Is my tortoise ready for brumation next winter?

The_Four_Toed_Edward

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I know the subject is not timely, but I want to start getting ready early when it comes to my pets! I adopted a male Russian tortoise about two months ago. He wasn't really cared for properly before he came to me, and I am not sure whether there could still be some underlying health conditions that might pop up or cause trouble. To my knowledge he has never been brumated before.

I have been researching brumation even before getting him and I'm most likely going to go with the refrigerator method. I know that it still long before fall comes, but I have been trying to find the answer to whether or not I should brumate him next winter, or should I start brumating him at all? Some sources say you shouldn't brumate a tortoise that you have had for less than a year. On the other hand there seems to be a debate whether brumation is necessary at all if you don't want to breed your tortoise.

I am leaning towards not brumating him next winter, so I can get more time to observe him and make sure that he is healthy. I still wanted to ask your opinion, when do I know my tortoise is ready for brumation?
 

wellington

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Even on here, you will find different opinions. None of them will hurt your tortoise
I personally do not brumate my Russian.
I also don't think you would know enough at this time for sure to brumate him. Now, come fall and time to brumate, you likely could as long as all goes well between now and then.
If it were me though, I would wait until next winter if you want to brumate and get a whole year with him under your belt. You can also choose to not brumate.
 

Tom

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As you've seen, opinions vary. It is my opinion that if a species would brumate in the wild, we should safely and correctly brumate them in our captive environments too. Unless there is some health concern, there is no reason to not brumate your tortoise next winter, unless you just don't want to. The important thing is to DECIDE ahead of time, and then actively do one or the other. If you don't want to brumate, there are specific steps you need to take. If you do want to brumate, there are other specific steps you must take. Letting the tortoise decide and waffling in the middle can be a death sentence for them. Go one way or the other and be fully committed BEFORE you get to Autumn later this year.

Here is more on the subject:
 

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