overnight accommodation in summer

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overnight accommodation in summer

Postby tracietortoise » Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:31 pm

hi, i haven't signed in to the forum for a while and it seems that everyone is in hibernation! If anyone is still around i have a question and would value opinions / experiences. I adopted another tortoise last year (a poor little guy with shell damage from an altercation with a dog, now thankfully healed) , this takes me up to 6 tortoises of 3 different species and so means a re-vamp of outdoor accommodations is needed this year. My daytime summer pens are attached to a greenhouse and cold frames with secure, protected (separate) 'gardens'. I have in the past always brought my Tunisians and Leopard inside at night time and have no problem with this but am wondering if it's possible for perhaps the new guy (Hermans) and possibly the Leopard to stay out overnight in their secure houses and would this be better - i.e. more natural for them. I will always bring in the Tiny Tunisians as 25 years of keeping them has taught me how delicate they are. Does anyone leave out overnight and if so do you allow the tortoises to decide whereabouts in the pen to sleep or do you place them into a particular area / house?
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Re: overnight accommodation in summer

Postby Sandy » Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:04 pm

tracietortoise wrote:hi, i haven't signed in to the forum for a while and it seems that everyone is in hibernation! If anyone is still around i have a question and would value opinions / experiences. I adopted another tortoise last year (a poor little guy with shell damage from an altercation with a dog, now thankfully healed) , this takes me up to 6 tortoises of 3 different species and so means a re-vamp of outdoor accommodations is needed this year. My daytime summer pens are attached to a greenhouse and cold frames with secure, protected (separate) 'gardens'. I have in the past always brought my Tunisians and Leopard inside at night time and have no problem with this but am wondering if it's possible for perhaps the new guy (Hermans) and possibly the Leopard to stay out overnight in their secure houses and would this be better - i.e. more natural for them. I will always bring in the Tiny Tunisians as 25 years of keeping them has taught me how delicate they are. Does anyone leave out overnight and if so do you allow the tortoises to decide whereabouts in the pen to sleep or do you place them into a particular area / house?


Hermans tortoises can be as tough as old boots:0)
So once they get to know your system of keeping tortoises then they can easily stay outside 24/7 during the Summer and warmer months:0)
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Re: overnight accommodation in summer

Postby Stuart » Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:12 am

Perfectly fine to leave Hermanns out, from late spring through summer and into autumn.
Obviously take heed of any warnings of low temperatures, late/early frosts etc.
GH accommodation can be boosted/extended by provision of basking lamps, if you have power to the GH.

Mine are very familiar with their territories; they stay in the GH if it's not nice out, and usually return to the GH for the night if they have been out.

I wouldn't leave my leopard outside though. I don't have an insulated/heated outdoor shed for her. As daytime temperatures drop and she becomes inactive (parking up in a corner of her mini polytunnel), I bring her in. Although I haven't tested this, not having a set-up for her as I do for the mediterranean tortoises, I've read that leopards do not return by themselves to heated quarters if they've been out in their attached outdoor runs. Certainly mine stops moving as soon as temperatures drop below her normal operating temperatures.

[If you conduct an online search for recommended minimum temperatures for Leopards, you'll find, surprise surprise, a range of answers. Some internet sources suggest no lower than 15.6*C, but Jerry Fife suggests their normal range begins at 21*C, and recommends 23*C plus if they're being kept indoors. Andy Highfield says no lower than 20*C day and night.]
Stuart
Hermanns (old female and 6 home-bred offspring), iberas (two), kbn (rescue), leopard, horsfield (rescue), stars (2 - long term loan), red-eared sliders (5)
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Re: overnight accommodation in summer

Postby tracietortoise » Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:00 pm

Thanks sandy & stuart - definitely confirms my thoughts and helpful to have opinions and experiences. My Leopard is very much the same as yours stuart - as the afternoon temps drop slightly he stops his meanderings and settles in whatever place he finds himself. I always say he’s a clockwork tortoise and when he’s been wound up he chunters around until the winder runs down and then just stops wherever he is.
I dont have power to the GH but won’t be a problem to install and will look at getting that sorted out. I certainly get the impression that the Hermans is a tough cookie - he’s been through alot before he arrived here - found in a rubbish skip painted all over with nail varnish and then chewed on by a dog. he looks a mess but is strong and active and i feel he would benefit from a good summer outdoors with plenty of space to roam before i consider hibernating him. I’ll make sure he is inside the GH and secure from any night time visitors (rats, badgers, foxes and buzzards here) .. and i will of course be up and down for many nights checking him!!
Thanks again :-)
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Re: overnight accommodation in summer

Postby Stuart » Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:43 pm

tracietortoise wrote: I certainly get the impression that the Hermans is a tough cookie - he’s been through a lot before he arrived here - found in a rubbish skip painted all over with nail varnish and then chewed on by a dog. he looks a mess but is strong and active


That's terrrible! Thrown out by someone, or accidentally skipped, I wonder?
Painted with nail varnish, though... :shock: :cry:
Stuart
Hermanns (old female and 6 home-bred offspring), iberas (two), kbn (rescue), leopard, horsfield (rescue), stars (2 - long term loan), red-eared sliders (5)
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Re: overnight accommodation in summer

Postby tracietortoise » Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:20 pm

