Hermann Hibernation

algoggs

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Hello, I attempted to hibernate my 3 year old Hermann tortoise for the first time. I have prepped everything leading up to this (no food, lowered heat, baths, etc)
However after being in her box for multiple hours I checked on her and she was wide awake trying to climb out and constantly walking round in circles.
Is she not ready or is there something else I can try? Feel awful leaving her in the box when she hates it so much.
Help ๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ˜ญ
 

zolasmum

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It may be that she just isn't ready to hibernate, or that she does't want to hibernate at all.I have a Hermanns tortoise - he is 22, and has never hibernated. He was't well when we got him, was a baby, and we didn't try to hibernate him at all, and over the years he has just decided he doesn't want to hibernate . That's fine with us, and we have learned that hibernating isn't essential, and that it will not harm him to stay awake.
I personally don't think you should try to force her -just go on as normal, and she may show signs eventually of slowing down - otherwise letting her stay awake, for this year at least, might be best - then maybe try again next year,if you want.
Angie
 

algoggs

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It may be that she just isn't ready to hibernate, or that she does't want to hibernate at all.I have a Hermanns tortoise - he is 22, and has never hibernated. He was't well when we got him, was a baby, and we didn't try to hibernate him at all, and over the years he has just decided he doesn't want to hibernate . That's fine with us, and we have learned that hibernating isn't essential, and that it will not harm him to stay awake.
I personally don't think you should try to force her -just go on as normal, and she may show signs eventually of slowing down - otherwise letting her stay awake, for this year at least, might be best - then maybe try again next year,if you want.
Angie
Hi Angie, thank you so much for the advice. Completely agree not going to try this year and go back to normal then perhaps try next year. Thank you!
Alex
 

zolasmum

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Hi Angie, thank you so much for the advice. Completely agree not going to try this year and go back to normal then perhaps try next year. Thank you!
Alex
I think there're some kinds of tortoises who really might suffer from not being hibernated, but Hermanns are not one of them. Zola doesn't eat as much in the winter, perhaps, but he is full of energy - and we keep him warm, of course. Actually, we are glad he doesn't want to hibernate, as we would miss him terribly.
Where is Hockey ? And what is your little one's name?
 

algoggs

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I think there're some kinds of tortoises who really might suffer from not being hibernated, but Hermanns are not one of them. Zola doesn't eat as much in the winter, perhaps, but he is full of energy - and we keep him warm, of course. Actually, we are glad he doesn't want to hibernate, as we would miss him terribly.
Where is Hockey ? And what is your little one's name?
That's the same here. Her name is Thea, she hasn't eaten for two weeks and she is still full of energy. She doesn't stop! I did feel horrible putting her into hibernation felt sad ๐Ÿ˜‚
Its in Essex โ˜บ๏ธ
 

zolasmum

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That's the same here. Her name is Thea, she hasn't eaten for two weeks and she is still full of energy. She doesn't stop! I did feel horrible putting her into hibernation felt sad ๐Ÿ˜‚
Its in Essex โ˜บ๏ธ
I'm in Devon.I think in the old days, before central heating was common,a lot of people had no option but to put their tortoises into hibernation, and so it became the standard thing, but now, with warmth and suitable lighting, it isn't so necessary, but it still is assumed to be necessary by many people. If you make sure Thea has the proper lighting and a good enclosure, just go on as usual - make sure she has a vitamin supplement too. Obviously you can give her a short hibernation if she seems to be sleeping all the time and not eating. Of course, if she is still up, you will have to give her a Christmas card- Zola gets several !!
Angie
 

Tom

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Hello, I attempted to hibernate my 3 year old Hermann tortoise for the first time. I have prepped everything leading up to this (no food, lowered heat, baths, etc)
However after being in her box for multiple hours I checked on her and she was wide awake trying to climb out and constantly walking round in circles.
Is she not ready or is there something else I can try? Feel awful leaving her in the box when she hates it so much.
Help ๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ˜ญ
What is the temperature? Where is the box sitting? Is it dark?
 

