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Tortoise house/hutch
Posted: 29/03/2011 by Bushby

HI all. Im going to build a larger outdoor house for george this year. Last years one I built out of a veg patch box which was good but I want to extend it and place more bits and bob in. Anyway my question is does anyone know the best tortoise house/hutch to use? I was thinking of building some breeze blocks on the side, say 2 blocks up, and then filling this deep with soil so he cant dig himself out at the bottom. Then I want to buy a wooden house so that if it rains while im at work in the day he wont be flooded. Do I just lay grass down or is it best to have half sand and half soil like his indoor cage? xxx

Re: Tortoise house/hutch
Posted: 29/03/2011 by DavidWYork

Hi there. I use 6 inch tannalised gravel boards for perimeter. These are fastened together 3 boards high to provide a barrier which the torts cannot see through. I also set a course of bricks below the boards, below soil level to limit digging. This has worked for years for Greek Spur-thighed torts, but Horsefield owners may add extra below soil barriers. I have just moved house and my new pen is 4 metres by 3 metres and I am now planting it up and building sunbathing mounds and shrubby shade areas. As for shelter. use large pots half buried and a cloched area for warm up or rain shelter. For substrate, grass is a good basic, but add stones, gravel and slabs for torts to scramble over for interest and claw wear. Check out pens in photos on this site for ideas. Have fun... and don't be afraid to modify according to how your torts use the area during the early part of summer. David in York

Re: Tortoise house/hutch
Posted: 30/03/2011 by tortoise7

We used log roll as we found you could shape it or leave it straight. This runs from the shed where she has her heat lamps etc There is picture of it in the members gallery. Inside the run we dug down and put weed preventor which is on a roll, and then piled the sand/soil mixture ontop. we done a bit of landscaping making mounds, putting  large stones and some ornamental grasses and hebe bushes for cover.  
I have seen some built with breeze blocks and they seem to work well too. You will find that you will keep adapting the run once it is in use, it is an ongoing project
Jane, Keya & Molly

Re: Tortoise house/hutch
Posted: 31/03/2011 by Bushby

thanks guys.. I will post a picture once I have mad it. I was going to place some pots dug in half way down but should I also put in a wooden hut for him to walk up to get out of the rain? Im just concerned that if we get a heavy down pour and im not in he could drown, what do you guys think? His only 3 so I bring him in at night. (Hermann)

Thanks, Louise & George. xx

Re: Tortoise house/hutch
Posted: 31/03/2011 by tortoise7

Hi Louise
Yes a wooden hut will be perfect, he will need somewhere to keep snug and warm. Dog kennels are very good as you can adapt them and put heating in for those not so warm days, that's if he is going to be outside all day.
Jane, Keya & Molly

Re: Tortoise house/hutch
Posted: 07/04/2011 by Bushby

another question- Ive now read that they shouldn't be kept on grass much as this can be slightly damp and can cause rotting to their shell, is this correct? shall I use mainly sand and soil that is like his indoor house? also I dont plan on keeping him outdoors in the early evening and overnight as its just too cold. Im going to bring him in, so do I still need a heat light? I will only put him outdoors when its a warm sunny day as his only 3.5 years old. Thanks all x

Re: Tortoise house/hutch
Posted: 07/04/2011 by VivTPG

Hi Louise, I have grass in all my pens, the morning dew evaporates when its sunny, plus they love nibbling the grass. In mine I have a bit of everything, soil areas, lawn and slabs and rocks, it all adds lots of interest.  Avoid little pebbles like pea shingle, as they tend to try and eat little white stones.

If he is only outdoors in the sunny weather he should be ok without heating, you could add a coldframe (made of glass or perspex) this would act as a mini greenhouse and holds the heat (whilst the sun is out).

Let us see some pics when its finished! regards VivienneClick and drag me down to the editor

Re: Tortoise house/hutch
Posted: 07/04/2011 by Bushby

Thanks Viv, I love this site, everyone is so helpful. Im going to do it all over the Easter holidays. Will def post some pics when its all done. I did by George a coldframe today (little summerhouse) will put that in his new outdoor enclosure when I build it. Only prob now I will have is letting hubby allow me to use the power tools! lol.

Louise & George. xx

Re: Tortoise house/hutch
Posted: 25/04/2011 by Bushby

Thought I would keep you all updated. The frame has been made for George, its now 10ft x 4ft, plenty enough space for only a 3inch tortoise!! his well worth it though. My poor husband had to dig up and tree today and move it to make room for George's new home.

Pics to follow soon.

Now I'm wondering shall I get another tortoise to keep George company as he has so much space all to himself.

Re: Tortoise house/hutch
Posted: 26/04/2011 by VivTPG

Sounds great, cant wait to see the pics, regards Vivienne

Re: Tortoise house/hutch
Posted: 02/05/2011 by Bushby

Its nearly all done, im so happy. Last question, Ive layered the bottom of the run with chicken wire to stop any unwanted guests appearing. I now need to fill it up with sand and soil. Ive bought childrens play sand I just need to buy the soil, but which is the best to use?

Thanks x

Re: Tortoise house/hutch
Posted: 02/05/2011 by VivTPG

Hi, you need 'top soil' you can get it from B&Q or homebase etc

regards Vivienne

Re: Tortoise house/hutch
Posted: 24/05/2011 by Bushby

Georges new home.


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