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#1 Guest_Lin_*

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 08:07 AM

I'm starting to plan the new run and was going to get a 4x2 toll shed for their bedroom, but have seen a plasic tool store in Argos that's a little bit smaller, but tall enough to fix a lamp in and I would make a couple of holes for them to come out of. Any views whether it would be suitable?

#2 Guest_lilacgeorge_*

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 09:19 AM

Have you got a link honey? Then we can see what its like - not that we're nosey.... rolleyes.gif

#3 Guest_Lin_*

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 09:46 PM

I'll try and attach a picture. It's quite small 2ft 4" x 1ft 6" x 2ft 9" high, but I would have thought that was ok for just sleeping

#4 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 10:22 PM

Hi Lin, I tried using a UV / heat lamp in a smallish thing (dog kennel) and I found it was impossible to get the temperature right. If the weather was warmish then the kennel was going to be far too hot and when it was cold outdoors the lamp was too feeble to bring the temp up to a decent level. So except when I was there to see what was going on I rarely used the lamp. Or maybe the lamp you mentioned was just to see what is going on in there when its dark?



#5 Guest_lilacgeorge_*

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 10:28 PM

Hi Lin,

That will be fine but (yep there's always a but!!! rolleyes.gif ) the only problem I foresee is making the 'door' in it. I've got one of these for my bits 'n' pieces and I considered getting another one for the torts but I wasn't convinced I'd be able to put a hole in the plastic without damaging it. Also with it being plastic you'd have to be careful where you position the lamp.

I ended up going to homebase and getting a cycle store. It cost me 99 but was worth it. Though I have to say for about another 40 Argos are now doing a 6 x 4 shed which would be more sturdier! Shame it wasnt that price when I was looking! rolleyes.gif

#6 Guest_Lin_*

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 12:25 PM

I must admit, I did wonder if the plastic would split when we tried to amke the door. I see argos are now doing a 4x2 wooden tool shed, which may be more suitable. It's a bit bigger. I am hoping to put a heat lamp in it just to get them going on the cooler summer days as our garden doesn't get as much sun as I would like.

#7 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 09:40 PM


I really do wonder what others do Lin, happy.gif

I have tried to put lots of thought into a new outside enclosure. The more I read the more difficult it becomes!! blink.gif

When Hettie was with the vet last summer he told me there have been very few days suitable for torts to be outside without heat. mellow.gif I wanted to consider this when I come up with a new outside enclosure, but for the life of me I can't think how best to go about it! wacko.gif

I have thought of a greenhouse with a kennel inside it with heat in the kennel?
A shed with some sort of greenhouse attached? I dont want to keep changing things so really would like to build something to last.

How do others with several torts cope with the in-between summer and winter seasons? unsure.gif

I think there are several of us who use this site who would appreciate some guidance with this subject!!

Ideas on a postcard pleeeeeeease! biggrin.gif biggrin.gif biggrin.gif

Paula x


#8 Guest_Robink_*

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 12:56 PM

Lin have you looked at a small wooden shed you can sometime pick them up quite cheap?

#9 Guest_lilacgeorge_*

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 04:09 PM

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.... you had to ask... this is a looooooooong post with pics of how my outdoors enclosue has chopped & changed! A good example of why you really need to think and plan carefully... (if only I'd listened to my own advice!!! rolleyes.gif ) ah well, its been fun... (and expensive!)


Mmmm, well when I had 'just' Frank, he lived outdoors all summer with no heat wat-so-ever! He coped just fine, here's what his enclosure looked like that first year (summer 06) ... (BTW this was before Frank gave it that 'lived in look...)


next was summer 07, same enclosure but new house... (llok how much the hebe on the back wall has grown!!!!)


At the end of that year Tally arrived, then by the December I also had Archie and Teefa, then in the feb along come Ruby! So, come beginning of summer 08, another revamp! This time I got rid of my shed at the bottom and basically sectioned of a 6ft x 15ft section of my (small) garden... I put the younger 2 in the smaller section and the larger 3 in.. well its obvious really isn't it!!! biggrin.gif



Then, in July 08 my neighbour (who had been promising since 06!!) finally came in and put electric outside...cue another revamp!!!! rolleyes.gif (this pic was taken a few hours before the electric was installed!)


BUT........ guess what......????????????????????????

I will be changing it again this year cos I think Im gonna try and get a greenhouse!!! (Just don't tell the old man though!!!!)
blink.gif blink.gif blink.gif blink.gif blink.gif blink.gif blink.gif blink.gif blink.gif

So basically up until July last year they didnt have any form of heat outdoors apart from 'au natural' and they all thrived!


#10 Guest_Robink_*

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 06:41 PM

Mine are coming to yours for the summer holidays if you get a green house biggrin.gif biggrin.gif biggrin.gif

#11 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 08:06 PM

Hey, great post Dawn!

Love the pics, smile.gif What has made you want to try with a greenhouse? If you go for this option will you put in the polywotsit stuff that allows UV through instead of glass?

I have been considering a large kennel like building, if I go for this I would want it to be for all year, except hibernation.

I just worry about keeping it warm enough through the winter? Also do others put a basking light and UV inside? Its just that without this if we have another rubbish summer and Hettie spends all day hiding would she be warm enough and get enough UV?

Then I thought of a kennel inside a greenhouse..... so many options blink.gif blink.gif blink.gif

I really want a final solution for Hettie's outdoor enclosure, so the more info I can collect before I decide the better!!

