Here we're going to talk about the recommended methods for hibernation. The hibernation box (such like that we have designed on our indoor housing page) for use in a bricked garage and the fridge method
We will start with the hibernation box. We start with a fairly large wooden box, with a polystyrene insulation (we use a specially made poly box tightly slotted in against the wood). The inner box is plastic, it is important that this is filled with top soil only. Never use hay or straw for tortoises.
You notice will that there is a large area unfilled when you put your plastic box into the poly/wooden box. This can be filled with shredded paper.
So now we have the basics of filling your box, lets talk about getting your box to the correct temperature. This isn't a magic box that holds a constant 5 degrees, we've got to get it there before we add our plastic box holding our soil and tortoise. Place your hibernation box (without the plastic box) into your bricked garage/hibernation area, with the thermometer in place. Monitor your thermometer until you are happy with the temperature (between 2 and 5 degrees celcius). Once your hibernation box has reached the desired temperature, you can then go inside, put fresh soil into your plastic box, bath and place your tortoise into this box, seal it up (the air holes are readily drilled into ours), place it in your hibernation box and close it all up for the winter.
There is no need to open your hibernation box at any time during the winter as the digital thermometer shows probe (which will be inside the box) and outside temperatures.
Please be aware that our hibernation information is just a guideline, if the inner box temperature drops too low or rises too high, it is safer to abandon hibernation and bring your tortoise indoors
See our next blog if you are interested in Preparing Your Boxes for Fridge hibernation