First outdoor enclosure... the beginning!

KrissyLeigh

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I have a side yard in the new house that I want to turn into the designated tortoise yard and I am SO PUMPED about it! I want to cover it in chicken wire (or something similar), and use the walls of the house and fence so the whole area is tort friendly. The planters boxes will be planted with tort safe food, with additional plants in their stomping ground in the middle. Plus hides and water dishes, of course.

This will be a long, tedious process and I will probably ask a lot of silly questions. Full disclosure - I know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about gardening (seriously, I had a cactus once, I killed it, and that's it). I also know ALMOST NOTHING about building or using any sorts of tools. So this will be a very painful process with a steep learning curve. I have peeled through pages of this forum and have been scavenging the internet for info on how to situate torts outdoors, how to garden, and how to build. What I lack in experience I partially make up for in determination (aka stubbornness) and spunk! Looking forward to the challenge!!!

One question I haven't been able to find the answer to - I know redfoots don't really burrow, but I want to make sure they can't dig out from under the fence or the house. Should I embed a partial wall of some sort into the soil, or will bricks work? With the bricks I worry the torts will scratch away underneath and the rock will fall on them and crush them.

So these are the 'before' pictures 16178968_10154713521445935_8502560378998353944_o.jpg 16300357_10154713516945935_5928264275135291927_o.jpg
 

wellington

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Take cinder blocks are large landscaping brick will work fine. I wouldn't you the smaller brick used for building houses. If stacked correctly, they won't fall and the RF won't burrow under them. If you can find some threads of member N2TORTS with his enclosures, it will give you great ideas
 

Alex Z

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Make sure you bury the blocks atleast a foot in the ground...your torts will be quite happy when its all done!!
 

KrissyLeigh

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The side boards are flush with the ground on my tortoise pen.
I've never had an issue with a Redfoot trying to go under them.

ok, good to know. I'm so worried about moving them outside where I can't keep an eye on them... I'm going to be a nervous wreck the first week or so, leaving them outside! They just seem so tiny and defenseless. But I will take every precaution with their enclosure, and make it a great habitat.... and still worry, hahaha!
 

ZEROPILOT

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ok, good to know. I'm so worried about moving them outside where I can't keep an eye on them... I'm going to be a nervous wreck the first week or so, leaving them outside! They just seem so tiny and defenseless. But I will take every precaution with their enclosure, and make it a great habitat.... and still worry, hahaha!
The truly small ones like to climb. Watch out for that. Also, I've had small Redfoot disappear right in front of me. You will be surprised at how well they blend in out in a yard. Make sure that there are lots of shady places to hide. Small spaces. You'll find them there 90% of the time.
 

Yvonne G

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That's going to be a great space for RF tortoises. I would remove all the flower bed wood and just have it wide open, then plant a few edible bushes around for them to hide under. You can also plant grapevine along the side and honeysuckle. Don't worry about them digging under the fence or the house. Mine don't dig at all. But you might consider bricks under the gate so the gate is more flush with the ground and can't be seen under. Also, some sort of visual barrier on the gate so they can't see out.
 

KrissyLeigh

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Oh yes, plenty of hiding spaces. They do like to climb, too. I've had to strategically place their hides because I find them on top of the hide sitting there, all like "um... now what do I do?"

I think the hardest part is going to be covering the whole thing - I'll have to build at least a partial frame, and cut down part of that tree... I live on the coast, where 25 mph wind all day is not uncommon, so it will have to be sturdy.

I will post my progess as I go along, I know y'all provide great insight and advice. Y'all already have in just the last few posts, which I will definitely take into consideration!!! So thank you!

Yvonne, honeysuckle is poisonous to them, no?
http://redfoottortoise.com/toxic_plants.htm
 

Momof4

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Oh yes, plenty of hiding spaces. They do like to climb, too. I've had to strategically place their hides because I find them on top of the hide sitting there, all like "um... now what do I do?"

I think the hardest part is going to be covering the whole thing - I'll have to build at least a partial frame, and cut down part of that tree... I live on the coast, where 25 mph wind all day is not uncommon, so it will have to be sturdy.

I will post my progess as I go along, I know y'all provide great insight and advice. Y'all already have in just the last few posts, which I will definitely take into consideration!!! So thank you!

Yvonne, honeysuckle is poisonous to them, no?
http://redfoottortoise.com/toxic_plants.htm

I believe cape honeysuckle is what she meant. They have red flowers not the yellowish white ones.

Your space is going to be lovely!!!
Have fun!!
 
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