Paula x




#12 Guest_lilacgeorge_*

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 04:14 AM

In answer to your question Paula, I'm not sure why I want a greenhouse!!!! rolleyes.gif They do a 6ft x 4ft one in argos with poly-wotsit instead of glass, oh I dunno! The shed I got at the moment was a cheap one (99 from homebase) but it needs to be made warmer, ie I need to line it with summit. I also find that when I have the heat lamps on they tended to stay in their instead of coming out for fresh air.

I may well leave it as it is and just line it but dint know what to use! I've got a huge roll of bubblewrap at home, maybe I could use that as insulation then put plyboard over it...... who knows!!!!

I'll just see what happens in the spring.......... rolleyes.gif

#13 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 11:04 PM


I see argos are now doing a 4x2 wooden tool shed, which may be more suitable. It's a bit bigger. I am hoping to put a heat lamp in it just to get them going on the cooler summer days as our garden doesn't get as much sun as I would like.


Yes I reckon the tool shed might be better as I found you need a fair bit of height to hang your lamp. You need to be able to riase and lower it depending what the weather outside is like. Thats where I went wrong with my dog kennel - not enough height.


#14 Guest_lilacgeorge_*

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 02:53 PM

Hmmm, see this is where I kept getting it wrong!! Getting things and not taking into account the suitability long term. Thats why I'll probably stick with what I got and draught proof it as the electric is now set up in there.

#15 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 11:47 PM


Hi Oz,

Are you hoping that your guys will live outside year round?

Will you put UV in as well? I have read a post recently that suggested torts may not come out if they were warm and snuggly in an inside shed, therefore would be lacking in UV?

I am thinking of the following.... although my OH will probably tweak my plan into something far less extravagant!!

A green house, containing a mini shed type house, insulated and lined with another layer of wood.
Inside would be night time back up heat on a thermostat (set at 12C) also a combined heat and UV bulb. This would be on for 12 hours at the end of summer before hibernation wind down and also afterwards before the next spring.
Once the weather warmed up a bit the shed bit could be opened leading into the greenhouse which would have a combined bulb for colder spring days, as summer approached it would only be used to warm up in the mornings.

I thought it would be easier and cheaper to heat a smaller hut rather than the whole greenhouse.

What do you think? I read your post that said you had difficulties getting the temps right, do you think I'd face the same problem? If my plan is fatally flawed from the start I would appreciate your advice!

Please chip in guys really could do with some help.

Paula x



#16 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 11:23 PM

Hi all, I'm just trying to muddle my way through like everyone else. Last summer we were using a coldframe with an exit onto a secure outdoor area. Also adjoining the coldframe was a wooden hut intended for a small dog, this had an exit into the coldframe. This worked well up to a point. I would place the torts in the hut at night for security and in the morning I would unblock the exit, so when it got warm in the coldframe they would move into there. If it was warm enough they could take themsleves into the real outside, which generally they did for at least part of the day.

This was all very well until the weather got cooler in September. After this I had to start using the Heat/UV bulb in the wooden hut. But I could only switch this on in the morning if it looked like being a rubbish day, because if it was a good day then the temp in there would be too high. But if it was a rubbish day wiht no lamp, the animals just sat in warmest place which was the dog kennel - in the dark!

What I learned is that I need quite a bit of height to use a combined lamp properly, and it cannot be on a thermostat either. If I'd used a separate UV tube I could have had a heater on a thermostat which would have solved the risk of overheating problem. So in that set-up, the combined lamp wasn't best.

I also learned that SERIOUS insulation is required, where I live anyway, with no leaky doors for torts to be exiting out of, once into Sept / Oct.

I have had an idea very like Paula's; a wooden hut or container inside a greenhouse. The torts would sleep in the wooden container and their greenhouse would exit onto the outside area. Would they stay in the greenhouse a lot? Yes, because the weather where I am is just not that great for them a lot of the time. But I know from experience they will go outside at least for a while, especially if that is where the food is! Probably I will provide UV within the greenhouse to make up for the fact that the glass absorbs it all. But probably I won't provide any daytime heat in there at all until the weather turns against us, when I will switch to a combined lamp.

But, will I be able to keep them adequately warm for long enough to mean I don't have to bring them indoors for a while for a wind-down under controlled conditions? Probably not, and thats the bit that I probably wouldn't be able to get round unless I was willing to commit to providing really large amounts of heat and light in the greenhouse. In November there is no way a heat and UV lamp in a greenhouse here would provide enough heat - except in a tiny patch right under the lamp.

Although I haven't tried it yet, I think a greenhouse must be a great asset. The coldframe I used the last two years has been very good and its a not-too-expensive way to provide a nice warm and bright space with access to the real outside.











#17 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 08:25 PM


Ooooo thanks Oz,

for sharing what you have learned,
tis really difficult trying to avoid mistakes but not having made them to enable experience!!

If I find any more info I will pass it on. biggrin.gif

Paula x

#18 Guest_lilacgeorge_*

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 04:05 PM

Just found these care sheets on Slowcoach, thought they might give you an idea of a setup...

http://www.slowcoach...un/tortrun.html

http://www.slowcoach...d/tortshed.html



#19 Guest_Lin_*

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 05:18 PM

Wow! ohmy.gif
I've decided on a 4x2 shed, which hubby will line.

#20 Guest_lilacgeorge_*

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 03:39 PM

Excellent Lin, whats he lining it with? Do you know? Can you find out please........ rolleyes.gif




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