How to make an outdoor underground hide

45Charlie0ct

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I have a 52 lb sulcata that is digging deeper in the underground hide that we made her. We dug a hole and frames it with wood. Now that she is bigger she is on a mission every day to dig deeper and she is half way past the wooden frame that we used. She just started this digging this summer. So I am assuming it is not deep enough for her to get cooler. I am wanting the easiest , not too expensive way to keep her from digging more. If someone has pictures or ideas that would be great!!!
 

wellington

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Take a look at @Tom night box threads. That's what you need and then you can also bury it. I believe in that thread he has pics of how he puts it in the ground.
 

45Charlie0ct

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Take a look at @Tom night box threads. That's what you need and then you can also bury it. I believe in that thread he has pics of how he puts it in the ground.
I do have a night box already. 4'X4'. Idid follow Tom's plans for the night box.
 

wellington

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I do have a night box already. 4'X4'. Idid follow Tom's plans for the night box.
4x4 for an adult sulcata? That's not big enough. That's more a leopard size.
Some place in those night box threads, towards the bigging, I believe there are pics of one of his being put in the ground.
If he sees the alert to this thread, hopefully he can find the pic if you can't.
I have leopards and use a shed, so I dont bury and neither do leopards.
 

45Charlie0ct

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4x4 for an adult sulcata? That's not big enough. That's more a leopard size.
Some place in those night box threads, towards the bigging, I believe there are pics of one of his being put in the ground.
If he sees the alert to this thread, hopefully he can find the pic if you can't.
I have leopards and use a shed, so I dont bury and neither do leopards.
She is almost 4 years old. Her night box is that big not her outdoor enclosure.
 

wellington

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She is almost 4 years old. Her night box is that big not her outdoor enclosure.
No, I understand it wasn't the enclosure. Just figured she was more adult size, seeing she is burrowing and 52 pounds. A 4x4 seems small for a 52 pounder.
 

45Charlie0ct

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No, I understand it wasn't the enclosure. Just figured she was more adult size, seeing she is burrowing and 52 pounds. A 4x4 seems small for a 52 pounder.
hmmmm.... that really stinks. Well not sure if I am quite ready to build another one as she only has had this one 2 years. LOL IS 52 pounds for a 4 year old odd? Too big, too small?
 

Yvonne G

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hmmmm.... that really stinks. Well not sure if I am quite ready to build another one as she only has had this one 2 years. LOL IS 52 pounds for a 4 year old odd? Too big, too small?
Four years old? Pretty darned big!!!
 

wellington

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hmmmm.... that really stinks. Well not sure if I am quite ready to build another one as she only has had this one 2 years. LOL IS 52 pounds for a 4 year old odd? Too big, too small?
I don't own a sully. But from what I have seen over the years on here. 52 pounds is big. Is it too big for a 4 year old? Not sure, but seems like it and too big for a 4x4.
 

45Charlie0ct

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I don't own a sully. But from what I have seen over the years on here. 52 pounds is big. Is it too big for a 4 year old? Not sure, but seems like it and too big for a 4x4.
maybe my scale is wrong???? LOL when I measured and weighed her on May first my scale said she was 45.6 pounds she was around 19.25" long and 14" wide . July 18th she weighed 52 pounds Why is she growing so fast? Is that a problem? When I got her she was 1 year old and smaller than my hand. Now I am worried I am doing something wrong... This is the latest photo I have of her which was the beginning of the month. She looks okay, right?
 

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Tom

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maybe my scale is wrong???? LOL when I measured and weighed her on May first my scale said she was 45.6 pounds she was around 19.25" long and 14" wide . July 18th she weighed 52 pounds Why is she growing so fast? Is that a problem? When I got her she was 1 year old and smaller than my hand. Now I am worried I am doing something wrong... This is the latest photo I have of her which was the beginning of the month. She looks okay, right?
52 pounds for a well cared for four year old sulcata is pretty normal. So many of them are started, fed and housed incorrectly that it can slow their growth. Some of them also just seem to thrive and take off. Yours is one of those.

4x4 is an excellent size night box for a single large sulcata. That will be much bigger inside than a burrow they would dig. They aren't supposed to be living and exercising inside it. It is supposed to function as a temperature controlled surrogate "burrow" in winter. It should not be cavernous inside. Low ceiling and smaller area to heat is ideal. With the walls and insulation, mine end up measuring around 39x39 inside and this is great for any sulcata up to around 130 pounds. If you have a Sudan that will grow to 250 pounds or more, you might need to make a bigger box in a few years.

If you make a shelter for a sulcata with a dirt bottom, you should expect them to dig to China. This is normal and its okay for hot summer temps. The problem will come in fall when temps cool. You have to watch the weather and anticipate a cool spell. Catch the tortoise above ground on the last of the hot days and block off the burrow. From that night forward, make the tortoise sleep in its heated night box until the summer heat returns in late spring the next year. For me this usually happens in late October, and I open the burrows back up in June, depending on the weather.
 

45Charlie0ct

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52 pounds for a well cared for four year old sulcata is pretty normal. So many of them are started, fed and housed incorrectly that it can slow their growth. Some of them also just seem to thrive and take off. Yours is one of those.

4x4 is an excellent size night box for a single large sulcata. That will be much bigger inside than a burrow they would dig. They aren't supposed to be living and exercising inside it. It is supposed to function as a temperature controlled surrogate "burrow" in winter. It should not be cavernous inside. Low ceiling and smaller area to heat is ideal. With the walls and insulation, mine end up measuring around 39x39 inside and this is great for any sulcata up to around 130 pounds. If you have a Sudan that will grow to 250 pounds or more, you might need to make a bigger box in a few years.

If you make a shelter for a sulcata with a dirt bottom, you should expect them to dig to China. This is normal and its okay for hot summer temps. The problem will come in fall when temps cool. You have to watch the weather and anticipate a cool spell. Catch the tortoise above ground on the last of the hot days and block off the burrow. From that night forward, make the tortoise sleep in its heated night box until the summer heat returns in late spring the next year. For me this usually happens in late October, and I open the burrows back up in June, depending on the weather.


Thank you! I bought Charlie when she was 1 years old and I think it just said sulcata. How do I know if it is a sedan sulcata? Can you tell from my picture?
 

Yvonne G

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Thank you! I bought Charlie when she was 1 years old and I think it just said sulcata. How do I know if it is a sedan sulcata? Can you tell from my picture?
The Sudans are a little more costly and are usually sold as such.
 
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