DT enclosure (for Oogie)

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Oogie

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Adopting a California Desert Tortoise soon (Oogie)! This is his future home...hope the pic works. Any suggestions will be great! I'm in the process of making a ramp for the dog house. It was overcast when I took the pic, but we get really good sun in this area all day. We put down Bermuda seed. Dandelions, morning glory, and clover grow in abundance. The fern is not permanent...just was using it to help me decide where to plant things.

Questions...What wattage of ceramic heater should I use in the dog house? We will keep Oogie outdoors at night (locked in the dog house). The care sheets just recommend a low wattage (25) red bulb to burn out humidity and provide warmth...would a 60w ceramic be too much? Should I trust a thermostat (have read horror stories)?

Thanks!

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm25/turtlegirl_73/DSCI0059.jpg

DSCI0059.jpg
 

Oogie

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just bought a 100w zoo med ceramic heat emitter...the zoo med repti-temp 500r thermostat...and a lamp to hang (not clamp). for safety, i will have a wire shelf below the heat lamp (cuz the stories of the ceramic emitters falling and burning your tort and catching things on fire really freak me out lol). installing this will be my project this weekend (that's if i can still fit in the dog house cuz i'm pregnant and belly is getting bigger haha--roof unfortunately doesn't come off :().
 

Yvonne G

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Your desert tortoise area is really nice. I love that you put the pavers all along the fence to discourage digging to next door. And the gate looks secure. The cinder block wall across the front is good too. It would be a good idea to plant some sort of bush or tree to shade the dog house, because in the summer, dog houses can be little ovens if not shaded. You did good, little PG mama!!

Yvonne
 

Crazy1

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Melissa,
Congratulation on the upcoming two legged little one you will have crawling around fairly soon. Remember we Love Pics.
Oogie’s enclosure looks good but I have a suggestion; turn the cinderblocks you have behind the house so he can’t see through them. I had my enclosure set up with a block lined up like yours and found my male adult DT trying to cram himself through the hole (took some scratches to his shell but nothing serious). If they can see through it, seems they just have to try and get through it. LOL.

The bad new is that all parts of Morning Glories are TOXIC to torts. :(
http://www.chelonia.org/Articles/plantsthatpoison.htm
 

Oogie

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good idea yvonne...i have a few potted trees i'll move in front of the dog house to help keep it cool.

now that i have the ceramic heat emitter and thermostat hooked up...what temp should i keep it at?

crazy1...
yea...we already decided to clear out the Morning Glory to be on the safe side...but the strange thing is some care sheets say our type is safe and even recommend it as forage...here are just a few sites...

http://www.tortoisegroup.org/newsletters/2005 March.pdf p. 7 under Plants To Grow For Tortoises--Vines
http://www.ashtonbiodiversity.org/pdf/habitat-foraging.pdf p. 45 Table 3.9 #18; p. 49 (under "Low level of usage")

my husband (chemistry nerd) has concluded that the reason some say it is toxic is because eating LARGE quantities of the seeds may cause hallucinations...but nothing seems to be reported on tortoises. and, i just spoke to someone from a giant tortoise organization in NV who have allowed all their torts to forage on our type of Morning Glory for well over 20yrs with no ill effects.

but...again...to be on the safe side, we are removing it. it only grows on the other side of our fence (our property) as a weed and there aren't that many strands of it to take care of on a normal basis.

will definitely turn the cinder blocks around =) thanks!

BTW...it turns out we may be getting Oogie THIS Saturday instead of the 28th!!!! We'll post pics right away!!!



Crazy1 said:
Melissa,
Congratulation on the upcoming two legged little one you will have crawling around fairly soon. Remember we Love Pics.
Oogie’s enclosure looks good but I have a suggestion; turn the cinderblocks you have behind the house so he can’t see through them. I had my enclosure set up with a block lined up like yours and found my male adult DT trying to cram himself through the hole (took some scratches to his shell but nothing serious). If they can see through it, seems they just have to try and get through it. LOL.

The bad new is that all parts of Morning Glories are TOXIC to torts. :(
http://www.chelonia.org/Articles/plantsthatpoison.htm
 

Laura

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Not sure what kind of morning glory you have.. compared to what Ihave.. I pull what I can, but its everywhere.. and they don't seem to eat it..
YOur place looks great.
 

Oogie

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cinder blocks are turned...morning glory is gone...we pick up Oogie at noon tomorrow! wooohoooo!!!!!!!! don't worry...i'll post pics!!!
 

Crazy1

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Inland Empire, CA
Melissa I learn something every day. I had always heard Buttercups, morning glorys, spurge and Ivy Geranium were not good for torts in fact I had heard they were toxic. Thanks for the information and links. Looks like There are some new plants I can add to the mix :)
 

Oogie

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sorry james! i originally posted them in introductions...but then it got moved. here's the thread link

http://tortoiseforum.org/thread-6300.html

thank you for wanting to see him =) he really is so cute!

robyn...yea, it's interesting that there is so much conflicting info out there. even when it comes to aloe...some say to avoid it while others don't. to be on the safe side, i'll remove the MG when i see it but won't stress about. i think it was only added to the lists for torts to avoid because of the known hallucinogenic effects on humans (actually, ages ago, american and mexican indians almost worshipped MG for the hallucinogenic effects LOL)...but like i mentioned earlier, you have to consume A LOT of the seeds for that to happen.
 

bsr8129

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Not to Hi jack this thread but it is nessary to have a dog house or enclosure with heat for a DT? Asking because i have a DT that has just been roaming the back yard for the last couple of years. he has the whole yard to roam, and come winter time we put him in a containor w/substrate to hibernate though the winter. Since i have had him he hasn't had a "home" to go in.
 

Yvonne G

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10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
You don't need heat, but every tortoise no matter what kind likes to feel safe when he's at rest. So you are being a kind and responsible tortoise keeper if you provide him with a safe place to go whenever he's finished food prowling. If your tortoise, for instance, always goes onto the patio behind the lawn mower, then that's his safe place. But really, a dog house type hiding place would be much nicer... a place to call his own that always stays there for him. And safer from night time vermin.

Yvonne
 

Oogie

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5 Year Member
i was told by the society that heat is necessary to keep the humidity out of the burrow in our area...i live by the beach. but he also has 3 other burrows to use if he likes...one he only pees in, one he ignores, and a plastic recycling box upside down that he likes on occasion.

like yvonne said, it's nice to have something available for your DT. we didn't go out and buy the dog house for Oogie...we've had it for years. you can easily make a burrow from stuff around your house...i'm sure your DT will show interest in it in time.
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
That advice was probably geography-related. Normally, in the desert, the tortoise pees and poops in his burrow, bringing up the humidity. That's a good thing. But maybe where you live, on the coast its not so good. Cold/moist = BAD Warm/moist = ok So if your coastal climate is too cool, then maybe they feel you need heat.

Yvonne
 
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Maggie Cummings

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I was always taught and it has been my experience that tortoises need a small safe quiet place to sleep at night. Bob is 80 pounds now but he has always slept in his sleeping box with a pig blanket. It has a lid for easy cleaning. Anyhow all of my tortoises no matter what sized sleep in small safe places. Bob goes to bed at 7PM, you can almost set your clock by him. My small tortoises each have a small house to sleep in, but they stay up until 8PM.
 

bsr8129

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Good thing to know, he use to have a big bush that he would dig around and "hide; in, but during the summer it has, i dont know the technical term or remember what it was, prickley things that got into one of his eyes, so we dug up the plant and planted hybiscs there so he lost that hiding spot, once it stops raining here, yes it does rain in so.cali, i plan on building him in little hidding spot.
 
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