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pig blanket

Discussion in 'Tortoise Enclosures' started by Yvonne G, Feb 22, 2012.

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  1. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer Staff Member

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    I've been asked where I buy my pig blankets and rather than PM I thought I'd make a thread so you all can hear my answer. I use the Stanfield Heat Pad. It comes in different sizes. I also use the F911 controller. They make a smaller/cheaper controller, but it doesn't work as well as the F911 does.

    I buy directly from the factory:

    Osborne Industries
    1 800 255-0316

    They sometimes have specials on their web site:

    www.osborne-ind.com

    They are very good people to deal with and I've always received my shipment within a week of when I placed the order.
  2. bettinge

    bettinge Member

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    Thanks Yvonne!

    What kind of restrictions would you advise a "newbie to pig blankets" to be aware of? Can I bury the blanket out side in the dirt? Can it get wet? Do they puncture easily? Are there fire hazards? Things I should never do with them?

    I basically want to burry one several inches to provide a very low level heat for May and September. It has to be low enough in the soil that a nesting female will not hit it.

    Any thoughts?
  3. chairman

    chairman Member

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    I have the same pig blankets as Yvonne. They are not designed to be buried, the manufacturer suggest that they might catch on fire if you do place substrate on top of them. If you want to bury a heat pad, go with a seed germinating pad or aquarium heat rope.

    As for controllers, I use the cheaper controller but I have to thermostatically control the air at the controller's level. My setup works well, but prior to thermostatically controlling the air at the contoller level Yvonne is absolutely correct, the cheaper controller was terrible.
  4. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer Staff Member

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    If you follow the instructions that come with the pad, you won't allow anything to sit on the pad. I sweep my pads off every morning and every evening, and clean up any poop in the house at that time too.

    I don't think a pig blanket is a good idea for use with baby tortoises. They don't seem to have enough "common sense" to get off the pad if they get too hot. Maybe its because they're so small and the pad is so big...it might seem like their whole world is too hot and they really don't know where to go.

    I have pig blankets in every outside house. If the house is big enough, there's a pig blanket in every corner. If its a small house, only one pig blanket.

    I used to have all my pads raised up on 2x4's, but started having a roach problem so I took out the 2x4's and the pads now sit directly on the floor. Its a lot harder to clean under them this way, but now the roaches have no place inside the houses to hide. In some of the houses I have a nice layer of cypress mulch down first, with the pad on top of the mulch. In some of the houses, the pads sit right on the floor. The reason for the mulch is for the Burmese and YF. That way I can keep it moist in their houses.
  5. lynnedit

    lynnedit Well-Known Member

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    Would this be in an inside enclosure or shed?
    How about waterproof heat cable? This can be zip tied, looped into lines, to a piece of wire (I used plastic garden wire cut to the shape I needed). Use it with a thermostat with the probe next to the cable. Water can be poured on it if you need moisture.

    http://www.bigappleherp.com/Big-Apple-Flexible-Heat-Ropes
  6. SulcataSquirt

    SulcataSquirt Member

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    Yvonne, do you use the farrowing or the nursery blanket? and which watt blanket do you use for your sulcatas?
  7. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer Staff Member

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    I have different sizes. Mine are all called farrowing pads. I have quite a few of the 1 and a half foot x 2 foot and those are 95 watts. But I also have a couple 2x3 and I think those are 150 watts. I have some 1x3 and those are 80 watts.

    Oh, sorry I just re-read your post. Dudley, my sulcata, sits on a 1 and a half foot x 2'. He hangs all off the edges, but he doesn't care. I doubt I'll ever give him a bigger one.

    My 180lb Aldabran sits on a 3'x3'. Its way big and takes up a lot of room in the shed, but there's still room on the floor for them to get off the pad, so its ok.
  8. cemmons12

    cemmons12 Active Member

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    Thanks for that great info Yvonne! I will have to get Cooper 1 of those in the not so distant future. Your the best! :) Have a great day!!!
  9. bluesman925

    bluesman925 New Member

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    Be careful with blankets as this story points out:

    Tortoises' heating pad blamed for garage fire


    The Associated Press

    CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. —
    Authorities are blaming a garage fire in Castro Valley on a heating pad used to keep a pair of tortoises warm.

