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Posted by Pennebaker on February 06, 2003 at 00:52:26:
In Reply to: Re: More Hibernation posted by lisak on February 05, 2003 at 22:20:57:
:::Just checking in about this hibernation thing. My 4 month old has been hibernating in his tank since mid Dec. He has come out a few times, but won't eat, so I don't turn his light on anymore when he comes out, just give him some water. How do I know when it's time to turn his light on again? When he does come out now, he's very inactive and buries himself again pretty quickly. I don't want him to starve to death. But I'm also afraid if I turn his light on, and he's not ready, it'll sap his energy reserves. Help! What should I watch for to know he's ready to come out of hibernation? Thanks for any help, Lisa
:::Lisa, when activity increases that is when you increase lighting and warmth. HLs have been doing this for thousnds of years. They "key" on "signals" in nature and that is their sign that spring is near. Watch ant nests in the wild for activity. That is another "key." You must also be prepared for loss of the HL too. Not all HL hatchlings survive the first hibernation. That is just a fact. Lester G. Milroy III
:Thank you Lester, I always appreciate your help, Lisa
Just as an alternate suggestion, I would ask you to consider just turning the light back-on. Put a timer on your light so that it mimicks the natural light cycle and let the HL decide for itself what it wants and needs. Let the Hl decide whether it wants to get warm or not.
Hibernation is a natural and often necessary part on an HL's yearly cycle, but it is not worth risking the life of your baby to induce hibernation. Even if your baby HL did not hibernate at all for the first 2 years of their life it would not be a problem.
There's a matter of being as natural as possible and then ther is taking it too far. A 4 month-old baby does not NEED to hibernate. I would suggest cranking the heat, the UV, misting warm water and feeding as many ants as the little tike wants.
If your HL is coming-out from a burrow or under the sand to look around, then more-than-likely 'he' is wanting heat, water or food (or all the above).
I'm not attacking you or saying that anybody is wrong here. I am saying from experience raising HL hatchlings that you do not need to hibernate them this young and they do not have to feel the effects of winter on their first year to be healthy.