Where to begin outdoor enclosure

Izzy's keeper

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We are ready to start an outdoor enclosure for Izzy our Russian male. Have a few questions so I thought I'd consult the experts here. Do we need to bury something around the perimeter ? What would you suggest it be, wood, metal, some sort of plastic ? We were told that if we put up two rows high of cinder block and cap it with a 2 inch hang over on the inside that would be good. That I can do easily enough. Now for the part we are having trouble with. We were also told if we lay a row of 16 x16 inch patio pavers around the inside edge of the enclosure we would not have to bury anything in the ground. Would this work ? I am concerned about him digging his way out. I only want to have to do this once, so I want to do it right the first time, and I want it safe for him. The top will be covered with a mesh frame so birds don't get at him.
 

Yvonne G

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I've used the patio paver idea for many years with russians and other species, and no one has ever dug out. In fact, once any tortoise is used to his walls and boundaries, digging out isn't in their vocabulary. Climbing the walls though, never seems off the menu. So the lip is a good idea.
 

lynnedit

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I second the above. A lot of sites will talk about how you need to dig down. Of course, if you have a bad rat population, or concerns about digging predators, then perhaps digging down is a good idea.
However,in most cases, using pavers along the inside should work well. Mine use them as walkways, so their nails get trimmed!
Your plans sound good.
 

leigti

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I put hardware cloth down first and then put dirt on top of it. I also have hardware cloth on the top. That might be a little bit of overkill but I wanted to make sure he would stay put. The paver idea might be a little bit cheaper than the hardware cloth though. The main "predators "I have here in town are raccoons and possums as well as cats and an occasional dog. So mine closure is plenty strong enough.
 

Izzy's keeper

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Thanks everyone for the input. Other than a few stray cats or bunny rabbits we really have no predators were I live. I think we will go with the pavers on the inside edge and put a top of hardware cloth over the enclosure.
 

NeitherSparky

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Is a patio paver just like a square stepping stone? I'm getting ready to adopt a Russian and I want to build her an outdoor pen. If you lay wide flat stones along the inside edge they won't dig out? This works for sure? I figured I had to bury some kind of barrier.
 

lynnedit

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It works for a lot of us. As I mentioned earlier, if you have serious predators like coyotes, lots of raccoons, you would want to dig down, perhaps.
But generally, you can use the 12"x12" stepping stones, masonry caps, or I use the 8"x16" grey paver step stones. All around the inside edge.
Remember Russians are very good climbers, so a lip along the edge, or even a lid with hardware mesh will secure them well. Now my enclosure is too large to cover, but I always make sure that my tortoises are securely away for the night in their hides, or burrowed down.
 
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