Jump to content


Photo

Young Tortoise Outdoor Enclosure


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 JjayApril

JjayApril

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 16 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 09 August 2015 - 08:36 AM

Morning All,

 

Today I am off to B&Q to try and make a nice outdoor enclosure for our young Hermann.

 

He is 12 months old (2014), we've had him for a week but we've decided that with the weather being so nice, we'd like to have him outside living (event just for the day times) - no one wants to stay inside all of their life!

 

We're currently redesigning the garden and so we can't put anything in too permanent (yet) but for the next couple weeks we'd love to have an outdoor pen for our Hermann to run around in.

 

We have a few queries though:

 

1. We don't have electrics outdoor yet, will he be okay outside in the current weather - we're buying an tortoise/guinea pig hutch so he'll be off the ground and covered at night (will also lock the door) but will he be warm enough?

 

2. Out ground has a high clay content so can hold water when it rains, could we try and take the top layer off and replace with topsoil? We have a source of 'organic' topsoil from a local garden centre.

 

3. For a young tortoise how big should the enclosure be?

 

Thanks for all your help in advance!

 

Jjay & April



#2 mildredsmam

mildredsmam

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Administrator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,821 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:north east

Posted 09 August 2015 - 03:44 PM

Hi welcome to the forum. :)

Sorry I've only just seen this so you've probably already been out shopping, the hutch your talking about wont really work you need some thing that doesn't have a base so that the tortoise can dig down into the soil if needed, it also needs to be ground level as you'll find the tort will probably just sleep underneath it rather than go inside, just some thing to think about. :)

Size wise they do need quite a lot of space to roam around so really as big as you can, the one I've done for my hatchlings has an outside area of 6ft x 5ft and the same space in the indoor heated shed area, hope that helps. :)



#3 JjayApril

JjayApril

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 16 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 09 August 2015 - 07:46 PM

Hi Karen!

 

Thanks for your reply, we've already been out shopping and created what we believe is a nice outdoor space - it's currently 6ft by 2ft, planted with pansies, hebe bushes with a soil and grass area - will try and take some photos.

 

At the moment there isn't a hutch in there as we weren't sure it was right so wanted to be sure!



#4 mildredsmam

mildredsmam

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Administrator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,821 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:north east

Posted 10 August 2015 - 05:25 AM

Hi,

Yes see if you can post a picture it would be nice to see, have you bought the plants from a garden centre if so I would remove any that the tort is going to eat and replant them for now, they only want to be eating new growth as garden centres add all sorts of Chemicals to them to help them grow. :)

Have you got the enclosure covered as well just to protect him against birds etc.

It's getting late in the season now but maybe the start of next year you could have some thing added to the enclosure that will hold a heat lamp, this way he'll be able to stay out right through the warmer months, as it is really confusing to them been brought in and out all the time, I look forward to seeing your pictures. :)



#5 JjayApril

JjayApril

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 16 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 10 August 2015 - 01:52 PM

OK so I've managed to get a picture of his temporary outdoor enclosure.

 

I know it's not ideal but it's what we were able to do in a few hours yesterday afternoon - also not pictured is a chicken wire mesh we've made to fit over the whole enclosure to keep him safe from predators. 

 

One of my worries is that he may dig down, and currently we have nothing below the mud to stop him digging very deep - should this be a concern? And do they simply dig down vertically? We've built it close to the fence of our neighbours as it's a south facing garden and will get the sun most of the day until late evening.

 

Any comments or help would be appreciated.

 

vd060z.jpg



#6 wizzasmum

wizzasmum

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,133 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Shropshire/Welsh Borders
  • Interests:Family
    Tortoise keeping and breeding
    Gardening
    Greyhound rescue
    Reading
    Walking
    Travelling

Posted 10 August 2015 - 02:16 PM

Hermanns don't burrow as such, but just go beneath the surface to preserve moisture to the shell. You need to remove the plants if from the garden centre as pesticides can kill. Hermanns don't eat grass, so you could replace that with rocks or logs for interest and muscle building. He will also be able to scale the corners quite easily so you need corners over those to prevent him hooking claws into the netting above. Taking them in and out rarely works, just causes stress, so he either needs electric out there or leaving until next spring as Karen says, when you can hopefully add heat for him.

#7 JjayApril

JjayApril

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 16 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 11 August 2015 - 10:47 AM

Just to clarify I can leave him outside and he will just burrow vertically as opposed to making it under those sleepers?



#8 wizzasmum

wizzasmum

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,133 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Shropshire/Welsh Borders
  • Interests:Family
    Tortoise keeping and breeding
    Gardening
    Greyhound rescue
    Reading
    Walking
    Travelling

Posted 11 August 2015 - 01:29 PM

He won't burrow at all just dig under the surface by going round and round until just the top of the shell is visible. Tiny ones usually disappear completely, but only just below the surface ;) if your sleepers are only placed on the soil he may well tunnel underneath them, but if sunk into the ground he won't be going anywhere.

#9 JjayApril

JjayApril

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 16 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 12 August 2015 - 11:56 AM

The sleepers have been placed on top of the soil but I then put a good 3 inch depth of topsoil inside the pen (therefore the sleepers are essentially buried from the inside).



#10 wizzasmum

wizzasmum

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,133 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Shropshire/Welsh Borders
  • Interests:Family
    Tortoise keeping and breeding
    Gardening
    Greyhound rescue
    Reading
    Walking
    Travelling

Posted 12 August 2015 - 01:11 PM

Should be ok, just bear in mind that if not raised on both sides, the soil will be looser and therefore easier to dig in. Looking at your pic, if the outside is sitting on the ground I would say it's possible for it to dig out. I know of a lady who had a tortoise hatch in the soil, hibernate immediately and come up the other side the following spring!

#11 JjayApril

JjayApril

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 16 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 13 August 2015 - 12:48 PM

Both sides have been dug in and then topsoil used to raise the level - the topsoil being put inside the enclosure to raise the level was done in stages as I made sure I compacted the ground below



#12 Beermat89

Beermat89

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 680 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Somerset
  • Interests:Tortoises/reptiles,fishing/football

Posted 13 August 2015 - 03:27 PM

I agree the soil maybe to loose so mite dig out,you may have compacted it but fresh soil will be easy for a tort to brake up,they are strong little things.i would maybe put a coarse of bricks around below the soil to reduce this risk?




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users