Hibernation section

All questions relating to hibernation can be placed here. It will make a good reference source for new keepers and keep hibernation related topics in one place, and easy to find.

Re: Hibernation section

Postby Noel » Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:15 am

Our 8 year old Horsfield started burying himself in early Sept and is now about 4 inches down in the ground in his pen in our Garden. I am not sure what to do as Previously we have taken him in before this happened and kept him warm and awake for a few more months before preparing him and putting him in a fridge through winter and most of spring. So shall I leave him or dig him up, if so do I wake him and now keep him awake in doors for winter or just temporarily while we prepare him better for hibernation? Thanks for any advice.
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Re: Hibernation section

Postby Tortoise Trust » Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:35 am

I absolutely do not advise hibernating Testudo horsfieldii outdoors in the UK. Too wet. Only exception is underground in a DRY greenhouse.
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Re: Hibernation section

Postby Noel » Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:54 pm

thanks - we will bring him in now. do we keep him up for winter now or do we prepare him for 4 weeks or so and then put him in his usual place?
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Re: Hibernation section

Postby Tortoise Trust » Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:01 am

I think that will depend on your assessment of his condition, etc.
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Re: Hibernation section

Postby AmyGregory84 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:55 pm

Hey there,
Can anyone help me with the lenght of hibernation for a Horsefeild please.
Tortoise trust website advises to not feed for 2 weeks (as he is only 500g, but suitable for hibernation according to the McIntyre Ratio) and then hibernate for a max of 10 weeks – this is tons shorter than what is was hibernated before (girl who had him before hibetnation from October to March). I then read of those not feeding for 4 weeks and then hibernating for 14-16 weeks.
I didn't feed mine for 3 weeks and then put him in the fridge - please can someone suggest when is the best time to wake him please?
Many thanks
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Re: Hibernation section

Postby CactusVinnie » Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:50 pm

Hi,
It is not stop feeding for 3 weeks, and then put in the fridge! I hope you decreased temps/light gradually, and 3-4 baths offered. Have you noticed urates, and how many faeces?
If you did not those things, first let us know details. Maybe it will need another week of accomodation. It is not wrong to wake him up, if in fridge for only a few days, and offer him another week- that happens outdoor, when a cold week with light freezes occur, and they emerge again when nice days came. They do that a few times before entering in the hibernation.
Not too short 3 weeks, if summer temps in the first week, and decreased gradually. I would do 4, to be safe. If you just stopped feeding and kept cool for 3 weeks, digestion can be incomplete, and food fermentation in the stomach- leading to gas accumulation, intoxication and/or infection- can occur.
Let us know how you did that wind-down!

Tortoisetrust advices shortened hibernation only in special situations, especially related to tortoise origin. Temperate species are adviced to long hibernation, and Horsfieldi are able to do it the longest. Yes, October to March is ok- or November to April, in my area.

Cheers!
Fabian

http://www.coldhardycacti.freehosting.net
Testudo ibera
Testudo hermanni boettgeri
Testudo horsfieldi
Sternotherus carinatus
Sternotherus odoratus
Chrysemys picta picta
Apalone spinifer
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Re: Hibernation section

Postby Miles » Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:27 pm

Hello, I need some urgent advice on my 4 year old Herman, please. He is currently at the end of his first month of hibernation using the fridge method and we have successfully kept the temperature between 4 and 7 degrees, with difficulty!

My worry is his weight. He was 260g before his heat was turned off and of course, we waited until 2 weeks after his last meal before placing him in the fridge. Nobody ever talks about this pre-hibernation weight loss, but he was down to 241g when he was ready to be hibernated. He has lost 2g more since being in the fridge for a month and I am wondering if I should wake him up tomorrow if he's lost another g????? I know he was on the light side of the Jackson Ratio, but still ok, but that was before the wind down period, pre-anything. Now he's a lot lighter than that.

My other question is that he turns round completely once or twice a week. Is this normal?

Help please!! I am worried that we are doing him more harm than good!

Thank you

Miles
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Re: Hibernation section

Postby lorna » Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:24 pm

Miles, it's the weight just before he hibernates that matters, not the weight before wind down. He sounds fine, don't worry.

Lorna
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Re: Hibernation section

Postby CactusVinnie » Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:40 pm

Miles, losing 2g/month is ok; of course, some do not lose anything, some finish hibernation even with a few grams extra- why? Just because the initially very dry keratin absorbed a little water, from the ambient humidity.
Luckily, Hermanni are the most adapted to moisture, even requiring it during hibernation. Not much, but not like for Horsfieldi, where it can cause serious problems, even death. So, how it's the hygrometry in your tortoise fridge-hibernaculum? How is he kept- plastic/cardboard box, soil mix, shredded paper, air-holes?
Fabian

http://www.coldhardycacti.freehosting.net
Testudo ibera
Testudo hermanni boettgeri
Testudo horsfieldi
Sternotherus carinatus
Sternotherus odoratus
Chrysemys picta picta
Apalone spinifer
CactusVinnie
 
Posts: 360
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:24 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Re: Hibernation section

Postby Miles » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:49 pm

Thanks, Shredded paper and soil in a plastic box..... (open top,deep sided)

You've both been a great help, I appreciate such a fast response.

Miles
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