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Purchasing a ready made outdoor home?

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#1 Guest_Martin Prior_*

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 08:18 AM

I wanted to move my first question in to the correct area. There are some brilliant examples of Tourtoise houses on this section, and some realy hard work and pride gone into them I can see. Great work!

However...I'll confess now to wanting the best for our two 5yr old tortoises, but being a bit of a 'credit card' owner with little time to make anything.
Time is of the essence as ours have grown out of the viv, and I've just decorated the last room in our house, so there is no where for them to run around anymore.

So....Is there anywhere in the UK you can browse and purchase off the shelf an outdoor house specificly for torts? Idealy with some form of insulation and underfloor heating or built in lamps and thermostat, so it can be used all year round and then some form of flap so they can exit to roam outside. THe outside bit I'll make something myself with wood and chicken wire.

As they are 5, I'm hoping if I get this right, and using the guidance on this website, I can look to gearing them up for hibernation as well, as to date they haven't ever hibernated.

Any help appreciated, shop or places you know where we can visit?



#2 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 01:49 PM

Hi Martin,If you Google 'Tortoise Outdoor Enclosures' on Google U.K you will find a host of information mostly about DIY enclosures that have been made from easily available materials or that have been modified .My suggestion would be to look at these,then set some time aside when you are not too busy and use your DIY skills to make something yourself!!!Tortoise houses themselves can be made from sturdy tea chests,stout wooden crates or even small wooden wendy houses!!!It is surprising what you can come up with in very little time !!! Best of luck Martin!!!Kind RegardsFreddy :LOL:

#3 Guest_Pat_*

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 03:46 PM

Hi, If you really dont have the time and depending on your space then I would probably suggest looking at various rabbit or chicken runs which could be adapted. My own live in a beehive composter that I have not yet insulated (will do when I have time after summer) from which they come and go as they please. I brought this off ebay and stained it to match the rest of my garden furniture.

Many live happily outside with no additional heating and at 5, should by know be more hardy than my own yearlings which currently have heating for cooler nights.

Short term, some simple fruit netting over the garden where they are is better than nothing - and part of your garden may be very easy to adapt (unless of course they are Horsfields and love digging!)

As Freddy says in his post, anything can be adapted, even a wooden sandpit with a shelter in a sunny spot in the garden would be sufficient with not much effort!

You will be amazed at how enjoyable (and obsessive) it becomes!

Happy planning!


#4 Guest_Martin Prior_*

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 11:53 PM

Thanks for the advice guys. I went with some of your sugestions, and was lucky to grab something off eBay at a very reasonable price (about 40). Someone had built a raised hutch, insulated cavity and roof but no longer required it, so I snapped it up. I've also built an outdoor run with wire mesh buried and placed the house within it. I'm going to try and upload some pictures next.

I've also had my head buried in books all weekend, looking ahead of winter.

I'm not planning on running electrics or heating to the shed, instead my thoughts are to give them plenty of bedding, and if and let them wind down naturaly. Although advice does seem to conflict, I do get the impression people do keep mature tortoises outside all year in this way. i'm going to post a new topic on the hibernation section just to be sure and check with the pros.

Thanks again for your advice.

#5 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 12:34 AM

Hi Martin,
Your new outdoor enclosure looks great. One thing I would suggest though is that you remove the wooden floor of the tort house and make the actual ground the base as this helps torts with their temperature self-regulation. Anyway,my compliments on your outdoor enclosure. You've certainly done a fantastic job. Hopefully there will be someone along shortly to offer more, helpful advice.
Kind Regards

#6 Guest_frenchypompom_*

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 05:58 PM

Hi Martin,

That looks fab, I wish I could offer something like that to my babies.
Now, I'm supper new to the whole tortoise keeping and have only had mine for a couple of weeks. I have been on a crash course regarding their keeping as the shop I bought mine from gave me rubbish advice. So only take my suggestion with a pinch of salt, and double check with other people.

I don't know how open your outdoor set up is to other animals, but I would put some kind of cover over the outdoor ramp, like chicken wire as foxes, cats and other predators can be rather nasty to our little treasures. Of course, that's if you leave them unattended. I'm too scared to leave mine outside without a cover at this moment in time.

Again, this is nothing but a suggestion as I am very new to this.

#7 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 06:38 PM

Supernew!! Carine, this is a great forum for sharing thoughts and ideas, it is friendly and everyone's suggestions are always welcome. :D The more people joining in and posting the better, the forum and those using it can only be enriched by reading opinions of others.Paula x

#8 Guest_*Tinkerbell*_*

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 01:52 PM

Lovely enclosure :D your torts are very lucky :) Have you got heating in the little hut?

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