Aldabra enclosures

incognet

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Hi everyone. As I mentioned on my introductory thread, a tortoise will join our family soon. This forum has been an incredible resource, especially for theory of closed chamber design. I've made some progress on both my Aldabra enclosures (indoor & outdoor).


Indoor:

1) Found a used 'Animal Plastics' T100 (96W X 48D X 48H). Its previous inhabitant was a tegu; some lighting changes are required for tortoise. We've arranged viewing/transport by SAT. For perspective, this company has 18-34 week lead time on new cages.

2) Purchased UV meter from Etsy merchant. It compares favorably against more expensive Solarmeter brand devices.

3) Purchased another Herpstat EZ1 from Spyder Robotics. Dion was kind enough to sell me this discontinued model. If I decide against using it for Aldabra's indoor enclosure, it's a backup for my existing unit.

4) Scheduled health check for my Boxie. The veterinarian is familiar with turtles.


Outdoor:

1) Found clean (no-spray) permaculture nursery which can supply multiple species of bamboo (Pleioblastus and Sasaella), sedge grass, and prickly pear cacti.

2) Consolidated piles of brick, granite, sandstone and other materials at the site.

3) Cleaned gutters and repaired downspout to prevent flooding of site.

4) Set live traps for a young racoon that occasionally visits our patio.


Some unanswered questions:

1) What soil/substrate should I use in her outdoor enclosure? I've done some fairly large rock gardens and hardscaping, so it wouldn't be the first time I moved large volume of soil/rock.

2) What kind of outdoor hide/box is most appropriate? We're not going to leave tortoise in this enclosure overnight, but want her to be happy & humid. Medium-long term plans include a heated box from BCFab (or similar).

3) What size/shape of bowls is most appropriate? I use Pet Tekk bowls for my Boxie, and am mostly satisfied with brand quality.

4) Given the choice between city water (with chlorine) or well water (slightly hard; iron taste), what's best to use in outdoor mister/sprinkler?


I have other questions, which aren't covered by existing guides (afaik), but this seems like a good place to stop for now. Thanks again for being patient with me!
 

jaizei

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That uvb meter is $106 vs $249 for a solarmeter. To me, the decades of use & reliability of solarmeters is worth that $150. Whats the spectral response of the sensor? Who said it compares favorably to the solarmeter?
 

The_Four_Toed_Edward

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Usually the ground you already have will suffice, unless there are rocks that could be swallowed. Of course there might also be a need to better the ground to be ale to grow grass.

As far as shape, terracotta saucers sunken to the ground are preferred. As long as you can find one big enough to fit your tortoise, they are the best fit for both self-soaking and drinking, because they are shallow and offer some grip.

The other questions I can't answer since I am not familiar with Aldabras in particular, nor the quality of city water in Arkansas.

By the way, what age and size is the tortoise you are getting?
 

Tom

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Hi everyone. As I mentioned on my introductory thread, a tortoise will join our family soon. This forum has been an incredible resource, especially for theory of closed chamber design. I've made some progress on both my Aldabra enclosures (indoor & outdoor).


Indoor:

1) Found a used 'Animal Plastics' T100 (96W X 48D X 48H). Its previous inhabitant was a tegu; some lighting changes are required for tortoise. We've arranged viewing/transport by SAT. For perspective, this company has 18-34 week lead time on new cages.

2) Purchased UV meter from Etsy merchant. It compares favorably against more expensive Solarmeter brand devices.

3) Purchased another Herpstat EZ1 from Spyder Robotics. Dion was kind enough to sell me this discontinued model. If I decide against using it for Aldabra's indoor enclosure, it's a backup for my existing unit.

4) Scheduled health check for my Boxie. The veterinarian is familiar with turtles.


Outdoor:

1) Found clean (no-spray) permaculture nursery which can supply multiple species of bamboo (Pleioblastus and Sasaella), sedge grass, and prickly pear cacti.

2) Consolidated piles of brick, granite, sandstone and other materials at the site.

3) Cleaned gutters and repaired downspout to prevent flooding of site.

4) Set live traps for a young racoon that occasionally visits our patio.


Some unanswered questions:

1) What soil/substrate should I use in her outdoor enclosure? I've done some fairly large rock gardens and hardscaping, so it wouldn't be the first time I moved large volume of soil/rock.

