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Plastic boxes

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#1 Guest_pies_*

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 01:17 PM

I can understand the idea of using plastic crates for hibernating tortoises, but weigh up the + & - points.
On the plus side, plastic will stop your tort from burrowing out. It will also keep water out, and, providing it has vents protected by strong fine mesh, will prevent insect intrusion.
But on the minus side, while it will keep out water, it will also keep IN condensation, which could pool at the bottom. Even with vents, this could happen, not only with water, but with CO2, which will also pool and form a layer at the bottom. Just at the level of your torts head!
In a garage or garden shed during the winter, there will be very little insect activity, so a cardboard or wooden box with fine mesh vents should be adequate in keeping out any insects that continue to be active.
Plastic is a very poor insulator. Should your tort move close to the side of the box, it will be dangerously exposed. Cardboard, on the other hand, is a far better insulator, especially if you use double or tri-wall board.
As for rodents, the corners of a plastic box will be easy for a rat or mouse to gnaw through. It would be far better to check for droppings now. If you find any, set traps to eradicate the vermin then remove all droppings and clean up with an anti bacterial household cleaner. If you are still concerned, set the outer hibernation box on a solid surface, and build a dry wall with breeze blocks around it. Top it off with a sheet of marine ply.
I think the result of this match is Wood & Cardboard 1; Plastic 0.

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