hibernation

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danieledwards2006

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I was told not to hibernate my hermann tortoise this year because I rescued him. He has put himself in the cold part of his enclosure for a week without eating I have bathed him but he seems like he is trying to put himself in hibernation should I just put him in hibernation.
 

Yvonne G

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Sometimes you have to just let them "think" they have hibernated. Allow him to go for 2 weeks on the cold side, then slowly wake him up. You have to have summertime-long days, so keep the lights on for 12 to 14 hours per day. A good soaking and make him think its summertime and he's gone through the hibernation period. Just keep putting him back on the warm side and fussing with him. Its a good idea to keep a new tortoise awake the first winter so that you get to know him and can see whether or not he's sick.

Yvonne
 

danieledwards2006

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I tried to wake him a bit earlier he hasn't eat for nearly two weeks I gave him a bath then put him under his lamp. I recently built a big 8 foot by 4 foot tortoise table because he was unhappy trying to escape in his other one because of this its room temperate at one side then the warm side is about 20celsus house does get cold in winter. If he isnt eating and keeps trying to put him self in hibernation should I let him? he is healthy.
 

egyptiandan

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What is room temperature? What is the temperature under the basking lamp?
It needs to be 32 to 34C under the basking lamp and warm end should be 26 to 28C to keep him up for the winter.
You just have 1 Hermanns in an 8' X 4' table? That is a bit large, especially during the winter when you want to keep him warm if your going to be keeping him up. Something 4' X 2' would be easier to keep warm for just the Hermanns.

Danny
 

Ozric

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Hi Daniel, your warm side is 20C ? Thats about what you want at the cool side (or end). Aim for more like 30C in the hotspot at least.

When I get my Hermanns ready for hibernation I keep them active and warm for a while (at their usual temps) after food stops so that they digest what they have in their system. Your tort might have food on board that is just sitting in the gut. It might be risky to try for full hibernation without preparing for it.

Personally I think its best to keep this animal awake now and I would make sure the hotspot is at least 30C and not cold at night.

I've found that my Hermanns will 'try to escape' from their table too, even though its quite big. They just like to explore, but your big table will come in handy over time.

If your house is cold in winter then you might find you need extra heating to keep this tortoise awake all winter. I leave my heating on during the day even when I'm not home because I have some Hermanns that I am keeping awake and they need 20C as the backgorund and 30C at the hotspot. (I know Danny has said higher temps but it would be impossible for me to have the background at 26C in December where I live. But with the 20-30C range my tortoises are active and feeding).

If its not warm enough your tort may not eat and may not be active. But thats not hibernation, its a cold tort.
 

danieledwards2006

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Thanks for your help. The reason it is so big is because I had him in a 4x2 foot table, which did keep a lot hotter but he was very distressed. He just kept on trying to get out and no matter what i did to stop it, I couldnt, in a result his feet became sore. I was told the table should be at least 8x4 foot. If I got a room heater that might help.
 

Ozric

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Daniel I think more background heat is certainly needed. Can you tell us what the room temperature is away from the lamp?
 
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