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Old 15-09-2014, 10:25 PM   #1
carryonsue
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Default First Hibernation help please

Hi Ev1,
Had my horsfield Pebbles since march this year and she`s fab, was told she was 2-3 years old she now weighs about 350 grams and shell is 115 mm length is this ok or is she too fat or not fat enough lol, will it be safe to hibernate her or is she still too young ? if so when is it best to start the hibernation process and best hibernation box ie bedding etc to use, I was thinking of putting her in my loft as it keeps cool is all boarded up and no fear of rats or mice, any help would be gladly appreciated as first time will be very nervous and worrying time ha ha silly me, anyway thanks for help guys and girls.
Susan And Pebbles.
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Old 15-09-2014, 11:14 PM   #2
Ozric Jonathan
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Hi Sue

one problem with the loft is that it's often too warm there. Of course it depends on your house but often too much heat from the central heating etc leaks into the loft space. The loft space is also likely to warm up when the sun comes out, even in winter.

The ideal temperature for hibernation is about 5 Degrees C. My guess is that your loft space is much warmer than that and also that the temperature is not at all stable. You really don't want to go over 10.

Some keepers find Horsfields tricky to hibernate and since I've got hermanns I won't offer any further suggestions!
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Old 16-09-2014, 11:35 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by carryonsue View Post
Hi Ev1,
Had my horsfield Pebbles since march this year and she`s fab, was told she was 2-3 years old she now weighs about 350 grams and shell is 115 mm length is this ok or is she too fat or not fat enough lol, will it be safe to hibernate her or is she still too young ? if so when is it best to start the hibernation process and best hibernation box ie bedding etc to use, I was thinking of putting her in my loft as it keeps cool is all boarded up and no fear of rats or mice, any help would be gladly appreciated as first time will be very nervous and worrying time ha ha silly me, anyway thanks for help guys and girls.
Susan And Pebbles.
Horsfields along with med tortoises, hibernate from their first year.
So your tortoise is plenty big enough for hibernation.
Age has absolutely no connection with hibernation:0)
As has been said, lofts are one of the worst places to hibernate any tortoise. As the temperatures in lofts varies far to much.
For some really good hibernation advice try www.thetortoisehouse.com
And you are not silly, just nervous, which most are, no matter how long they have been hibernating tortoises. I have been hibernating them for over 30 years, with no tortoise loss to hibernation:0) provided you follow the right instructions.
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Old 16-09-2014, 12:47 PM   #4
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You could also not hibernate her. There is always the option to keep her awake all winter every winter like many of us, including myself, do, with no detrimental effects to their health.
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Old 27-09-2014, 11:55 PM   #5
carryonsue
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Default First Hibernation Help

Thanks for help and advice ev1, loft will be a no no then thanks,we do have a old caravan up the garden which we use for storage of garden items etc it is dry and rat free could this be suitable? What is best to put in pebbles box i.e as regards to shredded paper, soil,cork chippings,polysytrene pellets etc as heard of all these in my quest of trawling the internet to find the best hibernation method for my pebbles, polystyrene boxs, wooden boxs, plastic boxs there are so many different methods which is best as i`m very confused lol. Also when do you actually put them into hibernation i.e what month and how long for some say 8 weeks 12 weeks for her age 2-3 years old as she is sleeping alot more now... thanks in advance Susan and Pebbles.
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Old 28-09-2014, 09:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carryonsue View Post
Thanks for help and advice ev1, loft will be a no no then thanks,we do have a old caravan up the garden which we use for storage of garden items etc it is dry and rat free could this be suitable? What is best to put in pebbles box i.e as regards to shredded paper, soil,cork chippings,polysytrene pellets etc as heard of all these in my quest of trawling the internet to find the best hibernation method for my pebbles, polystyrene boxs, wooden boxs, plastic boxs there are so many different methods which is best as i`m very confused lol. Also when do you actually put them into hibernation i.e what month and how long for some say 8 weeks 12 weeks for her age 2-3 years old as she is sleeping alot more now... thanks in advance Susan and Pebbles.
As has been said, you do have the option not to hibernate, certainly until you know exactly what your doing, it might be worth waiting until next year, so you've got time to get well organised and time to really research. Hibernation time is nearly upon us, and mine are starting to slow down. Once they are really into wind down mode you can't really back out, so be sure that your well prepared before you let her start winding down. If you are going to use your caravan, do you know how cold it gets in there, it might be like a shed and she could freeze , you would need to have some sort of heating on a thermostat , that is set to come on at 5c.
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Old 28-09-2014, 09:09 AM   #7
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sorry but a caravan is probably worse than a loft, have you ever come back to one after the sun has been on it or when its cold or wet? most are extremely affected by the outside temp. You need to be looking at getting a fridge, maybe a free one from freecycle but it needs to be ran for a few weeks to get the temp right, as well as heat being bad for them to cold is as well hence the need to have somewhere thats a steady 5c give or take a couple of degrees. Does your caravan have a fridge? you could try putting using a digital thermometer to see how that holds its temp but I don't know how good those fridges are.
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