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another outdoor enclosure question - sorry!


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#1 Guest_aliandneil_*

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 06:45 AM

Hi all. I have just been reading all the messages re outdoor enclosures, very informative. We have had Corey in the garden with us a few times recently when it has been warm and at the weekend built an enclosure that he can be out in safely while we are at work/school. The plan at the moment is to put him out on nice warm days and bring him back indoors overnight.

The enclosure we have built is essentially the same as a table but without a base. It has a wooden frame and wooden hide with wire mesh over the top. The hide is fully enclosed with a lift up lid and just a doorway for him to access the run. However, reading your messages, should he have a cold frame in there as well in case he's not warm enough? I did plan on making the run mobile so that we can move it around on the grass to accommodate the different weeds that inevitably grow on our grass, but seeing all the pics on the forum I wonder if it is better to be fixed in one place so we can put in plants and other things to amuse him. In the summer months can he be out overnight as well without a heat lamp as there is currently no power to the run, or would he have to come in overnight.

One last thing please, when he was in the garden with us this weekend my little girl was horrified to see him trying to eat what looked like a chunk of cement with gravel in it that you might use to cement your washing line into the ground. It did make me wonder if he is missing some vitamins and if this is a safe thing for him to do. We do give him cuttlefish, which I sometimes grate over his food as he doesn't touch it much.

Sorry about all the questions, this is our first summer with a tort and I have lots to learn. Many thanks. :rolleyes:

#2 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 07:50 AM

You can make a sort of cloche at one end of the enclosure you have made. With a little entrance to come and go. This if made of plastic will retain some heat on duller days. Which work the same as coldframes.
I have a long cloche around three to four feet long, I use as an emergency housing for my smaller tortoises. I just dig around one end, to make a sort of ditch, they then can come and go as they like. Or I could just make a door way one end.
I am sure others will have other ideas.

As for your tortoise eating concrete, its all exploring getting used to new areas. You wait until they eat cats poo or the like:0)



#3 Guest_Dawn_*

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 07:07 PM

Up until the year before last I didn't have any heat or coldframe outdoors and my torts stayed out all season (April - october) with no problems :rolleyes:

#4 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 07:33 PM

Coldframes help them warm up more quickly, and give them some shelter. They can also protect from any stray animals at night, if the door/hole is not to big. Just added protection.
But they can stay out without.
I always check where my tortoises are at night, especially if they are not in their housing. If they are dug in under a plant I dont worry, or in a flower pot. But if just in the middle of the soil, I always put them in their housing. As a safety from any animals at night.

#5 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 08:14 PM

I think a colframe is great but it doesn't have to be really good or really large. Any shelter made of acrylic or glass can work well as a sun trap, we just need to make sure the tortoise can choose to go in or out and has diffrent hiding places. It is important there is a dry place to escape to which doesn't flood even if it rains a lot. I prefer mine don't get too cold overnight and I do have heat on a thermostat in case it goes cool. But in milder weather tortoises are fine outoors overnight if they are in a safe place.

#6 Guest_CindyWho4_*

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 01:48 AM

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but are there pictures of cold frames on the forums somewhere? I have the hardest time on this one finding where pictures are. I'm such a NOOB! lol

Anyway, this site is the first time I've come across the term.


#7 Guest_aliandneil_*

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 06:14 AM

Many thanks for the replies. I think I shall look to get a cold frame set up in there and find a permanent place for the run so that I can add bits and pieces to amuse him. The pics on this site are great and give you good ideas.

Thanks for all your help. :rolleyes:

#8 Guest_Dawn_*

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 07:16 AM

If you go on the 'any other breeds of tortoise' forum (below hermanns forum) the second post down is about coldframes, or scroll further down the page to the 'outside enclosures' forum, again, lots of pics there too! You can also try typing 'coldframes' in the 'search' tab up the top under the "welcome to the forum" banner to the right hand side..... (oo-er! Now you know why I'm a nurse and not a Sat-Nav reader!!!!! :rolleyes: )

PS - no such thing as a stupid question on this forum - we are all still learning despite what some may think!!!! ;) Besides if you don't know the answer then how can it be a stupid question??? Of course some people on here do have super-dooper blonde moments.....no names......

#9 Guest_CindyWho4_*

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 01:56 PM

Thank you!!

#10 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 07:37 PM

Eeeerrrrm... Dawn, m'dear, no names?? BLONDE?? history of the most ridiculous questions... you wouldn't be thinking of MOI would you??!!! :LOL:

Paula x

#11 Guest_Dawn_*

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 07:47 PM

You???????????????????? Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.......whatever gives you that idea wacko.gif I mean, it's not as if your blon....oh, you are.....hmmmm, well its not as if you ask that many silly quest.....oh crap! Hand's up...guilty as charged officer! rolleyes.gif

#12 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 07:53 PM

Thought as much.... you can go off people y'know!! :wub: :rolleyes:

Paula x




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