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Finally Finished! Now Come The Nerves......


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#1 Reajen01

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Posted 27 June 2015 - 06:02 PM

Wimbles outdoor enclosure is finally finished, we hope! Tomorrow is going to be move day, I've told him to have his suitcase packed by 8am and to bring his colouring books for the journey ;) I have a new book to start and plan to sit with him ALL day while the OH brings me food and water when required and spells me off for loo breaks lol!!!

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#2 mildredsmam

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 03:18 AM

Hi,

It looks great, he'll love it been outside, don't be too worried if he hides away at 1st he'll soon get used to it, let us know how today goes. :)



#3 Reajen01

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 04:54 PM

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Well today has gone well. The poor little fella stood rooted to the spot when I put him in, for about ten minute he didn't move!

Then the exploration started, he flipped a couple of times so I levelled a few small areas that we cause for concern. When the temperature hit 29*c he burrowed down a little until it cooled off.

He seems to have taken rather a liking to the Hebe, munching quite a bit of it then going for a really long drink. I left him to it as it was so great to see him foraging naturally but if he favours that plant over his weeds I might have to take it out. What do folks think?

Also, should I continue with the Neutrobal and daily baths now that he is outside? Any advice greatly appreciated.

Then, at five pm, he toddled into the little wooden house and burrowed down so deep that we can't see him! It's a good job I was watching him, if I had missed it I would be beside myself searching for him by now, eek!

Overall a good start, I feel more confident than I expected to really, all day I toyed with bringing him in for overnight but watching him burrow so expertly, like he has never done on his table, convinced me it is the right thing to leave him outside for as long as possible.

#4 mildredsmam

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 02:32 AM

Hi,

Lovely photo's he looks like he's enjoyed it outside, it will be a lot better for him. :)  hopefully he'll leave the plant alone it's all just new to him, so he will try every thing just see how he goes with it, no you don't need to use the Nutrobal while he's outside, but you could have a small dish of limestone in there for him if he chose's it, he wont need daily baths as long as he has water available at all times, you could maybe bath him if it's been a really warm day, I think the weathers going to be really good this week. :)



#5 Reajen01

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 05:26 AM

Thanks Karen, there is limestone flour sprinkled around the enclosure (the hebe leaves he ate were covered in it) but I shall add some in a dish just to be sure. I just popped out and he is still tucked up in bed. The sun is shining but it won't reach him until about 8am so I guess that's when he will wake. It was 12*c last night at its lowest, eek! Stop worrying mummy.........lol

#6 Reajen01

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 08:52 AM

Wimble still hasn't surfaced, what should I do? The sun is on the enclosure fully and it is nearing 30*c, should I wake him or just wait a little longer?

#7 Beermat89

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 01:47 PM

Hi has he surfaced now?only my opinion but i would get him up in the morning until hes used to it if hes not up by a certain time but he will get used to it in time

#8 Reajen01

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 03:06 PM

I got him up at about half past ten, popped him in his water dish where he stayed for a good twenty minutes before toddling around a bit. He has been quite slow today, the heat is intense over the enclosure, he just seems to be resting in the shade quite a lot. The temperature maxed out at 37.5*c early afternoon. I think I chose the hottest part of the year to put him out!

He was buried very deep, I had a moment of panic when I moved the first inch of earth and still couldn't find him - I wondered if he just needs to perfect his body clock so I think I will wake him each morning by nine if he's not up. Shall have to see how it goes I guess :)

#9 Beermat89

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 03:34 PM

Yes its been very hot here too today and meant to be getting hotter as the week goes on!on hot days like today torts will hide away around mid day due to the heat so most activity will be early morning and late afternoon so dont worry too much :)

#10 wizzasmum

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 09:40 PM

I got him up at about half past ten, popped him in his water dish where he stayed for a good twenty minutes before toddling around a bit. He has been quite slow today, the heat is intense over the enclosure, he just seems to be resting in the shade quite a lot. The temperature maxed out at 37.5*c early afternoon. I think I chose the hottest part of the year to put him out!
He was buried very deep, I had a moment of panic when I moved the first inch of earth and still couldn't find him - I wondered if he just needs to perfect his body clock so I think I will wake him each morning by nine if he's not up. Shall have to see how it goes I guess :)


What are you measuring temps with? It needs to be reliable if you are checking his behaviour by it. 37.5 seems very hot, is this ground or air temps? Hiding away is normal as they do this in nature too.

#11 Reajen01

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 10:07 AM

It is the thermometer in the pictures, i have got an aquarium thermometer with a probe, should I use that to check the air and ground temps? I am worried it is getting very hot out there, it's reading 42 today and I can't even sit out in it. Any advice much appreciated as I don't want the little chap to fry.

