Outdoor enclosure build help

Tortski

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Mar 10, 2017
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I am planning on building an outdoor enclosure for my Sulcata, and I'm going to need some help and patience.

My tortoise is 5 years, about 1 foot 7 inches by 11 inches.

First of all would a 9'10'' by 8' be big enough? I could add more room on the 9' side, but the 8' side I won't be able to get much bigger.

Second, what material should I make the enclosure out of? I would like to have the bottom of the enclosure made out of bricks (with substrate on top) so he doesn't dig out and rain could escape easily. The walls will have to at least 4'10'' and sturdy so my dog won't jump on top, or knock the wall down. I would like a removable top made out of chicken wire or something to keep cats out, and so I can easily access his cage. A door would be nice too.

Third, what should I put in the cage? Basking area, hide, food/drink area is all that i can think of at the moment.

Forth, what plants should I put in? I'm thinking to put at least bermuda grass, along with other grasses to make up his diet, but I don't know what grasses I should put in.

Fifth, will he need anything special (e.g. heat lamp) for the cage. We will keep an indoor enclosure for when it gets too hot or cold for him.

This is all that I can think of at the moment, I might add some more questions later.
 

Tortski

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Messages
229
Location (City and/or State)
Arizona
I guess I could use chicken wire for the sides, and hope Tort doesn't try to crawl on the walls and my dog will be smart enough to not pounce on it.
 

Tortski

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229
Location (City and/or State)
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How about having the bottom half solid and the top half wire? The bottom part would hopefully be tall enough so he can't peek over the wall by climbing, and the top half so he could get more sun, and my dog won't try to pounce on it
 

richosullivan

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10 x 8 for a tortoise that size seems small. As for the walls, I would maybe do two 2 x 8's stacked to prevent seeing out, and then use something like this to keep t sturdy, but so you and others can see in:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/allFENZ-40-in-x-50-ft-Super-Rabbit-Garden-Fence-PRBF40050/302611458

Here is how I set up my enclosure (for a black mountain) to give you an idea (I have raccoons, possoms, rats,, coyotes, foxes and a pair of bald eagles in a cemetery behind my house, so went with a top to be safe):

http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/new-outdoor-enclosure.150921/page-3#post-1516888
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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I am planning on building an outdoor enclosure for my Sulcata, and I'm going to need some help and patience.

My tortoise is 5 years, about 1 foot 7 inches by 11 inches.

First of all would a 9'10'' by 8' be big enough? I could add more room on the 9' side, but the 8' side I won't be able to get much bigger.

Second, what material should I make the enclosure out of? I would like to have the bottom of the enclosure made out of bricks (with substrate on top) so he doesn't dig out and rain could escape easily. The walls will have to at least 4'10'' and sturdy so my dog won't jump on top, or knock the wall down. I would like a removable top made out of chicken wire or something to keep cats out, and so I can easily access his cage. A door would be nice too.

Third, what should I put in the cage? Basking area, hide, food/drink area is all that i can think of at the moment.

Forth, what plants should I put in? I'm thinking to put at least bermuda grass, along with other grasses to make up his diet, but I don't know what grasses I should put in.

Fifth, will he need anything special (e.g. heat lamp) for the cage. We will keep an indoor enclosure for when it gets too hot or cold for him.

This is all that I can think of at the moment, I might add some more questions later.


8x10 is way to small for a 19" tortoise. A tortoise that size needs a whole yard, and there is no practical way to build a closed in cage that large. I think the easiest solution for you would be to fence in the entire back corner of your yard from the BBQ on the right all the way over to near the house on the left. That entire corner and sides. Even that will be on the small side. You can use 4' tall chain link to keep the dog out, and then you can run 12" strips of plywood or that corrugated plastic roofing material to make a visual barrier along the bottom. No need for a roof and no need to worry about the cats for a tortoise that large.

You should include a heated hide box for the cooler winter months, like this:
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/another-night-box-thread.88966/

In summer, your tortoise will need a cooler area to escape the heat. If the tortoise digs its own burrow, you'll be all set. If not you'll need to run sprinklers, misters, shade cloth and lots of shade, and you'll need to monitor temps closely. Their brains will fry if they get much over 100 degrees and can't cool down.

Get grass seed here:
https://www.groworganic.com/premium-horse-pasture-mix-irrigation.html
I've tried growing every seed and seed mixture you can find. Nothing even comes close to this stuff.
 

Tortski

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Location (City and/or State)
Arizona
Okay, thank you, I will try to see if I can block the entire area off. One thing I'm worried about is if he will dig into another yard or not. As for the dangers I'm also worried about coyotes, there was one very close to my home about a month ago, I don't know of any other time that any have been around. Do you know how toxic willow acacia is? Willow acacia is practically a weed and I'm worried that it will sprout in his cage and he will eat it before I can do anything out it
 
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