my outdoor enclosure progress

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Meg90

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10 Year Member!
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
WI
Nigel's enclosure is about three-four weeks in the making....I used cinder blocks, for the most part, and some wire fencing just to keep the dogs out (one row of cinder was more than enough to keep Nigel in) and they are small dogs. I do plan on doing some intensive training for Nigel's first week there....both dogs are well trained and respect authority well, and I think that once they know that the entire area is off limits, they will leave it alone. However, he will not be unsupervised either, since as of now, there is no lid on his enclosure, and I don't trust the starlings and crows around here.

The pen in is my mom's backyard, which is also fenced off, so if by some miracle, Nigel does escape his pen, there is another fence around him.

The tree is an apple tree, so lots of good shade. I'm putting up a few pics to show progress, and will update again once my other tortoise food starts sprouting. Right now the green in there is broad leaf mix from Carolina Pet supply. I also planted melscun mix, a heat resistant lettuce mix, and a microgreens mix last week Sunday. All three larger plans are hostas (some variation)......

the start
Nigeloutsideenclosureandmomscres-12.jpg


hosta hole
Nigeloutsideenclosureandmomscres-11.jpg


my little helper, Korrin (who keeps asking when Nigel is coming--she lives across the street from my mom, and is psyched to visit him there)
Nigeloutsideenclosureandmomscres-9.jpg


planted, with peat/sphagnum moss sprinkled over to help with fertilization
Nigeloutsideenclosureandmomscres-7.jpg


Pictures taken this afternoon, (05/28) about 4:00 pm. The bare patches have lettuces planted for the most part....

enclosure008.jpg


enclosure014.jpg


You can really see how much the rhubarb in the far back corner has grown in this picture too...
enclosure012.jpg


Nigel Vision! (we just had three days of rain here, so everything is dirty--I was worried my little baby plants were going to drown!)
enclosure006.jpg


Here's a closeup of my sprouts...the seeds all looked different when I planted them, but I'm still waiting for the little baby plants to differentiate themselves! :D
enclosure005.jpg


enclosure002.jpg



His enclosure is 4ftx9ft, and the cinder blocks are 12in tall. I am also burying some black fencing down by the back wall, the one that is wooden stockade fence, to make sure that that side is very secure. I do also want to pick up some hardware cloth to make a screen top, and perhaps even 2-3ft tall sides as well, so that I can stop worrying about the dogs, and other predators.

I am also painting a code on his shell in white (non toxic) acrylic paint in two spots, so that I could identify him if I ever needed too.

I'm also adding some hides in there as well...I have a wooden box that will work well, once I cut a side out of it, and I'm thinking of using a buried flower pot/one cut in half in the middle of the two hostas. Any other suggestions of plants to put in there? Not necessarily food plants at this point....

Lemme know what you think!
 

Tim/Robin

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Oh he is going to love it there. It looks very nice Meg, you should be proud. Just wait until he gets his mouth on all those greens. What a lucky boy! Great pics too!
 

Candy

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5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
Alhambra, CA
I think it looks wonderful Meg. Nigel is going to be very happy in there. The little girl is going to be so excited when she gets to come over and see him. You can start her now at being a tortoise lover. :D
 

Yvonne G

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10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
It looks good. You've worked hard on your project and it shows.

Yvonne
 

chadk

Active Member
10 Year Member!
I'm jealous! My tort pen outside is way behind schedule! It is 80 here today and I'm bummed my torts could not appreciate it....
 

Stazz

New Member
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Well done Meg, really good job !!! The new enclosure looks wonderful, I am sure Nigel will love the sun and the lovely shade of the trees and all you have planted in there :)
 

Crazy1

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10 Year Member!
Location (City and/or State)
Inland Empire, CA
Meg what a lovely pen for Nigel.
I noticed you said you planted rhubarb? Rhubarb leaves are toxic! And if Nigel is like my full grown boy he will be able to get over that single block with no problems especially in the corners (its amazing how they can climb). You probably need to set up something so that it overhangs the corners especially or the hardware cloth to keep him in. :)
 

Meg90

Active Member
10 Year Member!
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
WI
Oh no...the rhubarb is the plant way in the back corner of the yard, not his pen....Its been there since I was a little kid, comes back every year.

I am thinking about just getting another layer of brick...two should be tall enough right?
 

Meg90

Active Member
10 Year Member!
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
WI
Here's what was done today: Added another layer of brick, as well as planted more broadleaf mix. (in the lower right corner of the pic--wanted to extend that patch) I don't see many lettuce sprouts yet, but those were planted memorial day, so I think they should be coming up soon...They are located in the lower left corner of the pic, and to the right of the little hosta in the middle

Going out again, might pick up another plant or some seed mix....don't want my boy going hungry :D

I also bowed the front of the enclosure, to help eliminate corners. The front wall is 16 inches now, will also be looking into putting something around the top to keep him from climbing over (the other sides are also 16in) The bow added 9 extra inches, so his enclosure measures Almost 5 ft x 9 1/2 ft

Megenclosureandalexschoolforest029.jpg


Will post more pics as things grow, and if I add more plants.

I also "planted" some dandelion seeds...You can see a couple nice ones (the greens are over 5 inches) but they are sparse, so I picked some dandes and planted more! :D Who'd a thought? Planting weeds and pulling up grass!
 

Crazy1

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Location (City and/or State)
Inland Empire, CA
Meg the two bricks will do it as long as no corners or place a little board or something in the corners. It is lovely and I am sure Nigel will love it. I am so glad the rhubarb is not in his pen. :)
 

tortoisenerd

Active Member
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
Washington
Awesome! I never got my dandelions to sprout. I'll have to try again some day although they are not Trevor's favorite (he's crazy about radish greens).

I can't wait to create a weed oasis for Trevor someday. Poor little guy is still scared of the outdoors (we put him out in a little tub for some sun)!
 
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