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Hibernation indoors

Aquatics housed indoors should not be hibernated. It is very difficult to replicate the conditions indoors for successful hibernating. The winter cool-down period is not associated with elevated sperm counts in male RES the same way as other turtle species, so there really is no need for it. If the turtle is indoors, put some additional effort into lighting and heating, and offer particularly enticing life food such as crickets, waxworms and red wigglers to keep the turtles healthy and eating.

Hibernation outdoors

In the wild, they would hibernate at the bottom of the pond, nestled into mud and dead vegetation. Temperatures below 52F or so will lower the metabolic rate to allow for successful brummation. A turtle housed in a suitable pond, at least 3' deep can be hibernated. Just let it do its thing. Monitor her location and condition, if you can, a few times during the winter.

Hibernation is a process animals go through to survive in the wild. The temperature drops so much, that the animal cannot survive at an active state. So to survive these creatures go through a "Winters rest" and live off fat reserves in their own body. Making it easier for themselves, their body slows down dramatically. All metabolic processes slow down so the animal uses low amounts of energy. This is a natural process for these animals, and is benificial to mature animals. The reason is this, fertility is then reserved so that reproduction can better occur.

Many turtle species are one of these animals who hibernate during the cold months. Hibernation can be a tricky thing to do for your pet. Some animals do not make it through the winter, being they were sick,injured, or not enough fat reserved in their body to last them the whole winter period. So if you are thinking of hibernating your turtle, make sure there is nothing wrong with it.

Recognize your turtles readiness to hibernate. When your turtle(s) are getting ready to hibernate, you will notice changes in your turtles activity. The temperature will soon change, gradually getting colder, and colder. Your herp will recognize this, and use up less energy by moving slower, and lose of appetite. They will eventually stop eating all together. Now you can keep yout teptile awake during this cold time by putting lights on it, and feeding regulary. Although, in the future, it might have effects from not having a winters rest. Its kind of like us not taking a vacation for several years straight, think about it.

Most temperate aquatic turtles also hibernate in the wild and this can likewise be achieved in captivity; however, it is a relatively advanced procedure requiring a good deal of specialist knowledge and experience on the part of the keeper. There is little or no room for error. Our advice in most cases is to overwinter these animals. In the wild, such turtles usually hibernate in the mud on the bottom of rivers or ponds, but even where the animals are kept in a pond in captivity, it is highly unlikely to be able to provide conditions ideal for such a hibernation; anoxia, or lack of oxygen, is only one of several possible problems which can arise. For safety's sake, unless you are an experienced keeper who is absolutely sure of what you are doing, we would caution against attempts at hibernating any aquatic turtle.





Site Created: 1/8/2002, Last modified: 12/7/2003 by Petra Grujic