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Feeding a tortoise all winter long if hes not being hibernated?

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HaydaBear

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Hi guys! Im about to get a Russian Tortoise in a few days and one thing im still confused about is hibernation. For the first few years i wont hibernate and if i dont and i feed him all winter long on top of summer will he shell pyramid or grow to fast or weird? Will this hurt his health in any way for the first few years? By the way he is about 4-5 inches and a male. Thanks!
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Haydabear:

Welcome to the Tortoise Forum!!

May we know your name and where you are?

If you are not going to allow a tortoise to hibernate, then you have to set him up in an indoor habitat with lights and heat. You will be feeding him during this time. This will have no adverse effect on the tortoise, unless he gets poor care during this time. Tortoises only hibernate because they get too cold to move around and eat. Its a safety measure to keep them alive during the winter.

If he hibernates, he will empty out his digestive tract for about two weeks prior to hibernating so no food is left in there to rot. Then he will slow down due to the cold and he will have a very, very slow metabolism for the duration of the cold and will not eat or move much. You may notice his eyes to be open, or he may look asleep.

Hibernation or not has no effect on pyramiding. Russian tortoises aren't prone to pyramiding.
 

GBtortoises

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Along with what Yvonne said-your tortoise is big enough that pyramiding or other undesired growth wouldn't be a problem anyway. At 4-5" a male Russian tortoise is past the developmental growth stage. The only things to keep in check at this size now is to ensure that his beak and nails do not become overgrown.
 

earthyman71

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i have several russians that i don't hibernate but that i have in indoor pens with uva/uvb bulbs. i feed them all year round and what i notice in winter is that even though they're not being hibernated and their pen temps are warm, they still slow down and eat less. their internal clocks seem to know that they shouldn't be eating full on. keep them warm in the winter, still do your soaks and feed a variety of greens. for great russian tortoise info: www.russiantortoise.org
 
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