From hatching straight into hibernation?

chrchris

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Hey,

my dad's tortoises (testudo hermanni) laid nine eggs in total. Five of them already hatched a while ago while they were still in their enclosure outside. My dad put the hatchlings in his basement with the adult tortoises because he read that they are supposed to or already can hibernate in their first year.

My dad put the other eggs that hadn't hatched in an incubator and yesterday three more hatched. What do we do now? Do we put them straight with the other hatchlings in the basement? Or do we have do give them some time with warm light, food and water for a while?

The problem is that the hatchlings are currently hibernating in a terrarium in the basement and my dad doesn't have another one right now to seperate them. We don't want to disturb the ones that are already resting.

I'm thankful to have found this forum. I've seen that there are already some threads about hibernating tortoises in their first year but I have not seen anything about hatchlings that are only a couple days old.

I understand that there different opinions on whether or not to let hatchlings hibernate. I would love some input or links to helpful resources that discuss the issue.

IMG-20201106-WA0018.jpg
20201107_155440.jpg
These are the others a couple of weeks ago:
20201011_171240.jpg
 

Freddy90

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I dont know enough about ur species of tortoise to give u advice.
I'm sure more experienced members will help u out
I'm just commenting so it gets to the top again and maybe get seen earlier :)
 

Happytort27

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Tom

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You need to use a brooder box for 7-10 days BEFORE they go into an enclosure.

Given the circumstances, I would not hibernate the new ones this year. You'll need a heated enclosure for them to get through winter. Here is the correct care info:

How cold is your basement? They need a steady 4-10C to hibernate. If its warmer than that, you will have issues.
 

chrchris

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Hey,

thanks for the fast replies.

I definitely know that he was talking about the yolk sac being absorbed and bathing them regularly with the first hatchlings and it sounded like he did his research and knew what he was doing but when he told me about the most recent hatchlings I had the feeling he wasn't quite sure what to do with them over the winter.

Thank you for the links. I am going to send him the information and tell him to keep the new ones in a brooder box and to get a heated enclosure for them asap.

We are in Germany so the temperature should be in that range and my dad never had any problems with his adult tortoises which he had for years now, Tom, but I am also gonna ask him how he makes sure that it doesn't get any warmer or colder especially now with the babies in the basement.

The older hatchlings should be fine hibernating, right? I remember seeing you, Tom, being pro hibernation for hatchlings in other threads.

I don't really know anything about tortoises myself but just wanted to make sure I help my dad and the little tortoises because I was a little worried.

Once again, thank you so much!
 

Maro2Bear

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Interesting. I wouldn't think that brand new hatchlings have enough overall body mass to brumate right after hatching. I don’t know anything about dealing with brumation, but one would think babies hatch in early Summer, grow all Summer and Fall, then brumate as cold weather sets in. I could be totally wrong here...just thinking out loud.
 

chrchris

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Interesting. I wouldn't think that brand new hatchlings have enough overall body mass to brumate right after hatching. I don’t know anything about dealing with brumation, but one would think babies hatch in early Summer, grow all Summer and Fall, then brumate as cold weather sets in. I could be totally wrong here...just thinking out loud.
Yeah, I was so confused when he told me he had hatchlings in September. Not knowing anything about tortoises it just didn't make sense to me for them to hatch so late. There might be a chance they had already hatched for a while before he found them but he checks his outside enclosure every day so I don't know how he could have missed them.

I think he told me he found the eggs outside and left them there but maybe it would be interesting to know when that was and why the mother laid them so late. The first five hatched outside and I think he put the other eggs in the incubator because he shone a light through them and thought they were fertilized. Maybe those were ones that were laid even later...

Now I just hope they are resilient enough and my dad didn't make any major mistakes so that they survive! 😔
 
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Tom

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Interesting. I wouldn't think that brand new hatchlings have enough overall body mass to brumate right after hatching. I don’t know anything about dealing with brumation, but one would think babies hatch in early Summer, grow all Summer and Fall, then brumate as cold weather sets in. I could be totally wrong here...just thinking out loud.
In the wild the eggs need the consistent heat of summer to incubate and develop. They hatch in late summer early fall. Usually in October where I am. Then they hibernate as soon as the weather turns cold.
 

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