Barrier question

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Moozillion

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In continuing the plans for my outdoor enclosure, I have a question about safety barriers because we have problems with rats, raccoons and the occasional coyote. (btw, my tortoise is a 5-inch long Hermann's).

I am currently planning a 7 x 8 x 8 COMPLETELY enclosed "shed" using 1/4 inch hardware cloth instead of plywood for the walls and roof. There will be a 4-6 inch tall plywood sight-barrier at ground level.

Since Hermann's are a burrowing species, I was planning on digging at least 1 foot down throughout the enclosure, lining it with more hardware cloth, then back-filling the dirt so I can plant the enclosure pretty heavily.

Question: If a small tort like a Hermann's is digging and hits the wire of the hardware cloth, is she likely to tear off a nail or cut her foot? Would it be better to line the subterranean part of her enclosure with something like cinderblocks? Also, I think hardware cloth is zinc-coated: I assume that's no problem re toxicity for torts?


Another reason I was originally thinking of hardware cloth for the bottom is because we get a lot of rain here in south Louisiana and I want to make sure her enclosure drains well.
 

marginatawhisperer

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Hello. Nice to hear european tortoises are popular in USA.

Moozilion said:
In continuing the plans for my outdoor enclosure, I have a question about safety barriers because we have problems with rats, raccoons and the occasional coyote. (btw, my tortoise is a 5-inch long Hermann's).

I am currently planning a 7 x 8 x 8 COMPLETELY enclosed "shed" using 1/4 inch hardware cloth instead of plywood for the walls and roof. There will be a 4-6 inch tall plywood sight-barrier at ground level.

Since Hermann's are a burrowing species, I was planning on digging at least 1 foot down throughout the enclosure, lining it with more hardware cloth, then back-filling the dirt so I can plant the enclosure pretty heavily.

Question: If a small tort like a Hermann's is digging and hits the wire of the hardware cloth, is she likely to tear off a nail or cut her foot? Would it be better to line the subterranean part of her enclosure with something like cinderblocks? Also, I think hardware cloth is zinc-coated: I assume that's no problem re toxicity for torts?


Another reason I was originally thinking of hardware cloth for the bottom is because we get a lot of rain here in south Louisiana and I want to make sure her enclosure drains well.

 

Jacqui

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What we did was to just make the "walls" go straight down for something like 8". This has worked well for our tortoises and turtles, such as the Russians who love to dig in. The fact is, none of them have even even come close to the edges of the enclosure when diging. They just have other places within they prefer. On the outside of the enclosure, you could even place stepping stones all the way around, to further keep animals from dogging in or once more use the wire on the ground outside of the enclosure edge.
 

Edna

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Hermanns aren't a burrowing species in the sense that sulcatas and gopher torts are. Mine like to get underneath something that's on the surface, such as a big piece of bark. They also like to dig in under exposed roots, sod, or leaves. The only place in my enclosure where they bury themselves is a tiny area where the soil is completely dry, loose and fluffy. Even in that spot, they go just below the surface. Your wire floor might be necessary to keep out critters, but not to keep your Hermanns in.
 
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