Outdoor Enclosure Pictures

A new area where you can share your existing housing and habitat ideas by posting photos, and where you can discuss ways to optimise and improve both indoor and outdoor habitats, no matter where you live.

Re: Outdoor Enclosure Pictures

Postby Tortoise Trust » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:19 am

Very nice! Well done.
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Re: Outdoor Enclosure Pictures

Postby aeross » Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:27 pm

Hiya

I thought I'd post pictures of the enclosure my dad very kindly helped us build. We had to move the end of last year but it's given us a great opportunity to make a more adequate sized enclosure for my two. If my maths is correct it's 210sq ft

Thank heavens for a DIY dad, I'd never have built all those panels, nor have I any idea where he gets his fitness from. He put two 30 somethings to shame ! :lol:

The overhead shots show no grass but the 2nd set of pictures show we've laid down a few turf rolls. We've planted plenty of weeds in there now too, hopefully they get chance to grow before they all get eaten !

I don't have outside heating unfortunately but they do have the sheltered section, underneath which there is a hut for them. We always bring them in if the temperature is going to be too low at night, as it currently is. Indoors they have custom built Tortoise tables each with the UV combined lamps each. We had to get them custom built to ensure the height of the side walls were high enough to stop the escapologists. The size of the tables are still too small but we are restricted indoors, plus it's only for winding down pre hibernation or just coming out of it

Any advice on modifications needed always welcomed - I might as well get it right from the off :D I am bit concerned that the hut will get too hot in summer with the corrugated plastic above it. Should I place another hut in a more sheltered area for them do you think ?

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Re: Outdoor Enclosure Pictures

Postby Stuart » Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:41 pm

Wow! That is some covered enclosure! Well done your dad!

It all looks very good.

However...(this is terrible to say now, after you've just gone to the expense and trouble of laying it, but...) I wouldn't have put the turf in! Gravelly, sandy soils, with some mediterranean plants such as thymes, lavenders and rosemary for sheltering under, and places for edible weeds such as dandelions, would probably be more sueful than grass. That said, my testudo ibera and hermanni have been eating some grass in the last few weeks, but I think out of desperation when I haven't thrown in enough weeds (they've eaten the planted weeds!).

A second shelter that isn't under the corrugated plastic wouldn't be a bad idea - it would give them a choice. Actually they don't need anything very sophisticated - in the wild they'd just make a scrape under a stone or a log or a shrubby bush.

Have you been following the thread about the new material Andy has been encouraging us to try? Lumisol - It's plastic film used in the construction of polytunnels, but the virtue of this particular type is that it allows a good percentage of UV to pass through it, which most other plastics (and glass) don't at all. Just thinking that that might be even better than the corrugated plastic, but it would need another frame making by your excellent d-i-y dad!
Stuart
Hermanns (old female and 5 home-bred offspring), iberas (two), kbn (rescue), leopard, horsfield (rescue), stars (2 - long term loan), red-eared sliders (5)
Stuart
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Re: Outdoor Enclosure Pictures

Postby Martin Hector » Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:14 pm

Thats a brilliant setup and what a great amount of space for your torts. Iv got mine outside now but closely monitoring the night time temps. He/she seems to be getting used to going in and out and plenty now to eat in the enclosure.
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Re: Outdoor Enclosure Pictures

Postby Bigjoe » Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:28 pm

Great set ups..
Agree with stuart re the grass area,wow you're got some room there .
Best regards
Joe
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Re: Outdoor Enclosure Pictures

Postby Tracy33 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:45 pm

Thats a very nice enclosure , with great wood work . well done to dad . ;)
Agree though , with stuart and Joe . Tortoise's love to hang out between the plants .
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Re: Outdoor Enclosure Pictures

Postby aeross » Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:19 am

Morning all

Thank you for the feedback.

