Hibernation - Jackson Ratio 2 Yr Old Hermanns

rapidnelson

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Hi,

I have begun to wind down my 2 year old hermanns. I weighed and measured him before the wind down and again this wknd. He is 9.2cm in length and his weight has dropped from 157g to 142g over the past 11 days. I've shortened the length of time the lamp is on and continue to bathe him almost every day.

Looking at the Jackson ratio he has gone 0.19 pre wind down to 0.18 now. Do you think it's advisable to still hibernate him or would it be best to over winter?

Thanks for your advice.
 

HermanniChris

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Which subspecies of Hermann's are you speaking of? The reason being, the Jackson ratio is only acceptable for eastern Hermann's and not Dalmatians or Westerns.
 

rapidnelson

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Thank you for your reply.

Our DEFRA certificate just says Hermanns, but when I tried to research before I thought maybe Western.

I'll attach a couple of pictures. What do you think?
 

HermanniChris

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It's an eastern Hermann's.
Personally I think the animal is fit enough for hibernation. Although he has dropped, you have to remember that when these charts and graphs were first created, little consideration was given to the fact that tortoises gain and drop weight consistently. Water intake and expulsion along with food consumption and defecation all play major roles here.
 

rapidnelson

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Ok thank you. We'll continue to wind him down for the next few days then. Do you think there's a maximum weight loss that we should allow before making a final decision as he is still pooing? It's our first year hibernating him so plan to do it for 8 weeks as he's just two and a half.

Thanks again for your advice!
 

HermanniChris

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If he consistently drops another 7-10 grams I would not hibernate. And always keep in mind that hibernation is a way for tortoises to deal with unfavorable conditions. While there are theories suggesting that it is crucial to long term health, there is no bona fide proof and keepers worldwide have plenty of success without it. We hibernate them here but it's more of a space issue in winter inside our tortoise building as to why we do it, however, we've proven time and time again that the animals maintain pristine health and high fertility without it.
 

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