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New Outdoor Enclosure

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#1 DašaP

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Posted 25 August 2015 - 07:49 PM

I moved my post from other topic here now ;).

 

 

 

 

Hello! :) I am from Slovenia and we have slightly more suitable weather condition for the tortoises than you.. but they still can not be outdoor for the whole year.

 

Here are the pictures of new outdoor enclosure (sized 5,5m2) of my about 11-years old female Hermanni. The fence was digged into the grass 15cm deep although she isnt interested in digging.. so I am not worried about escape anyway :). This year was the second one I tried to sow rucola in her enclosure but it was unsuccessful again..

 

 

If you have any suggestions for the improvement let me know ;)!

 

http://www.slikomat....ika/5886695.htm

 

http://www.slikomat....ika/5886696.htm

 

http://www.slikomat....ika/5886698.htm

 

http://www.slikomat....ika/5890280.htm

 

http://www4.slikomat...0/7q-2014-0.jpg

 

Today I added two large branches on the grass that she need to climb over and she really enjoy doing that :).



#2 mildredsmam

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 03:00 PM

Hi welcome to the forum. :)

Your enclosure looks great, does it get full sun all day. :)

The only thing I would say is you could maybe take more of the grass up and have more soil area, and add more plants and things for her to climb over. :)



#3 DašaP

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 03:53 PM

At least half of the enclosure has sun all day long ;). I dont understand why it is better for her to have more soil than grass on the ground? Ok, i could understand if it is for digging but till now i havent seen here digging in the soil she has ;).

 

Like I said i added 2 large branches for climbing and i will add some rocks too.



#4 wizzasmum

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 05:30 PM

Well, although it is questionable as to whether there is a natural population of tortoises in Slovenia, you do have optimum conditions there for keeping them and they can certainly thrive outdoors in your climate all year round. There are breeding farms in Slovenia and have been for many years now. In the wild you won't find tortoises in grassy areas unless they are en route to somewhere else. They certainly don't like to bask on grass, which can actually contribute to shell rot. You will find them in sparse rocky terrain, which is ideal for them. Hermanns don't burrow as such, but a healthy one will dig under the soil at night time, depending on the temperature. Gritty soil is good if you are going to add more substrate. Keep an eye on her around October/November time when she will disappear suddenly underground to hibernate. It's a good idea to make sure your substrate is deep enough to accommodate this. 5 square metres is not a lot of room really, so it's essential she has a good depth for hibernation.

#5 DašaP

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Posted 28 August 2015 - 11:43 AM

Just a small area of Slovenia (even if it a small country by itself) called Primorska (which means near sea) is suitable for tortoises staying outside for the whole year. I live in the middle and here winter temperatures drops to -15°C.. I think that even really deep soil won`t provide enough temperature to hibernate her outside ;).

 

I know that tortoises in nature don`t live on grassy terrain but i doubt about her shell's rotting because of that.. If that were so why they need so much humidity in the soil in their tables (well i know because of the termoregulating but what about rotting in this case?)? This is real riddle for me.

 

In my opinion 5 square metres is and it isn't enough in the same time. In the captivity i think is enough but we all agree i think that it would be better for them just to live in the nature... BUT we still have them. Contradictory, huh? ;)

 

I will probably remove the grass this week and add more rocks and something.. But I still yearn for the answers ;).



#6 wizzasmum

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Posted 28 August 2015 - 12:35 PM

The info you are being given is by people who have done research and learned from it. Anyone has a right to disagree though and learn from their own research. Tortoises are found in other parts of Slovenia too, particularly Dolenjska, which is much higher ground and don't let's forget the humble Russian tortoises which cope with vast temperature extremes, much lower than freezing. Once underground, temperatures are extremely stable, so long as given enough depth off substrate. What part of Slovenia are you in? There is a huge difference in the humidity levels on grass and those below ground on a porous well draining substrate. One of the differences is to do with the time of day, overnight being higher humidity at ground level. 5 square metres is just over 2 metres x 2 metres, unless you mean 5 metres on each side, which is 25 square metres ;) I'm not sure which answers you are still yearning for, but please ask and we will reply.

#7 DašaP

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 04:10 PM

And how much substrate do you think is enough? About metre deep? The problem is that the weather in September, October can variate too much and you need to move tortoise inside in the table.. then i cant imagine put her outside again.. :/

 

I live in the middle of Slovenia, near capital Ljubljana. And yes, my enclosure measures 6,5 square metres (i just measured for sure).

 

And when you said that the Dolenjska is much higher ground.. yes, it is, but it is not all about height. In Primorska is tortoise`s natural Mediterranean climate which is found nowhere else in Slovenia (Dolenjska included).

 

My English sadly isn`t good enough to really understand this humidity part :/. I know what you wrote but i don`t know what you meant..



#8 wizzasmum

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 05:46 PM

No a foot or so is enough. You really don't need to be taking a tortoise indoors and then out again, so long as frost is not forecast it will be fine and will wind down for hibernation naturally. If you really need to use such a small enclosure though, the tortoise might struggle finding an appropriate hibernation area, it really needs more room than this. Obviously I don't know Slovenia but I do know that a lady called Alenka who I spoke to some years back did not live on a coastal area but a mountainous one. Do you know of Aleksander Dular? He has tortoise farms in Slovenia, not sure where they are though. By humidity I mean the amount of moisture in the air. The moisture levels on grass are very high, even during the day, so that's not a good thing when they need dry basking. Your english is perfectly easy to understand. Sadly I am not clever enough to speak your language.



#9 wizzasmum

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 05:59 PM

Just done a bit of scouting for you and the tortoise farm is in a place called Vodice, so very near to you indeed, so you will be fine.







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