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Omleteers with a tortoise chat........

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Just wondering if anyone has tried it or has adapted one for it's purpose?

 

We are having a new edition to our menagerie, and are looking for suitable outdoor housing for shelter and sleeping of a night....

 

Any thoughts???

 

Thanks

 

K

Edited by Guest

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Our tortoise hasn't, to my knowledge, ever tried to climb into the Eglu Go that we have when it's been open, even though he's a nosy wotsit. We adapted an old rabbit hutch for him but he doesn't use it. He now has a wooden frame with a clear plastic top - like a small cold frame - that he uses as a house. Nice and warm, dusty and dry.

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thanks for that. We are going to put him in an old arc we used for the chicks to start with...

 

Does your dig much? Worried about him escaping...

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Tortoises dig, climb and generally bash their way through things like little armoured tanks! :lol: This time of year when it's nice and hot, they are often hell-bent on escaping (in pursuit of romance, I suspect) so you may well have to take your garden security to a new level. We have found putting your address on the tortoise's shell is not a bad idea (dymo-tape, tippex and emulsion paint are all methods we have employed in the past).

No idea about eglus, although I am sure they would work well as tortoise accommodation. However, they will often sleep where they want to so there's no guarantee it will be used! Ours is currently choosing to sleep al-fresco on warmer nights and when rain is due (he is able to forecast the weather with remarkable accuracy) he goes under a plastic 'bunker' we have created for him, which is basically just half a metal tree-guard with thick plastic sheeting secured over it. His bedding is hay mixed with grass cuttings.

 

Here is Flash aka Grandmaster Flash himself enjoying his lunch today!

http://1drv.ms/1mYh59J

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20140717_120007_zpsn3cckxnu.jpg

 

20140717_120145_zpsxwzcjxvm.jpg

 

20140717_120331_zps8atokx7n.jpg

 

Well here she (we think) is!! She is 3yrs old. Cant decide whether to bring her in tonight or not, she put herself in the arc around 5ish despite some pansies!!!

 

How old is yours/???

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We have a wooden chalet made by my f-in-law which came when we inherited our tortoise. It is wider at the bottom than the top it has an overhang on the floor at the front and the roof also comes forward on the top to provide extra shelter which is great as the tortoise often comes out to sample the weather and sits in the entrance until its warm enough. Without this he would get wet in the spring and autumn when its not warm enough to make it back inside again. The roof is vented and is made of lead so is very heavy. In the spring and autumn we make sure he's back inside at night and it is situated in the most southern part of the garden so he does gravitate towards it but like Lavendars Blue says in this hot weather he often sleeps elsewhere usually under some plants or can dig in somewhere. Today I found he had dug himself under the grass cuttings in a bag for garden waste my OH hadn't yet emptied into the green bin!

 

Tortoise chalet

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Awwww, your tortoise is tiny! We have no idea how old ours is. He was bought for my brothers before I was born, so he is at least 32 years old! :lol: This was of course when it was still legal to import tortoises :( He was a fully grown adult when he was bought, so really his age is anyone's guess. My parents still keep him in their garden but he has been bequeathed to me in their will! :shock::lol:

 

That tortoise chalet looks rather lovely, UKMARCH, I will not be showing that to Flash or he will be demanding an upgrade :lol:

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That is a lovely house! Unfortunately she cant have the run of the garden as it's not safe and the dogs could take a disliking to her!

 

I've ordered one of the these

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-Large-Outdoor-Pet-Rabbit-Cage-House-Playpen-Run-Garden-Hutch-with-Sun-Roof-/400702295600?pt=UK_Pet_Supplies_Small_Animals&hash=item5d4bb7ce30

 

To give her room and her Ark will fit in it....

 

Soooooo should I bring her in or leave her out tonight? The Ark is pegged to the floor...

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Well I don't know anything about younger tortoises - are their needs different to adult tortoises? I would think she would be okay outside tonight as it's a warm night and will be dry. Perhaps ensure she is undercover and has some kind of bedding to keep her insulated and dry in case the ground gets damp/dewy overnight.

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We leave Fred out unless it goes below 10 degrees but she is quite old. We inherited her about 13 years ago and she has been in OH family for all his life so she's older than me! The last few years she has taken a liking to the dogs beds in the garden and has taken to having a sleep on them sometimes the dogs have to share and will soon move if she's walking into them. Younger tortoises may need different care and I'm not sure what age/size they can hibernate. We have a good book by The Tortoise Trust which has loads of information in. I also grow clover and various seeds for Fred too which saves on the veg bill. Our garden is tortoise friendly and secure so we know she's not going anywhere and when its really hot I prevent her from getting into trouble.

 

Sharing a bed!

 

PS your new addition is very cute!

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Oooh, I shouldn't be looking at this ... I SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO want a tortoise (or two) - what type have you all got? Really would like to buy a couple of baby torts (horsefields or hermans) from UK breeder, but scared of taking the plunge - as usual I've done WAY too much research and ended up totally confused :anxious:

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Get one. Get one! She is a spur thigh. And very sweet. She was very active yesterday. But a little shy today. Brought her in last night and just as well as we had a monsoon and a terrible storm. She's had pansies this morning and I'll put her out in a mo....

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No idea what type of tortoise ours is - whatever they used to import into the UK 30-odd years ago. Some Mediterranean breed I would imagine. If anyone has any ideas do share please!

