REFRIGERATOR HIBERNATION


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Sophie
Becky
Harry
Chloe
George
Polly

Noggy

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Jessica
Misty
Martha
Amy
Theo
Oscar
Esme
Feral Neutering
Cat Proof Garden

TORTOISES
Shelley
Nancy
Hibernation


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Faithful
Oliver
Bruce
Buster
Uvey
Tiggie

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With British winters becoming more unpredictable with their widely fluctuating temperatures we were finding it more and more difficult to control the temperature at which our tortoises were being hibernated at using the traditional methods. We were very interested to read in the Tortoise Trust Newsletter an article about hibernating tortoises using a refrigerator.
We purchased a drinks chiller and ran it empty for several weeks monitoring the temperature inside while adjusting it's thermostat until we were happy that we could maintain a temperature of 5ºC, deviating by no more that 2ºC either side. We used several different types of thermometer at the same time to be sure we were getting a true reading as can be seem in the photographs above.
The chiller was placed in a cool bedroom, it must not be placed in a shed or garage because if the temperature there drops below freezing the temperature in the chiller will also drop to that temperature!
When we were totally happy about controlling the temperature we placed the tortoises in boxes using polystyrene chippings for bedding and placed the boxes into the chiller. We continued to monitor the temperature several times a day and opened the door of the chiller twice weekly to allow fresh air in.
(The maximum time that tortoises should be hibernated for is 20 weeks at the most.)
Shelley and Nancy both awoke very well and started eating straight away.
We found this method of hibernation far more controllable than using a box in the garage and will be using this method in the future, we would recommend it to everybody.
If you would like anymore information please send us an e-mail.

For high quality images for printing please click picture.