Tuesday, 10 April 2012

The Spring Trundle Is On

For me Spring really springs when my tortoises hibernation ends and its been a few weeks since they woke, well actually I woke them up, you see I hibernate them in a rather artificial manner.  Instead of letting them dig down in the garden or boxing them up and putting them in my shed, I refrigerate them.  I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but it is recognised to be the safest method now days.  Many people in their late 40's and beyond often tell me that they had a tortoise as a child, but as the conversation continues they tell me that it either escaped or most frequently it died in hibernation.  This is because most people used the box method and their tortoises either died from freezing or died because they were not cool enough and thus were using vital energy that was not being replenished.  In a fridge I set my temperature to 6 degrees and I keep and eye that it doesn't go too high or low.  My thermometer even has an alarm, although it has never gone off.  

When people hear about the fridge method one of the first questions is but how do they breathe?  Good question, but how do they breathe if the have dug three feet under the ground?  I guess the answer is they need very little oxygen as long as they are in complete hibernation mode.  

Any way they are now up and about and today has been a great day for them, they have trundled around their gardens and they have eaten like pigs!

Happy Spring to you!


  1. Oh I love them, I love the photograph of the Dandelion munching. The tortoises look very healthy and happy to me. :)

  2. They are so fascinating! Love the little guys!

  3. Ah, Thanks, I have to say, I love them very much too!!

  4. This was a very interesting post we own 2 Russian tortoises an have had them about 11 years now but I always worry around hibernation. Thank you for this info.