2) What kind of outdoor hide/box is most appropriate? We're not going to leave tortoise in this enclosure overnight, but want her to be happy & humid. Medium-long term plans include a heated box from BCFab (or similar).

3) What size/shape of bowls is most appropriate? I use Pet Tekk bowls for my Boxie, and am mostly satisfied with brand quality.

4) Given the choice between city water (with chlorine) or well water (slightly hard; iron taste), what's best to use in outdoor mister/sprinkler?


I have other questions, which aren't covered by existing guides (afaik), but this seems like a good place to stop for now. Thanks again for being patient with me!
-At 5.5 inches, the AP enclosure should serve you well for another year or so.
-I agree with Jaizei about the meter. Everybody wants something cheaper. Nobody has found anything suitable, or we'd all be buying it. With your cold nights and winters, this is too important to skimp on. The only way I'd trust the meter is to run it side-by-side with a Solarmeter 6.5 and see if the numbers were close enough in a wide variety of situations, indoors and out.
-Vets don't know tortoise care and you are likely to get bad advice and harmful or unnecessary treatments recommended. Be careful. No "vitamin injections".
-The outdoor pests will be a constant problem to do battle with. Coons, rats, ants... Non-stop vigilance is required. Sounds like you already understand this. A heated night box will be necessary. Here are two examples with safe and effective heating strategies:


-I would use the native dirt for the enclosure bottom outdoors.
-Terra cotta plant saucers for food and water. Sink them into the substrate or ground so the rim is near level. The bowls you linked are not safe or appropriate for turtles or tortoises. They frequently flip in them, sometimes drown, and generally avoid them.
-Which water to use for sprinklers or misters depends on sediment load and mineral content. More sediment and minerals will clog your works up sooner. If the tap water is safe for you to drink, its safe for your tortoise too. I use both well and city tap water, and have no problem with either here.
-Here is a whole bunch of general tortoise info. This thread is intended for people new to the site, not necessarily new to tortoises. It will help you:

I see a BIG problem with your plan. Its your climate. Island giants need HUGE enclosures to walk around in to remain fit and healthy. There is no practical way to provide that in your climate in winter. That is why none of your neighbors have herds of Galapagos or Aldabras running around, and why they do have box turtles and other temperate species that are smaller, more manageable during a frozen winter, and that brumate over winter. It sucks to throw a big wet blanket on your dreams, but you know what will suck worse? Learning this the hard way with permanently disfigured or dead Aldabras. The only people keeping the island giants with success live along the southern border of the USA, and even then, only in certain areas like South Texas, Southern CA and Southern FL. This is because they need to be able to walk around in giant outdoor pens in warm sunny weather year round. Even at just 100 pounds, they need at least 50x50 feet of warm space, and even that is a tiny enclosure. How are you going to do this in winter?
 

The_Four_Toed_Edward

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Many compare Aldabras to pasture because they basically need their own heated building the size of a small barn to thrive in your climate.
 

incognet

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That uvb meter is $106 vs $249 for a solarmeter. To me, the decades of use & reliability of solarmeters is worth that $150. Whats the spectral response of the sensor? Who said it compares favorably to the solarmeter?
The original recommendation came through a distant cousin (also living in Arkansas). He keeps an imported box turtle which isn't native to this state, and has a background in electrical engineering. An acquaintance with bearded dragons and uromastyx at his flea market also mentioned Hexware option.

I couldn't tell you what spectral response of the sensor is, but will ask my cousin or the merchant at some point. We may also borrow solarameter for comparison. I'm not opposed to buying the industry standard, but was skeptical of any claim that it would last for decades. My personal experience with consumer electronics (and many laboratory devices) is constantly turnover. Even my German-made vaporizer inevitably fails before 3y of warranty; I've gone through RMA process several times.
 

incognet

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Joined
Jun 5, 2024
Messages
54
Location (City and/or State)
Arkansas
Usually the ground you already have will suffice, unless there are rocks that could be swallowed. Of course there might also be a need to better the ground to be ale to grow grass.

As far as shape, terracotta saucers sunken to the ground are preferred. As long as you can find one big enough to fit your tortoise, they are the best fit for both self-soaking and drinking, because they are shallow and offer some grip.

The other questions I can't answer since I am not familiar with Aldabras in particular, nor the quality of city water in Arkansas.

