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Tortoise Newbie... Hope We Are Doing It Right!


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#41 Guest_Barney_*

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 08:14 PM

Hi Loopylou

 

I use coldframes. In my garden it works better not to have something as tall as a greenhouse.

 

You are right the tortoise must be able to leave it to go outside, mine have a door so the tortoise can come and go. The coldframe is over a small part of the enclosure. Another way to do this, with a coldframe without a door, is to have the frame up on bricks and leave a gap.



#42 Guest_Stella_*

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 08:28 PM

Yes I agree....something as big as a greenhouse is not necessary. My greenhouse is on sleepers and underneath I have a small doorway for the torts to come and go as they please. I then use the greenhouse as anyone would to grow summer veg, seedlings Etc.... And of course overwintering whatever I need to I overwinter. So I guess when I say I have a greenhouse for my torts.... I don't!!! They share with whatever ordinary gardeners do with their greenhouse x x x hugs x x

#43 Guest_Stella_*

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 08:31 PM

I will also add that given the right environment it would be perfectly safe to hibernate your tortoise in the greenhouse. I have done this very successfully for a number of years which doesn't involve boxes and fridges x x xhugs x x

#44 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 09:46 PM

Can I but in and ask about the cold frame - if I had an enclosure like he one this ladt had outside, how and when would I use a cold frame? Would it go over the whole enclosure? Just on the cooler days? Would you only do this when home, I'd worry I'd put one over then go out and it would get hot and the little one would get too hot??
 
Sorry for jumping your thread scruthings - I've not got as far as actually getting a tortie yet so your wel ahead of me!!


A greenhouse works well for me and mine Loopylou. Previously I had a large cold frame, but the temps change very quickly and there is less room to add backup heat if needed, plus it is harder to access, depending on how agile you are, I am not lol. You will always need access to the outside and a good depth of soil whichever you choose ;)

#45 sellwin90

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 11:40 PM

Been reading and jumping on the cold frame questioning band wagon!

I have a plastic cement mixer tray from homebase as my outdoor enclosure (91x61x20 cm) with a lid I've made.

At the moment I put a thermometer in to see the temperature before I put Edward out.

Would something like this be suitable http://m.ebay.co.uk/...6418?nav=SEARCHI would cut it in half because of the length but I obviously need something small given the size of the enclosure

#46 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 07:36 AM

You don't need to check temps, as they will choose their places when out and if the sun is out they will be warm even on a cool day. I don't think the item you show would be much use for a tortoise being very light and moveable. You would have to pin it down well, plus bring so small it would not hold heat once the sun went in. Just my opinion obviously.

#47 sellwin90

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 09:04 AM

So should I put him outside every day the sun is out, regardless of temperatures?

#48 JerryMaffz

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 12:27 PM

I will also add that given the right environment it would be perfectly safe to hibernate your tortoise in the greenhouse. I have done this very successfully for a number of years which doesn't involve boxes and fridges x x xhugs x x

Stella, I hope you can do a thread on how this is done when the time is right. It's of great interest to myself and I'm sure others who like to keep an open mind on these things. It will be Jerry's first hibernation this year. I know it's a fair way off but my options are still open at this point on which method I'll use.



#49 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 01:08 PM

So should I put him outside every day the sun is out, regardless of temperatures?


Yes, I never check the temps once spring is here as the sun does the job of warming them via the shell regardless of the air temps. Torts will come out and bask when we are still putting central heating on

#50 Guest_Barney_*

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 11:37 AM

So should I put him outside every day the sun is out, regardless of temperatures?

 

 

The sun shining definitely makes a massive difference and I've observed my tortoises being active when it's sunny but the air is cool. If only it shone a bit more often!

 

In many parts of the Mediterranean the sun shines 12 or more hours every day right through the summer but sadly that's not the case anywhere in the UK.



#51 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 12:04 PM

So should I put him outside every day the sun is out, regardless of temperatures?


What we need to remember when putting our torts out is that we CAN make a huge difference to their lives in this country by making good use of the sun. Although we have far less sun than in their native countries, given the choice ( which is important to their welfare) they can get a lot more sun hours than we would imagine. When doing studies in their native country, it is observed that a lot of the time they are actually hiding away from the intense heat, making good use of more reasonable temps at either end of the day. For instance on sunny days in most of the UK tortoises will be seen to be basking for far more hours, than they would in the Med, so levelling things out as it were. This is why the long term outdoor torts kept in optimum natural garden positions have fared so well for so long. They are clever creatures and given the choice, will even things out to their own advantage really efficiently. Obviously we have much longer periods of bad weather here, so this is where extra basking facilities come into their own.
Hope this helps ;)

#52 sellwin90

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 12:58 PM

He's certainly been out the last 3 days with all this sun :-)

He just buries down after a while and doesn't resurface - is this normal? It's like ooh I've had some sun so I'm going to sleep now

#53 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 01:17 PM

It's an instinct thing with new areas. It can take weeks for them to realise all is safe, hopefully he will come round soon. He would do better with a warmer ( electrically heated) hide though until he has the hang of things ;)

#54 Guest_Barney_*

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 02:00 PM

I'm going out of my way to say that I agree 100% with what Sue said 3 posts up.

 

And there can be different ways to provide the extra warmth that is needed at certain times.

 

Sadly my own garden is not South facing and I can't turn it round though I wish I could. :laugh: I've also got some shadow from the house :angry2: which stops my tortoises getting the best out of what the sun is offering at certain times of day.

 

Over the years I've learned that in the course of the summer the sun gets into the garden from different directions at different times of day. I try to arrange my enclosures to allow the tortoises to get the best of what there is.

 

One thing worth bearing in mind that actual uvb plummets after about 3.30pm and by 5pm there is basically none. This does not mean the tortoise is geting no benefit from the sun at that time, but it is not getting any uv. Likewise there is hardly any before 11 a.m.



#55 Guest_Stella_*

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 04:19 PM

Mine have generally decided it is bed time by 5pm....... Which is frustrating as some evenings are very warm and you would think torts would love it x x xhugs x x x

#56 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 04:23 PM

That's what they do in the wild too Stella. It's inbred. The sun is lower in the sky so not so much use to them ;)

#57 Scutchings789

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Posted 26 June 2015 - 04:58 PM

Anyone know what this is? Can Nigel eat it? Found it in the field opposite my house...
Thanks.x.

#58 Scutchings789

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Posted 26 June 2015 - 05:02 PM

Anyone know what this is? Can Nigel eat it? Found it in the field opposite my house...
Thanks.x.

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#59 wizzasmum

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Posted 26 June 2015 - 05:53 PM

Yes it's mallow, perfect tortoise food, both leaves and flowers :)

#60 Scutchings789

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 09:22 PM

Oh that's great there is a huge supply!!!!

Thank you very much.x.






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