Wynding down for hibernation

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Wynding down for hibernation

Postby NZ1 » Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:33 am

Hi everyone, I have a 2 year old Hermann Tortoise. I have had him for around 2 months. The breeder I got him from hibernated him once. The method used was: he was living outdoors after being kept indoors for approximately a year. So he hibernated naturally and so before I got him he was living outdoors full time. need to know if I am doing things correctly as I have him indoors in a tortoise table setup and have not feed him for a week and from reading on this website as he is 2 I shouldn't feed him for two weeks before I allow him to hibernate. I have seen a vet about this but as I am in NZ and my vet's knowledge of Tortoises is very limited. As my tortoise is used to being outdoors full time, I will put him outside, as I have an outdoor enclosure that has a cold frame that I have put a lot of topsoil in so that he has plenty of soil to burrow down in. It's weather proof and rain proof, I was told by my vet to not allow him to hibernate more than two months. The vet also showed concern that the weather in Wellington NZ gets very cold, colder than where he was living before in NZ. I have been keeping an eye on the temperatures in the cold frame with my temp gun and so far the temperatures in the cold frame have gone down to 10 degrees. But it is not winter yet, we are in the 3rd week of Autumn. I am under the impression that the cold frame would be enough for him to go into at night and sleep okay all year round. I asked my vet about reducing the time the heat lamp and UV light is on, and he said I shouldn't change things. When he hibernated with his breeder he went down in May and got up in September. I would also like to keep him permanently outdoors. Any comments or advice about what I am doing or not doing would be appreciated. His weight has been constant since I got him at 270 - 274 grams and I am bathing him every second day. He has slowed down a lot, sleeping most of the time, and from what I have heard the Tortoises in NZ do hibernate from anywhere from April/May, Thanks for any advice.
NZ1
 
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Re: Wynding down for hibernation

Postby NZ1 » Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:10 am

I am not sure how to ask that would someone please answer my previous first post on Wynding down my Tortoise above.... I have also noticed that the top soil I have put into his outdoor enclosure and in his outdoor cold frame has moisture in it. Can someone please let me know what i could add or put instead into his cold frame for him to safely hibernate in? I am concerned that the Loam clay based top soil that I have used is too full of moisture that could cause him harm during hibernation.Thanks in advance.
NZ1
 
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Re: Wynding down for hibernation

Postby Tortoise Trust » Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:38 am

I suspect you have not had any replies because very few of us (any?) have direct experience of the likely weather conditions in New Zealand. Generally, standard hibernation advice will apply:

http://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/n ... ation.html

Yes, clay soil can be a problem. Tortoises hibernated in very wet, clay soil are at risk. The usual solution is to 'condition' the soil, increasing drainage to keep it dry.
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Re: Wynding down for hibernation

Postby NZ1 » Fri Apr 15, 2016 4:14 am

Hi how do I condition the top soil?
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Re: Wynding down for hibernation

Postby Tortoise Trust » Fri Apr 15, 2016 7:22 am

Essentially, add sand and gravel ...increases drainage and improves 02 levels.
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