Outdoor enclosure questions (alot sorry)

doletorts

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Hey so i have some questions about my future outdoor enclosure for my redfoot George. I haven't decided on a size yet but George is about 5 inches long so... Idk on size but Id rather have to build one enclosure instead of upgrading due to size (even though i will most likely upgrade it anyways lol:)) so about how large of an enclosure am i looking at here? Secondly, I'm pretty sure i want to do something along the lines of a planter box that i can fill with soil and plant in because i live across the street from a corn field where they spray once a year so i don't want to use my own grass. For substrate I'm thinking just fertilizer free topsoil and possibly some large gravel or rocks surrounding the water dish to prevent him tracking in dirt. How deep should i make the soil? Any other ideas on substrate, would it be better to maybe add in mulch too or just the dirt? I know i want some type of ground cover such as grass or like clover or mallow and maybe some type of edible moss in the hides for humidity (any suggestions?) how much of the enclosure should i cover with that?and would i need to keep replanting or could i put enough in there so he doesn't eat it all? Ive heard that i should add gravel at the bottom for drainage, should I? I want to add some other edible plants for hides also like spider plants and since he's a redfoot maybe some type of fruit or berry (is a blackberry bush a good idea?) any suggestions for either the fruit or the plants?
I also plan on starting a garden for him and i would like to somehow include that in the enclosure like possibly having part of the enclosure planted with the food and have maybe some small garden fencing separating the 2 and getting creative and create a mini gate so i could allow him access to it every other day or so.
Now down to basics. I know ill need a water dish and some type of hide (probably a pot on its side) how many hides should i have? I want to add either one or 2 tiles or stepping stones for food and a basking area. Other than that are there any other necessities i should include?(obviously ill go farther than just necessities but i want to get an idea of what i need) I also want to build some type of "house" for George not necessarily a night house cuz ill take him in before it gets cold or anything but to give him an area where he can completely get out of the sun if he wants to (any ideas on that?)?
I have some carpet left over from our sunroom, could i use that in the house or should i stick with the dirt? I would like to build as much as i can in this enclosure to keep costs down so i plan on making the enclosure itself but would i be better off to give it a bottom which i would prefer since i would like to move it to a different part of the yard when they spray across the street. I assume id have to seal the wood right? And if so what kind or brand? And finally, how should i do the lid? I want hinges obviously so i can open it (will those rust) but what type of sreen/wiring should i use and would that rust too? Thank you for any input you can give i know it was kind of long but I'm new and i want to get everything right. Thanks :)
 

wellington

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Check out the tortoiselibary.com. It's a members site and lots of RF info that may help you out.
 

doletorts

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Alright thanks :) sorry i didn't reply earlier i forgot to subscribe. Lol oops :)
 

Team Gomberg

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For size, start with 20' x 10'. I have 2 pens similar to that size and it will last until your Redfoot is large enough to roam the entire backyard.
A planter box idea is ok. But that's one big planter! Fill it with soil and get started on growing. Adding mulch is fine, too.
Will this be on top of existing dirt? If so, gravel underneath may not be necessary.
I suggest you heavily plant the whole pen. He won't be able to eat it all and the cover will help keep the area more humid. I have 3 juvenile Leopards that can barely put a dent in a planted space that size.
The entire pen can be your garden. With one 5" tort in a 200sq ft space you won't need to section parts off. You'll most likely have to trim stuff back.
I like multiple hides in different areas having different directions.

Don't include the carpet. It won't be good for him at all. Stick with dirt ;)

I don't understand how spraying the field across the street effects your yard? But I would vote against a wood bottom for many reasons...
Make your lid from some 2x2s and hardware cloth. Many of us do that. It's cheap, easy to do and safe.

I tried to hit all your points...lol
 

doletorts

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Thank you for that. The problem with the field is that were downwind from them and they normally warn us before they start. Would it be a better idea to just buy a lot of seeds for the spider plants and such? So plant grass all throughout the enclosure right? Thanks so much again for answering all the questions :)


And yes it will be on top of preexisting dirt
 

lynnedit

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If the field owners normally warn you, then I would cover the enclosure with a tarp on that day, and otherwise, build what you want.
Humidity-wise, soil for the base is best, as Tom says. As long as you are building on an area that you know has not been treated chemically in the past.
You can still use the idea of a raised bed; build it, then back fill with soil. I would have at least 12" of substrate for when he is larger.
We can get a 3-way or 4-way mix in our area, designed for raised beds and good drainage.
Situate the enclosure in part sun and part shade.

A drip system is wonderful on hot days, and also to keep the water dish full and avoid evaporation.
Throw in some leaves here and there.

Look at Terry0's enclosures for her Redfoots and Box Turtles. Put in a lot of plants:hostas, grasses, herbs. You can plant scotch moss around the water dish. Have more than one water dish: one in the shade, one in the sun.
They won't eat all of these plants but you need some to stay around, lol. A hibiscus shrub (more than one is fine!) can help with shade and they eat the leaves and love the flowers.
Use logs and rocks and anything you can to make the area interesting.

Tortoise Supply has a testudo seed mix that actually would be good for Redfoots, too.
http://www.tortoisesupply.com/TestudoMix

Another good link for Redfoot tortoises, including a list of edible plants.
 

doletorts

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Thank you for those ideas and ill go check out those enclosures. Just a question, whats a drip system?
 

doletorts

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Hey could you give me a link to one of her threads because the search on my phone is not bringing anything up for Terry0 enclosure or even just enclosure. Stupid phone ugh :|
 
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