Hibernate?

cindy1546

New Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2020
Messages
17
Location (City and/or State)
Los Angeles
Hello Everyone,

I acquired my first tort in early September (a 4-7 year old Russian tortoise) but recently I noticed that as it's gotten colder here in Southern CA (specifically, the San Fernando Valley) my tort has stopped eating as much and has become more sluggish and going into his hide more and more often. He does walk around but less often (and I checked him, and he seems to be doing fine regarding his health and responding). He lives in an outdoor enclosure and the past 3 days it's been around mid to high 60s and low 70s though a bit windy and cloudy. The sun only came out a bit today. I feel like he is preparing to hibernate.
I was not planning on hibernating because it's my first year with him and the idea is a bit daunting. I am not sure if I should let/help him hibernate or not. It is supposed to be in the 80s again after Thursday and sunny again with mid to low 50s to 60s at night. The issue is that the weather here is a bit odd in the winters, changing every so often.

I was looking for ways to prevent him from hibernating but still keeping him outdoors. It this possible, or would I need to bring him indoors to stop him from hibernating? I also was looking at underground enclosure boxes, etc. here on this forum but it seems that they are a bit older and there are no images, so I would like to build some but don't necessarily know how without reference images... :( I currently have an insulated small doghouse where he goes in to sleep and goes in during the day sometimes.

If I should hibernate him, how can I ensure he won't pass away? I want to make sure he is okay. I do not want to do the fridge method but if necessary I will have to buy one for him specifically. Should I slowly wean him off food and do soaks or is it too early for that? Should I let him hibernate in his outdoor enclosure in his hide (it is completely dry, and he would not get wet)? Should I set up a heating system inside his hide if he does hibernate?

I am a new tortoise owner so any advice is appreciated, I am willing to learn and adapt in order to ensure my tort' safety and well-being.
Thank you!
 

Happytort27

Active Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2020
Messages
259
Location (City and/or State)
CA
Your questions will be thoroughly explained by Tom in post #19:

 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,464
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hello Everyone,

I acquired my first tort in early September (a 4-7 year old Russian tortoise) but recently I noticed that as it's gotten colder here in Southern CA (specifically, the San Fernando Valley) my tort has stopped eating as much and has become more sluggish and going into his hide more and more often. He does walk around but less often (and I checked him, and he seems to be doing fine regarding his health and responding). He lives in an outdoor enclosure and the past 3 days it's been around mid to high 60s and low 70s though a bit windy and cloudy. The sun only came out a bit today. I feel like he is preparing to hibernate.
I was not planning on hibernating because it's my first year with him and the idea is a bit daunting. I am not sure if I should let/help him hibernate or not. It is supposed to be in the 80s again after Thursday and sunny again with mid to low 50s to 60s at night. The issue is that the weather here is a bit odd in the winters, changing every so often.

I was looking for ways to prevent him from hibernating but still keeping him outdoors. It this possible, or would I need to bring him indoors to stop him from hibernating? I also was looking at underground enclosure boxes, etc. here on this forum but it seems that they are a bit older and there are no images, so I would like to build some but don't necessarily know how without reference images... :( I currently have an insulated small doghouse where he goes in to sleep and goes in during the day sometimes.

If I should hibernate him, how can I ensure he won't pass away? I want to make sure he is okay. I do not want to do the fridge method but if necessary I will have to buy one for him specifically. Should I slowly wean him off food and do soaks or is it too early for that? Should I let him hibernate in his outdoor enclosure in his hide (it is completely dry, and he would not get wet)? Should I set up a heating system inside his hide if he does hibernate?

I am a new tortoise owner so any advice is appreciated, I am willing to learn and adapt in order to ensure my tort' safety and well-being.
Thank you!
I explain all aspects of this in here and show pics of how to do it our area. I'm just north of you in SCV.

 
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