Hibernating Roy for the first time

SalandRoy

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Joined
Oct 3, 2022
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3
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Hampton
Hello everyone - we have just taken ownership of a Mediterranean spur-thighed tort named Roy. He's a friendly chap :) He's 13 years old and has always been hibernated during the winter (we are in the UK).

I am worried and have read, reread and reread again what to do to prepare them for hibernation so I think I'm ok with that - but one question I can't find the answer to is what if his hibernation environment becomes too cold?

We plan to put him in a box and that box in an outer polystyrene hibernation box and then pop him in the shed (no heating). I have a thermometer with a probe so I can pretty much keep an eye on the inner box temps which I hope will be sufficiently insulated - but what happens if we get a cold winter and the shed/box becomes too cold? What do I do then?

Thanks for any help and advice you can give me.

Sally (and Roy)
 

Gillian M

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Jordan
Welcome to the forum.

Please post pics of your tortoise and his enclosure, so as to enable the experts here o help you.
 

Maro2Bear

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Soooo, if i picked the right Hampton, you are central UK, a few 100 mikes due North of London. What are your normal Winter temps there? A lot of the problem arises with fluctuating temps. Warming trends in mid-Winter, then very cold…then warm temps. Thats why most folks switch to a fridge to maintain the brumation temp.
 

Tom

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Hello everyone - we have just taken ownership of a Mediterranean spur-thighed tort named Roy. He's a friendly chap :) He's 13 years old and has always been hibernated during the winter (we are in the UK).

I am worried and have read, reread and reread again what to do to prepare them for hibernation so I think I'm ok with that - but one question I can't find the answer to is what if his hibernation environment becomes too cold?

We plan to put him in a box and that box in an outer polystyrene hibernation box and then pop him in the shed (no heating). I have a thermometer with a probe so I can pretty much keep an eye on the inner box temps which I hope will be sufficiently insulated - but what happens if we get a cold winter and the shed/box becomes too cold? What do I do then?

Thanks for any help and advice you can give me.

Sally (and Roy)
Hibernating them outside subject to the whims of Mother Nature is dangerous. Hibernate the tortoise indoors in a shoe box in a fridge. Then the temperature is always correct and consistent. Never too warm, and never too cold. They are protected from all types of weather extremes, hungry predators, human thieves, etc...

Scroll down to post number 19 here for more how-to. Most of what you find on the internet is rubbish:
 

SalandRoy

New Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2022
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Hampton
Soooo, if i picked the right Hampton, you are central UK, a few 100 mikes due North of London. What are your normal Winter temps there? A lot of the problem arises with fluctuating temps. Warming trends in mid-Winter, then very cold…then warm temps. Thats why most folks switch to a fridge to maintain the brumation temp.
Ah ha - our Hampton is South West London, very close to Hampton Court and Twickenham. Still with fluctuating temperatures (yesterday I was in thermals, today I'm sleeveless!) I have - after long deliberation - decided to fridge hibernate Roy so that I can keep the temperature steady and not worry (too much - unless we get the threatened power cuts!)
Thank you for your help :)
Sally (and Roy)
 

SalandRoy

New Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2022
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Hampton
Hibernating them outside subject to the whims of Mother Nature is dangerous. Hibernate the tortoise indoors in a shoe box in a fridge. Then the temperature is always correct and consistent. Never too warm, and never too cold. They are protected from all types of weather extremes, hungry predators, human thieves, etc...

Scroll down to post number 19 here for more how-to. Most of what you find on the internet is rubbish:
Oh the whims of nature - I work with natural raw materials and I know how they can differ from batch to batch due to weather changes. Always a challenge!

I have decided to hibernate Roy in a fridge as I feel more comfortable being able to control the temperature rather than worry every time the external temps dip or rise.

Thank you for your help :)
Sally (and Roy)
 

Moi Hutton

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Joined
Aug 10, 2020
Messages
31
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Hi Sally and Roy!
I have a Mediterranean spur thigh 70yr old who live in my garden in Bristol. The weather is unpredictable so for the past few years we have put him in a fridge from November to March which has eased my anxiety and kept him safe. The first year we had him he was in our shed but it we had a winter warm spell and we ended up transferring him into the fridge.
He belonged to my partners gran who stopped being able to care for him due to dementia and was never kept in the fridge-even though I know he must be super resilient Id rather be careful.
Good luck!
 

Tabby0318

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Jun 25, 2018
Messages
74
Location (City and/or State)
England
We have a mediterranean spur thigh over 80yrs old. She belonged to my father in law and has always been hibernated in a upside down wooden box in an old green house (no door and some missing windows) and put in the garage when it got colder.
When he became ill one October and was in hospital for a while, he asked us to put her in the greenhouse. We didn't know any different at the time and never checked in on her. Luckily she knew where the box was and it was covered with a carpet and leaves from the vine tree.
We went round in March after he passed away, and Tabby had woken up and come out of her box. We left her there, but that night it snowed. When I went back the next day to check on her she was in the same place and I honestly thought she had died. I took her home to warm her up and warm soaks. She survived and we have had her for the past 4years.
We still hibernate her in a box in the garage. I have a large wooden box on wheels so I can move her to different areas, but also to keep it off the floor. I have polystyrene at the bottom, with another smaller box on top, filled the gap between the two with polystyrene and shredded paper. A lid on the larger box with a small gap for air. This is covered with plastic sheeting and a old rug wrapped round and over. She is beside the house wall and I have a digital thermometer and a wifi camera, so I can keep an eye on the temps and her without disturbing her.
Still have guilt trips about leaving her that night, but we didn't know it could harm her.
I am trying to persuade my partner to hibernate her in a fridge, as we did have an extremely warm week last December and she woke up.
 

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