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another hibernation question

tegu1982

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hey everyone this will be my tegus' first winter and i was wanting them to hibernate so i got a few questions.
first do tegus go into hibernation naturally or do i need to lower the temps in the enclosure. and if so when is a good time to start?
and about how long do they hibernate for?
i know that the temps should be around 55 and that i should add about 6in of subtrate for them to build a burrow. but what about the lighting issue will i need to keep the 12 on 12 off routine? and also what about humidity, does that stay the same or does it change to?
sorry for all the questions but any help would be appriciated, thanks.
 

DaveDragon

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It's pretty much summed up here. http://www.tegutalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=826

Ours (3 year old male & female Blues, 6 year old male Red, 1 year old B&W) didn't hibernate last year. they slowed down. I didn't lower temps because they're in our family room (basement) and there are a few other reptiles down there that don't hibernate, 68-70 degrees. They would sleep for 1 to 4 days, come up for a few hours or even a day or two, and disappear again. The Blues started later. I offered food if I noticed them up for 2 consecutive days. Sometimes they ate. I never turned their lights off since they did come up every few days. This year I will reduce the time they're on more.
 

DaveDragon

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tegu1982 said:
thanks dave and hopfully i dont mess things up. :fc :thyo
Let them do what they want to do. If you do decide to turn the lights off for hibernation just make sure it's been at least 3 days without food and he's defecated. You don't want the food rotting inside of him all winter.
 

PuffDragon

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You don't want the food rotting inside of him all winter.

I don't think this is necessarily true. I've been trying to find some information on it and can't come up with anything.
 

DaveDragon

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PuffDragon said:
You don't want the food rotting inside of him all winter.

I don't think this is necessarily true. I've been trying to find some information on it and can't come up with anything.
If they have bacteria on their intestines and it is breaking down the food, can it get out of control while they're sleeping? If the temps are in the low 50's maybe not, if the temps area about 70, maybe. I'd rather be safe than sorry. I don't have any experience with fully hibernating Tegu's since out basement is living space and it doesn't get cool enough. I'd rather err on the side of safety.

As we all know, many of the reptile care sheets are copied from another which was copied from another, etc, sometimes without being true. Once it has been around for a while it becomes truth. Separating truth from fiction can be a guessing game at times. Even experienced breeders may have different methods to accomplish the same thing. So we can do as they do or make our own judgments. But in the end the Tegu probably knows what's best for its health.
 

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