Need to upgrade indoor redfoot tortoise enclosure

maggie3fan

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Tim, please understand that I mean NO disrespect, BUT...I operate a small special needs turtle and tortoise rescue in central Oregon. Right now I have 28 chelonia, blind, missing legs, cracked carapace's, sick and lame. My sister until recently had one of the largest turtle and tortoise rescues in Central California. My qualifications are educated and experienced. Mixing species is one of the biggest no no's in chelonia keeping. They come from different continents, and each species of chelonia carries germs and diseases that are different from another's species diseases. A disease that is carried by one species with no symptoms, 'could' make the other species sick or dead. My species are all separated, with outside and indoor habitats.

You said this..."Our winters are long and cold with a lot of snow. I don't think an outdoor heated shed would work for our long snowy winters"


I also live in snow country in Oregon, (many members here live in snow country.) You are not special in this respect. I have rats, mice, coyotes, raccoons, 'possums, cougars, foxes and more. The tortoises I rehab must stay inside from September to April, they live in a heated insulated shed outside with doggie doors and outside pens. This shed cost $2000 to redo for tortoises. The ambient temp inside stays at 85 degrees when it's frozen and snowy out, no matter how cold it is outside.
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You don't want to build a shed like mine, so you make excuses. I do see one difference tho, I take in rescued chelonia, rehab them, then find homes for them and adopt them out. I do have a core group that are mine. Special needs that I keep.
But I can tell, because no animal has died yet you don't wanna realize the way you are keeping those chelonia is wrong, and you are going to resist change. So, I have said what I wanted. oh and in watching them you won't see aggression of bullying but it's there.
Also, tortoises need exercise to aid in digestion. I don't see that in a small night box.
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TimR

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Oct 5, 2014
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You said this..."Our winters are long and cold with a lot of snow. I don't think an outdoor heated shed would work for our long snowy winters"
I didn't say this. Where are you quoting this from?


...This shed cost $2000 to redo for tortoises. The ambient temp inside stays at 85 degrees when it's frozen and snowy out, no matter how cold it is outside.
You don't want to build a shed like mine, so you make excuses.

No, not making excuses, there really is no need to build a $2,000, 8' tall shed for your tortoises. Heat rises, so it is much more efficient to build a 2'-6" (30") high heated shed for your tortoises. Also, my shed is not an over winter, tortoise shed, just a heated night box to get them through cold Spring and Fall nights. My tortoises over winter indoors.

But I can tell, because no animal has died yet

I can tell you the same.

Also, tortoises need exercise to aid in digestion. I don't see that in a small night box.

The night box is not intended to be a tortoise gym, just a place to feel secure and warm overnight. I monitor my tortoises daily. If they leave the heated night box daily to graze and return to it each night, I keep them outdoors. Once they start to remain in the heated night box for multiple days in the Fall, I bring them inside.

Maybe there are different ways to successfully keep Chelonians
 
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maggie3fan

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There are different ways, I agree. I have been keeping chelonia for almost 20 years. I keep them in the best way possible for them. You keep them in the easiest way for you. In Oregon they have to be inside for months. So that shed is 20'x12', not perfect, but Sulcata walk for miles in the wild to graze and to digest. My shed is the way it is, so the tortoises that need to be kept in for those months, have some pacing room. Yes it is tall enuf for people, but not only is it better for the tortoises, I spend time in that shed with the tortoises and I keep cactus that I grow for food in that shed as well.
I can see that I offended you, but yes, there different ways, however, they still MUST be kept according to some basic rules. And mixing species is the almost worst thing to do. I can only give you advice, I cannot make you accept it

As far as your statement that you didn't say about the hay. I went back and reread everything posted, that statement is not there...so obviously I copied that from someone else and credited you with it, so I can lie and make you look bad.
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chipperchip

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Mar 25, 2015
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37
I love all of your responses regarding tortoise housing. We are in the process of a new enclosure for Chip, my redfoot. After many many hours of research on what materials to use and what size, etc., Chip is going to get a much larger enclosure than what he is in right now. My husband and I have watched many YouTube videos on tortoise enclosures and we have designed on that will hopefully accommodate all of Chip's needs.

However, during our construction phase, we are building the new enclosure in the same room his old enclosure is in (Chip has his own bedroom in our house). We have moved things around so that there is room to assemble the new enclosure, and things are a little different and cramped for Chip's current enclosure. He seems to be getting very dry lately and I have been giving him a weekly soak and I usually pour some warm water over him daily. His appetite is still very hearty, but I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on how to keep his scales a little more moist during this transition time. Construction might take another week.

Also, Chip is very sweet and I pet him all the time, but yesterday when we were moving things around I let him walk around the room. He was extremely active and kept chasing my feet around and ramming them. He also bit the toe of my shoes several times, as well as walked up to my husband as he was building the enclosure and bit his finger (no broken skin, but it still hurt). Anyone know why he might have done that? I don't think he was being aggressive as much as curious, because he walked around and bit other things, like the wheel of a chair and the leg of a desk. I was just wondering because I spent a good part of my time in that room constantly moving away from him. The ramming was kind of funny because he tucks his head and lunges his whole body at my foot. We have hardwood floors in his room, and it would make a loud bang noise every time his shell hit the floor. He is fairly large being somewhere around 12" long and over 10 lbs, and I am guessing around 10-12 yrs old.

Thanks for any advice, suggestions, or information you all might provide.

I love this forum, and I especially appreciate the ideas and advice I receive from some very knowledgeable, experienced and caring tortoise owners.

I will be posting some new photos of his enclosure as it is coming along.

Thanks again everyone!
 

PNWEric

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Feb 8, 2021
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My husband and I have watched many YouTube videos on tortoise enclosures and we have designed on that will hopefully accommodate all of Chip's needs.

Show pictures of the work and finished product. I am at this stage as well looking for ideas.
 
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