Hibernation and weight loss

kathleenfnp

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Jun 7, 2016
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Hi, I am a new desert tortoise owner and this is the first winter I have had my baby tortoise (and her 2nd overall). She was cleared for hibernation but after a month, has lost about 5% of her body weight. She only weighed 32 grams to start with, and is now at about 30.5. From what I have read, this amount of loss warrants taking her out of hibernation. However, if I do that, I am not sure what to feed her at this time of year. Previously, she only liked the desert weeds in our backyard (which are not plentiful now). We have tried numerous veggies and a few fruits but she prefers grasses, old weeds, etc. I am afraid she will not have enough to eat if we keep her out of hibernation yet do not want her to lose more weight by hibernating. Any thoughts?
 

JoesMum

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What temperature is your tortoise hibernating at? It sounds like it's not cold enough for your tort to shut down properly which would be why it's losing weight.

If you decide to rouse your tortoise, getting it back under the lamps at the right temperatures with the lights on for 14 hours a day should rouse it fully.
 

kathleenfnp

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Jun 7, 2016
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HI, I read it should be 55-65 which is what she mainly has been at. She fully burrowed and was sound asleep when we woke her each time to bathe her/weigh her. However, when we roused her this last time, she wanted to be very active walking around, etc. but when in her box, she totally was inactive.
 

JoesMum

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HI, I read it should be 55-65 which is what she mainly has been at. She fully burrowed and was sound asleep when we woke her each time to bathe her/weigh her. However, when we roused her this last time, she wanted to be very active walking around, etc. but when in her box, she totally was inactive.
Hibernation should be at 45 not exceeding 50. You have things too warm
 

Gillian M

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Hi @kathleenfnp and welcome to the forum! ;)

Any pics of your tort and his enclosure would enable us to give you advise/help you more easily. :)

Please read the "Beginners Mistakes" Thread.

By the way, where do you live and what is the weather like back there, nowadays?
 
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