By the way, what age and size is the tortoise you are getting?
Little tort is currently 5.5", and ~6 months old. 👶

Arkansas has middling soil/water quality as a whole (thanks to some irresponsible municipalities and agricultural practices), but our local water quality is good. My family used the same well for 100+ years; we didn't have access to municipal water before 2008. Our current arrangement is municipal water for home, and well water (no softening) for garden.

The soil can be very rocky here. Lowland pasture (which previous generations cleared for tobacco and cattle production) is less problematic to work in. The house is built on a forested ridgeline where quartz chunks pose occasional tripping hazard. We use bigger finds as landscaping element.

What size of rocks should I be worried about for young tort? There may be some errant pea gravel or similar pebbles in Y1 outdoor pen. I'm willing to sift (or replace) several tons of dirt if necessary; we've already done so with fruit trees near our patio.
 

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dd33

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Tom is right about the challenges you will face in the winter. Winters are challenging even in Florida. Ideally they would never dip below the low to mid 70s at night. You might be able to get away with the low to mid 60s with a large animal but you are taking a risk.
Our animals were very good about using their night box on their own for about 5 years then they suddenly stopped. An entire winter of loading three 100lb animals into a cart and wheeling them to their nighthouse wasn't fun. You start to ask yourself if it is worth it, and how long you will be able to do this before they are too strong and heavy and you are too old and fragile. You can't travel unless you have someone to do this for you every night.

There are obviously people who manage keeping them in much colder areas. They are often kept in much smaller pens so they can't travel too far from their heated house. Or, they have staff on site to make sure they go into their house every day.
 

dd33

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Little tort is currently 5.5", and ~6 months old. 👶

Arkansas has middling soil/water quality as a whole (thanks to some irresponsible municipalities and agricultural practices), but our local water quality is good. My family used the same well for 100+ years; we didn't have access to municipal water before 2008. Our current arrangement is municipal water for home and well (no softening) for garden.

The soil can be very rocky here. Lowland pasture (which previous generations cleared for tobacco and cattle production) is less problematic to work in. The house is built on a forested ridgeline where quartz chunks pose occasional tripping hazard. We use bigger finds as landscaping element.

What size of rocks should I be worried about for young tort? There may be some errant pea gravel or similar pebbles in Y1 outdoor pen. I'm willing to sift (or replace) several tons of dirt if necessary; we've already done so with fruit trees near our patio.
I wouldn't worry about the well water. If you can drink it I am sure it will be fine for them. Ours drink well water, sometimes softened, sometimes not.
I wouldn't worry about the rocks either, climbing over them would be natural and good for them. Once it is big enough to live outside it can eat a few rocks here and there without a problem. If they can swallow it, they can probably poop it out, we say "if it fits it sh*ts" The rocks or gravel would only be an issue if it ate a whole bunch at once.
 

Markw84

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The original recommendation came through a distant cousin (also living in Arkansas). He keeps an imported box turtle which isn't native to this state, and has a background in electrical engineering. An acquaintance with bearded dragons and uromastyx at his flea market also mentioned Hexware option.

I couldn't tell you what spectral response of the sensor is, but will ask my cousin or the merchant at some point. We may also borrow solarameter for comparison. I'm not opposed to buying the industry standard, but was skeptical of any claim that it would last for decades. My personal experience with consumer electronics (and many laboratory devices) is constantly turnover. Even my German-made vaporizer inevitably fails before 3y of warranty; I've gone through RMA process several times.
There is no comparable meter for accurate UVB monitoring for our tortoises. I wish there was as the price alone seems to keep too many folks from getting this very useful and needed tool. In researching UVB and meters and talking directly with the owner/developer of the Solarmeter, the little sensor on top of the meter alone needed for accurate reading costs them over $100 wholesale. All other meters with cheaper sensors cannot get the response rate in the specific wavelengths around 294nm without spillover from the UVA longer wavelenghts. They also often will not recognize or be overshawdowed by any shorter, dangerous UVC that may be emitted. So you may get comparable reading on a good, new bulb you are testing, but as it ages, or if it is defective, you will not get the appropriate readings of the bioacitive 294nm wavelengths you are really looking for. Go to the Facebook group Reptile Lighting if you are really skeptical. They have all the extremely expensive equipment to test meters and have tested and posted results on any UVB meter they can find.

Also - the meter should last you decades. Nothing to wear out in these. Never heard of one failing.
 

