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Chosing the right indoor and outdoor housing
Posted: 27/01/2015 by kedenham

Hi all,


I am preparing to get my first tortoise. I have done lots ofresearch but I still have a few outstanding questions:


        As is it our first tortoise is there aparticular breed that is easier/hardier and what age would be better? I wasthinking of a 3-5 year old horsfield but would a Hermann be better?

        I am going to have a tortoise table indoors anda separate enclosure outdoors as recommended:

o   Forbritish weather how often is it OK for the tortoise to be outside? Does theoutdoor accommodation need to be heated? We have a southwest facing garden.

o   InLondon, is it safe for the tortoise to be outside overnight due to foxes?

o   Theindoor tortoise table would be in our kitchen extension which can be almostgreenhouse like in some weather, will this be too warm?

        The accommodation I was thinking of getting was thisand thisin the biggest size.

o   Whatsize of indoor and outdoor enclosure would be needed for a five year oldtortoise, to allow for some growth over the next five years?

o   Forthe outdoor enclosure is it possible to have a door so that he can get outinto the wider garden and roam when we are in the garden, or is this toodangerous (worried about hawks etc.)

        With sufficient food and water, can a tortoisebe left alone for the weekend or not?

        Is it bad for the tortoise if you paint thetortoise table/outdoor enclosure? Is any particular paint better?




Really looking forward to it and just want to make sure weget the absolute right set up.

Re: Chosing the right indoor and outdoor housing
Posted: 30/01/2015 by Tom

Hello K,

Avoid Horsfields. 
Hermann's or Spur-thighed are best but from a breeder, not a pet dealer. See box on L. "Buying a Tortoise"
(Centre = shop / dealer.

You are unlikely to get a 3-5yr tort. from a breeder. Very young torts from a breeder are a delight to have.

o Outside when it's 'nice' weather, with shade available.
    A mini poly-tunnel is useful.

o We often have foxes in the garden & no prob. in 40+ years. Others report deaths.

o If v. warm the tort will be outside ?

I'll look at your enclosures later & reply.

A 5yr old needs at least 15sqm, wooden sided. A 1st yr tort needs a small table, say 60 x 40 x 18cm high. Start small & increase as it grows.

o No - don't allow outside the enclosure, it's unkind. They become unsettled in their own encl. & keep trying to escape.
Re hawks - which species are in your area? The crow family are a poss. prob . for sm. torts., so wire netting on top of enclosure when small.

With captive animals it's best to have a 'checker'. 

You would need to find a safe paint.

TPG Caresheets are available - click "The Tortoise /..." box.


Re: Chosing the right indoor and outdoor housing
Posted: 30/01/2015 by Tom

I've looked at the items you were thinking of buying -

The 99 'table' on Ebay is poorly designed & v. expensive. (And far too small for a 5yr old.)
A plastic u'bed store box with brown "Fablon" on the inside of the walls is better & costs v. little.

Similarly the outside enclosure is expensive. You just need some 15 x 3cm timber, nailed together. Wire ( from some 1 shops) can be loose, held down with 2 half bricks, cost - below 10.



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