UK tortoise hibernation concern

Mark C

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Joined
Nov 22, 2022
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UK
Hi we're in north England UK and we've just put our four years old tortoise in a cardboard box in the shed within a plywood outer box. The temperature has been steady at between 2-7C but this weekend the weather forecast is now saying that it might get to 13C by day on Saturday and Sunday. I'm thinking OMG he's going to wake up. What do we do? Presumably you have to put him back in the indoor pen with the heat lamp and bathe him daily so he can get back to eating. But he's been off his food as you'd expect leading into late autumn and prepping for hibernation. So if we tried to get him to hibernate again say in three weeks I am worried he'll be too weak. Any advice?
 

Tom

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Hi we're in north England UK and we've just put our four years old tortoise in a cardboard box in the shed within a plywood outer box. The temperature has been steady at between 2-7C but this weekend the weather forecast is now saying that it might get to 13C by day on Saturday and Sunday. I'm thinking OMG he's going to wake up. What do we do? Presumably you have to put him back in the indoor pen with the heat lamp and bathe him daily so he can get back to eating. But he's been off his food as you'd expect leading into late autumn and prepping for hibernation. So if we tried to get him to hibernate again say in three weeks I am worried he'll be too weak. Any advice?
Hello and welcome Mark. What species are we talking about?

This should answer some questions for you:
 

Mark C

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Nov 22, 2022
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UK
Hello and welcome Mark. What species are we talking about?

This should answer some questions for you:
Great thanks so much he's a marginated tortoise so we find it hard to find information about proper weight measures ahead of brumation. But the link you gave is full of precious information which is fabulous. He was pretty much winding down hardly eating but did have a slice of cucumber about eight days before going to sleep but as that is all pretty much water I don't think it would stay in the gut and his last poo was very small about three days before brumation. We bathed him every other day so next time we're going to do that twice daily.
Hello and welcome Mark. What species are we talking about?

This should answer some questions for you:
 

Mark C

New Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2022
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Great thanks so much he's a marginated tortoise so we find it hard to find information about proper weight measures ahead of brumation. But the link you gave is full of precious information which is fabulous. He was pretty much winding down hardly eating but did have a slice of cucumber about eight days before going to sleep but as that is all pretty much water I don't think it would stay in the gut and his last poo was very small about three days before brumation. We bathed him every other day so next time we're going to do that twice daily.
Hi Tom!
The forecast now suggests that the weekend will be about 11C max and maybe no higher than 10C and then dropping to between 5-7C for at least two to three weeks. If we get a prolonged mild spell and he wakes early I'm relieved to hear that even a four weeks brumation may be sufficient for his age and won't affect his health.
 

LJL1982

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Jan 28, 2022
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184
Location (City and/or State)
Porthcawl, South Wales, UK
Hi we're in north England UK and we've just put our four years old tortoise in a cardboard box in the shed within a plywood outer box. The temperature has been steady at between 2-7C but this weekend the weather forecast is now saying that it might get to 13C by day on Saturday and Sunday. I'm thinking OMG he's going to wake up. What do we do? Presumably you have to put him back in the indoor pen with the heat lamp and bathe him daily so he can get back to eating. But he's been off his food as you'd expect leading into late autumn and prepping for hibernation. So if we tried to get him to hibernate again say in three weeks I am worried he'll be too weak. Any advice?
What to do is go out and buy a fridge or stick him on a shelf of your own, subject to hygiene and space limits.

It is almost impossible in the UK to manage hibernation nowadays, it becomes very risky with wildly fluctuating temperatures as we have had across winter in the last few years.


It's much easier to just go and but a cheap surface top fridge (beer fridge) from curry's or argos and keep the tortoise in there overwinter.

They are not airtight and so opening once a week to check if you feel you have to is unnecessary but fine.
 

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