Any tort keepers in Tennessee?

Mroktober

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Joined
Jun 14, 2021
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4
Location (City and/or State)
TN
I was wondering if there are any tort keepers here in Tennessee. I’ve been searching the forum and googling like crazy and can’t seem to find a definite answer. I’m looking for advice on the best species to keep in an outdoor enclosure here in Tennessee? I’m in the western part of the state where it gets pretty hot and humid, but humid to me and humid to a tort are two different things. I know I’ll have to bring my tort inside for the colder months which I have figured out already. I really want an outdoor enclosure when the weather is right, so any advice on what species people have successfully kept here would be great!
 

KarenSoCal

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Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
I haven't kept a tort in TN, but have spent a decent amount of time there. I have land on the other end of the state...we always planned to retire there, but that never happened. 😢

Anyway, I think most any species would do well where you are. Most all tortoises need warm temps, and you have that the majority of the year. The humidity is good for torts, even the ones that are considered 'desert' dwellers. Torts like rain as long as they have a warm dry place to get away from it. And most if not all need a bit of heat at night even in summer, and especially in cold weather, best given in a heated, insulated night box.

You don't usually get much snow, but winter does come with freezing temps. Assuming you have a non-brumating species, depending on size it could be brought inside for the coldest months.

I believe your choices are wide open. Get whatever species you like the best.

Just make sure it's tornado proof...that's the worst threat in your area! :tort::)
 

Mroktober

New Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2021
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
TN
I haven't kept a tort in TN, but have spent a decent amount of time there. I have land on the other end of the state...we always planned to retire there, but that never happened. 😢

Anyway, I think most any species would do well where you are. Most all tortoises need warm temps, and you have that the majority of the year. The humidity is good for torts, even the ones that are considered 'desert' dwellers. Torts like rain as long as they have a warm dry place to get away from it. And most if not all need a bit of heat at night even in summer, and especially in cold weather, best given in a heated, insulated night box.

You don't usually get much snow, but winter does come with freezing temps. Assuming you have a non-brumating species, depending on size it could be brought inside for the coldest months.

I believe your choices are wide open. Get whatever species you like the best.

Just make sure it's tornado proof...that's the worst threat in your area! :tort::)
The East side of Tennessee is really nice, I spent a lot of time over there working on some trout fisheries over there for my masters thesis.

I figured the temps would be good for most torts over here, I was mostly concerned about humidity requirements. I was leaning towards a red foot, but have been researching other species that have lower humidity requirements. The average humidity index here is pretty close to Florida (average 70-80%) and I know many tort keepers are successful there.

My plan is to build an outdoor enclosure (minimum 4x8x2 but might go bigger) with an attached hide box for the night. I’ll layer it with something that’ll hold moisture in the mid layer but be dry on top (mulch, spag moss, etc). My other idea is just leaving grass inside the enclosure as a potential food source but I’m not sure if they would eat it or not? I’ll have a hinged lid across the entire enclosure, that way I can close it at night for protection from predators and I can open it during the day and let that natural UV in. I thought I could mist the enclosure with the hose to bump the humidity as well. I’d like to plant some tort food in there or put ceramic pots to grow its food, I thought that would be cool as well. In the night box, I figured I’d put a che in there on a night timer to keep the night box around 80. During the winter I’ll either build another enclosure in my insulated garage with heat lamps and uvb bulbs or bring it in the house. Both ways would be easy to maintain temps in.

This is the plan I’ve brewed up in my head from the research I’ve done and my knowledge of animal keeping. If I’m wrong in any of these ideas please let me know! I want what’s best for my future tort and I’m not getting one until I have a solid plan and enclosure built. I may just have to build my tort a little tornado shelter as well 😉
 
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