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Tortoise losing a lot of weight prior to hibernation

Discussion in 'General Tortoise Discussion' started by I cry hard, Oct 16, 2019.

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  1. I cry hard

    I cry hard New Member

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    Hello!

    I am pretty new to tortoise keeping and this year it will be my first year of letting my tortoises hibernate.

    I read that 4 weeks prior to their hibernation they shouldn't eat anything. I also saw a video saying you could do such thing about 3 weeks (or even 2) prior to hibernation.
    I went for 3 weeks.

    Now, I am soaking my tortoises every 2 days (some days I just can't really make it), so it would be: Today bathing (if possible tomorrow aswell, if not ->) and then a day not and the following day I bathe them again etc.

    My concern is this: I haven't fed my tortoises for over a week now (but have been bathing them), but they lost a lot of weight.

    This is how their statistics look right now, compared to 3 weeks earlier:
    I will name one tortoise: black tortoise and the other one yellow tortoise, so you can distinguish them.
    Their race is a testudo hermanni

    Usual temperatures (summer time): 29 degrees celsius
    After starting to prepare them for hibernation: 21 degrees celsius
    Next week I want to put them in a room temperature of 17 degrees celsius
    Going into hibernation begin of november: 5 degrees celsius (fridge method)

    Before I stopped actively feeding them (I reduced their food in the 2 weeks prior to not giving them any food at all, because the temperature in their enclosure was also reduced):

    Black tortoise weight: 108/109 g
    black tortoise length: 7,8 cm

    Yellow tortoise weight: 144 g
    Yellow tortoise length: 8,9 cm

    Black tortoise jackson ratio: 0.22
    Yellow tortoise jackson ratio: 0.20


    After one week without feeding them:

    Black tortoise weight: 97 g
    Black tortoise length: 8,3 cm

    Yellow tortoise weight: 124 g
    Yellow tortoise length: 8,9 cm

    Black tortoise jackson ratio: 0.18
    Yellow tortoise jackson ratio: 0.19


    My questions are:

    - By the time they want to hibernate, is it even safe to do so, or have they lost way too much bodyfat etc. to safely hibernate?

    - Should I not reduce the food when I lower the temperature (aka, was this a mistake)? Should I basically give them a time gap where they can feed themselves like bears?
  2. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Are they indoor or outdoor tortoises? If indoor, you don't need to allow brumation. It sounds to me as if they aren't prepared to brumate.
  3. I cry hard

    I cry hard New Member

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    they are indoor... they aren't ready to brumate? If so, what should I do and how can I be so sure they want to brumate then? should I start feeding them again? how exactly should I also skip the part of brumation and go straight into hibernation without them having food in their stomach?
  4. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Tortoises don't 'hibernate', they brumate. If your tortoises are living indoors, then they don't know they're supposed to be getting ready for the long, cold winter. Just continue to keep their lights on 14 hours a day, keep them warm and feed them. They won't brumate this winter. If they suddenly stop eating on their own, and just want to stay buried or hidden in a corner, THEN you can worry about brumation.
  5. dmmj

    dmmj The member formerly known as captain awesome Moderator 10 Year Member!

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    It is never a good idea to bruminate a new ( less then a year in your care) or sick tortoise. Keep them indoors warm, with long light cycle
  6. I cry hard

    I cry hard New Member

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    They aren't sick or less then a year old. I however have skipped out on 1 wintersleep (or brumate). I bought them at the end of their hibernation and the following year (that was my first year of having them) I did not let them hibernate.
  7. I cry hard

    I cry hard New Member

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    So I shouldn't adjust their heat/daylight hours etc. when they're indoors so they prepare to brumate?
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