Phil Prepares For Hibernation

Phil Begins March Into Hibernation

October 1, 2012
John Griffiths

Well faithful readers it is getting close to the time Phil and the rest of the groundhogs that inhabit Phil's Burrow begin their march toward hibernation. While they're not quite there yet, Phil and the others are showing signs of at least preparing for hibernation. Their appetites have picked up a little in a last ditch attempt to fatten up for the winter. Soon they will be eating very little. The hay in their burrows has been rearranged into a tighter formation to shield them from the light and provide a little more warmth than what they need in the spring and summer. Their summer fur has been stored in totes and put away in the attic and their winter fur brought down. While they do not drink a lot of water because of the moisture they get from the vegetables they are given, their consumption has gone down to cut down on trips to the bathroom throughout the winter. With the exception of a little hair missing around their haunches, their coats have thickened up.Phil and friends never go into complete hibernation because of the conditions at "The Burrow". It is kept at a constant temperature higher than what his relatives in the wild enjoy. And because Ron and I are afraid of the dark there are usually lights on in the burrow and outer sanctum. Burrows in the wild are approximately 3 feet deep in the ground and devoid of light. For those of you that are concerned that we are disrupting the normal pattern of their hibernation you needn't be. Please remember that, with the exception of Phil, these are all rescued at infancy groundhogs and this has become the norm for them. And Phil, well he's been around for over 127 years and it hasn't seemed to bother him yet.See you Groundhog Day John Griffiths - Co Handler