Speedy's Outside enclosure

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Bex
Posts: 103
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 19:37

Speedy's Outside enclosure

Post by Bex » 06 Mar 2019, 06:51

Hi guys, so sorry I haven't been online but life just keeps taking over!

We are having to move and I have set up a 'hutch' outside for Speedy, as I have no room indoors for her! I have attached a pic.
She will have a 16x8 foot fenced off total grass enclosure just for her so I think she will be happy!

I have set up a power source and was gonna run a normal 100w 'light/heat bulb' during the day and have a 100w ceramic (no light) set at 17 degrees running overnight. I will fill the sleeping area with soil/sand so she can part bury herself and I will insulate it best I can but I am so worried about having a power cut and her temperature dropping! What is the lowest a sulcata can survive?

Thanx, Bex.
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Nina
Posts: 579
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Speedy's Outside enclosure

Post by Nina » 06 Mar 2019, 09:45

Hi Bex,

Great to hear from you! I remember you built Speedy a really lovely indoor enclosure a couple of years ago -- but I guess that is too small for her now. It looks like you have built a very nice outdoor enclosure for her too, and 16' x 8' should last her for a while now (until she gets super big and can knock down walls and things ;) ).

I think if you are planning to keep her outdoors all year round then you will need to insulate that 'wendy house/hutch' really well, because if temperatures fall below zero then it will be very difficult to achieve a good temperature inside a wooden structure (and lots of heat will leak out that window and door). I'm not sure that a 100W bulb will be strong enough to get the required temperature of 30C in the daytime.

As Sulcatas don't tolerate cold and damp well, it looks like she might be in that house full time for most of the winter, so you do need temperatures to be warm enough for her to eat and digest her food. As far as I know, the temperature shouldn't fall below about 14C at night for a Sulcata, but Lin has great experience with Sullys and hopefully she will come on soon with some good advice. There is also some advice on housing in this care sheet for Sulcatas -- in case that is useful:
https://www.tortoise-protection-group.o ... 202018.pdf
Would you have a brick built building, like a garage that she should go into in the winter?

The only other thing that I can see is I wonder if you should put boards up around the bottom of that little pen that is attached to the house (made of chicken wire) so that she can't see out of it. If tortoises can see out then they want to get out and will constantly try to get through something, whether it is glass or chicken wire.

I know how good you are at making a good environment for Speedy, and also how difficult it can get to provide the larger tortoises with year-round accommodation, so I'm confident you will come up with something, and this does seem a good start. Lin has much more knowledge than I do about this species, and I expect she will post something a bit later.

Cheers,
Nina

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lin
Posts: 387
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Speedy's Outside enclosure

Post by lin » 06 Mar 2019, 16:04

Hi Bex.
Nice to hear from you after such a long time and glad to know Speedy is good and good luck with the move.

Now, regarding the setups for sulcatas. Nina is right and the caresheet she sent is a good, accurate one, I know that because I wrote it :lol: along with a friend who also keeps sulcata in Scotland.

As you know sullys never get and smaller and in my opinion the only way to go is the biggest you can supply and afford. Mine were in a outhouse that was fully insulated, had electrics profesionally plumed in and heat night and day during all the months with the exception of the hottest part of summer. My thermostats were running all the heat supplies, lights and emitters all set to come on if the temps drop below 16°C of a night. It was a huge wooden indoor area of around 28ft x 17ft made with winter in mind and even that wasnt big enough for two large tortoises when the mood wasnt right - :roll: . Can you tell us the size of your enclosure?

As for power cuts. I wouldnt worry to much but you could use one of those calor gas heaters, secured and out of the way to prevent danger of tipping over or even a small petrol generator. However, to do this the housing will need to be much bigger overall. I must say that I never had any problems in the power depertment and if there was any power outages they didnt last to long and the outhouse didnt drop that cold.

If I havnt explained anything plainly enough Bex, please do get back to me.

Lin

Bex
Posts: 103
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 19:37

Re: Speedy's Outside enclosure

Post by Bex » 07 Mar 2019, 06:02

Thank you for your replies, as I've had to move quickly I haven't had time to plan and the wooden 'hutch' is temporary! I am going to see about a brick house once I'm settled etc.

The 'hutch' building is 1 metre square inside the sleeping area, it should warm up nicely as I am going to insulate inside and have thick tarpaulin stapled to the outside...it doesn't have to have the wire run on but I thought I would see if she wud come out into it b4 I got up and opened the main door for her. If she manages to get thru/destroy it then I will remove it! Also was worried about foxes so thought that wud help with security!

I will get higher watt bulbs and see how they do, will send pics once she's moved in!

Bex

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