It is large but if I had my way it would have been even bigger :lol: They are big, old tortoises and like to roam about. Last years pen was far to small for them, they just wanted to escape. It makes it easier to separate them too. It has to be fully covered to protect them from the Crows and Magpies that sit on our roof all day. I just don't trust them after seeing the way they swoop and kill the small birds

Stuart, I did debate over whether to put in the turf or not funnily enough. I looked through the threads Andy had done on their natural habitat being mainly gravel and it was a factor on why we took this property on instead of fully grassed lawns like the last one. Hence the first effort all being gravel

I changed my mind after the previous keeper commented on there being none which then made me worry and question myself !. I may try pulling it up this weekend. I'll happily do so though if it's for the best, it's only sat on top of gravel and topsoil so will easily be done. I can have a patch of grass to sit on myself then !!

I haven't seen the Lumisol thread, It would be better for me to be honest as it's very hard lifting that big panel up on my own to put them out on a morning. I'll break the news to him when he next visits me ;) I could possibly use the same frame, just remove the corrugated plastic and recover

There's a lavender plant in there, just before where the grass starts, it's pretty dead looking at present but should revive I hope, I possibly shouldn't have just left it there over winter !. I have a Rosemary and Thyne bush in a planter near my back door so those can go in there for them. I also have a potted rose bush that used to live in their pen so can put that back in

I've also planted 3 Carex grass plants that should start growing this year along with the cheveria ( if they stop nibbling it for 5 minutes ) and some sedum plants in amongst the gravel

There were lots of weeds in there, dandies etc before I started putting them outside, now of course there's stubbly roots ! When we moved there was nothing but gravel and forget me not. So it's a case of when we get hold of weeds we plant them in the garden. In the meantime, we throw in hand fulls of weeds we get from the front garden to keep them going.

My neighbour has a pesticide free allotment and leaves dandelions with root intact on my doorstep to plant in the pen ! he finds it quite amusing that he's trying to get rid and I'm trying to grow.

I also have a mini greenhouse full of weeds growing from seeds purchased ready to go in soon

What kind of shrubby bush would you advise to put in there that could tolerate living in the stony habitat ? I do have quite a few large stones I can place in there but I don't think that would be much use to Peggy . She's big and old and struggles sometimes so I think a nice bush would be ideal for her

Thanks again for the feedback on what I need to do, it's appreciated :D
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Re: Outdoor Enclosure Pictures

Postby lynnedit » Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:40 am

Other than getting weeds to grow :lol: you can also plant herb based plants like Rosemary, Thyme, the Lavender, etc. Mine really like burrowing under woody plants, but don't really eat them.

Have you seen the list of plants on the Tortoise table? Might give you more ideas.
http://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/site ... home_1.asp

Well done, it looks wonderful!
Lynne
Horsfields 0:3:0
Pacific NW, US
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Re: Outdoor Enclosure Pictures

Postby aeross » Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:38 am

Hi Lynne

I never thought I'd be encouraging weeds to grow that's for sure :lol:

I have seen the list, the helpers at my local garden centre find it amusing that I walk round with my booklet of printed out safe plants including pictures checking what they can and can't have. I'm always having to stop and ask for help :lol:

It lives in my car boot just in case I ever pop in LOL

I will go back on there to look at bushes as I haven't checked them out before, didn't need them in the old place

Andrea x
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Re: Outdoor Enclosure Pictures

Postby tinatron » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:41 pm

Hello everyone. Here are some photos of my newly revamped Tortoise enclosure. It is for William my juvenile Med Spur Thighed. (Plastron length 14cm).

We have built a heated hut from Plywood and attached it to the existing brick enclosure. The floor of the hut is insulated with KINGSPAN sandwiched between 2 planks of ply. The overall outdoor space now adds up to 8ft x 5ft.

I am still waiting for some of the weeds I planted to grow, but it is still looking lush non the less. I have tried to create a space with as many different ground levels and floor textures as possible, with plenty of cover and paths for him to take.

I hope you like it :D

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Christina :D
Adopted mummy of William The Mediterranean Spur Thighed Tortoise.
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