    The fire began around 3 a.m. Tuesday in a detached garage in a residential neighborhood and took about ten minutes to put out. Alameda County Fire Battalion Chief Dan O'Hara says it appears an electrical malfunction in the heating pad caused the blaze.

    The two African tortoises, each about 3 feet in diameter, escaped unharmed.

    A firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion at a hospital and released.

    The fire caused an estimated $50,000 in damage.
  10. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member

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    anything electrical is a risk... it does cross my mind...
    btw... Osborne is the cheapest ive found. You will find similar or the same sold for Dogs.. its cheaper to get things for livestock.. just fyi...
  11. bettinge

    bettinge Member

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    Yvonne,

    What temp do you set your thermostat at? 75-80?
  12. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer Staff Member

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    The controller doesn't really have temperatures, per se. You dial it up to a certain number (I usually start at about 9) then use your probe in an hour or so to see what temp the pad is showing. If its too hot (which 9 is), you dial it back. I usually end up around 5 or 6. But if its a really cold night, 5 may not be warm enough. You have to keep adjusting it with weather changes.
  13. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer

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    Just for variety in the idea department, I use the Kane heat mats. All of them now come with an embedded thermostat secretly built into the pad and a dial to adjust the temp. They are surprisingly accurate. They have an automatic cut off so they can never get too hot. The manufacturer would never tell you that you could put anything on top of it for liability reasons, but I bet if you were using non-flammable, damp soil or dirt it would work fine. I have not used them this way, so I'm just speculating from what I know of the product from years of use and many conversations with Craig Kane, the owner of Kane Mfg. I don't know how effective it would be though. I set plastic tubs of water on them in my lizard cages and they heat the water just fine. Keeps their drinking/soaking water warm and humidifies the cage. I've done this for many years with no problems. I did an experiment last year using a heat pad instead of a heat lamp and the hatchlings thermoregulated just fine on it. I used an 18x18" pad in a 3x5' enclosure. They "basked" on their heat pad about as much as their siblings in regular enclosures basked under their heat lamps. I had the pad on a timer and a florescent light bulb on the same timer right over the pad. I intend to try this again this year. Some technical issues interrupted my experiment.
  14. dmmj

    dmmj Thhe member formerly known as captain awesome Staff Member

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    Someone mentioned this to me, have you ever tried hanging the mats from above? would they still radiate heat down on top of the tortoise?
  15. EricIvins

    EricIvins Active Member

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    I've used Kane heat mats ever since I started keeping Reptiles outside.......They are built to last and take hard usage very well.......Just another FYI.......[hr]
    It doesn't work like that, and all you'd be doing is wasting heat energy......

    For that, you'd need a radient heat panel, which is designed to do what is described above.......
  16. bettinge

    bettinge Member

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    Tom,

    Do you think the mats made by Kane are better than Osborne, or very similar? Yvonnes endorsment is very compeling!

    Can you explain the secret thermostat more? I assume it protects the mat from overheating regardless what the thermostat tells it to do. Is this different from the Osborne mat? I would guess not, but just a guess.

    BTW, I will be using for full grown adults.

    Scott
  17. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer Staff Member

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    David: You can mount them on a side wall...a lot of folks do it this way. But you'd have to have it down towards the floor because the heat rises from the pad close to the pad. So from the ceiling the heat would just rise and never reach the floor.

    I'm sure, with the competition between the two companies, Osborne must have made an improvement with their pads, however, I don't know if they now have the built in sensor or not. All my pads are quite old. Might be something for you to ask the company about.
  18. bettinge

    bettinge Member

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    Yvonne, Thanks for the information. I received a couple of these Blankets this week. I think they will do the trick and remove some of the worry I have on cooler nights at the season extreems, May and Oct!

    Osborne is very easy to deal with, especially if you have a PayPal account.
  19. pdrobber

    pdrobber Active Member

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    thanks, very informative! I might just get a few.
  20. pga7602

    pga7602 New Member

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    I would like to add to this. Charlie's current shed has a pig blanket mounted on a side wall, but it's low enough for him to push up against when it gets too cold. The reason I chose to do this is because I'm afraid of water traveling into the shed from heavy rain. Although I have never personally experience this, I rather not take the chance. The setup has been work since charlie has been out for years even in 40 degree weather.

    Hope that helps.
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