Outdoor daily playpen?

Tortnewb

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Mar 12, 2021
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I need to buy or create (zero woodworking skills) an outdoor playpen for our Russian tortoise. He lives indoors and I want to be able to take him outside daily for enrichment. But I’d like to be able to step away if needed and know he’s safe. I see that Zoomed outdoor tortoise playpen isn’t a good choice, so what’s an easy thing I can get? And what should I put in it? I need to be able to lift and move it daily too. We live in Florida.
 

Tortnewb

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Mar 12, 2021
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Palm Beach
We take our indoor Russian tortoise outside daily to walk in the yard. How big should a playpen be? I’m think of creating something he can be left in for an hour that he will enjoy safely everyday.
 

wellington

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If he is an adult then he should have an enclosure outside to live in during the warm months. Make it as big as possible, no smaller then a 4x8 foot. Add a hide, water dish and make sure he can't climb or dig out and that sun and shade are both available.
If he is still a baby then a smaller enclosure is fine for daily visits outside.
 

Dcatalano

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I’m building an enclosure under my kid’s treehouse. I have some flowers and grasses to plant in it, and will put down some orchid bark on top of the dirt, as well as rocks and a couple of bark hides. If you search this site for outdoor enclosures, some people have shared pics of theirs and it might give you ideas too.
 

Yvonne G

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Russian tortoises need a lot of space, and the "outdoor playpens" you can buy already made are way too small. No building skills are needed to put together a pen with cinder block walls. Go to the home improvement store and buy cinder blocks.

If you use the house or the fence as one wall, then you only need to stack the cinderblocks making three sides up against the wall. A russian tortoise wouldn't be able to climb out of a wall of blocks stacked two high.

Then, inside the cinder block pen you would need some shade, either from bushes or a nice, tall tree, a waterer, a feeding tile and a couple hiding places.

1618152681995.png
 

Tortnewb

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Mar 12, 2021
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Palm Beach
Russian tortoises need a lot of space, and the "outdoor playpens" you can buy already made are way too small. No building skills are needed to put together a pen with cinder block walls. Go to the home improvement store and buy cinder blocks.

If you use the house or the fence as one wall, then you only need to stack the cinderblocks making three sides up against the wall. A russian tortoise wouldn't be able to climb out of a wall of blocks stacked two high.

Then, inside the cinder block pen you would need some shade, either from bushes or a nice, tall tree, a waterer, a feeding tile and a couple hiding places.

View attachment 322972
Hmmm? Do I have to worry about wild animals getting in the top of that? I think I need something to keep the top screened. I’ll do some research thank you!!
 

Karen Covill

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Last year I had an outdoor playpen 6'x8' built for my two redfoots for daytime use in good weather. I just enlarged it this week by using cinderblocks to make it now 15' x 8'. I have several Silver King bushes to go in, a strip of tarp to provide shade where the patio umbrella shade doesn't reach, yet they still have plenty of sunny places. It has taken me two days to figure the angle of the sun so I would know where to put the umbrella and shade tarp strip. They seem to be excited about it - taking laps and using their little "pond" and spending time in the hides. I hope they're happy anyway. LOL
 

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Tom

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I need to buy or create (zero woodworking skills) an outdoor playpen for our Russian tortoise. He lives indoors and I want to be able to take him outside daily for enrichment. But I’d like to be able to step away if needed and know he’s safe. I see that Zoomed outdoor tortoise playpen isn’t a good choice, so what’s an easy thing I can get? And what should I put in it? I need to be able to lift and move it daily too. We live in Florida.
Get yourself one of these from Tractor Supply. About $600, but they look nice and are totally safe and secure. For a tortoise, put a 12 inch tall plywood border around the inside for a visual barrier, add some plants and logs or rocks, a water and food dish, some hides, and you are good to go.

I have two cages side-by-side for my hawks in this picture, and I added the roofing, but you get the idea:
IMG_9665.JPG

Alternatively, do a search for "outdoor chicken coops" and you will see all sorts of options.
 

Cathie G

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Hmmm? Do I have to worry about wild animals getting in the top of that? I think I need something to keep the top screened. I’ll do some research thank you!!
With my Russian I make lids of 1 by 2's and hardware cloth. Since I use wood 1 by 12's for the sides of the enclosure I can use door hinges and a lock with the lids. If that helps. I set that on our patio. What's nice is weeds grow up and cover the bricks with dirt and edible plants quickly. I don't know if that would work in Florida though. Best wishes 🙂
 

Karen Covill

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Nov 18, 2017
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Location (City and/or State)
South Carolina
Now that I have the larger pen, I need tort-safe plants for the pen. I understand the Silver Kings (euonymus) are toxic to the torts so I'll take them out. Any recommendations for shade and cover that they can nibble on?
 
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