Outdoor Tortoise Enclousure

ilikemytortoise

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Joined
Mar 30, 2021
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8
Location (City and/or State)
San Antonio, TX
Hey guys! I'm definitely going to need to build another enclosure for my hermann tortoise. She has outgrown her environment indoors and the weather is finally starting to look nice for her species! I want to get everything right the first time so she can be happy for years to come.

Here are some basic facts about my hermann tortoise:

She is 5-6 inches tall when on her hind legs
She is 6 years old, I think
She is a hermann tortoise
And that's about it ask me more about her if needed.

My main questions for y'all are. What type of what shall I make the thing off? Are pine and cedar really bad as the surrounding walls of the enclosure, if so what type of wood do I use? How big should it be and how tall (she is about 5 inches with her legs extended)? an 8x8 enclosure is the minimum for me but idk if it's too small. What substrate do I use for her species (hermann)? How much humidity can they tolerate? What supplies will I need to execute this plan? Where should I get the supplies? Will predators such as snakes be a common threat to my tort? Should I be concerned about mosquitoes and bugs in general being around her? Should I put edible plants around her enclosure? Do I need to worry about her falling off of high places like overpasses? And do I need to bring her inside to slumber?

I apologize for the large number of questions. Any opinions and criticism is much appreciated! Thanks!
 

Yvonne G

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You can use any kind of wood that will stand up to your climate. Here where I live the wood rots in a year or so, so I've taken to putting down masonry caps on the ground so the wood doesn't touch the ground. You can also use cinderblocks instead of wood. When we say no to cedar and pine, we're talking about substrate or indoor enclosures.

8' x 8' would be a good size for a Hermanni tortoise, but bigger is always better if you have the space.

My Russian yard's walls are appx. 15" tall and they can't climb out of that.

When I build outdoor yards for tortoises I just leave the virgin dirt in place with no substrate.

I buy my building supplies at Home Improvement stores.

I don't worry about snakes and bugs.

Any edible or safe plants would be a welcome addition for your tortoise yard. They use the plants to hide under and it makes them feel safe in their environment. But I wouldn't put in "overpasses" or things the tortoise may climb up on because the might fall off and land on their back. Some tortoises are not able to right themselves.

It may be a good idea to bring the tortoise in at night to keep it safe from night time predators, but I just build them a strong night sleeping box in their yard, then I close the door at night with the tortoise safe inside.
 

ilikemytortoise

New Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2021
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
San Antonio, TX
You can use any kind of wood that will stand up to your climate. Here where I live the wood rots in a year or so, so I've taken to putting down masonry caps on the ground so the wood doesn't touch the ground. You can also use cinderblocks instead of wood. When we say no to cedar and pine, we're talking about substrate or indoor enclosures.

8' x 8' would be a good size for a Hermanni tortoise, but bigger is always better if you have the space.

My Russian yard's walls are appx. 15" tall and they can't climb out of that.

When I build outdoor yards for tortoises I just leave the virgin dirt in place with no substrate.

I buy my building supplies at Home Improvement stores.

I don't worry about snakes and bugs.

Any edible or safe plants would be a welcome addition for your tortoise yard. They use the plants to hide under and it makes them feel safe in their environment. But I wouldn't put in "overpasses" or things the tortoise may climb up on because the might fall off and land on their back. Some tortoises are not able to right themselves.

It may be a good idea to bring the tortoise in at night to keep it safe from night time predators, but I just build them a strong night sleeping box in their yard, then I close the door at night with the tortoise safe inside.
How thick should the wood be? It is a silly question, but don't wanna be sorry when I have already purchased it. Thanks!
 

ilikemytortoise

New Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2021
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
San Antonio, TX
You can use any kind of wood that will stand up to your climate. Here where I live the wood rots in a year or so, so I've taken to putting down masonry caps on the ground so the wood doesn't touch the ground. You can also use cinderblocks instead of wood. When we say no to cedar and pine, we're talking about substrate or indoor enclosures.

8' x 8' would be a good size for a Hermanni tortoise, but bigger is always better if you have the space.

My Russian yard's walls are appx. 15" tall and they can't climb out of that.

When I build outdoor yards for tortoises I just leave the virgin dirt in place with no substrate.

I buy my building supplies at Home Improvement stores.

I don't worry about snakes and bugs.

Any edible or safe plants would be a welcome addition for your tortoise yard. They use the plants to hide under and it makes them feel safe in their environment. But I wouldn't put in "overpasses" or things the tortoise may climb up on because the might fall off and land on their back. Some tortoises are not able to right themselves.

It may be a good idea to bring the tortoise in at night to keep it safe from night time predators, but I just build them a strong night sleeping box in their yard, then I close the door at night with the tortoise safe inside.
also do i need to use mortar to bing the bricks together?
 

maggie3fan

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Jun 30, 2018
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also do i need to use mortar to bing the bricks together?
If by 'bricks' you mean the cinderblock that Yvonne told you about. No, no mortar. Here you can seen part of the wall made from cinder block. I have a larger tortoise and growing so my pens are made from 2 high block, you probably could use 1. I offset them, that makes the wall stronger for me.
100_5997.JPG
 

MichaelL

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Joined
Nov 18, 2018
Messages
934
Location (City and/or State)
Ocala, Fl
If by 'bricks' you mean the cinderblock that Yvonne told you about. No, no mortar. Here you can seen part of the wall made from cinder block. I have a larger tortoise and growing so my pens are made from 2 high block, you probably could use 1. I offset them, that makes the wall stronger for me.
View attachment 326972
I love seeing pics of your pens Maggie haha
 

ilikemytortoise

New Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2021
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
San Antonio, TX
If by 'bricks' you mean the cinderblock that Yvonne told you about. No, no mortar. Here you can seen part of the wall made from cinder block. I have a larger tortoise and growing so my pens are made from 2 high block, you probably could use 1. I offset them, that makes the wall stronger for me.
View attachment 326972
What cinderblocks do you use personally? I have yet to find an inexpensive option to buy in quantities. Thank you for the examples!
 

maggie3fan

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Joined
Jun 30, 2018
Messages
4,844
Location (City and/or State)
PacificNorthWest
I love seeing pics of your pens Maggie haha
That just shows you have crappy taste...lol
What cinderblocks do you use personally? I have yet to find an inexpensive option to buy in quantities. Thank you for the examples!
I watch Craigs list and FB marketplace for free ads. When people move they don't want to bother with cement blocks...but when I moved here from Calif I brought almost 100 cinder blocks lining the floor of a semi trailer. I change my pens around and let one pen rest and replenish while another is being grazed down. I have 8 tortoise pens made of block...
 
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