help with an outdoor hide

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Chipdog

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I got the great idea from Misty a while back to use a fake rock as a hide. Right now my torts sleep under the ficus bushes along the fence line. I think something with a bit more protection would be a good idea. I looked online for a while and came up with one that would fit my two Aldabras perfectly.
Well it came fedex today and I am ready to start cutting the opening but I wanted some advice as to how big to make it. I know these torts are going to grow fast but should I make the hole just big enough for them to get through? Warmth isn't a big issue here in Miami so I was also wondering if I need to make some kind of flap for the door. Anyone have any ideas on how to train them to go in there at nite or am I just going to have to round them up every evening?

thanks
chip


i was wondering how it would be shipped
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just wrapped with cardboard then plastic wrap open on the bottom
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I woke one up to show the size
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as soon as I walk away he runs over the the lettuce for a before bed snack
P1010155.jpg
 

Josh

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i think ive already said this but your aldabs are beautiful!
as for the rock, i'd personally make the hole smallish for now then expand it as needed. you might have to show them where to sleep for a while but i'd bet they get the idea pretty quick.
 

jlyoncc1

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I love this idea also and can't wait to get my rock. I would keep the hole smaller also and make it bigger as you need like Josh said.
 

AWAaviatrix

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Nice rock!!!! :D

So you don't have to be cutting every few months I'd make it at least double the torts current size and big enough to reach in to grab one if you end up staking the rock to the ground. I don't have covers over the doors but you could probably attach plastic door strips to a furring strip and use a few bolts to attach that from the inside.

What is the size of the rock and where did you end up getting it from, it's cost & shipping?

Misty
 

AWAaviatrix

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Coldliz

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I love the rock idea! And I love your torts!!! Beautiful!!
 

Jentortmom

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I think the rocks work great, and I love your torts....They are so cute!!! When I cut mine I made it just a little bigger then the biggest one, and I don't have flaps on mine..
 

Chipdog

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the rock in the corner of the yard
P1010181.jpg


close up of the hole
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tort checking it out (with some help from me)
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walking in
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walked around in there and ran out
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The shell was rubbing just a bit so I think I am going to make the hole bigger. Also should I put any bedding inside the rock? I was thinking maybe some hay or something.
 

jlyoncc1

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Looks great! Yeah, it looks like the hole needs to be a bit bigger. They are lucky torts!
 

terryo

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That is so clever! I looked on the site, and they come in all sizes. I am definitely getting one for the Spring. I love how it looks too. If there is a strong wind, will it blow away? They doesn't even charge for shipping. Thanks for that site.
 

Chipdog

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I don't think its going anywhere. I may put some stakes around it just to keep the torts from walking away with it but I may just hold off on them till I see if its even needed.
 

AWAaviatrix

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Chipdog said:
The shell was rubbing just a bit so I think I am going to make the hole bigger. Also should I put any bedding inside the rock? I was thinking maybe some hay or something.

I'd make the hole bigger. You want the tort to get in and out easily or he won't use it. No need for hay. Just another something to have to replace. If you keep the rock on the grass you'll have a dead spot there as it will not get any sun. Move the rock weekly or just know that you'll have that bare spot.

Lovely yard and terrific water hole.

Misty
 

Chipdog

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Well I ran out of daylight after work to make the hole larger. So I tried putting them in anyway. When I woke up this morning I saw one poking its head out. The other one I think spent the nite in the bushes but one out of two ain't bad. I gave them their Mazuri today and right after one went back into the rock.
Looks like its going to work!

I would be happier with one dead spot on the grass then a whole bunch of brown ones. hee hee. I think I am just going to leave it there.

thanks for everyones help

and thanks Misty. I am very proud of my yard. I am out there every week cutting the grass and the hedges. Odd that I would put such grass killing monsters out there. They haven't done a bit of damage out there yet but give them a few years. I can't wait.
 

Chipdog

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Thanks

its way easier then you would think. I just dug a hole a bit larger then the size that I wanted the pond. layed down a bit of chicken wire. Mixed up some 5000 cement that I picked up at the home depot. slopped it in there and let it dry. The cement has gravel already in it and you can smooth it out but I left it ruff so the torts would be able to get some traction. Keep in mind I live in Miami Florida so we don't have to worry about the whole freezing and thawing thing.
 

Chipdog

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I just wanted to give an update.

My torts are using their hide everyday. I only had to put them in at night for about a week or so then cover up some of the places that they were spending the nights in.

I think it is cute to walk out in the morning and see a little head poking out from the hole in the rock. I wonder if they take turns for the "view".
 

wayne.bob

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thats wonderful to hear. great job
 

AWAaviatrix

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Chipdog said:
I just wanted to give an update.

My torts are using their hide everyday. I only had to put them in at night for about a week or so then cover up some of the places that they were spending the nights in.

I think it is cute to walk out in the morning and see a little head poking out from the hole in the rock. I wonder if they take turns for the "view".

So glad it worked out for you!

Misty
 
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