Frankie Tortoise Tails: Grand Gent of the Greenhouse

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Because I can, this morning I walked outside and across the backyard in 30º F. weather, a cup of coffee in hand, so I can check on Frankie snoozing in his warm 72º F greenhouse.

That's right. Frankie sleeps in his new greenhouse...outside, not in my house but in his new Frankie shelter, even on really cold nights when otherwise I would haul his huge shell into my house to sleep in the bathroom.

Frankie is no longer the King of Cardboard. Frankie can now enjoy the winter in his own outdoor abode, his new greenhouse, in warmth and security.

He no longer snuggles with cardboard. Frankie is nestled shell deep in insulating hay. His Kane Livestock pad attached to his back wall, an oil heater near the front of his cave, and most important, a heated floor that keeps his toes toasty.

Frankie is the now Grand Gent of the Greenhouse.

Since the greenhouse was installed a month ago, the beginning of December, Frankie has only spent two nights inside our house and only because the greenhouse had not proven itself in freezing weather. After a few modifications last week, Frankie's greenhouse keeps him safe and warm into the mid 30's.

The greenhouse solves so many problems. We can now open the guest room to real humans as Frankie no longer lives in the bathroom during the winter. Greg can visit the gecko room with no fear of stepping in Frankie poop. No more mopping up gallons of Frankie pee off floor tile. The bathroom and laundry room don't smell like a horse barn. Carpet cleaning with our Green Steam Machine is reduced to a couple times a year.

But I miss Frankie. Many days it's just too cold for Frankie to walk around the yard. He spends many hours tucked up inside his greenhouse. Luckily, the greenhouse is big enough for me to sit in my own chair and enjoy the warmth with him.

So, cup of coffee in hand I head out to visit the Grand Gent of the Greenhouse. The low last night was 30º F, and confident as I am in the greenhouse, I still want to see how Frankie is doing.

Cup of coffee, and a camera in hand. Of course.

Walk gingerly across the lightly frosted grass. Open the greenhouse door and immediately I am greeted with a flush of warmth. I can't see Frankie because he is deep within his box. An electric oil heater covers the open space into his box.

The temperature gauge on the wall says its 71º F. I grab the heat temperature gun so I can check to see exactly how warm Frankie is. I pull the oil heater back so I can peek at Frankie.

Awe. Frankie is so cute when he is sleeping. Hi, ya, Frankie. Frankie's shell reads a toasty 74º F,

Frankie peers out at me through barely open eyes. No, he is NOT happy to see me. What his eyes say to me is: "I Am TRYING TO SLEEP Here!"


Go away. I am trying to sleep here.

Always good news, bad news.

Good news is Frankie is warm and safe in his new greenhouse. Bad news is I have to traverse the cold and rain and wind to go see him....at least in the winter.

Good news is Frankie no longer sleeps in cardboard. Bad news is I forgot how very allergic I am to hay.

Good news is I don't have to mop up Frankie pee on the bathroom floor. Bad news is I still may step in Frankie pee if I don't look down when I enter the greenhouse.

Best news is Frankie likes HIS greenhouse. I can't argue that.

(If you haven't seen the epic greenhouse build here is a link: http://frankietortoisetails.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html)
 

Prairie Mom

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Glad you're getting the Greenhouse to work and that Frankie is settling in. I'm sure it's nice to have more room in the house, but I understand what you mean about missing him. Good luck with the hay allergies!
 

Lyn W

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upload_2016-1-21_23-43-24.png I hope Frankie will be very happy in his new home!!
Sounds great!
 

wellington

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Glad he likes it. I was wondering how he would take to it.
I had looked into a heated floor. Every one said that flat objects should not be placed on it, like furniture that aren't on lets, etc. I worried about torts laying on it. The flat surface could cause a hot spot and make the heating element malfunction and possibly burn. So, my reason for this, is incase you are not aware and to keep an eye on the floor temps where he usually lays. Having the hay down, might work on keeping him from making a flat hot spot.
 

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Your concerns are our concerns, too. Aware that some of the lower rated floor heating systems could have "hot spots", we chose a highly rated system and did the install ourselves (not many contractors have experience installing heated floors).

Frankie sleeps in his old wood box that sits on thin wood boards over the heated cement floor. He isn't in direct contact with the floor during his eight to ten hours sleeps. The heated cement floor has indirect contact with Frankie.....not only safe but has proven to work really well.

As this whole greenhouse and heated floor is unproven tech for tortoises we keep a very close eye on everything with multiple heat sensors,temperature gauges, and wireless camera.

Glad he likes it. I was wondering how he would take to it.
I had looked into a heated floor. Every one said that flat objects should not be placed on it, like furniture that aren't on lets, etc. I worried about torts laying on it. The flat surface could cause a hot spot and make the heating element malfunction and possibly burn. So, my reason for this, is incase you are not aware and to keep an eye on the floor temps where he usually lays. Having the hay down, might work on keeping him from making a flat hot spot.
 

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Pic of the raised box.
raised%2Bbox.JPG
 

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