Jackson’s ratio

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So on the advice of the vet I overwintered my tortoise and it seemed to go well (but would not want to do it again). I have a 2 years old Hermanns called Ziggy. He appeared to be underweight when I got him but has packed on lots of weight over the winter.
I weighed and measured him today and he scores 18 on the Jacksons ratio. Is this good as the advice only talks about ratios of 17 or 19? I am determined to get my tort ready to brumate this winter so need to know if he needs to weigh more or if I am on the right track with him. I have only had him for 16 months and am new to keeping tortoises, so any advice would be great. Hibernation scares the hell out of me so I am determined to get it right!!! I will be taking Ziggy for a vet check in October too.
I want to use this summer to get him in the best possible condition for a successful hibernation.
 

wellington

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I'm not familiar with the Jackson ratio. Seems I heard it's not very accurate but I may be wrong.
As long as everything, eating, pooping, not signs of straining to poop, hydration etc is correct and good and he continues to gain, then he should be good to brumate. Any consistent weight loss then it wouldn't be good to brumate, or if any obvious signs of a problem.
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

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I don’t envy you guys who have to brumate! I know it’s perfectly safe when the appropriate measures are taken, but it would make me nervous too lol🥲
Hope all goes well for your guy, sounds like he’s on the right track with you😊
 

Markw84

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So on the advice of the vet I overwintered my tortoise and it seemed to go well (but would not want to do it again). I have a 2 years old Hermanns called Ziggy. He appeared to be underweight when I got him but has packed on lots of weight over the winter.
I weighed and measured him today and he scores 18 on the Jacksons ratio. Is this good as the advice only talks about ratios of 17 or 19? I am determined to get my tort ready to brumate this winter so need to know if he needs to weigh more or if I am on the right track with him. I have only had him for 16 months and am new to keeping tortoises, so any advice would be great. Hibernation scares the hell out of me so I am determined to get it right!!! I will be taking Ziggy for a vet check in October too.
I want to use this summer to get him in the best possible condition for a successful hibernation.
The Jackson ratio only applies to Greek or Hermanns tortoises. It is a guide but not exact as some tortoises will vary in shell height and may have more flared marginals. But it can give you an idea of where you are.

Be sure you are using an accurate straight carapace length measurement. Then weight your tortoise keeping in mind a good poo or pee can change a tortoises weight by 10% or more. So get used to weighing your tortoise the same time in your daily routine. Right after the soak. First thing in the morning. etc, etc. Do this several times over several days to get a good average and use that as your baseline.

You want a Jackson ratio of over 19. 21 is ideal. But anywhere in the 19 - 22 range is a good starting point. From that point on, I simply go by weight management, not the Jackson ratio.

Then weigh your tortoise weekly or at least monthly. Look for consistent weight gain. Be concerned if there is weight loss over the course of a month. Consistent weight gain is indication your tortoise is healthy and safe to brumate assuming there are no other signs of illness or distress.
 
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Thank you all for responding. He seems happy and healthy and gains weight each time I weigh. I will keep doing what I’m doing!!
 

wellington

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I don’t envy you guys who have to brumate! I know it’s perfectly safe when the appropriate measures are taken, but it would make me nervous too lol🥲
Hope all goes well for your guy, sounds like he’s on the right track with you😊
That's why I don't brumate my Russian. He never was before I got him, already an adult, likely WC. Favor to a friend that I took him
Too nerve wracking.
 

Tom

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So on the advice of the vet I overwintered my tortoise and it seemed to go well (but would not want to do it again). I have a 2 years old Hermanns called Ziggy. He appeared to be underweight when I got him but has packed on lots of weight over the winter.
I weighed and measured him today and he scores 18 on the Jacksons ratio. Is this good as the advice only talks about ratios of 17 or 19? I am determined to get my tort ready to brumate this winter so need to know if he needs to weigh more or if I am on the right track with him. I have only had him for 16 months and am new to keeping tortoises, so any advice would be great. Hibernation scares the hell out of me so I am determined to get it right!!! I will be taking Ziggy for a vet check in October too.
I want to use this summer to get him in the best possible condition for a successful hibernation.
Those ratios are silly. Your tortoise should feel dense and heavy when you pick it up. It should feel solid, not hollow. Certainly weigh your tortoise regularly and keep track of the weights, but I would not worry about any of those ratios.

Here is the brumation info for when the time comes:
 
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Those ratios are silly. Your tortoise should feel dense and heavy when you pick it up. It should feel solid, not hollow. Certainly weigh your tortoise regularly and keep track of the weights, but I would not worry about any of those ratios.

Here is the brumation info for when the time comes:
He definitely feels dense and heavy. I call him ‘chunk’ now. Thanks. Glad I can dispense with the ratio chart.
 

ZEROPILOT

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Id weigh no more often than once a month to every 6 weeks just because of weight fluctuations due to simple things like hydration.
Steady increases are what you want to see.
ANY weight decrease in a growing tortoise is an excellent sign that something is wrong. (And why I weigh)
But an increase is indicative of health.
Of course there are other things to observe.
 

Shelled

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That's why I don't brumate my Russian. He never was before I got him, already an adult, likely WC. Favor to a friend that I took him
Too nerve wracking.

If yours hasn't hibernated before, I wouldn't go back to a full lenght hibernation straight away.

It's the nature of a Russian tortoise to hibernate, it's healthy, but you don't want to do it because it makes you nervous? Isn't that an odd reasoning in some respect?
 

wellington

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If yours hasn't hibernated before, I wouldn't go back to a full lenght hibernation straight away.

It's the nature of a Russian tortoise to hibernate, it's healthy, but you don't want to do it because it makes you nervous? Isn't that an odd reasoning in some respect?
No! Many don't brumate them. He's healthy, never had a problem and I will continue as is. Have read on here more problems with ones that were brumated then those that hasn't.
 

Chubbs the tegu

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If yours hasn't hibernated before, I wouldn't go back to a full lenght hibernation straight away.

It's the nature of a Russian tortoise to hibernate, it's healthy, but you don't want to do it because it makes you nervous? Isn't that an odd reasoning in some respect?
Its perfectly fine not to ever brumate a Russian. It wont make ur tortoise more or less healthy. For those who breed them they tend to breed more vigorously after brumation but other than that there is no need to.
 
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