Markw84

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Just a caution about bamboo - Giant tortoises will eat it. However the extremely long leaves they eat in like spaghetti. Unfortunately the fibers in these leaves will not totally break down in the gut and when the tortoise tries to poop it out, it can become an issue with extremely long, intact fibers making passage difficult. I will not use bamboo in a giant tortoise enclosure.
 

incognet

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There is no comparable meter for accurate UVB monitoring for our tortoises. I wish there was as the price alone seems to keep too many folks from getting this very useful and needed tool. In researching UVB and meters and talking directly with the owner/developer of the Solarmeter, the little sensor on top of the meter alone needed for accurate reading costs them over $100 wholesale. All other meters with cheaper sensors cannot get the response rate in the specific wavelengths around 294nm without spillover from the UVA longer wavelenghts. They also often will not recognize or be overshawdowed by any shorter, dangerous UVC that may be emitted. So you may get comparable reading on a good, new bulb you are testing, but as it ages, or if it is defective, you will not get the appropriate readings of the bioacitive 294nm wavelengths you are really looking for. Go to the Facebook group Reptile Lighting if you are really skeptical. They have all the extremely expensive equipment to test meters and have tested and posted results on any UVB meter they can find.

Also - the meter should last you decades. Nothing to wear out in these. Never heard of one failing.
Thank you. I'd rather err on the side of caution with this. I'm adding Solarmeter to my shopping list. David (Etsy merchant) was gracious about cancellation, and I hope that more knowledgeable parties will eventually review his product. My application to join that FB group is now pending. :)
 

incognet

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Tom is right about the challenges you will face in the winter. Winters are challenging even in Florida. Ideally they would never dip below the low to mid 70s at night. You might be able to get away with the low to mid 60s with a large animal but you are taking a risk.
Our animals were very good about using their night box on their own for about 5 years then they suddenly stopped. An entire winter of loading three 100lb animals into a cart and wheeling them to their nighthouse wasn't fun. You start to ask yourself if it is worth it, and how long you will be able to do this before they are too strong and heavy and you are too old and fragile. You can't travel unless you have someone to do this for you every night.

There are obviously people who manage keeping them in much colder areas. They are often kept in much smaller pens so they can't travel too far from their heated house. Or, they have staff on site to make sure they go into their house every day.
Our extended (Arkansan) family raise large hoofstock, emu and goats. I'm less experienced than some of the old ranchers, but have done my share of wrangling.

The most challenging animal(s) to date were our neighbor's runaway turkey pair. These required a search party with ATVs to scour 400+ acres of scrub forest.

I wouldn't even consider owning rabbits (my other rescue pet) if we didn't have a good support network and critter-sitters. My rambling days are over... I had my fill of international travel and TSA.
 

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incognet

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Many compare Aldabras to pasture because they basically need their own heated building the size of a small barn to thrive in your climate.
Yeah, that's my understanding and ultimate goal. The heated building(s) may have different proportions, but similar footprint to agricultural pole barn or quonset hut. We have multiple building sites to choose between (even if I didn't clear more land).
 

incognet

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-At 5.5 inches, the AP enclosure should serve you well for another year or so.

-I agree with Jaizei about the meter. Everybody wants something cheaper. Nobody has found anything suitable, or we'd all be buying it. With your cold nights and winters, this is too important to skimp on. The only way I'd trust the meter is to run it side-by-side with a Solarmeter 6.5 and see if the numbers were close enough in a wide variety of situations, indoors and out.

-Vets don't know tortoise care and you are likely to get bad advice and harmful or unnecessary treatments recommended. Be careful. No "vitamin injections".

-The outdoor pests will be a constant problem to do battle with. Coons, rats, ants... Non-stop vigilance is required. Sounds like you already understand this. A heated night box will be necessary. Here are two examples with safe and effective heating strategies:







-I would use the native dirt for the enclosure bottom outdoors.

-Terra cotta plant saucers for food and water. Sink them into the substrate or ground so the rim is near level. The bowls you linked are not safe or appropriate for turtles or tortoises. They frequently flip in them, sometimes drown, and generally avoid them.

-Which water to use for sprinklers or misters depends on sediment load and mineral content. More sediment and minerals will clog your works up sooner. If the tap water is safe for you to drink, its safe for your tortoise too. I use both well and city tap water, and have no problem with either here.

