Electrical heating in backyard

Flanman

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I am planning to build an outdoor enclosure for my two Russian tortoises before spring starts to bloom here in Indiana. The biggest thing I can’t figure out right now is how I’m going to heat an enclosed space for night time or cool/rainy days. It’s going to be a bit far out from my shed and back door and I need a way to get the electrical cables to the enclosure. I’m worried if I just use some random extension cord it’s going to weather very quickly. What do you guys use to protect your electrics when you get it to your outdoor enclosures?
 

wellington

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I dont have heat to my Russians enclosure as I bring him in, in the winter and during colder days or nights Russians can withstand 60's.
However I have electric to my chickens to keep the water from freezing. I use an outdoor approved extension cord.
I take it in in the summer and put it out during winter. There is no need for you to have too have heat during the summer months. Even rainy days they don't need heat in summer. If it's going to be a couple days of no sun, then I bring mine in so he can bask and digest.
You can buy a box to protect where the connection is from the cord to your heat or you can use a plastic shoe box.
 

Flanman

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I dont have heat to my Russians enclosure as I bring him in, in the winter and during colder days or nights Russians can withstand 60's.
However I have electric to my chickens to keep the water from freezing. I use an outdoor approved extension cord.
I take it in in the summer and put it out during winter. There is no need for you to have too have heat during the summer months. Even rainy days they don't need heat in summer. If it's going to be a couple days of no sun, then I bring mine in so he can bask and digest.
You can buy a box to protect where the connection is from the cord to your heat or you can use a plastic shoe box.

I see. Should I dig them burrows just so they have a place to go and get some heat when it's cold or let them do it themself?
 

Yvonne G

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My russians don't get heat either. Summers here are upper 90sF/mid 60s and in the winter they brumate. Unless you have pretty drastically cold summers you don't need to heat them outside.
 

Flanman

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My russians don't get heat either. Summers here are upper 90sF/mid 60s and in the winter they brumate. Unless you have pretty drastically cold summers you don't need to heat them outside.
It's never anything too drastically cold here, sometimes it rains and the wind chill gets really cold from the moisture. During summer lowest is probably 40-50 degrees but it usually only lasts less than a day. Glad I don't have to worry about heating in the summer so I can plan ahead more for the cooler months!
 

wellington

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I see. Should I dig them burrows just so they have a place to go and get some heat when it's cold or let them do it themself?
I would give them a couple weather proof hides. I have the bottom of a dog igloo turned over.
However, you need to make sure they can't dig out and can't climb over. I laid fencing down on the ground and dirt on top of that and the grass/weeds just made their way thru. Make the sides tall enough that you can add dirt and let them dig if they want. I put leaves and grass clippings in my over turned igloo for digging in. He also has a turned over plastic flower pot I cut an entrance in. Plus some logs he can hide under.
 

ZEROPILOT

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I use outdoor extension cords that are OUTDOORS rated and AT LEAST a 12/3 wire.
I wouldn't trust any thinner gauge wire than (12). And only use copper. And only use grounded cords. (3)
They're expensive and I replace them every 2 or 3 years because the Florida sunshine degrades the rubber. Enclosing them in PVC pipe would help. So would burying the cables underground. Mine run overhead on an arch from my house to my night house heater timers. The timers plug into the cords inside waterproof boxes.
 

Yvonne G

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But why do you feel the need of heat for Russians outside? How cold are we talkin'. Russians aren't rain forest type animals. They don't need to be warm all the time. For instance my russians have been outside after coming out of brumation for a week and in those 7 days we've had 50F° days, 55F° days, 70° days and the nights have been in the 40s. The tortoises are perfectly fine. Wandering around, grazing, resting, doing tortoise stuff.
 

Flanman

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But why do you feel the need of heat for Russians outside? How cold are we talkin'. Russians aren't rain forest type animals. They don't need to be warm all the time. For instance my russians have been outside after coming out of brumation for a week and in those 7 days we've had 50F° days, 55F° days, 70° days and the nights have been in the 40s. The tortoises are perfectly fine. Wandering around, grazing, resting, doing tortoise stuff.
I’ve been told by people on some other forms that they need a semi humid and hot environment to simulate places like Persia.
 

Tom

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But why do you feel the need of heat for Russians outside? How cold are we talkin'. Russians aren't rain forest type animals. They don't need to be warm all the time. For instance my russians have been outside after coming out of brumation for a week and in those 7 days we've had 50F° days, 55F° days, 70° days and the nights have been in the 40s. The tortoises are perfectly fine. Wandering around, grazing, resting, doing tortoise stuff.
He's doing it not to keep them 85 degrees 24/7, but to help get them out earlier in spring, and keep them out later in fall, when night temps are dropping too low, and day time temps aren't getting warm enough during unpredictable spring or fall cold spells.
 

Tom

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I am planning to build an outdoor enclosure for my two Russian tortoises before spring starts to bloom here in Indiana. The biggest thing I can’t figure out right now is how I’m going to heat an enclosed space for night time or cool/rainy days. It’s going to be a bit far out from my shed and back door and I need a way to get the electrical cables to the enclosure. I’m worried if I just use some random extension cord it’s going to weather very quickly. What do you guys use to protect your electrics when you get it to your outdoor enclosures?
Get a shovel and dig a trench. Or rent a trencher from Home Depot for $100 if its a long distance. Lay your wire in PVC.
 

Flanman

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Get a shovel and dig a trench. Or rent a trencher from Home Depot for $100 if its a long distance. Lay your wire in PVC.
It’s about 12-18 feet to where I’m planning for it to go so I can do that with a trusty shovel. I’m having trouble deciding whether I want to make a big square with 2x12s buried 6 inches down and put chicken wire under and above it or maybe use a chicken run and block off the bottom and fill it with orchid bark? I know there’s lots of ways to do it I just don’t know which one to do.
 

Flanman

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It’s about 12-18 feet to where I’m planning for it to go so I can do that with a trusty shovel. I’m having trouble deciding whether I want to make a big square with 2x12s buried 6 inches down and put chicken wire under and above it or maybe use a chicken run and block off the bottom and fill it with orchid bark? I know there’s lots of ways to do it I just don’t know which one to do.
Gonna make a new thread for this
 

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