Temporary outside enclosure suggestion?

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Summerills
Posts: 39
Joined: 28 May 2020, 17:04

Temporary outside enclosure suggestion?

Post by Summerills » 28 Mar 2021, 20:05

Hi all
Hope everyone (uk based anyway) is starting to enjoy some sunshine and looking forward to getting out and about a bit.

We have moved house recently and have a slightly bigger garden but that is north facing with lots of trees around and about. I’d like to give it a year to really get a feel for the garden and where would be a good spot for Fergus’ outdoor enclosure.

Does anyone have any suggestions or advice on a good (read easy, cheap, movable) short term solution so I can get Fergus outside this year? In an ideal world if there was an option that could be adapted to a permanent solution next year thy would be amazing but not essential. Fergus is only a year old so I’m not thinking massive, as will plan on replacing/adapting it in a few years as he gets bigger.

I’ve attached a few pictures, including one of the new garden. I’m think he may end up at the bottom behind the bench beyond the pond as we seem to get most sun down there.
Also sent some update photos including a comparison between ‘gotcha day’ last June and his current size.

All the best
Nic
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lin
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Temporary outside enclosure suggestion?

Post by lin » 28 Mar 2021, 21:01

Oh my, what a little cutie you have Nic. Growing so nice too.
That’s a lovely garden you have there, an amazing canvas you can have so much fun with but I would make a secure barrier for the pond though to keep both your tortoise out a any herons that might have an eye on it.

As for an enclosure - have you got a patio? Personally I would make a run but place it on solid ground so there is no chance it can dig down. You could do the same towards the end of the garden where the sun is, using flagstones to set a simple secure enclosure on.
Imagine this with a secure wire top, this one has a wood base, but can so easily be adapted to incorporate the outside night time setup.
Once you start playing around with ideas, google ‘easy outdoor tortoise enclosures’ you will be over run with ideas.

Lin
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Nina
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Re: Temporary outside enclosure suggestion?

Post by Nina » 28 Mar 2021, 22:33

Hi Nic,

What a fabulous new garden you have -- such possibilities!

Personally, for a temporary run I would buy the tallest log roll (I think it's 18") and sink it into the ground about 8" and use that. It's cheap and good for temporary enclosures. Unfortunately you need to put the pretty part facing inwards, as the other side of the log roll, with the horizontal wires that hold the logs together, can provide a ladder for tortoise to climb out. Log roll also has the virtue that you can make it into a circle or oval, so that there are no right-angled corners for a tortoise to use to climb out. I would definitely put it on bare earth (with only maybe a small patch of grass, as grass can get cold and damp, which isn't so good.

As Lin says, you can use a patio or paving slabs as a base, but then you do need to dump loads of topsoil into it so that your tortoise isn't walking on concrete all the time and has some place to dig in. But if you do that you also have to be sure that your there is some way for water to drain out if there is a sudden rain storm. I learned the hard way when I built an outdoor enclosure on a patio. It had brick walls around it (just sitting on the patio, not concreted in) and 5" or 6" of topsoil dumped in it with a hill in the middle. One day we had a sudden thundershower and when I went outside to check on the tortoise, she was sitting on top of the hill in the middle with her head just above water, because there was no way for it to drain out.

Hasn't Fergus grown well! He's looking super and i'll bet he can't wait to get out into the little torty paradise that you are going to make for him.

Nina

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Nina
Posts: 1458
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Temporary outside enclosure suggestion?

Post by Nina » 29 Mar 2021, 09:18

If you look on places like Pinterest, there are loads of ideas for outdoor enclosures -- some good and some not so great. Not sure if this link will work for you, but here's a screen with lots of links to other sections showing tortoise enclosures:
https://tinyurl.com/35pmd22t
and more
https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/466755948883096847/
As I said, some are good and some aren't, but there are some ideas to pinch there.

Nina

Summerills
Posts: 39
Joined: 28 May 2020, 17:04

Re: Temporary outside enclosure suggestion?

Post by Summerills » 30 Mar 2021, 19:11

Thank you both for the suggestions.
Have a Pinterest problem/addiction and have so many ideas for his permanent residence from there. In fact what we had at the old house was based on a combination of ideas from there.

I was thinking of something more temporary really, something like a rabbit run but I’m not sure how to make it interesting enough. Possibly even something securely on a table that could be moved.
I may be imagining something not yet percieved!

Summerills
Posts: 39
Joined: 28 May 2020, 17:04

Re: Temporary outside enclosure suggestion?

Post by Summerills » 30 Mar 2021, 19:14

Also we have rats! We are dealing with them but by all accounts have been a constant problem in the area.
Would they go for a tortoise? In which case presumably I will need something completely secure!

Might just keep him indoors at this rate

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Nina
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Re: Temporary outside enclosure suggestion?

Post by Nina » 31 Mar 2021, 17:40

A rabbit run could be OK, as long as you put a board or something up all around it at ground level, so that he can't see out (if they see out then the continually try to get out, and it's frustrating for them). Also, you need to make sure with a rabbit run that he won't dig down, under and out. But as a temporary measure it could be fine.

Yes, rats will go for tortoises, but very rarely would they do this in the daytime. It would more likely happen at night, or it did often happen to tortoises that were allowed to hibernate outdoors in the winter and had burrowed into the ground (not nice at all). I think you would be fine if he was outdoors in the daytime and then you brought him in at night, or else had some secure house outdoors where you could keep him at night. I have one of those rabbit hutch houses, on legs, and with a door that locks at night but comes down and is a ramp in the daytime. Something like this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Easipet-Wooden ... 4870&psc=1 I blocked off the underneath of it with bricks so that the tortoise couldn't go underneath and burrow down, and it works fine, but I still bring mine in at night, just in case.

Nina

Bex
Posts: 185
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 19:37

Re: Temporary outside enclosure suggestion?

Post by Bex » 31 Mar 2021, 21:38

Hi Summerills,

This was my temporary outside enclosure and it’s still being used 3 years later! It’s just a cold frame, normally used for growing plants! Although she now has use of some outside space, it’s been great for her! I just put wire mesh on the lid for really hot days when the plastic isn’t needed, and with the plastic on, it warms up lovely when the weathers so so.
Hope it gives you an idea,
Bex x
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lin
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Temporary outside enclosure suggestion?

Post by lin » 02 Apr 2021, 12:03

That’s the best thing about tortoises Bex. They don’t worry about state of the are enclosures. Somewhere comfy, warm and dry just about covered it.
I love yours, it’s just like a miniature cottage garden.
Lin

Summerills
Posts: 39
Joined: 28 May 2020, 17:04

Re: Temporary outside enclosure suggestion?

Post by Summerills » 03 Apr 2021, 17:55

Sorry for the delay in responding- we had a bit of a family crisis and I didn’t get a chance to respond

Thank you for the suggestions - I like the idea of the cold frame as it feels like that could be movable and adaptable.

Hopefully get him something sorted for the summer.

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