Old Project Recycled for Box Turtles Outdoor Enclosure

Rover15

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Back Story, I recycled a bunch of wood from a job site last summer and built a Dog house that the kids turned into a clubhouse playhouse using the wood and a truck cap that was left in my backyard. wish I wish I took more pictures but I was drinking a fair bit that day.

This is the wood I collected from the job site. all D grade never treated wood.

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here is the side of the frame I have the truck cap propped up this was just before I put it on the actual frame

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here is the back of the finished product

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side picture of the finished product.

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here is the front of the finished product.

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now I didn't take many pictures as I was trying to get this setup as fast as possible so Bert could enjoy some sun today and before I had to get the kids from school. I wanted to move this closer to the house/deck, but I wasn't able to move it on my own without taking it apart and my wife put her foot down and said it could stay in the corner :(.

What I did was remove the Truck cap, I dug a 6" trench and fit the walls in the trench, the way i build this frame was with 2x4s and then 1x2 on the outside this worked in my favour because it creates a lip so my box turtles cannot climb over and because it is dug in 6" if they tried to dig under they would hit the bottom 2x4 from the frame so they can't dig under. I used the soil from the trenches inside the enclosure to help increase the depth about 1-2" but I may add more dirt/soil or something else.

here is Bert Roaming around the enclosure once it was set where I wanted it, there is still dirty piled up and not really evened out yet, you can also notice the doorway was still open. My 10-year-old and 5 years old helped me use some of the 1x2s and 2x4s to cover this up.

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here I tried to use an old toboggan as a water spot but he just couldn't get out, I may come back to this and use rocks but right now I'm going to look for another option. (if you have ideas of what I can use that isn't a flower pot holder feel free to comment your idea, I want something large and possibly slopped.)

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I tossed 2 large plastic floor pots in the ground with dirt, and the black one has some dead grass and Bert is hiding in it as the Enclosure was covered in shade at this point. there is a chunk of the grass that I dug out when I was doing the trench, I also added some old Tile I haven't decided if I will be using it to feed or just as a different surface.

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I plan on getting plants and adding Lettuce seeds, and I want to plant these grass seeds

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I won't be using any type of fertilizer as I never have but is it safe to plant seeds in here? Also, I haven't decided on what type of lid I'm going to build I might build something tall so I can walk in or I might build something simple that goes over and locks that I can slide off when I need it.


any and all suggestions or tips welcomed thanks for reading
 

Rover15

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Long post lol but Im hoping to get feed back about the grass seed so i can go a head and plant it today if possoble
 

vladimir

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Hi @Rover15 [emoji846] I like the setup! Bert looks happy in there.

Have you thought about getting a concrete bird bath without the stand to use as a water area for him?

I don't believe there are any issues with planting grass seed as long as there's no chemicals in it. I believe there is some variety of pasture mix that Tom has recommended, but I'm not an expert by any means.


Edit: see his post here https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php?posts/1574400
 

Rover15

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Im in Ontario, unfortunately most of the plant seeds and such recommended here i cant get shipped into Canada, ive looked at tge ingredient and it only says different grass seeds so to me that says safe but I like to have other opinions.
 

vladimir

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Ah makes sense. I'll let someone more knowledgeable chime in then and sit back and wait for the answer [emoji846]

I suspect it's fine though but better safe than sorry
 

Rover15

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Added a temp water source idealy i want something i can change as needed or deep enough to use a filter

Added leaf litter to the top left corner and a tunnel style hide

Bert has been non stop exploring since i brought him out, havent planted seeds yet maybe tonight after i pull him out also going to be adding plants this week or this weekend. 20180421_145050.jpg
 

Adogowo

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I like it! I think Bert will be fine with seeds so long as they are not covered with fungicides/pesticides/fertilizers ect. Just natural seeds. I think some vetch would make a great ground cover and/or clover. If you don't put something in there to cover the bare soil nature will cover it for you so get to seeding before you have thistles and dandelion as your substrate.

Strawberries planted in a pot Bert can't get into would allow fruit to be eaten but not trampled, just an idea.

Dan
 

Adogowo

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Oh, and purslane! Edible high in omega 3 and omega 6 I think
 

Rover15

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Ill have to update pictures after this weekend but we have a few different things growing now. However i cant seem to find a dwarf blueberry plant, was going to do strawberries but the leaves are toxic
 

Adogowo

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Ill have to update pictures after this weekend but we have a few different things growing now. However i cant seem to find a dwarf blueberry plant, was going to do strawberries but the leaves are toxic
I can't find any proof of toxic strawberry leaves short of commercially produced berries being treated with a nasty chemical. If your growing them in the confines of your yard they wouldn't have that. They are also a native plant to the turtles natural range. An everbearing variety could give a season long food source. Do you remember where you read about strawberries leaves being toxic? I want to put out good info.
 

Rover15

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sorry i haven't updated in a while, but everything is growing great, I have different grasses, I have different Lettuces and other edibles in there, still haven't found any dwarf berry plants near me, might consider getting strawberries that are in a hanging basket and just let them grow in the basket but place it on the ground somewhere in the enclosure.

here are some updated pictures I ran out of the 1x2s but I have more and I'll finish it this week well I'm off.


lid closed Currently have the handle on the one side with a string so its easy to open for my other half might move it to the side of the enclosure but I'm thinking about expanding it another 4 - 6 feet.
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open up 1 angle hard to see in any picture but I have 3 different placed for water 1 xl terracotta saucer one large one and a deep bowl with rocks in it.
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open up second angle
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and lastly this is Ducky handing out, she is normally in one of the flower pots, used to stay in the leaf litter but hasn't gone there since things started to grow.
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right now I only have Rubber Ducky in the enclosure, I find Bert Keeps bugging her. I'm expecting her to lay some eggs soon its been 4 and a half weeks since Bert and Rubber Ducky 1st mated not sure if she has laid yet and I haven't seen her, but I'm going to start a new thread for help there XD
 

Adogowo

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I like how it's grown in. Are the plants growing through the top yet or are you trimming the plants back? She looks cozy inside her hide.
 

Rover15

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I let it grow, I sometimes break off the tops or pull out weeds, but they seem to love it
 

Adogowo

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Can you put up some current shots of the enclosure so I can live vicariously until I can build some cool stuff too
 
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