Do Red-Eared Slider Turtles Hibernate: What Is Brumation?

Red-eared slider turtles do not hibernate in the traditional sense – they only brumate that can last around three months. Hibernation usually occurs during which time females may lay eggs while males remain inactive. 

During brumation, red-eared slider turtles don’t eat or drink and secrete a glycoprotein instead of urine or feces; they typically go into a state of torpor that slows their metabolic rate and lowers their body temperature. So, the next time you’re wondering what hibernation is, know that sliders go through both hibernation and brumation in different ways!

Brumation vs. Hibernation

Hibernation is a state of suspended animation, while brumation is a metabolic state occurring in the warm months when an animal’s body temperature drops below the ambient temperature. This state of brumation is a slightly different form of hibernation where an animal’s body temperature lowers but is active at night. 

Hibernation is a state of rest and repair that some animals undergo to conserve energy. Brumation is the act of sleeping during cold weather months that helps them conserve energy and keep warm. Brumation is essential for red-eared slider turtles because it helps them conserve energy and keep warm when their body temperature drops below the temperature at which they metabolize food.

Some turtle enthusiasts keep red-eared sliders brumating by setting their water temperatures down to the low 80s. However, brumation can have some disadvantages, such as reducing muscle mass, injuries from fights over food, and death from dehydration or freezing temperatures. So far, there is no evidence that hibernation or brumation harms red-eared sliders kept in captivity, but further study is needed.

Red-Eared Slider Turtle During Brumation

Main Signs Red Eared Slider During Brumation

Brumation is when red-eared slider turtles enter a state of semi-hibernation, during which they reduce their metabolic rate and body temperature. Although brumation can be a sign of stress or illness in some turtles, it’s an integral part of the turtle’s natural cycle and should not be taken lightly. Please monitor your turtle closely throughout winter as brumation may occur without you realizing it! 

Some key signs that your turtle is ready to hibernate include decreased activity, appetite, and body temperature. Always consult with a reptile specialist if you have questions about brumation in your pet turtle!

Time Frame of Brumation of Red-Eared Slider Turtles

Some red-eared slider hatchlings will start emerging from hibernation in March and April, but this varies depending on the location and temperature of their slider habitat. The length of brumation can vary, going for around three months on average

Side Effects of Brumation on Red-Eared Slider Turtles

Brumation has some side effects you should be aware of, including decreased body temperature, dehydration, and reduced heart rate. Make sure to monitor your turtle during brumation by keeping an eye on their body temperature and eating habits. If everything goes well, you’ll be able to brumate your turtle without any problems in the long run!

Harmful Effects of Brumating on Red-Eared Slider Turtles

For many turtle enthusiasts, the winter months are a time of anticipation because brumating refers to the red-eared slider turtle’s natural sleep cycle, which usually occurs in the winter months. If you’re considering keeping a red-eared slider turtle brumate, ensure they are fully recovered from their summer nesting season first. 

Some red-eared slider turtles may find brumation uncomfortable and restrictive, so be sure to leave them alone if they want to hibernate. As long as you provide the right environment and enough food and water, brumating should not harm your red-eared slider turtle. However, if you feel like there’s something wrong, don’t force them into the brumation cycle – instead, consult a reptile veterinarian.

Can Red-Eared Sliders Survive Winter?

Red-eared slider turtles are a great pet choice for those in colder climates. They are adaptable and can easily survive winter by hiding in moist areas or under objects. Ensure a warm enclosure – they can get cold if the temperature drops too low. 

Keeping Your Red-Eared Slider Turtles Safe During Brumation

These red-eared slider turtles are active all year round and should be kept in an environment with a temperature gradient of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. In the fall, red-eared sliders will enter brumation, a state where they will drastically reduce their activity level and eat less food. If you’re lucky enough to have a red-eared slider turtle in your home, keep an eye on them for signs that they’re about to head into brumation!

Here are a few tips that will help you out in keeping your red-eared slider turtle safe during brumation:

  • Monitor your red-eared slider turtle during brumation and take necessary actions if the temperature gets too high. 
  • If the weather starts cooling off, be prepared for them to start brumating by setting up a warmer enclosure for them. 
  • Remember that they can tolerate a temperature not lower than 21 degrees Celsius. 
  • Always check on your red-eared slider turtle regularly.
  • Keep an eye out for any signs of discomfort or illness. If you see anything amiss, don’t hesitate to take action!