What to do with hatchlings in winter?

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New Member
5 Year Member
Mar 18, 2010
I have 2 hatchling (well not sure if they're still considered hatchlings, I have them for 1 1/2 years) 3 toed box turtles. I live in central CA and they live outside for the spring and summer. Last winter I put them in a 10 gal tank inside with a heater, but since they're a little bigger I was wondering if I should do that same thing again or not. What do you guys do with your young box turtles during winter? How old should they be before I let them hibernate naturally?


Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Aug 24, 2007
Location (City and/or State)
Staten Island, New York
I don't hibernate mine until they are about three years old, and if they're underweight I take them in no matter how old they are. I have an old Ornate, and a little 1 and two year old in now. I'm always nervous about hibernating outside. I live in New York, and the winters are severe, so there's always a chance that you can loose one or all, if they don't cooperate and dig under where you want them to.
I keep the little one's in a 40 gal breeder tank. I have a heat emitter on a stand toward the middle of the tank, and a long tube light fixture for a 10- gal with a UVB on one side. Low light, high warm humidity. It has lots of plants in for hiding, and a natural wood bark that's filled with long fiber moss that they dig in. I have the same set up for my Cherry Head hatchling as I have for the baby boxies that have to stay in for the winter.



Here's someone NOT cooperating ...and he's inside LOL

Maggie Cummings

I don't hibernate any of my animals because I hear too many keepers losing theirs during hibernation. So mine come inside for the winter and live in a 150 gallon tank. I like aquariums as I can keep the heat at an even temp and the humidity up. So just bring them in and create a nice home in a tank for them...
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