Med Tortoise Pen Design

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: Med Tortoise Pen Design

Postby Stuart » Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:08 pm

My own pens adjoin a greenhouse into which the tortoises retreat if it is too cold outside. If it isn't particularly sunny, so the GH doesn't warm up either, then I switch the heat lamps on. This is especially true at the beginning and end of the season.

If you don't have a GH, you could use a cold frame. But you'd need a bit of height if you wanted to add a basking lamp into such a set up, and you'd have to be sure that it was entirely waterproof, obviously.

As for the someone who told you that a covered pen might get too hot, well, that could be true in some circumstances. the thing is to give the tortoise some choice. So, a glass/perspex covered area that will heat up, but an open door/flap/gap so it can come and go.
As for the pet shop's advice, well, you've already said that you don't trust them. Quite right.


(There are plenty of inspiring pictures in this thread or elsewhere in this section of the forum.)
Stuart
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Re: Med Tortoise Pen Design

Postby lynnedit » Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:12 am

Perfectly said!
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Re: Med Tortoise Pen Design

Postby Tortoise Trust » Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:15 am

Kelpiefan wrote: I asked in my local pet shop (where I bought the torts) and they told me they should always be kept in a vivarium as they may try to hibernate is the temperature drops too much outside, and may have food in their stomachs and die. Another source told me they can thrive outside provided that the temperature is above freezing, and they have burrows to go into. Someone else told me that putting greenhouse Perspex over the top will make it too hot for them.:


:roll:

So much poor advice, so few facts.... makes you despair, it really does :cry:

The pet shop is (as is so often the case) talking utter nonsense.

The person who suggested they will "thrive" outside if the temperature is "above freezing" has rather got the wrong end of the stick. They will survive in such conditions (for a limited period). They will not "thrive" unless adequate basking temperatures are available.

Yes, it might get too hot in a covered unit - so as Stuart says, you need to provide shaded retreat areas and exit points! Then, they choose - just as they do in the wild. If you seal them in there, then yes, there will be problems.

See the other threads on here to see how to do all this a) correctly and b) safely.
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Re: Med Tortoise Pen Design

Postby Kelpiefan » Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:44 pm

Thanks for that, I'll look at all the designs here and try to come up with something suitable.
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Re: Med Tortoise Pen Design

Postby therocklady » Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:43 pm

Hi Kelpiefan
I don't know if it helps, but I've got some of those plastic cloche things you get from gardening sites. As they're waterproof I can put basking lamps hanging down from inside them (my cloches are about 60cm minimum height at the apex, or the basking lamps would be too low down). It means that on rainy days, the torts can still bask and eat/drink and stay dry. The enclosure in the top photo is changed now, and the lower photo is of an unfinished enclosure earlier this year. Their tort houses have a mini ceramic lamp or a tubular heater, on a cheap B&Q thermostat and timer, timed to come on at night if the temps are below about 15 degrees, and the basking lamps also on a cheap B&Q timer, on at 8am off at 6pm.
Karen
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Re: Med Tortoise Pen Design

Postby Madtortlady » Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:34 pm

Hello - horrified to learn my outdoor 'mobile' enclosure not suitable. I have been using one of those metallic pens for my young 'twins' - tend to move it around different times in the summer to get the best of sunlight, together with enough shade needed, as the seasons change. It can then be dismmantled & stored during the winter. It IS on grass (they do have a little water-proof 'hut' to shelter and sleep in flooring NOT on grass) - during the warmer months & I often bring them inside into the conservatory in the cooler months.

Do I gather I need to add in some kind of substrate :?: Is this to help wear down their claws a little and/or alleviate the damp :?: So far, 'touch wood' both in good health - but even after keeping tortoises for over 54 years, doesn't mean I have 'got everything right' and I admit it :)
Claire Manigrasso (Madtortlady)! Been keeping Med. spur-thigheds since 30 April 1960. Never ever, sold any! Due to unforeseen circumstances, sadly needing to rehome some of my 'family'!
TORTOISES ARE STILL 'PETS FOR LIFE & BEYOND'!
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Re: Med Tortoise Pen Design

Postby Madtortlady » Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:27 pm

Very helpful photos & comments, everyone - thanks :)
Claire Manigrasso (Madtortlady)! Been keeping Med. spur-thigheds since 30 April 1960. Never ever, sold any! Due to unforeseen circumstances, sadly needing to rehome some of my 'family'!
TORTOISES ARE STILL 'PETS FOR LIFE & BEYOND'!
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