outdoor space

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ashned7

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Hi
My five yr old hermanns has limited indoor space and so I want to provide my whole outdoor space for him to use as his tortoise area in the warmer months.
This may be an issue as we dont have a garden only quite a large yard, which is south facing and gently sloping. My idea is to provide him with a greenhouse/cold frame for him to warm up when its colder (I live in the lake district in England so its not often "hot") and tortoise proof the yard which isnt chemically treated or anything. If i could provide some large soil areas for him to dig down into if he wants to cool off or just wants a change of texture, and lots of shady areas with plants and rocks and a water dish would this be ok?
He may not be able to sleep outside because of the temps so would probably need to come in at night, would that be a problem?
Also our younger horsefield would be in an outdoor tort enclosure of her own at a different level so she is all sorted :)
Any suggestions would be great :) x x
 

ascott

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Sounds like you have a good plan....also going out for the day to a secure tortoise yard to enjoy the warmer weather and natural sun and then back indoors at night or during cold weather would be fine....wait a bit and see what the others think as well... :D
 

dmarcus

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Sounds like a very good plan already, and bringing him in at night should not be an issue. I'm sure he will love the area you have planned for him...
 

wellington

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Sounds like a plan to me. I have a little green house that I am using during the winter months. I put it out my window when we have sun. I plan on using it outside this summer also, for a hot spot sorta thing for if he wants to get warmer.
 

lynnedit

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Your plan sounds very good. When it is cooler during the day, he has the option of the greenhouse. Maybe a basking light in it as an option when there isn't much sun?
Will the Horsfield share part of the GH? I had seen that done too, with different outdoor runs.
Please post pics!
 

GBtortoises

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Based on what you've described, I believe that your situation is ideal for a Hermann's & Horsfield tortoise in captivity. They should be kept in seperate enclosures but other than that your south facing sloped yard will work very well. Depending upon how much daily sun exposure they will have you may or may not need additional basking lights. If they will be able to receive about a minimum of 6-8 hours a day of direct sun light they should be fine. Of course every day isn't going to be sunny, but it wouldn't be in the wild either. Additional basking lights outdoors do more to provide heat than light since even on an overcast day there is some light available.
Once outdoors for the summer there really should be no need to bring them in at night since summer nights, while cooler, are never cold enough to the point of being an issue with Hermann's or Horsfield tortoise. No night time heat source should be required, just some good shelters.
A greenhouse/cold frame is always a good idea. I have found that my tortoises like to bask in their greenhouses in the mornings when the sun first comes up, on overcast days and when it's raining heavily. The females almost always nest in the greenhouses. This is also where you could install additional light for basking and warmth for those cool, overcast days.
 

ashned7

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Thank you for all your replies we will definately look into an outdoor basking lamp and we hadnt even thought of splitting the greenhouse in two and making part of the yard a run for Lola our horsefield so we definately have lots to consider. We have just put up the greenhouse today and will continue making some plans :) thanks again for all your help :) x x
 

ashned7

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ahhh just thought.. perhaps a slight translational misunderstanding...my yard is concrete not earth like lots are in america, and i know torts need to regulate with the soil so thats what the substrate pots are for but would that be enough? x x
 

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ashned7

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just realised the above post had accidently cut half my text off and attatchments and its too late to edit! sorry!

I meant to say that we had made a start and instead of a table decided to start on a small enclosed space for Lola (as attatched on the previous thread and now this one too). We have a movable board to give shade to the area when its brighter and a larger variety of plants will be available come next payday and some brighter weather. Do you think the seed tray substrate area and the accessible plantpots are enough for her as the rest is concrete? will this be a problem? No hide box yet as we havent figured out a way of predator proofing so no sleeping outside for Lola just yet!

We have a cloche/cold frame sort of contraption for Horace to get warm in (pictures attached). Again, more plants to be added at his height other than pansies and violas. Do you think his seed tray substrate place is a large enough area of substrate as the rest of the yard is concrete? Horace can wander round the rest of the yard freely (apart from Lolas play area obviously) and this includes lots of large plants and plant pots for shade. Also we are in the process of developing a lighting system for him to bask on colder days :)

Any suggestions or pointers would be greatly appreciated.
Oh and if the concrete wont work then its back to square one for Lola's outdoor space and a move to the parents garden for Horace!
 

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  • tortoise area of yard.jpg
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