2nd hibernation

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2nd hibernation

Postby treacleminer » Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:48 pm

Hi

I have 2 Hermanns tortoises that are three years old.
Last year they hibernated 1 week. This year I was going
To hibernate them 2 weeks but other commitments now make this
Difficult.Would it harm them to only hibernate them 1 week
Again this year.?
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Re: 2nd hibernation

Postby Sandy » Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:00 pm

treacleminer wrote:Hi

I have 2 Hermanns tortoises that are three years old.
Last year they hibernated 1 week. This year I was going
To hibernate them 2 weeks but other commitments now make this
Difficult.Would it harm them to only hibernate them 1 week
Again this year.?



A not worth the effort of winding them down for just one or two weeks. They need a minimum of eight weeks.
It takes at least three to four weeks to wind them down
Sandy
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Re: 2nd hibernation

Postby JerryMaffz » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:15 am

Hi,
As Sandy has said, 1 or 2 week hibernation would really be a waste of time.
In my opinion it would be too late now to start the wind down process for hibernation this year.
I have a Hermanns that is around the same age as yours that is currently six weeks into hibernation.
If you would like a full rundown of the method I use for wind down and hibernation, just send me a PM and I will
write you a full description. That way, you will be better equipped for next year.
If we are to be custodians of these wonderful creatures we really do need to priorotise their needs.
Keith
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Re: 2nd hibernation

Postby treacleminer » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:59 pm

I fast them for 2 weeks then put them in a hibernator for a few weeks. They go stright to sleep at that tempertature. I was trying to do it later this year because last year they didn't want to fully wake up until March. I kept putting them under the basking lamp, but they kept going to the cold part of their run every day and sleeping again until March when they became properly active again, so I thought I could solve this by ending their hibernation at March when they want to wake up. They are fat but small, only 200g because they are only 3.
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Re: 2nd hibernation

Postby treacleminer » Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:01 pm

They are a bit overweight for their size.
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Re: 2nd hibernation

Postby JerryMaffz » Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:03 pm

In my opinion, you should be winding down for about 20 days ie. no food, but keep up hydration. Gradually reduce light and heat.
If you did this earlier, end of December, you could've hibernated for 8 weeks and ended hibernation at the beginning of March.
Keith
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Re: 2nd hibernation

Postby treacleminer » Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:11 pm

Yes but I was going by what the shop said. They said not to hibernate the first year and if I did it would invalidate the guaruntee.
to hibernate for 1 week when 2, 2 weeks when 3, 3 weeks when four......gradually working up to 8 weeks.
Last year they were very little (under 100g) but did their 1 week hibernation.
Is this advice twaddle.
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Re: 2nd hibernation

Postby treacleminer » Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:22 pm

Also on the tortoise trust Safer Hibernation document it says:-

THE LARGER THE TORTOISE, THE LONGER THE TIME REQUIRED TO DIGEST FOOD IN THE STOMACH

Large tortoises, in the 2-3Kg range will require about 1 month fasting period.

Medium-sized tortoises, in the 1-1.5 kg range will need about 3 weeks.

Small tortoises (less than 1 Kg) typically require a fasting period of 2 weeks.

My tortoises are only 200g because they are only 3 years old.
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Re: 2nd hibernation

Postby JerryMaffz » Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:42 pm

Unfortunately, a lot of Pet shops do give advice that can only be described as "twaddle".
I can understand that you wouldn't want to invalidate a guarantee and it is true that it's unwise to hibernate a tortoise that you haven't owned for a year, as there could be health issues you are unaware of. Though a hatchling tortoise will hibernate just the same as an adult.

The 1, 2, 3 , 4 week gradual build up thing is "twaddle".

I wound down my 78g Hermann for 20 days this year and he still poo'd whilst in hibernation, so clearly wouldn't have digested food within 2 weeks!
He's two and a half years old and this is his second hibernation.

There are many variables involved, of course, and you are right to question everything.
Keith
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Re: 2nd hibernation

Postby treacleminer » Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:50 pm

I have also now found a Tortoise Trust Document "Hibernating Juvenile Tortoises" that says don't hibernate them under 10cm long and hibernate tham as adults but slightly shorter time, after that. It seems that there is much conflicting advice on this. I might skip it this year and hibernate them next year for 8 weeks.
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