Chose to stay out at night

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Chello is a 49 pound Male Sulcata who is 6 years old. He has a nice insulated enclosure with a doggie door. It usually stays 70 to 90 degrees inside, the closer to the door being cooler at night here in VA.

last night he chose to stay outside to sleep. It was a low of 51 and he was dug down into the mud a tiny bit ( but not stuck).

I carried him into his house to warm up slowly and could soak him later if needed.
He is moving slow but awake and ok.

Has anyone had their guy choose to do this? Should I allow it? Why would he want to put himself in a cold place?
He did this one time last year and I panicked and soaked him ( thinking he was stuck ).
Thoughts welcomed.
 

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Maro2Bear

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As you know, 50 is way too cold for your Sully to sleep outside and not in his nightbox. Doublecheck your temps inside the nightbox & make sure it’s not TOO warm.

At dusk, just get out and make sure he’s inside. Do you have a way to seal/shut the door at night. Maybe try blocking him in at night fir a few days.....warm nights are just around the corner.

good luck
 

wellington

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Wet mud and cold temps are killers. Like Maro2Bear said, check the enclosure temps. 90 is high for not being a basking spot. I would make it 80 all over. Also make sure it's not too small for him.
But don't let him stay out in those low temps.
 

Yvonne G

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Not a good idea to allow him to stay outside at night. Every night I go around to all my tortoise yards and make sure all of the animals are inside their sheds. Then I close the doors so they can't come back out until I open the doors in the morning.
 
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Thanks all. I will not allow him to do this again. Still curious why he would- but who knows. His home has a doggie door so the warmest spot is 87 to 90. The closer he is to the flaps of the door, the cooler it is. I can close him in if needed. Pictured is his hut ( which is buried and insulated- with the whole door open. Not a great shot but you can see half of the inside. The snow was just for fun.. filling his buckets.)
Thanks again for the response. He’s doing well ?. I appreciate the responses.
 

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ZenHerper

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... Still curious why he would- ...
They evolved in a place that has always been Hot. Their DNA does not know any different, so he's not consciously choosing to walk around in the cold, he's just walking around his territory. They need to be closed in during cool/cold weather because they cannot choose Staying Inside for themselves.
 
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Tom

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Thanks all. I will not allow him to do this again. Still curious why he would- but who knows. His home has a doggie door so the warmest spot is 87 to 90. The closer he is to the flaps of the door, the cooler it is. I can close him in if needed. Pictured is his hut ( which is buried and insulated- with the whole door open. Not a great shot but you can see half of the inside. The snow was just for fun.. filling his buckets.)
Thanks again for the response. He’s doing well ?. I appreciate the responses.
This species comes from a hot area of the world. They live underground and ground temps in that area fluctuate from 80-85 all year. There is no area in their natural range that is too cold. They can go sleep anywhere, and its warm enough. 70 is too cold. 50 is way too cold.

The high ceiling in your night box area is going to make it exceedingly difficult and expensive to maintain the correct temps. Also, what is the temperature of the ground inside that area?

Better door flaps would help hold in the heat better.

The black tub is a flipping hazard. I would remove that.

Using snow for the drinking water is not a good idea for two reasons: 1. Its cold. 2. It has no minerals.

Your tortoise needs to be locked inside the heated box every night, and you need to open the door every morning, unless its too cold outside, and then I don't know what you do with a giant tropical reptile that needs lots of exercise and warm temps.
 

Turtulas-Len

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Thanks all. I will not allow him to do this again. Still curious why he would- but who knows. His home has a doggie door so the warmest spot is 87 to 90. The closer he is to the flaps of the door, the cooler it is. I can close him in if needed. Pictured is his hut ( which is buried and insulated- with the whole door open. Not a great shot but you can see half of the inside. The snow was just for fun.. filling his buckets.)
Thanks again for the response. He’s doing well ?. I appreciate the responses.
Is the floor insulated ?
 
Joined
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This species comes from a hot area of the world. They live underground and ground temps in that area fluctuate from 80-85 all year. There is no area in their natural range that is too cold. They can go sleep anywhere, and its warm enough. 70 is too cold. 50 is way too cold.

The high ceiling in your night box area is going to make it exceedingly difficult and expensive to maintain the correct temps. Also, what is the temperature of the ground inside that area?

Better door flaps would help hold in the heat better.

The black tub is a flipping hazard. I would remove that.

Using snow for the drinking water is not a good idea for two reasons: 1. Its cold. 2. It has no minerals.

Your tortoise needs to be locked inside the heated box every night, and you need to open the door every morning, unless its too cold outside, and then I don't know what you do with a giant tropical reptile that needs lots of exercise and warm temps.
Hey just saw this ! I’m thought the answers were over.
First of all, since I get your annoyance with people owning large tropical reptiles in colder places, we are moving to Florida in a few months. ( just to let you know)
But to answer your questions.. ( we actually spoke and exchanged photos in the past since I referred to your posts for info) .
To build his enclosure we dug into the ground. So it is kind of a buried hut with earth on top of it of the roof and walls of cinderblock, poured concrete, and insulation like a home.
Originally I thought I may need to buy a pig mat but the radiator with a protective wall has kept it around 90 near the heater and 74 ish on the other side .. colder near the open flaps in the winter .. and I’m using a gun to check all areas.
Sometimes he sits near the door sometimes he is right next to the heater area. He goes outside for walks quickly in the winter and stays out all day in the summer in his fenced yard. I can close him in but he ( previous to my post above) usually has a healthy routine.

I’m curious why a tub of water is a ‘freaking Hazzard’ ? He gets in it to soak in the summer and yes, drink also sometimes. It has rocks in the inside as a lift area to climb out. I thought having water/ moisture was critical for them? The snow use was a joke in the picture ..and next to a radiator.. it doesn’t stay cold long.
We also bring him inside to soak in really warm water once a week in the winter. I truly wasn’t aware he needed minerals in his water.. he gets the tortoise bones and is fed a well rounded diet I think. ( Mizzuri tortoise diet, grass, and weeds supplemented with store bought greens sometimes)
I’ll read more about that for sure. I feel a tone of annoyance on your post. As someone who is working hard to create a good environment for Chello ( a rescue ) it hurts my feeling to hear such snarkyness from a community member. If it’s a teaching moment from a more experienced owner .. use that moment, maybe just drop the judgment.
 

TeamZissou

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I’m curious why a tub of water is a ‘freaking Hazzard’ ? He gets in it to soak in the summer and yes, drink also sometimes. It has rocks in the inside as a lift area to climb out. I thought having water/ moisture was critical for them? The snow use was a joke in the picture ..and next to a radiator.. it doesn’t stay cold long.

Flipping hazard...like the tortoise might flip himself on his back trying to get in or out
 
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I hear you. And I can tell from the picture it does look like that. It’s actually typically packed up more around the edges with mulch and rocks and has a step like rock in the inside. I was in the middle of working on his home while the photo was grabbed showing my mom the snow.. obviously not a good one to present to this forum.

I’ve watched him go in and out without problems on the ring camera.. but thanks for at least giving me a reason. Sorry if I over reacted to the response .. it just seemed like a lot of attitude towards someone open and learning from this site. I get that you are tired of irresponsible owners and I’m doing my best not to be one.
 
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