Hoping to adopt a tortoise so lots of questions!

Use this forum to discuss general questions about any aspects of tortoise care.
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JessJ
Posts: 2
Joined: 14 Jun 2020, 16:37

Hoping to adopt a tortoise so lots of questions!

Post by JessJ » 14 Jun 2020, 16:53

Hi. I'm hoping to adopt a tortoise and want to make sure I know what I'm doing first. I've read lots of conflicting information so wanted to ask questions.
1. Enclosures. We were looking at making our own indoor enclosure out of a wardrobe. It would be 174cms X 86cms. Would this be big enough for one tortoise? Would we be able to use this year round?
2. Outdoor space. As there are cats in the neighborhood, we were looking at having the tortoise outside during sunny days when it can be supervised. We were considering using a large rabbit run with a hiding space, positioned over the weed bed and lawn. We wouldn't have a lamp as it would only be there when warm enough. Would this be suitable?
3. Hibernation. I've read that some people don't hibernate their tortoise. What are the arguments for each?
Sorry for the essay but want to get this right.
Thank you.

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lin
Posts: 848
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Hoping to adopt a tortoise so lots of questions!

Post by lin » 14 Jun 2020, 18:31

Hi Jess, and congratulations on getting a tortoise. I know its not here yet but it will be soon. We do have a lot of tortoises ready for rehoming and newcomers are often the best choice for adopters. So thats level 1 you have passed :lol:

A wardrobe on its back would be a fantastic size for one tortoise and you could even add a small upper deck for food or whatever takes your fancy. Heres one Nina made showing the upper level with excercise ramp.

I would not worry too much about cats. The worse worry there would be tortoises eating poop (which they do!) so as long as the teraine is interesting for the tortoise, secure and has a wire or net over the top and there is no way to dig under he will love outside. The rabbit runs like the one below and the biggest you can have will give him a safe space and place it somewhere that cannot be dug out from underneath.

Hibernation is a bit of a sore subject. Mane people hibernate and it is even difficult to prevent a tortoise from winding down, stop eating and try and hibernate himself. Lots of people kow that a hibernated tortoise will wake in spring, ready, fresh and rearing to go with a spring in their step. Some torrtoises of course don't hibernate. However it is advisable to not hibernate a tortoise that is new to you so that you can get used to its health, habits and understand the process of hibernation.

I do hope this is useful Jess. If there is anything else you need to know then just ask and do have a look through the forum for rehomong on this page and also the tortoises we have on the Facebook page here. https://www.facebook.com/TheTortoiseTable/ We do still have three young males on there, beautiful tortoises but you have to scroll down.

Lin

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JessJ
Posts: 2
Joined: 14 Jun 2020, 16:37

Re: Hoping to adopt a tortoise so lots of questions!

Post by JessJ » 14 Jun 2020, 21:42

Thank you for getting back to me. We're very excited and keen to get an enclosure set up. I really like the idea of a second level.
Hull is a bit far for us (we're in South Devon!) but will keep our eyes open. Does the group organise adoptions or do we contact the current owner ourselves?
My only concern is that we would really love a tortoise that is happy to be handled. We don't want to just keep it in an enclosure and look at it. Would it be better for us to go for a hatchling or does it really depend on the individual tortoise?
Sorry to add even more questions!
Thank you.

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Nina
Posts: 1525
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Hoping to adopt a tortoise so lots of questions!

Post by Nina » 14 Jun 2020, 22:56

Hi Jess,

Just to add to what Lin said -- yes, I think that a wardrobe is a great idea for a tortose table. You will want to line it with something that is waterproof (like pool liner, so that water etc. doesn't leak through and rot the wood. The photo that Lin sent you is of my table as it was being built. After it's finished you want to put in a nice substrate of a mixture of sterilised topsoil and children's play sand, do a depth of at least 4", and then you can put 'furniture' in -- rocks, plants, things for the tortoise to walk over and around (they get bored easily if they can see from one side of the enclosure to the other side without interruption. Have attached some photos of my finished table.

Regarding handling -- yes, most tortoises are happy to be handled -- especially by you as they know you are the person who delivers their food! You might need to be patient, as many tortoises will be shy at first and tuck head and legs into their shell, but they will soon get used to you and come running when they see you.

If you get one of those wire outdoor enclosures like the photo that Lin attached, you will need to put a board up all around the bottom so that the tortoise can't see out (if they can see out they will get out and it's frustrating). You can easily make an outdoor enclosure using tall logroll, breeze blocks, bricks, or wood, so you don't need to buy a ready made one.

Do make sure you get yourself a good UVB light and that you are able to raise and lower your main source of heat, to be able to adjsust the temperature as needed. Have a look at our articles on making indoor and outdoor enclosures -- here's a link to some info about indoor enclosures: https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/tor ... uabq-d7m9s

Nina
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roseanna
Posts: 1
Joined: 11 Aug 2020, 10:03

Re: Hoping to adopt a tortoise so lots of questions!

Post by roseanna » 12 Aug 2020, 04:55

I hope it has a better approach so that the interesting things can spread

anthony13WR
Posts: 2
Joined: 24 Dec 2020, 05:56

Re: Hoping to adopt a tortoise so lots of questions!

Post by anthony13WR » 24 Dec 2020, 06:04

JessJ, of course, it depends on a climate in your area, and your backyard options, but in your place, I would think about making a small pond in the backyard. Here is an awesome web resource, which is all about ponds, filters for them and liners as well. An article I could find ( link: https://mygardenzone.com/best-pond-liner/ ) shows different pond liners, with it's pros and cons, and what you should pay attention on.

Crissingz
Posts: 3
Joined: 20 Mar 2021, 15:03

Re: Hoping to adopt a tortoise so lots of questions!

Post by Crissingz » 22 Mar 2021, 14:51

anthony13WR wrote:
> JessJ, of course, it depends on a climate in your area, and your backyard
> options, but in your place, I would think about making a small pond in the
> backyard. Here is an awesome web resource, which is all about ponds,
> filters for them and liners as well. An article I could find shows different pond liners,
> with it's pros and cons, and what you should pay attention on.

Hello. I agree with you. With modern building materials and technologies you can create good pond or other construction for this purpose.

Crissingz
Posts: 3
Joined: 20 Mar 2021, 15:03

Re: Hoping to adopt a tortoise so lots of questions!

Post by Crissingz » 29 Mar 2021, 11:16

Good afternoon. I agree with you. With modern building materials and technologies you can create good pond or other construction for this purpose. If you will need to buy some materials like cements(https://www.mgnbm.co.uk/building-produc ... s/cements/), bricks, bulk bag aggregates or something else, I can share MGN Builders Merchants site. I always order necessary items there.

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