Length of hibernation for 1st timer?

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Length of hibernation for 1st timer?

Postby Gillymckb » Sun Dec 28, 2014 7:06 pm

Hi, I have a 5 yr healthy tesudo graeca ( spur thighed ). This is the first time I have hibernated him. He had vet check, 4 week wind down . Temps are between 4-6 degrees and his weight has stayed at 765g for the past 3 weeks. No pee in bed. My vet said to hibernate for 4 weeks but after reading some suggest a lot longer. Could anyone please help with this? Thanks in advance xx
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Re: Length of hibernation for 1st timer?

Postby Joan » Sun Dec 28, 2014 8:43 pm

Gillymckb wrote:Hi, I have a 5 yr healthy tesudo graeca ( spur thighed ). This is the first time I have hibernated him. He had vet check, 4 week wind down . Temps are between 4-6 degrees and his weight has stayed at 765g for the past 3 weeks. No pee in bed. My vet said to hibernate for 4 weeks but after reading some suggest a lot longer. Could anyone please help with this? Thanks in advance xx


Four weeks is very short - I would let him have eight weeks and see how he is doing then. You could then possibly continue a little longer!
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Re: Length of hibernation for 1st timer?

Postby Gillymckb » Sun Dec 28, 2014 9:39 pm

Thanks so much... Wow 8 weeks without my little darling trying to eat my feet ! I also check him twice a day.... Should I leave the poor boy alone and check every other day? Thanks again Joan xx
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Re: Length of hibernation for 1st timer?

Postby Joan » Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:58 am

What do you mean exactly by checking him? Are you checking the temperatures or making sure he's still asleep or what? Once you know he has settled and if you have good thermometers you can monitor then once a week is quite sufficient.
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Re: Length of hibernation for 1st timer?

Postby Sandy » Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:39 am

Joan wrote:What do you mean exactly by checking him? Are you checking the temperatures or making sure he's still asleep or what? Once you know he has settled and if you have good thermometers you can monitor then once a week is quite sufficient.



I agree with Joan, four weeks is basically a waste of time and effort on the tortoises system. A minimum of eight weeks for a first hibernation is good, but if all is fine and not losing too much weight, another couple of weeks is better. Its far better they are asleep during the coldest months of the year. As a good diet is harder to maintain when its too cold for weeds to grow outside:0)
And too much checking can make them wake before they need too. Light and heat will both stir tortoises.
Its hard when its your first hibernation, but its a great learning curve for next year:0)
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Re: Length of hibernation for 1st timer?

Postby Gillymckb » Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:00 pm

Thank you both for your help . I will leave him alone and only check him at his weekly weigh in.... 8 weeks it is then... Hope he wakes up in a good mood ! Gx
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