 

I am sure someone can better advise you then I can on getting baby tortoises, I imagine their needs are a little different e.g. Hibernation etc. Loads of good books are available.

 

Ours has always been very much left to be 'wild' - he's pretty antisocial and still hisses at us after 30 or so years of keeping him! I think this would be different if you got babies as they would get used to being handled from the start.

 

The main thing to remember is that they are solar powered so won't eat if it's too cold (or if it's too hot!). Flash hates going inside, so we can't even warm him up inside on a cool day to eat. Again, I don't think this would be a problem with a tortoise who was used to being inside. They need checking on several times a day when it's warm as they eat a lot, charge around trying to get out and do have the unfortunate habit of getting wedged somewhere they shouldn't or turning themselves upside down :roll:

 

Just as an aside, but on the solar powered issue - a couple of years ago Flash woke up from hibernation with a nasty eye infection. We took him to the vets where he had an antibiotic injection in his legs each day for a week. After this time there was no improvement so the vet advised that, as it didn't seem to be causing any bother we could leave it, but if it got worse we should bring him back and he would look at removing the eye. Well a few weeks later, the weather turned warmer and Flash really got going - as did the antibiotics, which it seemed had been sitting in his legs all that time and then suddenly charged round his system as he warmed up! The eye cleared up a treat :D

 

They are weirdly fascinating animals 8)

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Ours is a bog-standard spur thighed male. We don't know how old he is as he's a rescue, found wandering the streets about 4 years ago. Best guess is that he's around 20-25ish, based on the growth rings on his shell. He does dig a little, but usually only in hot weather to get to cooler soil underneath. One thing worth noting - torts will try to go through anything they can see through, so mesh or netting isn't a good idea. Solid barriers are best, but they can also be surprisingly good at climbing!

 

DSC00200_zps092e0134.jpg

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Get one. Get one! She is a spur thigh. And very sweet. She was very active yesterday. But a little shy today. Brought her in last night and just as well as we had a monsoon and a terrible storm. She's had pansies this morning and I'll put her out in a mo....

 

I'd love one (or two :oops: ) - soooo much information to confuse me though on what to keep them in, what sort of light they need etc etc etc, scary :anxious: If I get a baby then I think they're best living inside as littl'uns, spending more time outside as they get older ...and hibernation is dead scary (for me, anyway, I'm sure it's not for them :anxious: )

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Hibernation is fine! :lol: We let Mr Flash hibernate himself each year. We have to keep an eye on him as he digs around in a few places before choosing his spot. We used to dig him up and pop him in a box of straw in the garage, but now we just cover him with plenty of dry matter (hay, straw, grass cuttings) then over the top of that we put a plastic sheet to keep the area dry. We periodically poke a stick down (carefully!!!) to check his whereabouts - as the weather gets colder he digs himself down deeper and we chuck some more insulating stuff on top.

Then come spring he wakes himself up, he has a nice bath, gets weighed and off we go for another year!

 

Again, it's probably slightly different for smaller tortoises as I would imagine that they can't hibernate for a full winter (they need to reach a certain weight, I think), but if it's used to being inside then you can artificially hibernate and wake up as needed. It all sounds scarier than it is! I thought keeping chooks sounded complicated before I got them - now I realise they are dead easy :D

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Well we were advised that we don't have to hibernate if we don't want to, she can live in a tortoise table with a light. I think many people don't hibernate for the first year or if you do you can do it for a shorter period of time and wake them up by warming them. Apparently the safest way to do it is to put them in a fridge!!!! This is because you can be certain of a constant temperature......

 

A young one I think would have to be indoor when the outdoor temp drops from say september, but they wouldn't hibernate then......

 

I agree it is confusing but where ever you get one from should be able to give you information... take a chance!

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The fridge isn't as bonkers as it sounds! We have done this in the past when we've gone on holiday in the spring and wanted to make sure Flash doesn't wake up while we are away. He gets his own fridge cleared out and a nice straw box to sit in - we don't just pop him straight on the shelf with the cheese and yoghurts :lol:

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Haha, just a normal fridge! And it needs to be on a higher temperature setting, you don't want the poor thing to freeze through! :shock:

 

ETA - I just googled 'hibernating tortoises in a fridge' and found a load of pictures of people who apparently DO just put their tortoise straight in the fridge amongst the wine and milk. So I've been doing it all wrong! :lol:

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Not wishing to sound gloomy but we had a tortoise as children who sadly died during hibernation in a lovely cosy box in our old greenhouse - basically he froze and it was a very sad sight when we checked on him.

 

We were lucky enough a few years later to inherit another tortoise and he lived happily outside all summer sleeping in a little log house my Dad built for him but one morning he didn't come out. Something had attacked him during the night and killed him. We don't know what it was, whether a rat or weasel or something, but he died from that.

 

For my Mum's 60th birthday my Dad got her a baby tortoise about the size of a 50p and very sweet.

He is almost 10 now. He has the run of their garden and sleeps in a catbox which stays in the garden during the day and comes in every night. In the winter the catbox stays in my Mum's pretty cold hallway.

My Dad made it a raincover by heating some corrugated plastic and bending it round the catbox.

 

She feels sad about what happened in the past but is making sure this one stays nice and safe.

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