16/08/2012 15:08

If you look on the net you will find numerous sites telling you all sorts of things about hibernation.Like don't hibernate in garden ! put in a double lined box!!!  don't feed for weeks before hibernation. Keep weighing during winter!!!!! What a nightmare for new owners of these wonderful creatures and for already owners who don't do it this way. well, here is my take on it  and I hope it helps some of you to relax a little when it comes to hibernation. Firstly, just think about this for a moment, you have a child and it has slept in the same bed in the same room with the same things around it for almost a year and suddenly you take it all away!! you make it sleep in a strange place  with strange smells, you take away all the things it has grown to like and feel safe with!! you expect it to go to sleep straight away relaxed and feeling safe! what is going to happen?It won't settle ,its stomach will be in knots and you will have problems.well that is what happens when you do the same with a Tortoise that has lived happily in its garden for nearly a year and then you suddenly pick it up stick it in a double lined box and expect it to go happily asleep when in fact it feels frightened  and its stomach is very upset!!!  Well, the good news is none of this has to happen! How do I know I hear you ask, well , I have kept and bred happy tortoises for over 35 years now and in all that time I have always hibernated mine the natural way; in their garden!!! firstly ,I don't stop feeding them I put the food out as normal and watch for it not to be eaten, this is an indication they are getting ready to hibernate.Your tortoise knows what to do and when to do it we just help them on their way. Mine have their out houses, they come to the door as it gets colder ,look outside and if is too cold they stay in;as the days get colder they come out less and less and by this time they have cleared their  stomaches out. One by one they bed down in the bark chippings on the floor.When they have not come out for a few days I check daily and finally close their door cover them with fresh hay blow them a kiss and thank them for a lovely year.As the months go by I check them to make sure all is well and look forward to seeing them all again in the Spring.I have never lost one to death or any predator doing it this way and for me personally I think it is the kindest nicest way to hibernate tortoises.let me know what you think.More on what to do when they wake up soon..