-Here is a whole bunch of general tortoise info. This thread is intended for people new to the site, not necessarily new to tortoises. It will help you:




I see a BIG problem with your plan. Its your climate. Island giants need HUGE enclosures to walk around in to remain fit and healthy. There is no practical way to provide that in your climate in winter. That is why none of your neighbors have herds of Galapagos or Aldabras running around, and why they do have box turtles and other temperate species that are smaller, more manageable during a frozen winter, and that brumate over winter. It sucks to throw a big wet blanket on your dreams, but you know what will suck worse? Learning this the hard way with permanently disfigured or dead Aldabras. The only people keeping the island giants with success live along the southern border of the USA, and even then, only in certain areas like South Texas, Southern CA and Southern FL. This is because they need to be able to walk around in giant outdoor pens in warm sunny weather year round. Even at just 100 pounds, they need at least 50x50 feet of warm space, and even that is a tiny enclosure. How are you going to do this in winter?
Sorry for my delayed response and overlooking those FAQ threads. I'm more efficient on desktop PC than mobile phone, but can't socialize with animals from my home office.

We're extremely vigilant about pest control. I'm not a sport hunter, but have killed multiple coyotes in Arkansas and Illinois. They're a bigger problem (though less dangerous to people) than feral hogs in my county. Fire ants are manageable; diatomaceous earth seems to be the reptile-friendly solution.

Proper veterinary care is important, and I'll find another clinic if our guy isn't familiar with tortoises. He's the only veterinarian in 1h radius that would treat a cracked boxie shell though, and didn't charge us for other injured wildlife. Our rabbit has Nationwide pet insurance. From what I gather, this may be less important for torts.

I seriously doubt that most people (especially Arkansans) would keep giant torts, even if they had perfect climate + acreage to spare. Horse culture reigns supreme around here... we're Texas-adjacent. 🤠

My family always understood that giant tortoises need proportionally-sized enclosures. I've visited them at several zoos (Tulsa, Little Rock, St. Louis, etc), and follow Garden State Tortoise on YT. If memory serves, their female Aldabra (Mickey) has around 1500 sqf in her winter habitat. We haven't settled on a design for the mature tort hothouse, but I honestly believe that we can do better (space and quality-of-life) than many zoos.

Tulsa and Saint Louis are zone 7a.
Columbus, Ohio is zone 6b.
My home is zone 8a... and getting warmer.

This area feels more like central Louisiana than Ozark mountains. We're not part of the traditional citrus belt... but I do have citrange, citrangequat and pomegranate bushes established on a protected hillside.

The last thing that I want on my conscience is a dead or disfigured pet. We frequently deal with the aftermath of irresponsible/abusive owners (don't even get me started about 'Easter bunnies'). If my circumstances changed or the animal began to suffer, I would immediately re-home them.
 
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jaizei

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Sorry for my delayed response and overlooking those FAQ threads. I'm more efficient on desktop PC than mobile phone, but can't socialize with animals from my home office.

We're extremely vigilant about pest control. I'm not a sport hunter, but have killed multiple coyotes in Arkansas and Illinois. They're a bigger problem (though less dangerous to people) than feral hogs in my county. Fire ants are manageable; diatomaceous earth seems to be the reptile-friendly solution.

Proper veterinary care is important, and I'll find another clinic if our guy isn't familiar with tortoises. He's the only veterinarian in 1h radius that would treat a cracked boxie shell though, and didn't charge us for other injured wildlife. Our rabbit has Nationwide pet insurance. From what I gather, this may be less important for torts.

I seriously doubt that most people (especially Arkansans) would keep giant torts, even if they had perfect climate + acreage to spare. Horse culture reigns supreme around here... we're Texas-adjacent. 🤠

My family always understood that giant tortoises need proportionally-sized enclosures. I've visited them at several zoos (Tulsa, Little Rock, St. Louis, etc), and follow Garden State Tortoise on YT. If memory serves, their female Aldabra (Mickey) has around 1500 sqf in her winter habitat. We haven't settled on a design for the mature tort hothouse, but I honestly believe that we can do better (space and quality-of-life) than many zoos.

Tulsa and Saint Louis are zone 7a.
Columbus, Ohio is zone 6b.
My home is zone 8a... and getting warmer.

This area feels more like central Louisiana than Ozark mountains. We're not part of the traditional citrus belt... but I do have citrange, citrangequat and pomegranate bushes established on a protected hillside.

