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Shed heating

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#1 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 03:36 PM

Hi Chaps,

I have been busy reading posts everywhere about heating sheds and greenhouses, but now I am wondering more about how I can expect the tortoises to behave. :blink:

My father in law is going to make us a shed with a greenhouse attached to the side of it in a kind of L shape, so that the torts can stay outside year round.

In the shed we will have tubular background heat with UV/basking lights for late autumn, start of winter and just after hibernation. Access to the greenhouse and outside would then be shut off.

When the weather starts to warm up... anytime now, I would like to get them to use the greenhouse and garden.

I would still use the shed with tubular heaters for night times, until it warms up. My question really is, would the torts leave the comfort of the warmed shed on a cool day to go into the greenhouse which may be cooler?

I could let them bask early morning in the shed and then switch of the heaters in there and put a basking light into the greenhouse to come on when the shed one goes off. If this is on a thermostat it will only come on when neccessary. Is it likely to be enough to tempt them in? I suppose I could always put their food out there to help a bit?

During high summer... ahem...fingers crossed :rolleyes: all heat and light would be switched off. Food will only be available outside.

What do you think, could this work or am I missing something important?

Your patience is appreciated! :D

Paula x

#2 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 11:27 PM

Hi Paula! Yes I think something like this would work. The tortoises would be attracted by the light from the greenhouse once the shed basking lamp went off. As long as they were warmed up enough I think they would make their way to the light especially if they were conditioned with the idea of food being in that direction! If you have your basking lamp in the greenhouse coming on then I think they would remember that there is heat there as well.

Wooden sheds can get very warm though if there is sun shining. This could mean that the warmth there would be tempting for them. Quite a lot might depend on the direction of the sun relative to the shed and greenhouse. Greenhouse temperatures can also zoom up very quickly once the sun hits the glass. Its likely to be really quite cool in the greenhouse until then.

It might only be by doing it that you will really know. There might be a need for more powerful heat and light than you expect. Its possible to buy quite powerful halogen lighting cheaply now and these lamps provide quite a lot of heat.

Its hard to say how much time they would actually spend outside if they get free choice of all these options. I found that with my tortoises they do spend a lot of time in the coldframe but they do go out once they have warmed up properly to look for food. If its adequately warm outside they will stay out exploring. But if its not a good day they just go back in the coldframe after a while. They definitely remember where the heat is.

In the summer you might want them to just go to bed in the greenhouse. That way they would wake with the light and could bask there and the shed might just not have much use at that time. Oz

#3 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 04:09 PM

Thanks Oz,

Just wanted reassurance that this idea could work really. The shed will take a bit to warm up as it is going to be insulated with Kingspan, hopefully then the heat losses will be as low as possible.
Hubby has spent all day digging footings... this is going to cost me!! :rolleyes:
I shall post pictures as we go. :D

Paula x

#4 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 07:56 PM

Great news Paula! Your very own Grand Design. We needed Sandy and Sue to answer your questiosn as well though as they have loads of experience of these things. Maybe they didn't notice because you posted your question in the right place where some of us don't always look.

Looking forward to seeing your photos of hubby digging


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