creative alternatives for tortoise house design

lighthiker2

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I am sort of a geeky insomniac when it comes to designing things. That disclaimer said, I lay awake last night thinking of ideas for a variety of tortoise enclosures to put on my property in the spring. My property is a partially treed hilltop, and for safety purposes it needs to be predator proof. Because I can't let my young sully alone in a huge area, I thought that combining various components would make an enriched living space. I have a greenhouse (made from 2x4s/4x4s and recycled windows) so will adapt to make pass throughs for him as well. The different components could be attached on different sides of the greenhouse, in a modular format. My schtick is that, as with wolves (my other totally exclusive love), animals who normally have a large range need a variety of enrichment activities when in captivity in order to help them adjust and thrive. While tortoises do not have the cognitive capacity of wolves, they deserve something appropriate to them.

So far, I have come up with the following ideas. I would love to see other people's ideas or actual setups.

1)one section with a cinderblock/brick walled cold frame (windows hinged for ventilation…can be swapped for screen and shade cloth in summer) kinda like this picture but with an entry area of course. Great place for all those nice growing grasses and low flowers. Cold-frame-making-300x210.jpg

2) an adapted chicken coop (insulated/heated) for a 4'x4' enclosure with the attached run being predator-proof (it can extend into the cold frame area which would have a black-lined shallow water area to keep water warm even in cooler weather). This is like the coop I currently have. With a modified, sided ramp that has less of an angle and a landing area it would let him do some much-loved climbing. It would also be easy to insulate and add a thermostatic heater (and solar powered thermostat controlled vent fan for warm weather ventilation) img55b.jpg

3)camper shell as a ventilated shelter or roof of a homemade tort shed (light color to reflect heat in summer, easy to add insulation, windows can be open or shut). They are at least 59.5" x 75", and atop a wood frame or block/wood tort hotel it seems to be a good roof option. Here is a pic of one used for a chicken coop. 135-047-01.jpg

4)as someone who also abides with cats and dogs, I needed to make a dog resistant litter box. I bought a toy box with a hinged lid and cut a door in one end of it. Because of its easy hinged top access, it would also make a good supplemental space for a tortoise with the door made a big larger (the toy box is 19"deep x 32"long x 18"tall). Perhaps this could be used as a cozy napping spot in the greenhouse? 9269803074_2aa823663f_b.jpg
 
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ascott

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All great ideas....and being that I am part red neck....I absolutely love the redneck camper coop....:p

You can also search the internet for indoor tortoise enclosures and outdoor tortoise enclosures.....some really great ideas floating around....
 

Cowboy_Ken

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ascott said:
All great ideas....and being that I am part red neck....I absolutely love the redneck camper coop....:p

You can also search the internet for indoor tortoise enclosures and outdoor tortoise enclosures.....some really great ideas floating around....

I say, “If you can't fix it with duct tape, you're doing something wrong."
 

ascott

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I say, “If you can't fix it with duct tape, you're doing something wrong."

Absolutely....from first aid (taping together a wound, taping back on a part that is hanging) to fixing a hem in a pair of jeans or skirt that has come loose......it truly is AWESOME....
 
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