I'm more uneducated that I thought!


New Member
Jul 15, 2018
Location (City and/or State)
Tremonton, UT
I'm still in my first year of having my three-toed box turtles so am still trying to figure all this out. They are 20 years old and their previous owner didn't give any details about hibernating besides they did and she just left them alone. I originally got on here to ask if there were signs to watch for as they prepared for hibernation. Now, after reading many of the posts, I'm dizzy with information. I am in northern Utah and keep the turtles in an outdoor habitat only when the nights are 50° or warmer. When it's too cold outside, I have a large indoor habitat for them. I am still supplying food and water (they don't get in the water very much lately). I naively thought that one day they would bury themselves and start hibernating on their own. I've also wondered if the stress of moving to a new owner and habitats would throw them off schedule. Maybe they wouldn't even hibernate. They have been especially frisky with each other the last week or ten days, though. Maybe these two need that more than water to survive through hibernation! :)

Anyway, sorry it's so long. Bottom line is am I supposed to be doing something to help them hibernate?


Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Dec 31, 2015
Location (City and/or State)
you should leave them outside with a spot to dig in and hibernate , loosen the soil down about 20 inches and cover it with leaves grass clipping , mulch ……….. when they stop coming out , you can leave them or dig them up and put them in the fridge in a box with some of the dirt leaves and grass clippings they were in , keep it moist , don't let it dry out ……. wherever you keep them you can dig them up or take them out the fridge when it's closer to spring , or is spring , you can take them back out and put them back in the leaf grass pile , or keep them awake in the house ……….. seeing as they hibernated for their lives , myself , i'd at least let them hibernate for a few weeks , next year i'd let them do it naturally as long as they want …...

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