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Outdoor shelter

Polly

New Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Dec 15, 2016
Messages
29
Location (City and/or State)
Stafford, UK
My little Buddy is about 4 years old now and seems to love going out in the garden. We were considering moving hom out next year to become a garden tortoise when the weather is warmer, should we consider bringing these plans forward? Is it time to get an insulated shelter(dog kennel style) for him, though we haven't worked out how to keep local cats out yet
Would we need to seriously consider hibernation as getting used to the space in the garden will result in his getting bored in the table over winter.
Any advice is very gratefully received as it can only improve Buddy's life.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
47,165
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I have no experience keeping tortoises in your type of climate, but it seems to me that a heated shelter would be able to seasonally extend the outdoor time, and also keep the tortoise safe at night. Dog kennel styles don't work. Their design doesn't suit the needs of a tortoise.

I use these boxes here for tropical species that need warm nights. I recently made another one to house Chersina which come from a temperate climate. It works great. I adjust the temps according to the current weather and seasons. Seems like something similar would suit your tortoise well. You'd need to shrink the door size and set the thermostat differently, but the design will work well for you:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/another-night-box-thread.88966/
 

Polly

New Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Dec 15, 2016
Messages
29
Location (City and/or State)
Stafford, UK
Thanks Tom, I appreciate that. The kennel I was looking at is small for a dog, insulated and slightly raised, and like yours has the clear flaps and hinged roof. I had fully intended putting a heat mat and thermostat in there. A purchased solution better suits my (lack of) woodworking skills, but your post and advice has given me a set of good pointers, I'm thinking of a box on top of the heat mat to make it more cosy, reminding him of his sleep area of the table and blocking the upper part of the door.
I don't think the climate over here would allow a young marginated to stay outside overnight. I don't know about when he gets bigger?
 

Polly

New Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Dec 15, 2016
Messages
29
Location (City and/or State)
Stafford, UK
Hi

I live on the UK and wrote this thread about how I kept Joe outdoors. You may find it useful
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/outdoor-accommodation-in-a-colder-uk-climate.140866/
Thank you, your thread provided me with the inspiration to try giving Buddy the freedom of our garden and he has enjoyed the heatwave, but I'm very aware he is still very small at 500g, so I need to be careful. (He found and ate a woodlouse!) Hibernation scares me, but worry keeping him confined to the tortoise table over winter after the garden will be cruel?
 

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