Young tortoises and outside time

Status
Not open for further replies.

turtlemom

New Member
10 Year Member!
5 Year Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
75
Location (City and/or State)
Berthoud, Colorado
I am working on plans for building a new outdoor enclosure and wondered at what age can our young tortoises start spending the days in outside enclosures? Hatchlings? A year old? Older?

Thanks much!
Donna
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
89,052
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
I have a secure outdoor baby pen with a cover of redwood lattice, so the birds can't fly off with the babies. As soon as the weather warms up enough (65 degrees or better) I put the babies out for the day. They always come in at night, though, as I don't trust leaving such a small creature outside with all the night time creatures that live in the country.

Yvonne
 

Itort

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
5 Year Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2007
Messages
2,343
Location (City and/or State)
Iowa
I agree with Yvonne. If the enclosure is secure, let them out. I believe my RF and MEP young one benefit from the time out scrounging in the dirt and browsing in the fresh air.
 

Jacqui

Wanna be raiser of Lemon Drop tortoises
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Messages
39,497
Location (City and/or State)
A Land Far Away...
Donna what kind of tort are we talking about and how are you planning this enclosure?

Like the other two, I have my little guys going out into large rubbermaid type tubs (filled with soil along with hides, water area, and plants) with a heavy wire top that keeps out just about everything, but some sunshine.:cool: It's also in a more shaded area, because youngsters tend to appreciate the feeling of a more hidden protected space plus I don't have to worry the containers may over heat.

The young babies stay out only during the day and while we are home. Older (bigger) ones live there 24/7. This way with the older ones, they are getting prepared for next year, when they move out into the adult cage. I want them to experience the changing temps and the rains. I can watch to see if they have the sense to seek shelter, ect..,

In an adult cage the very young and small are too hard to find to watch how they are doing. Keeping them in the smaller nursery area allows me to watch their health. The nursery is more secure from animals who might not harm the older animals, but might eat a softer baby. I worry about the possibility of even our large toads or snakes thinking hey it moves it must be eatable. :(

Once I think the youngster is growing well, has no health troubles, has the hard shell, can move quickly out of the way of larger shelled ones, ect.., they go into the adult zone.

I think any and all shells should be outside as much as possible. It's more about fitting the type of enclosure to what age, size, health, or species of an animal I am putting outside. Same basic thoughts lead me to what days I allow them out and how long of an outside season I allow them.
 

turtlemom

New Member
10 Year Member!
5 Year Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
75
Location (City and/or State)
Berthoud, Colorado
Thanks Yvonne, Larry and Jacqui. We're talking about greeks. Bowzer is adult, but not sure how old he is and we recently got two 2007 turkish greek boys from Danny. Bowzer has been spending summer days outside for a couple of years but I was wondering if the year-olds could spend all day out there, too. And we're talking about next summer since day time temps are and will be dropping now.

The new enclosure will be 10 ft diameter, wire mesh sides and top, with a wire mesh door so we can walk inside, sort of like a bird aviary (sp?). It does need to be secure from birds out here and it is just for summer days - everybody comes in during the night.

Sounds like a plan! I'll post pictures of my progress soon.

Donna
 

K9KidsLove

New Member
10 Year Member!
5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2008
Messages
586
turtlemom said:
The new enclosure will be 10 ft diameter, wire mesh sides and top, with a wire mesh door so we can walk inside, sort of like a bird aviary (sp?). It does need to be secure from birds out here and it is just for summer days - everybody comes in during the night.

Hi...When you build your outdoor pen, you might want to put sight barriers around the bottom of it so they can't see out. If they can't see out, they are usually less apt to dig out. I got some flashing from Home Depot that comes in several choices of height & length. I used wood posts a little taller than the flashing & screwed it to the posts. I'd post a photo but my camera is broken.
Good luck
Patsy
 

Crazy1

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 21, 2007
Messages
6,069
Location (City and/or State)
Inland Empire, CA
Donna, I have Greeks from adult down to 13 grams. My adults and the 5 year old are outside all day. Now that the temps are cooling here in So. CA I am putting my yearling and my 6month old out in a hatchling enclosure I made for them. It is a rectangular wood box with hardware cloth on the bottom and a lift off top with hardware cloth on it. The dirt inside is about 4 inches deep. They have several hides, a large shallow water dish and a shaded area as the daytime temps now can hot. I try and keep them out of the extream temps such as 100 degree heat. When the temp drops to about 70 I will bring them in also. Right now if the temps are only expected to get to about 98 or lower I put them out at 6:30 am and bring them in around 5:30pm or before dark. right now it is 9:30pm and still 74 degrees.
The small hatchlings I only take out for about an hour daily while the weather is good. I have them in a small rabbit cage. This protects them from birds, etc. and is portable.
 

turtlemom

New Member
10 Year Member!
5 Year Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
75
Location (City and/or State)
Berthoud, Colorado
Thanks Patsy. I was going to use rocks, either flagstone or moss rock for around the bottom on the inside of the enclosure. Or actually build a wall with cinder block and cover that with stacked rock. I need to get the post holes dug for the support posts first :)

Donna

Thanks for the suggestions, Robyn. We had a situation this weekend that makes it pretty clear that our youngsters and Bowzer will need to have separate areas in the outdoor enclosure. My daughter was going to clean out Bowzer's indoor box so she put him into the youngsters cage. After he smelled both of them, he started ramming one of them from behind. The first time we saw it, it was like, what was that!? He immediately moved forward and did it again so we took the bully out. The little one wasn't hurt but they are all males and Bowzer lived with our golden greek and he never rammed him. Don't know why he would do that. It wasn't his enclosure so it's not like he was trying to protect his turf. I'll need to research this!

So, it looks like I'll need to have two separate areas in our new outdoor enclosure.

Donna
 

Laura

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
5 Year Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2007
Messages
7,502
Location (City and/or State)
Foothills above Sacramento CA
Country Creatures.. NOT just in the country.. Raccoons, Coyotes, Ravens...They are just about everywhre.. City and all.. just be carefull.. just because you dont see them, doesnt mean they aren't there. Even some adult torts would be at risk for some predators.
Best to be sure no food is left out at night that will attract them. This includes cat/dog food left on the back patio etc. Fruit trees too.
 

jenrell23

New Member
10 Year Member!
5 Year Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2007
Messages
1,430
Location (City and/or State)
Surprise, AZ
It's hot here so I put my yearlings out in the mornings and in the evenings, I took 1x2's made a fram and hammered plywood on the sides, then I screened the bottom and the lid so nothing can get in or out.
 

Jacqui

Wanna be raiser of Lemon Drop tortoises
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Messages
39,497
Location (City and/or State)
A Land Far Away...
With our wire cages we used t-posts for the corners and then smaller electrical post for the fencing. The wire was buried into the ground so diggers couldn't get thru. Top of the wire was bent inward to make a lip for those species who climb. Those pens have been holding up for over 15 yrs now. Just recently started adding tops made from plastic plumbing piping and wire. The piping allows you to set it up, so that you can also make it into a water sprinkler system for the enclosure.

I had wanted something that would last and wood just seems to rot so quickly. Also wanted something even I could fix...which means nothing too heavy or needing lots of tools, ect.., Plus to be honest in the days these pens were made, we didn't have all the great ideas that are shared in sites like this one.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top