You're in > TPG Members Forum > Indoor and Outdoor Enclosures > Outdoor enclosure

Outdoor enclosure
Posted: 29/05/2014 by Shelly&Bash

Hi all,

I have two 4 year old hermann tortoises, one male and one female, who have been with me for nearly a year now. For the first 9 months, they were in an indoor enclosure, though for this past month I have moved them into the shed in the garden. In the shed I have plenty of top soil, branches and rocks, with a 250 watt clear infra-red heat lamp (which I got today) and a heater. They were using a combined UV bulb, but it was not hitting the correct temperatures and I had to lower it down a lot.  Outside is mostly grass (which I am soon to change, once all of my plants have grown for the tortoises to eat) and I do not have a tunnel/hole for the torts to go in and out (instead, I keep the door open in the day and have a slope in which they can go up and down.

Before getting the infra-red lamp, they rarely basked and just slept in the corners and never ever burrow down. They also never go outside unless I place them there and in which case, the male tortoise just goes back inside and stomps about everywhere and the female finds shelter somewhere.

I have a timer and thermostat built into the heater if needed and also have a timer in which I can plug the lamp into (though I am unsure how to set it up).

I have been scattering gem lettuce and dandelions around the shed so that they have to look for it etc, but on hotter days, I put the food outside (there is also some wild flowers outside that they have access to and occassionally munch on) to try and encourage them to go outside.

How do I get them to burrow down? How do I get them to go outside? How do I get them to wake up on their own and bask?  In terms of the lamps, should I use both the combined UV one and the infra-red or just the infra red one and let them get UV from the sun (but then what about rainy days)?

Sorry for the long message guys and I would really appreciate some help!

Re: Outdoor enclosure
Posted: 01/06/2014 by Tom


Re. your questions in paragraph 5 :-

Hermann's torts do not burrow. 

Put them outside & shut the shed door. Provide access to shade & a waterproof 'house'.

Outside - they will wake & when ready become active.

Yes UV from the sun, is the best, but shade MUST be available. Re. rainy days - note that they don't need full sun all day / every day.

Recycle the infra-red bulb, it has no place in tortoise husbandry.
They don't need lamps in the shed in summer.

Keep weekly weight records with a view to hibernation.

I note that one is called Bash. At some point you will need to separate them if one is male & is persistent & aggressive. Females under 1750 (if T.h.b.) should not be allowed to conceive.

I hope the info helps & suggest that you now click on the green Box titled "The Tortoise / Care Sheets."



web designer: