Waking tortoises from winter hibernation

Waking tortoises from winter hibernation The month of March is when many tortoise owners waken their beloved pets from hibernation. Here are some points which should be considered to best help your tortoise come out of hibernation and into the spring season.

What are important points to consider when waking a tortoise from hibernation?
  • At the latest, the tortoise should be taken out of hibernation when it wakes up by itself and becomes restless. Otherwise, the warm temperatures of spring make for the ideal time.            
  • The tortoise may need to be kept in a terrarium during the transition period.            
  • Warm baths for 20 minutes at 25 °C once or twice a week will help to revive digestion and body-heat balance. This facilitates the release of excrement and urine and supports hydration.

Ideally you gave your tortoise a health check, including weighing and worming, before hibernation. The best time for worming is around mid-August, when the tortoise's metabolism is still in full swing.
A parasitological faecal examination is essential for proper worming. It is also recommended that you weigh your tortoise during hibernation.

What you should look for in the first few days?            
  • Check the weight of your tortoise; does it remain constant?            
  • How does the shell appear?            
  • Is the tortoise moving?            
  • Is it eating, and excreting/urinating?            
  • Does it have diarrhoea?            
  • Are its eyes clear and open, or swollen shut?

If the tortoise still appears sluggish and refuses to eat after 1 week, you should have the animal examined by a reptile vet.

When should feeding resume and which food is recommended?
Feeding can start after about 2 days. Don't worry, it’s quite normal if the animal takes a little while for it eats again.

A high-quality herbal feed should be provided during the waking-up period.
We recommend Testudo Herbs or Testudo Fibre.

Testudo Herbs is a low-protein base feed made from over 60 different meadow grasses and herbs from the foothills of the Bavarian Alps.
Its high crude fibre content keeps intestinal flora healthy and metabolism intact.

Testudo Fibre is a structural feed with high amounts of herbs and crude fibre, and guarantees a healthy and diet for all tortoises. Its low protein content is easy on the animal's metabolism.