20/12/2015 19:28
Hi all. Well, I have had quite a few calls this weekend about torties seemingly waking up !! As I was saying in  last blog the weather although great for some is absolutely awful for those of us who keep tortoises..What I have learnt over many years is yes some do actually move a little during hibernation . If this has happened to any of mine I just put some hay on top of them and leave them alone. I would definitely not recommend taking a tortoise  in doors and bathing and offering food unless you are absolutely sure it is wide awake.. During hibernation a tortoise  alters its internal makeup to see it through the winter. Once it has woken up the internal make up reverts back . So, if it really has woken up then there may be a chance it won't go back into hibernation and may have to be brought indoors for the rest of the Winter. Gerties babies who are now nearly 3( Bonnie and Clyde) have  been brought in because they really didn't go intohibernation at all ! .They are happily eating and  I will see what happens with the weather. If we get a really cold snap after Xmas I will again try and hibernate them even for just a couple of weeks. Our seasons are changing and getting warmer every year so I think tortoises will be going into hibernation later ,which would be fine if we then get the cold to follow ! So, if you have a hibernationg tortoise make sure it is in a dry house with clean hay off the floor so it does not get damp and most importantly in an area where the sun does not hit it. If you are worried about it being too warm in a shed or garage then move it to another shaded area. If you check and your tortie has moved but has its eyes closed then don't pick it up  again just cover it and hopefully we will get the cold snap we need for them to settle back down. If you do have a tortie that is wide awake then yes bring it in ,bath it and offer food. Round lettuce and watercress hold water so they are a good first source to give.  Obviously an older tortoise will not want to go in a tortoise table so you can let roam a conservatory or green house floor with its door open during the day. Then you can put it in a shed in a box with hay at night. You won't need heat or a lamp because your house will be ok during the day and it needs it colder at night anyway. If you get a suuny day however weak the sun is then you can put your tortie out for a while to soak up the rays.  Obviously , I can only talk about  how I have done things for over 35 years and everyone should read up and make up their own minds on how to look after their own tortoise . I can only hope that all will be well and we will indeed get the cold snap we so desperately need.