Hibernation time


New Member
Nov 7, 2023
Location (City and/or State)
A question/advice for you. We have been looking at fridges to hibernate tortoise in, and have decided on a under counter fridge which we will hopefully get in the next couple of weeks, we will then set it up and have it running for a while and make sure temperatures are correct and stable before we put Penny in it.

Our plan is to start winding her down round about 11th November, with a view to putting her into hibernation on 29th / 30th October. We have all the guides and weight charts which you kindly sent me in an email and will follow them to the letter.

We have a plastic box to put her in which, we are a bit worried about cardboard boxes after she managed to break through two of them last year. We will of course put plenty of air holes in and we are going to use shredded paper as substrate. We got some strange looks in the shop when we explained why we were checking if the box we have got would fit in...

She has noticeably slowed down now over the last few weeks, although she still has bursts of energy at times and generally causing mischief! She is still eating but that has also really slowed down. She is basking but not as much and she is sleeping alot more.

Her weight on August 10th was 1371g, in September (20th) that went up to 1409 g and then her weight dropped to 1384g on October 22nd.

We are feeling really anxious and nervous about the hibernation, especially after it didn't quite go to plan last year so I am just looking to see if we are on the right track and if our plan sounds ok?

turtle-2416657_1280.jpg Thank you for taking the time to read and any advice would be appreciated.


The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Jan 9, 2010
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Shredded paper is too dry. I would use the regular substrate the tortoise is used to that is lightly damp.

Small under counter fridges don't tend to hold a consistent temperature. Filling it with as much stuff, like cans and bottled drinks, as you can fit in it will help it hold a more consistent temperature. You'll have to run it for a while to see what it does.

Also, don't use one with a glass front door. You want it dark inside for brumation.

More info here: