes sense to let her do her thing, but it's not good if she stays awake and never eats. She is using energy and still occasionally walks around but won't touch food at all.

Hmmm. Well, my larger one SNOOZES most of the time when he's like this.
 
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