Tom

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That's the same here. Her name is Thea, she hasn't eaten for two weeks and she is still full of energy. She doesn't stop! I did feel horrible putting her into hibernation felt sad ๐Ÿ˜‚
Its in Essex โ˜บ๏ธ
Two weeks is not enough time. Should be a month. I usually fast them for November and start brumation in December. Then bring them out in March.
 

Farcryjj

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My Clydie, a Russian tortoises, is 6 years old now. She used to live indoor full-time until this year that we have a backyard.
She always had the same temperature, same closed enclosure for the past few years, but she does slow down every year since she was one-year-old. We would take her out and hibernate her in the fridge if she decided to slow down and dug herself underneath the substrate for two weeks.
We noticed that she would be active for about 6 months and then slow down, no matter what we tried to do (i.e. higher temps, more delicious food...). We would let her hibernate for no more than 3 months. So, the cycle was about 9 months and one year she ended up slowing down in the beginning of summer... ๐Ÿ˜… but what can we do, she wanted to sleep.
Now this year is interesting. She was out of her brumation in January because of the weird cycle timing, and then had her own backyard enclosure in our new house in the summer. So she was awake and active for the whole winter + spring + summer. She just slowed down recently and we will be putting her to the fridge next week.
She has been healthy and gaining weight like crazy until she hit 6 years old. Her weight has been stable for half a year at 960g now. We're still hoping she can reach 1kg next year. ๐Ÿ˜†
My point being (if I have a point), at least for my tortoise, she seems to have her own rhythm. You don't need to force your tortoise to hibernate if they don't want to. And if they really want to hibernate, you can't stop them. LOL
 

algoggs

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I'm in Devon.I think in the old days, before central heating was common,a lot of people had no option but to put their tortoises into hibernation, and so it became the standard thing, but now, with warmth and suitable lighting, it isn't so necessary, but it still is assumed to be necessary by many people. If you make sure Thea has the proper lighting and a good enclosure, just go on as usual - make sure she has a vitamin supplement too. Obviously you can give her a short hibernation if she seems to be sleeping all the time and not eating. Of course, if she is still up, you will have to give her a Christmas card- Zola gets several !!
Angie
Oh lovely!!
Yeah my mum was saying when she was younger she had a tortoise and they never had to do any of this starving, heat down, they just put them in a box for couple months ๐Ÿ˜‚
Theas been up last couple days and is loving the food and awake majority of day, definitely not ready for hibernation. What vitamin supplement do you use? I've tried a couple but she doesn't approve, I have a very fussy tortoise ๐Ÿ˜‚
 

algoggs

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Two weeks is not enough time. Should be a month. I usually fast them for November and start brumation in December. Then bring them out in March.
Hello, I did google and look into it and it said 2 weeks for her age as she's only 3. Should it have been longer then?
 

algoggs

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Joined
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Location (City and/or State)
Hockley
My Clydie, a Russian tortoises, is 6 years old now. She used to live indoor full-time until this year that we have a backyard.
She always had the same temperature, same closed enclosure for the past few years, but she does slow down every year since she was one-year-old. We would take her out and hibernate her in the fridge if she decided to slow down and dug herself underneath the substrate for two weeks.
We noticed that she would be active for about 6 months and then slow down, no matter what we tried to do (i.e. higher temps, more delicious food...). We would let her hibernate for no more than 3 months. So, the cycle was about 9 months and one year she ended up slowing down in the beginning of summer... ๐Ÿ˜… but what can we do, she wanted to sleep.
Now this year is interesting. She was out of her brumation in January because of the weird cycle timing, and then had her own backyard enclosure in our new house in the summer. So she was awake and active for the whole winter + spring + summer. She just slowed down recently and we will be putting her to the fridge next week.
She has been healthy and gaining weight like crazy until she hit 6 years old. Her weight has been stable for half a year at 960g now. We're still hoping she can reach 1kg next year. ๐Ÿ˜†
My point being (if I have a point), at least for my tortoise, she seems to have her own rhythm. You don't need to force your tortoise to hibernate if they don't want to. And if they really want to hibernate, you can't stop them. LOL
Hello, oh amazing. Clydie seems very active, big girl!! ๐Ÿ˜‚ Can't wait for Thea do start getting larger, still seems so tiny ๐Ÿ˜‚ what fridge do you use? Just a normal one? I'm thinking of getting one a decent one for next year โ˜บ๏ธ
 

