First time hibernating marginated

Post your pictures and any questions here of European tortoises e.g. Ibera Spur Thigh, Ibera Graeca, Marginated, Hermanns, Kleinmanni and we include the Horsfield tortoise. Also, do add pictures of Mediterranean tortoises you have seen in the wild.
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Steff1bee
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Joined: 24 Aug 2018, 19:29

First time hibernating marginated

Post by Steff1bee » 24 Aug 2018, 19:40

Hello,

I'm sorry if this has already been covered elsewhere, I've looked through the forum discussions and can't find an answer.
I have 2 marginated tortoises, one who is 6 and one who is 2. I've had each of them since they were 1.
I've never hibernated either as a "reptile specialist" in a shop once told me I didn't have to until they were 20 but everything I read elsewhere leads me to believe he doesn't really know what he's talking about.
So Archie (the 6 yo) is 12.8cm long and 400g. I think he's a bit overweight to be honest and has been putting weight on at an alarming rate do he's on a diet.
Reggie (2 yo) is 9cm and 130g. He is growing at around 1.5g pcm so I think he's ok.

Where do I start in finding out:
A: if they're a good weight to hibernate and
B: How best to go about it

All the information I find online is for Herman's or horsefields and these two are completely different breeds.
I've attached a photo of them so hopefully you can see how beautiful they are!!!

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Steph (and Archie/ Reggie!).
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lin
Posts: 435
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: First time hibernating marginated

Post by lin » 24 Aug 2018, 20:19

Hiya Steph, and what a beautiful pair of tortoises these are.

First of all can I show you a caresheet for this species. I am only showing you so I can then refer you onto the hibernation sheet.
https://www.tortoise-protection-group.o ... 014New.pdf

The wind down process for all hibernating species are much the same and the wind down process can be found here -- https://www.tortoise-protection-group.o ... cedure.pdf

The hibernation sheet can be found here for the fridge method -- https://www.tortoise-protection-group.o ... Sept16.pdf

And the waking up process here -- https://www.tortoise-protection-group.o ... 080608.pdf

If you have any problems with any of these or would like more info then please do get back to us and we will help in any way we can.

Lin

Steff1bee
Posts: 5
Joined: 24 Aug 2018, 19:29

Re: First time hibernating marginated

Post by Steff1bee » 24 Aug 2018, 22:28

Thank you so much for coming back to me with such an informative reply. I'll have a read over the documents you've sent and hopefully feel a bit more ready for my first hibernation this winter.

Thanks again,
Steph x

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lin
Posts: 435
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: First time hibernating marginated

Post by lin » 24 Aug 2018, 22:51

Thats great and thanks Steph. As I said if there is anything we can do then just get back to us.
Happy hibernation.

Lin

Steff1bee
Posts: 5
Joined: 24 Aug 2018, 19:29

Re: First time hibernating marginated

Post by Steff1bee » 23 Jan 2019, 19:53

Hi,

I've followed all the instructions for hibernation and the torts went in the fridge for the first day yesterday after a 4 week wind down period. I've had a quick check on them today and it seems the bigger one has urinated. Should I carry on or take him out and over winter him??

Thanks in advance,

Steph xx

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lin
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: First time hibernating marginated

Post by lin » 23 Jan 2019, 20:14

Hi Steph.
If I were to be honest I would get him up and overwinter him.
I know Nina has done hers different and they have been fine and hopefully she will be on in a mo to let you know her thoughts.

Lin

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Nina
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: First time hibernating marginated

Post by Nina » 23 Jan 2019, 20:31

Hi Steph,

I think they do that on purpose, just to stress us out! As Lin says, you can't not leave him in there for a full hibernation, but as he has only been in for a day or two you can take him out and see if you can get him to drink -- and then put him back in. If you weigh him just before offering a drink (like in his bath), and they weigh him immediately afterwards (and make sure he is thoroughly dried off so you are not measuring water that is on his shell), you ought to be able to see if he has taken on any water.

I've had it happen twice, where the day before they were due to go in one of mine has had a wee. Both times I was able to get water into her and put her back for a successful hibernation. One time she willingly drank in the bath, and the other time I tricked her into drinking by rolling up a fake leaf (one of those cloth leaves on artificial flowers), and had some water in it, and when I offered the leaf and the tortoise went to take a bit I tipped the water into her mouth. I did that repeatedly until she had taken on what I hoped was enough water.

Have a go and see what you think. If he had been properly in hibernation then you would have had to wake him up for good, but he wasn't in hibernation yet, so I think you might be able to save the situation. And if you do get him to drink and put him back in, you could always shorten the hiberntion a bit to be on the safe side.

Oh, and I meant to ask. How old is he, how much does he weigh, and how long were you intending to hibernate him for?

Nina

Steff1bee wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I've followed all the instructions for hibernation and the torts went in
> the fridge for the first day yesterday after a 4 week wind down period.
> I've had a quick check on them today and it seems the bigger one has
> urinated. Should I carry on or take him out and over winter him??
>
> Thanks in advance,
>
> Steph xx

Steff1bee
Posts: 5
Joined: 24 Aug 2018, 19:29

Re: First time hibernating marginated

Post by Steff1bee » 23 Jan 2019, 21:17

Firstly I just want to thank you both for being such present members of this forum. This website is like my bible and it's down to your hard work and enthusiasm so thank you, thank you, thank you. I honestly don't know what I'd do without your words of tortoise wisdom!

I'm pretty sure he's done this on purpose, he's got that kind of personality... :roll:
He's had a bath and he's had a fair old drink so I'll let him dry off and, as long as he doesn't wee again, I'll put him back in his box for the night and try him in the fridge again tomorrow.

Fingers crossed.

Thank you again!!!

Steph xx

Steff1bee
Posts: 5
Joined: 24 Aug 2018, 19:29

Re: First time hibernating marginated

Post by Steff1bee » 23 Jan 2019, 21:20

Sorry - just seen the last bit.

He's 6 years, 440g and I was planning on 8 weeks. I know it's not very long but it's his first time, and mine, so I don't want to risk leaving it much longer.

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lin
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: First time hibernating marginated

Post by lin » 23 Jan 2019, 21:34

Aww, Steph. What nice words from you, thank you so much.

I knew Nina would sort you out on that one, hope he sleeps well in his 2nd try - lol

Lin

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Nina
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: First time hibernating marginated

Post by Nina » 23 Jan 2019, 22:10

And thanks so much from me too for your kind words, Steph -- it was lovely to read tha!.
It sounds to me like he will be fine, and that is great that he took a drink (whew!). I think 8 weeks should be fine, especially in view of the wee it's probably wise not to hibernate him for much longer. Don't forget to weigh him before you pop him in the fridge, and then weigh him again in two or three weeks time, just to see how he is getting on. Happy hibernation!

Nina

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