He certainly has a tale to tell. Unknown as to how he came to be dumped but sadly the person who found him and gave him a home after finding him, also had a dog, which mauled him very badly. He was then passed to a lovely lady who unfortunately wasn’t in a position to keep him before he ended up with me. His injuries are healed but he has a large amount of the skirt (not sure of the correct term) of his shell missing which had been chewed off right back to where it meets his skin - like ripping off a fingernail right back to the skin. The lady before me did a wonderful job and he must be a very determined little guy to have survived what he has. I had him examined by craig hunt at chine house when i got him last year and it was he who advised me not to hibernate this past winter, although i didn’t plan to anyway but was good to know my instincts were right. I will have had him for a year in april and if all goes well through this summer and his health and weight are still good i will let him hibernate. I’m a huge believer in as far as possible allowing natural behaviours but will be a nervous wreck until he wakes and i’m sure i’ll be back here with a mountain of worries and questions!
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Re: overnight accommodation in summer

Postby tracietortoise » Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:43 pm

5440C086-246A-4139-99AC-A373678A43AB.jpeg
6D465068-9853-4528-BAAB-96FEFAA85810.jpeg


Following on from my question i thought people might be interested to see progress so far on the new Hermanns outdoor housing. The top uses Lumisol with a steel mesh underneath and it lifts up to adjust ventilation. There is also a strong weld mesh frame which fits over the open air section but has been removed for the photo. Substrate is sand/soil mix with gravel and is set on a gravel base for drainage - although that area is well drained anyway. Tomorrow i will fill and landscape the open air area. I’ve got various plants ready to go in to the open area once the sand/soil mix and rocks are down in there and i grow weeds in trays (new trays sown every weekend) so will place these in the open area too. I’m quite pleased with it so far and he seems to like it - he won’t be staying out overnight until i’m happy with overnight temps but hopefully not long. My Tunisians have a similar set up and my Leopard has a greenhouse with access into his own larger garden area complete with tortoise landscaping and a lavender forest. I try my best but constantly worry that i could do more - always learning :-)
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Re: overnight accommodation in summer

Postby Sandy » Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:37 pm

tracietortoise wrote:
5440C086-246A-4139-99AC-A373678A43AB.jpeg
6D465068-9853-4528-BAAB-96FEFAA85810.jpeg


Following on from my question i thought people might be interested to see progress so far on the new Hermanns outdoor housing. The top uses Lumisol with a steel mesh underneath and it lifts up to adjust ventilation. There is also a strong weld mesh frame which fits over the open air section but has been removed for the photo. Substrate is sand/soil mix with gravel and is set on a gravel base for drainage - although that area is well drained anyway. Tomorrow i will fill and landscape the open air area. I’ve got various plants ready to go in to the open area once the sand/soil mix and rocks are down in there and i grow weeds in trays (new trays sown every weekend) so will place these in the open area too. I’m quite pleased with it so far and he seems to like it - he won’t be staying out overnight until i’m happy with overnight temps but hopefully not long. My Tunisians have a similar set up and my Leopard has a greenhouse with access into his own larger garden area complete with tortoise landscaping and a lavender forest. I try my best but constantly worry that i could do more - always learning :-)



This is looking good:0)
Is there an outside area of plants and weeds, as its hard to see from the pictures?
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Re: overnight accommodation in summer

Postby tracietortoise » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:21 am

Hi sandy - yes there is an outdoor area - the angle of the pictures doesn’t show it well. It’s been built on a slightly sloping paved area and the slabs you see will be the outdoor garden - its an area just slightly larger than the ‘mini greenhouse’ area. I need to fill the outdoor area with sand/soil/pebble substrate to a good depth and have some plants to place in there. The plants (hibiscus, saxifrage, lavender) will be sunk in the substrate in their pots to make them easier to lift if needed. Tops of pots level with ground so appear to be growing in the ground. My Leopard doesnt really bother the plants in his own garden and uses them more for shade and hiding places but not sure how this new guy will be. My trays of weeds (herbiseed) will also be put into the outside area when all the landscaping is finished. There are two little doors for access from the covered section to the open section - you can see one open in pics - and a snack tray of weeds outside already. We have rain forecast today but hoping all outside landscaping will be finished in the next day or two :-)
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Re: overnight accommodation in summer

Postby Sandy » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:34 am

tracietortoise wrote:Hi sandy - yes there is an outdoor area - the angle of the pictures doesn’t show it well. It’s been built on a slightly sloping paved area and the slabs you see will be the outdoor garden - its an area just slightly larger than the ‘mini greenhouse’ area. I need to fill the outdoor area with sand/soil/pebble substrate to a good depth and have some plants to place in there. The plants (hibiscus, saxifrage, lavender) will be sunk in the substrate in their pots to make them easier to lift if needed. Tops of pots level with ground so appear to be growing in the ground. My Leopard doesnt really bother the plants in his own garden and uses them more for shade and hiding places but not sure how this new guy will be. My trays of weeds (herbiseed) will also be put into the outside area when all the landscaping is finished. There are two little doors for access from the covered section to the open section - you can see one open in pics - and a snack tray of weeds outside already. We have rain forecast today but hoping all outside landscaping will be finished in the next day or two :-)



Thats great as they love to bask on soil and slabs when the sun is shinning:0)
We had a one day wonder yesterday too, the sun was really quite hot, today over cast:0(
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