Do Tortoises Hibernate? Here are some pointers to when your desert tortoise start to hibernate:
- Desert Tortoises begin to hibernate in late September and October.
- As soon as ground temperatures drop to 60 degrees this is appropriate
- Your tortoises should be examined by our veterinarians and have bloodwork and an x-ray taken before hibernation
- Your tortoise will slow down their activity in late August and September.
- Only feed hay/grass no greens after Oct 1
- Soak your tortoise daily in a shallow bowl for 10 minutes daily after Oct 1
- Once the ground temp reaches 60 degrees (use a kitchen thermometer pushed into the ground) it is time for hibernation.
- The temperature must stay between 50-60 degrees.
- Check your tortoise weight monthly using a gram scale. It should never lose more than 1% body weight. For a 500-gram tortoise, 5 grams weight loss is a problem
- The tortoise should not urinate. If it does, then slowly warm them to room temp and soak in shallow water room temp for 10-15 minutes
- If hibernating indoors use an insulated box lined with care fresh, shredded paper or newspaper.
- Soak tortoise every 4-6 weeks in room temp water for 10-15 minutes
Hibernation should last 4-6 months.
When the temperatures rise above 65 degrees consistently it is time to have your tortoise come out of hibernation.
If you have problems, please call us at (714) 899-1100