zolasmum

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We have given Zola Nutrabal for years, but then moved on to Arkvits in recent years - both made by Vetark - you can get them from Pets at Home. We have never given him much - just a small pinch weekly - which I rub in to a couple of thin slices of cucumber, to make sure he eats it ! Do you give her cuttlefish bone - Zola used to love that, but has gone off it entirely, though there is some by his food all the time.?
If Thea won't touch a vitamin supplement, you could anyway scrape some of that on to her food, to help with calcium intake. She might like that.
Angie
(ps Arkvits is supposed to be for adult tortoises, so Nutrabal would be the one to use ) If you are just sprinkling the supplement onto her food, try rubbing in - She may not like the powdery sensation.
 

Farcryjj

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Hello, oh amazing. Clydie seems very active, big girl!! ๐Ÿ˜‚ Can't wait for Thea do start getting larger, still seems so tiny ๐Ÿ˜‚ what fridge do you use? Just a normal one? I'm thinking of getting one a decent one for next year โ˜บ๏ธ
The first 3 years Clydie was in our normal everyday fridge. ๐Ÿ˜† To cut down the light disturbance and to prevent jail break if she is awake, we put her in two layers of shoe boxes, with breathing holes on the side of course, with crumpled paper towel balls as "substrate" to bury her. She seemed fine, but the frequent door opening and closing does disturb her, I feel. But we do keep records of her weight and the weight of her boxes with her inside right before they entered the fridge. Every week we would weigh her box to monitor the weight change. In most years, her weight after hibernation only drops less than 5% in 3 months. But in one year, we felt that she might have woken up a few times in the fridge half time through the 3 months and dropped 5% already, so we took her out right away.
Since the 4th year, we got her her own small fridge. She then hibernated with a few jars of the homemade jams. It is useful also to have some other stuffs in it, because we checked every week, and noticed once that the jams were not cold enough. It turns out the small fridge is not as reliable for some reason. We then had to monitor a thermometer in it a few times a day to make sure the fridge works fine... I still think a bigger fridge is more reliable, and if you use it everyday, you will know if it breaks down. Oh, my small fridge is a Hisense.
 
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Tom

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The first 3 years Clydie was in our normal everyday fridge. ๐Ÿ˜† To cut down the light disturbance and to prevent jail break if she is awake, we put her in two layers of shoe boxes, with breathing holes on the side of course, with crumpled paper towel balls as "substrate" to bury her. She seemed fine, but the frequent door opening and closing does disturb her, I feel. But we do keep records of her weight and the weight of her boxes with her inside right before they entered the fridge. Every week we would weigh her box to monitor the weight change. In most years, her weight after hibernation only drops less than 5% in 3 months. But in one year, we felt that she might have woken up a few times in the fridge half time through the 3 months and dropped 5% already, so we took her out right away.
Since the 4th year, we got her her own small fridge. She then hibernated with a few jars of the homemade jams. It is useful also to have some other stuffs in it, because we checked every week, and noticed once that the jams were not cold enough. It turns out the small fridge is not as reliable for some reason. We then had to monitor a thermometer in it a few times a day to make sure the fridge works fine... I still think a bigger fridge is more reliable, and if you use it everyday, you will know if it breaks down. Oh, my small fridge is a Hisense.
Thank you for sharing this info. I have had the same experience with full size fridges being much more stable and reliable than mini fridges. I hope this helps someone out there reading.
 
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