Temporary Outdoor Enclosure

Ruszian Tortoise

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079D4FC1-0918-4BBA-B639-9632685F7D2D.jpeg Hi! I'm planning out a temporary outdoor house for my almost 7 inch tortoise. Would this work? Some notes on the rough blueprint: the first picture is a roughly to scale side picture of the planned enclosure, while the second picture is a 3-D map of sorts. The chicken wire in the lower picture continues all around but is not drawn for convenience's sake. About the chicken wire, will we need a 5 foot by 5 foot at least square of chicken wire, or can there be overlapping sections? You'll notice also in the second picture there's a wooden section of the roof-- is this possible to add to a rigid plastic kiddie pool? I'm not that experienced in building projects so any help would be greatly appreciated! Also, I was wondering how tall a $8 hosta plant is generally? Finally, any tips on making this look nicer (maybe ideas on how to build a frame/lid for the chicken wire so we don't just have to tuck it under bricks?) Thanks so much!

PS
I'll be careful to keep her in on cold days and hot (below 60 degrees or above 90 or so) and at night. She has a relatively small (current) enclosure inside with a heat/UV light that I can use for night or extreme temperatures.
 

KarenSoCal

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Is that 59" the diameter of the enclosure?
Vertically, you have < a foot...when you put substrate in there, that's going to be really close to the top. I know it will have a lid, but why tempt him. I figure the fence should be the height of the tort doubled starting from substrate level. If the substrate is 4" deep, then she is 5" long... fence has to be 14".

That's how I figure it. Maybe that won't work for you. But the whole idea and plan is great!
 

Mrs.Jennifer

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View attachment 324349 Hi! I'm planning out a temporary outdoor house for my almost 7 inch tortoise. Would this work? Some notes on the rough blueprint: the first picture is a roughly to scale side picture of the planned enclosure, while the second picture is a 3-D map of sorts. The chicken wire in the lower picture continues all around but is not drawn for convenience's sake. About the chicken wire, will we need a 5 foot by 5 foot at least square of chicken wire, or can there be overlapping sections? You'll notice also in the second picture there's a wooden section of the roof-- is this possible to add to a rigid plastic kiddie pool? I'm not that experienced in building projects so any help would be greatly appreciated! Also, I was wondering how tall a $8 hosta plant is generally? Finally, any tips on making this look nicer (maybe ideas on how to build a frame/lid for the chicken wire so we don't just have to tuck it under bricks?) Thanks so much!

PS
I'll be careful to keep her in on cold days and hot (below 60 degrees or above 90 or so) and at night. She has a relatively small (current) enclosure inside with a heat/UV light that I can use for night or extreme temperatures.
As far as the hosta plant goes, it depends upon which cultivar it is. Hostas range in size from tiny to 3-4 feet when flowering. Do you have a particular one in mind? If you post the name of the one you’re looking to buy, I could give you a more precise answer.
 

Sarah2020

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Hi think you are on the right track you want to go as large as you can. Location , sun and potential heat are important consideration before starting regulary stand where you plan this before digging to check shadecandxdun etc....
Steps I took ....
decide site
Measure out the area and dig the outside area larger
Temporary install the boundary stones to check measurements , levels and fitting and make any digging adjustments. Remove to the side for later
Roll out chicken wire or similar wire (use bricks to keep in place while you continue with project as it can roll back! ). Overlap chicken wire to avoid escape and this needs to end beyond around 6 inches perimeter wall of the final enclosure,
install the perimeter wall and ensure tight fit! If using cement ensure all spills are cleaned up.
Lay a bed of 2 inch est pebbles / stones (not gravel)on the chicken wire (buy or find in garden and wash in a bucket before installing across the enclosure.
Back fill tightly the outer perimeter covering the chicken wire
I added over hanging bricks on top of the breeze blocks to avoid climbing escape.
Add orchid bark substrate or coir
Add hiding places, a circle of small stones for the water dish to sit and I have a slate tile for the food to go on.
Not sure about adding to a kiddie pool as it could separate allowing escape. Better to make this a complete unit.

You could add a growing area for plants. As long as you include hiding places so they feel safe .
Where I live we have wild kites so wire covering is essential.
There is no right or wrong so enjoy doing this and it is very rewarding when it gets used and you know it is safe.
Hope this helps
 

TheTattooedTortoise

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Although i like the sketches and the idea behind it, Personally I'd say you'd be better off building a timber enclosure,

trying to make something neat and tidy with chicken wire and a kiddie pool is going to be a nightmare I'd imagine.

Ive included a pic so you can get an idea of the type of thing I think you'd be best building...(only mu opinion, not gospel) and it would be much easier to build a secure chicken wire lid with a timber frame to fit.

It's basically 4 planks of wood, some chunky timber for the corner braces and 16 screws to build the main frame. Either sit it on concrete and then put substrate in so the tort can't dig out under the frame (Russians are awesome escape artists) or sit some paving slabs in the bottom then add substrate....

Don't be put off by lack of skills, this is a really easy project and the end results will be neat and long lasting.

My advice would be, check what pre cut sizes of timber are available to you... the more you can buy pre cut, the less work you have. So say for example
2x 6ft plank
1x 6ft plank (cut in half - 2 x 3ft lengths)
1x 8ft corner timber (cut- 4 x 2ft lengths)
Pack of screws.

As mentioned the enclosure height has to account for the substrate, decor and tortoises stretch/climb ability so ideally find yourself some wide planks or use thinner planks and double them up to get the height.

Hope this helps a bit 😁
 

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Yvonne G

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One thing to remember when building an enclosure is the height. Try to imagine the tortoise standing on his back legs and reaching for the top edge of the enclosure. They can stretch pretty far, and if he can get his front toes onto the top edge, he will be able to pull himself up and climb over. While the kiddy swimming pool is a very good idea, it's really not so good for a full grown Russian tortoise. He'll climb right out of that.
 

Ruszian Tortoise

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Thank you for all the good suggestions! A few things: my yard has been sprayed with chemicals recently, so I can't put it directly on the grass. Cheaper and less noticeable would be highly preferred for a variety of reasons (owners of the yard would like it to look nice, even if the back is semi-fenced off.) The hosta is 2.5 quart white hosta. Is there any way to build a cinder block pen on concrete and use substrate or something else on the concrete? That may be a little more permanent though, and the more easily moved is probably better.
Thanks again!
 

Yvonne G

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Go ahead with your kiddy pool idea but wrap it on the outside with something like snow fence. That's redwood slats wired together. Comes in a roll and is about 2' tall. Google 'redwood snow fence'.
 

Yvonne G

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