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Old 07-04-2018, 11:51 AM   #21
Ozric Jonathan
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Hi Jan and other friends, the good news is that temps have gone up on the west side of Scotland. Some plants are starting to grow!

Yay ! I've been able to cut some welsh poppy leaves and a few other bits of this and that.
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Old 07-04-2018, 08:16 PM   #22
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Hi again,
The weather here in West London has certainly improved a lot, and yesterday mine came out of hibernation at last.
Its always like a miracle to me when they suddenly emerge, open their eyes, look very drowsy, but fine otherwise.
6 1/2 months must have been a record for them, but I'm still a strong believer in letting them do it all themselves, rather than interfering.

Lets hope the warmer weather continues and spreads up north very quickly now.
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Old 08-04-2018, 08:15 AM   #23
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love the spring time ! never known such a long hibernation and constant rain on rain on rain. another cold day in the south. First night left outside last night as sun was out and some were up til 19.00hrs - never known that , poor things all amiss I think, CB
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Old 10-04-2018, 07:01 AM   #24
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Gradual improvement with us. A few days have been warmer but only 9c and 29c max in the greenhouse with windows and door closed. Overnight temps are better now at least
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Old 28-01-2021, 08:36 AM   #25
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Default Length of natural hibernation

I know that I am replying to an historical post but it seems to be the most relevant one.
After years of hibernating my adult trio of Hermanns in a drinks chiller, I decided last year to offer the opportunity for them to dig down and hibernate naturally in a greenhouse. Two of of the tortoises dug down in the greenhouse soil on 10th and 19th October 2020 respectively and the remaining female who always slows down a lot later just wouldn't dig down and had to be placed in the drinks chiller.
Using the drinks chiller, I usually restrict the hibernation to 16 weeks. However now two of my tortoises have dug themselves down naturally, I am wondering if it will be best to leave them to emerge when the the weather warms up or to dig them up and start using the greenhouse heating.
The greenhouse remains mainly unheated through the winter and only heated if the temperature drops below freezing or during long spells of very low temperatures.
One of the females is only about 3 inches below the surface of the soil and the smaller male is a bit deeper.

Past experience has shown that in some years after bringing the tortoises out of the fridge into the heated enclosure, they will try and dig down to continue hibernating.
I am keen to learn of other tortoises keepers (especially Sandy's) experience of natural hibernation and the duration.

Many thanks

Steve Graffham
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Old 28-01-2021, 11:35 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Graffham View Post
I know that I am replying to an historical post but it seems to be the most relevant one.
After years of hibernating my adult trio of Hermanns in a drinks chiller, I decided last year to offer the opportunity for them to dig down and hibernate naturally in a greenhouse. Two of of the tortoises dug down in the greenhouse soil on 10th and 19th October 2020 respectively and the remaining female who always slows down a lot later just wouldn't dig down and had to be placed in the drinks chiller.
Using the drinks chiller, I usually restrict the hibernation to 16 weeks. However now two of my tortoises have dug themselves down naturally, I am wondering if it will be best to leave them to emerge when the the weather warms up or to dig them up and start using the greenhouse heating.
The greenhouse remains mainly unheated through the winter and only heated if the temperature drops below freezing or during long spells of very low temperatures.
One of the females is only about 3 inches below the surface of the soil and the smaller male is a bit deeper.

Past experience has shown that in some years after bringing the tortoises out of the fridge into the heated enclosure, they will try and dig down to continue hibernating.
I am keen to learn of other tortoises keepers (especially Sandy's) experience of natural hibernation and the duration.

Many thanks

Steve Graffham


My tortoises have been doing this for over 20yrs.
They go down when they want to ( after the wind down) and they dont all go down at the same time. There is always one who hangs about longer, but a cold spell usually gets them down.
They come up when they want to, usually the soil starts to crack where they went down. Once one is up, I fence off a part of the GH and put a light on. So it does not rush the others, and the one has a heat sorce:0)
They all go down different levels in mine:0)
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Old 30-01-2021, 12:09 PM   #27
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Steve i have unheated greenhouse and they all go down on the same day, dig in and they all come out on the same day , unheated horsfields - they may wake up different times and dig upwards but they all come out together - this is usually when the weather reaches a continuous 12 degrees. sometimes that can be February time and it goes cold again in which case they hang around the entrance or dig down again for a short period. like Sandy , they have done this for over 20 years and even the tiny ones will do it though I am more cautious with them and if they dont feel like a little brick (weight) I will get them up and lamps once acclimatised to indoors - not for long though cause horsfields dont like masses of heat and will burrow again, but do like dry..a challenge when getting that balance towards spring though, CB
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