The last thing that I want on my conscience is a dead or disfigured pet. We frequently deal with the aftermath of irresponsible/abusive owners (don't even get me started about 'Easter bunnies'). If my circumstances changed or the animal began to suffer, I would immediately re-home them.

I think that if you plan the structure with heating in mind from the start rather than trying to figure out how to heat a building after its built, it's very doable.

I'd recommend looking into climate battery greenhouses. Instead of isolating the heated enclosure from the ground, insulate the perimeter of ground beneath and isolate it from the surrounding earth. This type of greenhouse prob won't get you to where you'd want to be in terms of temperature (greenhouses are usually fine as long as they're above freezing/40f vs the 70f+ you're looking for), but the principals would be helpful in general. Not quite the same (geothermal vs climate battery) but 'citrus in the snow' is one of the best known examples of what can be done in colder areas with some planning.

If that 'forested ridgeline' means you have plenty of fire wood, a rocket mass heater might be an effective option. It'd function essentially the same as the oil filled heaters people use in the heated boxes, and could possibly be used in conjunction with the climate battery greenhouse concept.
 

Big Charlie

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Tom is right about the challenges you will face in the winter. Winters are challenging even in Florida. Ideally they would never dip below the low to mid 70s at night. You might be able to get away with the low to mid 60s with a large animal but you are taking a risk.
Our animals were very good about using their night box on their own for about 5 years then they suddenly stopped. An entire winter of loading three 100lb animals into a cart and wheeling them to their nighthouse wasn't fun. You start to ask yourself if it is worth it, and how long you will be able to do this before they are too strong and heavy and you are too old and fragile. You can't travel unless you have someone to do this for you every night.

There are obviously people who manage keeping them in much colder areas. They are often kept in much smaller pens so they can't travel too far from their heated house. Or, they have staff on site to make sure they go into their house every day.
Wow, I wonder why they stopped. Every year Charlie has a day or two when he won't use his nightbox, usually right at the beginning of winter. During the summer, he doesn't use it so he has to get back in the habit. We are already too old and not strong enough to move him but we had a special sled built so we can move him. It is extremely difficult but luckily we only have to do it once or twice a year. By the time we realize he isn't going into his night box, he has already gotten cold and doesn't want to move. Once we get him in front of the doorway of his nightbox, he seems grateful and walks inside by himself. I don't think we've ever had two nights in a row when he didn't go in. It's like he learns his lesson. I wonder why yours aren't. I wonder if they are copying each other.

Yes, we never can travel in the winter without making sure someone can close him up in his box.
 

incognet

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I think that if you plan the structure with heating in mind from the start rather than trying to figure out how to heat a building after its built, it's very doable.

I'd recommend looking into climate battery greenhouses. Instead of isolating the heated enclosure from the ground, insulate the perimeter of ground beneath and isolate it from the surrounding earth. This type of greenhouse prob won't get you to where you'd want to be in terms of temperature (greenhouses are usually fine as long as they're above freezing/40f vs the 70f+ you're looking for), but the principals would be helpful in general. Not quite the same (geothermal vs climate battery) but 'citrus in the snow' is one of the best known examples of what can be done in colder areas with some planning.

If that 'forested ridgeline' means you have plenty of fire wood, a rocket mass heater might be an effective option. It'd function essentially the same as the oil filled heaters people use in the heated boxes, and could possibly be used in conjunction with the climate battery greenhouse concept.
That's actually very close to what I had in mind! We've only begun to dabble in small pit greenhouses and fruit trenches since 2020, but have some ideas about scaling up and using local topography to our advantage. I need to read more about the climate battery greenhouse concept. 🌞🔋

Our firewood supply is basically unlimited; I produce more than enough to heat a small subdivision every year. Even without pine bark beetle scourge, there's a need to periodically thin several dozen acres of mixed (pine, oak, hickory, sweet gum, etc) forest. Most pine goes to waste (burned outside), so I'd be happy to utilize this resource in some way.
 

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incognet

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Location (City and/or State)
Arkansas
UPDATE: We somehow managed to haul this fully assembled (minus glass panels) enclosure home. It barely fit in my cousin's truck bed. Animal Plastics is extremely durable, and we're a little surprised that nothing broke in transit.

The whole process took ~12h. In retrospect, a full teardown & reassembly may have been easier. I just didn't trust myself to safely do this in 95F Texan heat. Our next step is a thorough cleaning and final placement of enclosure. I also need to figure out how interior lights will be suspended.
 

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