Started on my outdoor enclosure for my Russian today!!

ShannonC

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I have had the stuff to get started on it for a couple of weeks now, but every time I have available to work on it, it's raining!! So, finally got started this evening!! It's going to be 20x20 with privacy fence along the back and 6ft kennel panels around the rest. That will make it dog safe so that he can stay out all day.......then I have to figure out how to put a top on it so he can stay out at night during the summer.

This is where I could use some input and ideas.......The base is being made of 2x10's......I am planning on burying some wire around the inside to make sure he doesn't dig out. (big scary dogs out there!) How deep do I need to go??

Also, I need ideas on shade tolerant plants, besides hostas, for the back side of the enclosure. It is pretty much shade back there all the time.

I think it's plenty big enough that I can put multiple hides, some little "mountains" to climb, some open shelter from the rain.....also will put his food dish under there. Thinking I might do an underground box like Tom's! I have all kinds of ideas running through my head right now!!!

Of course, I WILL post pictures!! I took some of the "before"......I will take a few as we go along and post when the main construction is done.....then when all the "designing" is done!!
 

leigti

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Is your tortoise an adult? If so you probably don't need to put a top on it. You can bring your tortoise in at night or have a secure hide or box for him to go to that you can lock to keep critters out. With an area that big you can do all kinds of fun things.
 

ShannonC

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He is an adult, but we have possums and raccoons around here. I would never get a night's sleep if I didn't put a top on it!! And I'm gonna be real honest.......I wouldn't remember to go out and lock him up every night......then I would wake up at 3am and have to go out there....lol

I plan on bringing him in at night until I figure out the top. I suppose I will need to put posts up and frame the top in 10 ft squares. (if that makes sense ... it makes sense in my head at least)

I hope I can come up with all kinds of neat things to do in there. I would have never made it that big if we had planned ahead. But we brought him home on a day's notice and have been kinda plugging along with him. Taking him outside and following him around the yard all these weeks made me see how much room he really could use!! Especially since we have it to give him. I AM going to steal a corner for some excursions for my Leopard babies for a while though. I don't have it in me to build two enclosures at once, especially since they are still tiny.
 

leigti

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Tortoises seem to like to pace the perimeter of their enclosure and not spend much time in the middle. At least that is what I have heard from people with large enclosures with wide-open spaces in the middle. You could decrease this by building a little walls inside that 20 foot expansion. You could do this with 2 x 12's or cinderblocks or even logs. And make sure there is plenty of places for him to hide. They feel more secure if they are near something.
 

ShannonC

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I kinda have something like that in mind,,,,,,making different areas and breaking them up with barriers. I already have a couple of logs that actually fell into our yard from the neighbors wooded lot. My husband was about to burn them last week, and I went running out the back door!!! He had already lit the pile on fire, so he had to pull them off....lol

I also have one of those small plastic doghouses.....the clips are broken on it, but I figure I can use each half for hides, maybe dig one in and pile dirt on top for climbing, if I can figure a way to make sure he doesn't fall off the front. I am going to try my hand at making my own decorative stepping stones, and I have a ton of the little square ones from lowes already. OMG......too many things running through my head!! LOL

I have Hostas started that I can plant in the part that stays shaded......just need to find a couple more safe things that work in the shade. I have plenty of things to plant in the more sunny areas, plants and seeds. There are grape vines growing in the wooded lot that my neighbor threw out and they rooted, so I'm gonna try to train one or two pieces onto the enclosure fence. They don't grow super great because they don't get enough sun, but I can't complain. Oh my.....I need to stop thinking.....I'm obsessed about it right now.....lol

Oh.....and I made sure when I designed the fence, that it would be super easy to add on the area for my Leopards next year...lol
 

DawnH

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Oooohhhhhhh.
Every time I see "Outdoor enclosure" it's like crack to me...lol MUST. SEE. PHOTOS! :):):tort:
 

leigti

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I kinda have something like that in mind,,,,,,making different areas and breaking them up with barriers. I already have a couple of logs that actually fell into our yard from the neighbors wooded lot. My husband was about to burn them last week, and I went running out the back door!!! He had already lit the pile on fire, so he had to pull them off....lol

I also have one of those small plastic doghouses.....the clips are broken on it, but I figure I can use each half for hides, maybe dig one in and pile dirt on top for climbing, if I can figure a way to make sure he doesn't fall off the front. I am going to try my hand at making my own decorative stepping stones, and I have a ton of the little square ones from lowes already. OMG......too many things running through my head!! LOL

I have Hostas started that I can plant in the part that stays shaded......just need to find a couple more safe things that work in the shade. I have plenty of things to plant in the more sunny areas, plants and seeds. There are grape vines growing in the wooded lot that my neighbor threw out and they rooted, so I'm gonna try to train one or two pieces onto the enclosure fence. They don't grow super great because they don't get enough sun, but I can't complain. Oh my.....I need to stop thinking.....I'm obsessed about it right now.....lol

Oh.....and I made sure when I designed the fence, that it would be super easy to add on the area for my Leopards next year...lol
I think one of the best parts of having a tortoise is designing and building the enclosures. It is so much fun. I rearrange mine once a year. Some people say not to do that but I don't see anything wrong with it. Your tortoise shouldn't fall off the front of the doghouse once you pile dirt on it. They are usually smart enough not to. And even if he does unless there is rock below he should be fine. I watched mine purposely do a nose dive off of his log one time. Actually looked left and right up and down and took a flying leap. And then crawled up the side of it and did it again. It is easy to get obsessed with these things. Don't worry you're just like the rest of us. @Tidgy's Dad, I didn't know there were meds for this. Maybe I should get me some.
 

Tidgy's Dad

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I think one of the best parts of having a tortoise is designing and building the enclosures. It is so much fun. I rearrange mine once a year. Some people say not to do that but I don't see anything wrong with it. Your tortoise shouldn't fall off the front of the doghouse once you pile dirt on it. They are usually smart enough not to. And even if he does unless there is rock below he should be fine. I watched mine purposely do a nose dive off of his log one time. Actually looked left and right up and down and took a flying leap. And then crawled up the side of it and did it again. It is easy to get obsessed with these things. Don't worry you're just like the rest of us. @Tidgy's Dad, I didn't know there were meds for this. Maybe I should get me some.
I think most of us here need them.
 

ShannonC

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I just wish this darn rain would stop already!! Every time we have the slightest little chance of rain, we get it!! If we wanted the rain, it wouldn't come! Hopefully, tomorrow we can get out there and get the structure parts done. Otis LOVES just to be outside, so if we can get the structure done, he can be out there while I'm doing a lot of the stuff.

I am trying to remember to take pics as we go so I can post them when we get it done. I had him out there for a little while today, and he looks so small in that big area!! LOL...... I have the boards laid out for the perimeter, but of course he paid no attention to his boundaries!! hehe!
 
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