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New Outdoor Enclosure 2015! Help Please!


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#1 TortoiseJay

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 08:15 PM

Hi guys I'm In need of some advice and help as to building a enclosure outdoors next year, me and dad are just starting to put things together and get some ideas going!

Basically we have a absolute suntrap for a garden so it seems stupid to not get on with it but I have a slight problem, I'm pretty sure that I have mice in the garden so what should I do to prevent them from getting at my tort?

We were thinking of levelling off the soil that is already there and laying bricks over the top of that then putting about an 8 inch layer of topsoil substrate onto that with high sided bricked walls that will be cemented together etc.

The enclosure would also have to have a chicken wire too to protect our tortoise from cats and foxes that might get over the fence!

I'm thinking for the tort to sleep in at night like a dog kennel but a mini one like what the do at the pet shops but we would make our own, would this be ideal also to house a heat lamp above inside this little house?

Also how much of the area would need to be covered in case of long periods of bad weather? 50/50 covered and open? What's the best thing to use to allow light through but be waterproof etc?

We get sun light on our garden from about 7am - 5pm in summer due to fencing etc would this be sufficient enough uva and uvb levels?

And finally what temps would be okay during the night as I think it will get pretty cold where we live in the Midlands as we are surround by fields etc?

If the temps drop too low would I need to turn the heat lamp on if so how long for because I wouldn't want the tort waking up in the night and going out etc thinking its time to wake up, or would a ceramic black or similar bulb be better for this reason or red etc?

Please help any ideas or exciting pics etc would be greatly appreciated as we want to get cracking on with planning asap really!

Thanks again, Jay

#2 StGeorge1984

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 07:14 AM

O have a purpose built run and house. Of you look at the 'work in progress' thread in here you can see what I did. Currently no frost has penetrated and the temps have been ideal for the torts. The run could do with being bigger and I will plan for that over time. I think the house is as good as it can be. Be warned though it cost me over 300 to purpose build the house and run to fit where I wanted it.

#3 mildredsmam

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 07:51 AM

Hi Jay,

I don't think mice would be too much of a problem, but things like rats and foxes are and if you have a risk of these getting into your garden then the main thing you need to think about is that the enclosure is predator proof, at all times.

A small brick wall will work fine for the enclosure, mine has this and works well, you would need to make sure the area you choose has good drainage for when the weather isn't as good, none of the out side area needs covering due to bad weather just against predators, you will be surprised how torts still go outside when the weathers dull or raining, as long as they have some form of sheltered area to go to if they choose too, the kennel area that your adding a heat lamp in should work fine but will need the height to hold a lamp, you wont need any additional heating on a night through the summer as the temps are high enough, you will only need the heat lamp on through the day on really cool days, and just as an when needed, is this enclosure just going to be used for the summer months. :)  



#4 TortoiseJay

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 10:22 PM

O have a purpose built run and house. Of you look at the 'work in progress' thread in here you can see what I did. Currently no frost has penetrated and the temps have been ideal for the torts. The run could do with being bigger and I will plan for that over time. I think the house is as good as it can be. Be warned though it cost me over 300 to purpose build the house and run to fit where I wanted it.


Okay Thankyou very much il take a look!

#5 TortoiseJay

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 10:24 PM

Hi Jay,
I don't think mice would be too much of a problem, but things like rats and foxes are and if you have a risk of these getting into your garden then the main thing you need to think about is that the enclosure is predator proof, at all times.
A small brick wall will work fine for the enclosure, mine has this and works well, you would need to make sure the area you choose has good drainage for when the weather isn't as good, none of the out side area needs covering due to bad weather just against predators, you will be surprised how torts still go outside when the weathers dull or raining, as long as they have some form of sheltered area to go to if they choose too, the kennel area that your adding a heat lamp in should work fine but will need the height to hold a lamp, you wont need any additional heating on a night through the summer as the temps are high enough, you will only need the heat lamp on through the day on really cool days, and just as an when needed, is this enclosure just going to be used for the summer months. :)  


Hi and thanks for the advice it will be used from around March to October/November when he will be hibernated again, is this okay? Il try and get some pics up of the work in progress when we start early next year!

Thanks guys anymore ideas or help would be great!

#6 mildredsmam

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Posted 19 December 2014 - 06:03 AM

Hi Jay,

If your planning on using the enclosure from early spring and late autumn then you might want to think of adding some form of backing heat like a tube heater on a thermostat as the night can still get quite cold then, would you be wanting to use this for hibernation as well. :)

When your planning the outside area the area doesn't need to be flat it will be loads better to have little hilled areas with plenty of rocks and plants in, here's a picture of my outside area it might give you some ideas. :)

 SAM_2353_zps45d29a21.jpg



#7 TortoiseJay

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Posted 20 December 2014 - 02:40 PM

Hi Jay,
If your planning on using the enclosure from early spring and late autumn then you might want to think of adding some form of backing heat like a tube heater on a thermostat as the night can still get quite cold then, would you be wanting to use this for hibernation as well. :)
When your planning the outside area the area doesn't need to be flat it will be loads better to have little hilled areas with plenty of rocks and plants in, here's a picture of my outside area it might give you some ideas. :)
 SAM_2353_zps45d29a21.jpg


That looks great! I'd love mine to look similar next year, no I don't intent to hibernate in there but yes he will be kept for the majority of the year until fridge hibernation etc. So if I use a basking spot bulb for the morning etc to wake him could I use this on a thermostat? Or would a tubular heater be more beneficial?

Thanks again!

#8 TortoiseJay

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Posted 20 December 2014 - 03:34 PM

Have you got s sheltered area too for protection from the bad weather and also where they can sleep or bask under a heat lamp etc?

thabks again

Jay :)

#9 mildredsmam

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Posted 20 December 2014 - 07:25 PM

Hi Jay,

Yes mine has a heated shed for them with heat lamps, and a heater on a thermostat, I think you would need a tube heater as well as the basking lamp as in March time the temps can still get down very low which can be dangerous for your tort, you would just have the tube heater set to come on to keep the temps from falling too low, then you have the basking lamp with a higher temp so the tort can warm up as and when needed, some have these on timers so they come on for a few hours on a morning. :)



#10 TortoiseJay

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Posted 21 December 2014 - 10:33 AM

Okay thanks again! Can't wait to get started on it il upload pics as soon as more ideas get thrown together! :)

#11 mildredsmam

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 04:40 AM

Hi Jay,

How's the enclosure ideas coming on, have you made a start yet. :)



#12 TortoiseJay

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 03:02 PM

Hi :) just started to buy all of the bits and pieces like a cold frame etc just need some decking now to build the side walls and it started very soon! Il upload some pics etc later of my ideas I've drawn up and things I've brought!

Thanks for asking, Jay.

#13 TortoiseJay

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 12:10 AM

Sorry for the delay guys had lots of problems with worms lately so haven't had much time on the computer or phone after work,

Pics of various materials etc will be uploaded!

#14 mildredsmam

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 08:38 AM

We look forward to seeing pictures Jay, when you get around to it. :)






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