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Plans For Spring


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#1 littlemiss

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 07:53 PM

hello everyone, once this long, damp winter seems to be shifting, I will be moving my torts outside. I am planning their enclosure now. If I set something up with a shelter with a polycarbonate transparent plastic roof on at one end and leave the rest open with soil, a few rocks and an ample supply of weeds for them to demolish, do I need to include a heat lamp and basking spot? I was looking at ideas on the tortoise trust website and it appeared not.... If not, do I leave them out over night or bring them in? I will have chicken wire over the top to prevent things getting in and slate underneath to prevent them getting out. Does that sound ok? Katie

#2 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 09:09 PM

In this country all outdoor tortoises need a form of backup heat in outdoor enclosures, otherwise they will not grow unless we have an exceptional summer. They need heat to warm up and develop an appetite, also to digest their food properly - Tortoise Trust endorse this extra heat outdoors too. It's much better to leave them out overnight. as this will give the correct drop in ambient temps overnight, as in nature. If tortoises are brought in overnight, then ambient temps are usually higher than in the day, which can lead to confused tortoises. Those that are left out all summer with back up heat, will almost certainly have far less chances of needing a vet at some time. What species are we talking about, as only horsfields need overall underground protection from escape and unfortunately slate would not work as they are very strong diggers.

Hope this helps :)



#3 littlemiss

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 08:46 AM

They are Hermanns- so no underground protection needed?

 

So, to clarify, do I need to have a heater that comes on during the day to heat their enclosed space to a particular temperature (like 40 degrees for example?) and then at night have it controlled by a thermostat to only come on if the temperature drops below a particular temperature (maybe 12 degrees?)?

 

Thank you for your help,

Katie



#4 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 02:14 PM

No, hermanns are not a burrowing species. They do sometimes disappear overnight with just the top of their shell showing, so as long as fencing is set in a few inches, they will be fine. When it's time to hibernate, they need to be brought in for the winding down process, that is when they may go a little deeper, but they would still not tunnel like a Russian :)

I would not set a stat to 40, that is conducive with death if they happened to get trapped inside. 30 is ample, then they would come out and use the sun to warm up fully on good days. Only set it long enough for them to warm up or they might not bother to go outside, especially with a clear roof. Obviously if weather is bad for a long period you can over-ride this setting. UVB is not necessary in outdoor hides.



#5 littlemiss

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 08:05 PM

I have just read an old post on here from 2011 when I was searching for ideas for heaters that would be suitable and everyone was saying that at 8months the tortoise mentioned by the person who posted the topic, was too young to be outside 24/7 in our climate... Mine will only be about 8 months come spring... Does this change the advice at all?

#6 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 08:44 PM

Not everyone has the same opinion and some peoples opinions change from year to year, once they have discovered that some things do work better another way. My babies will be outside once he dangers of frost have passed. They will be in an area that can be covered for protection from bad weather and open when it is fine. There will always be heating back up there regardless of the weather and I am confident that my babies will be fine. At the end of the day, it has to be the keepers choice, but if conditions are good, then it's just a case of thinking reptile instead of mammal and biting the bullet. Good luck :D






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