winter enclosure size?

Mim1456

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I'm building a winter enclosure in the garage for my 4o lb. sulcata but I have limited space. Do you think a 6' x 7' room will be a comfortable size for her?
 

Yellow Turtle01

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How cold does your winter get? I read a few threads where sulcata's will sometimes take a mid winter walkabout in the yard, getting excerise. Also, make sure it's sturdy cause they are STRONG! :D
 
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Maggie Cummings

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Does it get real cold in there? Make it as big as you can. They walk a lot and the more room your tortoise has the healthier.
I live in the PNW and my 150+ Sulcata goes out in the rain or snow for a walk about. So make it warm, and big as you can...
 

Mim1456

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I live in Illinois, so winters can get pretty brutal here! I had thought about rehoming her but I was having a hard time with that. My only other option was a room in the garage. We're running a heat duct out to her room to keep it warm. I hope that does the trick along with her lights. I also thought about makeing a tortoise door on the side of the garage but decided against that cause I just bought her a shed this last spring. Thanks for the info.! Here's a couple pics. IMG_20141001_200216.jpg IMG_20140927_105932425.jpg
 

Tom

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6x7' is much too small for a 40 pounder. A whole room is really too small for one that size. They need room to move around.

Also be very careful that temps don't start dropping down on the floor as temps outside plummet. You might consider an indoor box with a pig blanket for her.

Also be careful to create a very large basking area. It is very common for large sulcatas to get carapace burns under single bulbs in situations like this. In a cool room on a cool floor with only an over head heat source a tortoise will sit under that hot spot in a futile attempt to warm itself and the keratin on the carapace will do a slow burn.

You've got a dilemma there, but with enough time, effort and expense it can be done. You've gotta decide if you are willing and able to spend that time, effort and money.
 

mike taylor

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If you have shed for her then heat it . Build a door for her to go in and out . She will go out on the sunny days of winter then on the not so goods she will stay ibside . Thats what Harry does . Some times i'll go out and it will be 30º and his sitting in the doorway thinking about heading out . I keep his food and water in his heated box so he doesn't have to go out . I know you guys get snow so he will stay in . I would try to keep a path cleared for her just so she can walk around the go back in the harm shed .
 

Mim1456

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Bummer to hear the room is too small...already half way built and $800 in. : ( The room won't be right on top of concrete. We're building it up with a sub floor and insulated walls. Have no idea yet how warm it will get with the heat duct but I'm ready to get a pig blanket or space heater mounted on the wall for supplemental heat. Feeling confused...
 
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Maggie Cummings

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I so agree with Mike. Bob goes out everyday; rain, sleet, snow, whatever, and when he's done with his walk about he goes back inside his shed where it's warm and gets under his light...In your case I would heat the box and put a pig blanket in the corner of a small box for her to sleep on. How big is this shed? Insulated? How do you feel about setting it up for her outside? Even can you?
 
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Maggie Cummings

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Bummer to hear the room is too small...already half way built and $800 in. : ( The room won't be right on top of concrete. We're building it up with a sub floor and insulated walls. Have no idea yet how warm it will get with the heat duct but I'm ready to get a pig blanket or space heater mounted on the wall for supplemental heat. Feeling confused...

You'd be better off using your money to winterize her shed. Put a doggie door in it so she can make up her own mind to go in or out.
If I do not give Bob the choice and I don't open his doggie door for some reason, he throws temper tantrums and rams his doggie door, spreads the hay all over and craps in his water dish. BUT...if I open his door in the middle of a blizzard he'll go out, take one turn around his perimeter and go back in. No hay spreading, no poop in the water dish, it is such a difference. He simply wants to control as much of his life as he can...but I spent almost $1200 winterizing his shed. Floor, roof walls etc. I have a heater in there that keeps his shed at a constant 85 degrees even when it's freezing outside. And that's at the heater's lowest setting. Your situation is workable, just gotta work at it...
 

Mim1456

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Thanks everyone. I had a hard time with the info. at first because I'm so invested in the room that's almost built. I do understand and agree with what everyone had to say though. Her summer shed is a suncast glide top shed...kinda like a rubbermaid. It's not insulated and would be impossible to get that winterized. I am trying to make a last minute change to her garage set up though. The room will be 6'x 7' but I think we could cut out a door in the side of the garage. We would just have to build a 3' long narrowed walkway to the door. I'm sure there won't be many days were she's able to go out but at least if she's really restless she'll have the option to take a quick walk . Last winter was mostly below zero.
 

Mim1456

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You'd be better off using your money to winterize her shed. Put a doggie door in it so she can make up her own mind to go in or out.
If I do not give Bob the choice and I don't open his doggie door for some reason, he throws temper tantrums and rams his doggie door, spreads the hay all over and craps in his water dish. BUT...if I open his door in the middle of a blizzard he'll go out, take one turn around his perimeter and go back in. No hay spreading, no poop in the water dish, it is such a difference. He simply wants to control as much of his life as he can...but I spent almost $1200 winterizing his shed. Floor, roof walls etc. I have a heater in there that keeps his shed at a constant 85 degrees even when it's freezing outside. And that's at the heater's lowest setting. Your situation is workable, just gotta work at it...

What type of heater do you recommend?
 
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Maggie Cummings

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I have an oil filled radiator type heater by DeLonghi. Bought at Lowe's about 8 years ago for $40...Home Depot has them too, cheap...
 

chazd1984

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Thanks everyone. I had a hard time with the info. at first because I'm so invested in the room that's almost built. I do understand and agree with what everyone had to say though. Her summer shed is a suncast glide top shed...kinda like a rubbermaid. It's not insulated and would be impossible to get that winterized. I am trying to make a last minute change to her garage set up though. The room will be 6'x 7' but I think we could cut out a door in the side of the garage. We would just have to build a 3' long narrowed walkway to the door. I'm sure there won't be many days were she's able to go out but at least if she's really restless she'll have the option to take a quick walk . Last winter was mostly below zero.

I really doubt its impossible to winterize that shed....are you handy at all? You could get foam sheet insulation and screw it to the walls and cover it in plywood. Or if the walls are to thin to support screws you could just drill holes through the layered wood and insulation and secure them with toggle bolts. There are so many ways to skin this cat so to speak. Be creative, I'm guessing some/most of the materials you have put in to that 6x7 room could be repurposed.
 
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