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Advice Needed Please

Outdoor enclosure

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#1 elaine

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 04:55 PM

Hiya, We bought little Elvis from a petshop in October and like a lot of others failed to do the research first unfortunately! He was hatched in 2010 and came from Macedonia, despite the petshop insisting he was UK bred. However we are now doing all we can to put things right such as the viv we were sold etc. We have just completed his outdoor enclosure and could do with some advice please. Apologies in advance for the number of questions lol!

Is he old enough to stay out overnight in his enclosure? It is very secure and he will have a sleeping hut with a tube heater in but am concerned he may be too young? We only finished the basic set up yesterday and still have to finish his box and get some planting in but so far he seems to love being out there. Is there anything we need to change in what we have done so far? I plan to put  couple of dwarf Hebe's in but not going to plant any weeds in there as he is a greedy little one and will eat everything put in front of him so they wouldn't last 5 minutes.

Thankyou in advance for any advice you can offer, have found this site invaluable for hints and tips and really helped when planning his enclosure.

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#2 Guest_Stella_*

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 05:09 PM

Elvis' enclosure looks really good Elaine. You have done a brilliant job. Elvis may like different substrates like slate or pebbles to walk on.. As well as the top soil you have to dig into.... Also if you can provide hills.... I make mine from logs, as torts LOVE to climb.
I see no reason why Elvis should not stay out in his indoor accommodation outdoors... If that makes sense!!! You have heating and it is secure, he should be fine. Do you have water available for him at all times as being a babe he will be more prone to dehydrate x x x x hugs x x

#3 elaine

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 05:35 PM

Thanks Stella, there are pebbles in the coldframe along with a water bath. I've put a flat rock and some pebbles in the bath so that it's easy for him to get in and out of.

He has a large slate to feed off in the shadiest corner along with a water dish but on the whole it does look a bit bare so will be adding more bits and pieces and will create some slopes to make it more interesting for him as soon as possible.

We use aspen bedding when he is indoors and he loves to snuggle down in it, will this also be ok to use in his outside sleeping hut?

Also what is the best type of thermometer to use to check the temperatures from the tube heater?

We are going away for a week in 2 weeks time and my dad will come round to feed him every morning but am paranoid about leaving him on his own for a week. We left him with a friend last time we went but he was very unsettled when we came back so want to do all we can to ensure he is happy.

Never dreamt how much entertainment a little tortoise would give lol, I am totally obsessed with him. I keep saying 'him' however am not 100% sure. Comparing him with other pictures on here have not really helped so will try and get some good pics to post so can ask what you think! If his temperament is anything to go by then he is definitely male as he is an obstinate little chap lol xxxx



#4 Guest_Stella_*

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 05:59 PM

I know what you mean.... I hate leaving mine... With a well trained young person!!!! I am always glad to get home.
Maybe one thing I would suggest is not to make the climbing obstacles until you come back from your holiday. If he flips himself you need to be sure he can turn onto his feet.
As for male/female.... Although it is difficult to tell.. And experienced keepers can usually tell the difference.... I have never seen my females higher their back end when they wee !!!!
That's not very scientific is it :-))))
X x x hugs x x

#5 elaine

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 06:09 PM

May not be scientific but will be watching obsessively now to see if he lifts his bum up lol, will let you know xxxxxx



#6 mildredsmam

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 06:53 PM

hi Elaine,

welcome to the forum. :)

elvis is lovely, you've done a great job with his outside enclosure, he'll love it.



#7 elaine

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 07:03 PM

Thanks Karen, it's great being able to talk on here to people who genuinely care about torts. When i think of how Elvis was being kept in the pet shop we bought him from i could cry. We only went out to get a light bulb but came home with a lifetime obsession lol. As soon as we saw him there was no way we could leave him there!!  Can't take all the credit for the run, my hubby has put it together and my bit is mainly the landscaping. Still a bit to do but we'll get there xxx



#8 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 08:06 PM

That's a lovely enclosure and yes, he is fine going out full time. He will need soil in the covered area though as that is where he will dig down for the night to thermoregulate.  All torts whatever the age have the same requirements ;)  Outdoors humidity is naturally higher so you will not need to bring him in and bathe him. Providing he can dig down he will be fine so long as he knows where his water dish is.

BTW, my old Tilly (female) can challenge any boy to the bum raising when going for a wee :D



#9 Guest_Stella_*

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 08:51 PM

Ha ha ha!!! Sue... That's my theory out of the window then..... So Elaine.. It's back to the experts!!!!
And yes it is great not having to bath outdoor torts..... Just enjoy watching what they do naturally x x hugs x x x

#10 elaine

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 09:25 PM

Oh Bum, pardon the pun lol !!! Thanks Sue, Will def have to put pics on for an expert opinion!

 

Another query, he's been out in the run the last 2 days but as we haven't finished his heated box we've bought him back in both nights.

Both times he has burrowed down in the soil at the back of his little Flinstones type rock house structure and has been extremely miffed when i've woken him. Would he have been ok there?

Will have the box done for Tuesday so am hoping he will have enough sense to go in there but would put my mind at ease in the meantime as i hate waking him.

Also would you recommend we leave the tube heater in his box on all the time or on timer or what?????????  So many questions, sorry lol







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