He woke himself up this morning and is now hiding in his favourite Hebe. He has deep substrate, so he can burrow down if he wants to. I just hope it's not too hot for him

#12 Reajen01

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 10:44 AM

Ok, so just rushed out and did a bit of temp checking:

Full sun, inch above ground 36
Full sun, inch below ground 28
Full shade, inch above ground 26
Full shade, inch below ground 24

All in *c

Now he has woken up he is charging around like he is on a mission, stopped in his shady water bowl for a big drink, charged round again, ate a bit, then stopped at his sunny water bowl for a soak. I have moved the parasol over the enclosure so it is mostly in shade with a good area for basking. I'll move it incrementally so it stays in these proportions all day, for my own peace of mind than anything!!!

#13 Reajen01

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 10:46 AM

More than anything, even!

#14 wizzasmum

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 11:53 AM

It is the thermometer in the pictures, i have got an aquarium thermometer with a probe, should I use that to check the air and ground temps? I am worried it is getting very hot out there, it's reading 42 today and I can't even sit out in it. Any advice much appreciated as I don't want the little chap to fry.
He woke himself up this morning and is now hiding in his favourite Hebe. He has deep substrate, so he can burrow down if he wants to. I just hope it's not too hot for him


It's definitely not 40 degrees out there. Thermometers like that will always give the wrong temps if placed on the ground in a basking area. You need a digital laser one, which will give correct temps as there will not be a build up behind glass giving a false reading.

#15 wizzasmum

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 11:55 AM

Ok, so just rushed out and did a bit of temp checking:
Full sun, inch above ground 36
Full sun, inch below ground 28
Full shade, inch above ground 26
Full shade, inch below ground 24
All in *c
Now he has woken up he is charging around like he is on a mission, stopped in his shady water bowl for a big drink, charged round again, ate a bit, then stopped at his sunny water bowl for a soak. I have moved the parasol over the enclosure so it is mostly in shade with a good area for basking. I'll move it incrementally so it stays in these proportions all day, for my own peace of mind than anything!!!


I'm taking it you have watered the substrate. Dry substrate without too much depth would be lethal which is why he is tearing around. This will cause dehydration. All of my torts are resting right now, except a gravid one that is looking for a nesting site near to bushes. She will find a spot and return to it later when the sun is lower in the sky ;)

#16 Beermat89

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 11:59 AM

I wouldnt measure the tempts with a probe as Sue says not acurate at all especially if place on the ground,i dont measure tempts when they are outside especially this weather,as long as you keep the substrate damp and deep and areas where hes able to get out of the sun then things will be fine

#17 Reajen01

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 04:09 PM

He has ridiculously deep substrate and he burrowed down, shallowly, at one pm until about three pm, then got up, ate, and toddled around before burrowing deeper about five minutes ago, which seems to be his normal bedtime. I am watering the substrate each night when I water up the garden, it feels like a damp towel just beneath the surface but is baked to a crust on the sunnier, higher parts.

The tearing around earlier must have been because it was simply too hot, so now I have shaded more than half of his enclosure, I am hoping it will keep things a bit more comfortable for him?

Also, would folks advise on a laser non contact thermometer to check actual temps?

Thanks for all your help so far, I'd be lost without you all!!

#18 Irierob13

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 04:22 AM

Awesome!! This is exactly what I want to do! We recently got a red foot tortoise. My daughter named her Elsa lol. I want to build her something like this. How big is it, and how big is each piece of the sides? Any info that would be helpful to me building this? Thank you! Any help would be appreciated!!:)

#19 Reajen01

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Posted 03 October 2015 - 03:03 PM

Hi,

We bought the shorter decking boards from B&Q, I can't quite remember the dimensions, it may be on one of my other posts. We dug down quite a way, discarded the clay soil, lined it with chicken wire and the refilled it with top soil. So it is two decking boards deep plus a fair few inches below ground to the wire.

The plan for spring 2016 is to get electrics outside, extend the enclosure by about three times what it is now and add a kennel with heat so he can stay out for longer than this year before his first hibernation next winter. This enclosure was relatively cheap but the next phase is going to cost us a fortune!! Well worth is though to know they are outside where they should be, with as much roaming space as possible. When making the enclosure so much bigger next year, the idea then is to cordon most of it off, then open it up more as he grows and needs more space, wouldn't want to lose him as he is still tiny. We live in a small terraced house with garden to match but with careful and creative planning, by the time he is full size he will have the majority of the garden to himself, with minimal 'human' areas haha!




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