Help With Outdoor Enclosure For Sulcata

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I have a 3 year old Sulcata that weighs about 6 lbs and I am putting him outside in an enclosure for the first time overnight. We built the enclosure ourselves. It is 8 feet long with a two foot by three foot hide box to stay cool in. It has a lid with mesh wiring to help keep predators away. I am concerned about how to keep him warm in the nights that it dips into the med 50s. There is so much conflicting information about heating pads and lamps and radiant heat boxes, I just needed advice. The height inside the box is about 12 inches, so hanging a light is plausible.
 

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Maro2Bear

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Thank you. I will look into these.

We closed off the one end so it only has a small hole to go through instead of being open, would this not be an adequate place for him to stay even during winter? I was going to buy that heavy plastic to cover the door and hold heat in.
 

Tom

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A six pound tortoise doesn't need a wire cover, but it does need a MUCH larger enclosure than that. Something around 30x30 or 50x50. At least 4-6 times larger than what you've made there. I live out in the country too and have all the same predators as you, except for the feral hogs. As long as you lock the tortoise up at night, you won't have any problems.

You don't want night temps dipping too low into the 70s for this species. 50s or 60s is sick time.

Here is how you protect your tortoise and keep it warm too:
 

Maro2Bear

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Thank you. I will look into these.

We closed off the one end so it only has a small hole to go through instead of being open, would this not be an adequate place for him to stay even during winter? I was going to buy that heavy plastic to cover the door and hold heat in.

Does the “night box/hide” rest right on the ground or is it a proper enclosed box within the enclosure? You are going to have trouble maintaining heat & humidity in your current set up.

Upload some pix of your Sully so we can see the shape & size...

@EllieMay is down jr way. She might be able to provide some ideas for dealing with Texas weather.

Good, I see Tom provided info as well. Take a look what he provided....
 
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He will only be staying in this enclosure when my husband and I are at work. When we are home he has the whole backyard.

He is directly on the ground as of right now. I am looking into putting a bottom on the box part and filling it with some substrate.
 

Tom

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He will only be staying in this enclosure when my husband and I are at work. When we are home he has the whole backyard.

He is directly on the ground as of right now. I am looking into putting a bottom on the box part and filling it with some substrate.
Free roaming is dangerous. Its best if he is confined to his own area. We see tragedy after tragedy from people letting their tortoises free roam, and every single person would never let anything bad happen to their tortoise and was sure it would be okay.

The enclosure you made will overheat quickly with the hot sun beating down on it, and it is not warm enough for cooler weather or nights.
 
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What can I do to the box to make it better? I have seen tons of people with identical boxes and didnt seem to have issues.
 

EllieMay

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What can I do to the box to make it better? I have seen tons of people with identical boxes and didnt seem to have issues.
Our temperature is too unstable for him not to have a climate controlled house that he can go into at all times. My smallest Sulcata is just 7lbs and this is it’s setup.

It’s a 200 square ft yard ( that I will have to expand as he grows) with a 4’x4’x2’ insulated house that should last forever. The house never drops below 82F. It has a Kane mat on the floor and a radiant heat panel on the ceiling controlled by an inkbird thermostat.. he comes as goes from the house to the yard as he pleases during the day and sleeps inside at night. Some days, 60degrees is still too cold for him and he doesn’t come out at all. He will come to the doorway and peak out the flaps... they really need the stabile heated environment. 089FA701 A2CD 483A A694 5BC63AB91BEA 4428533F 1EF5 4CA2 84B6 683B72579C7F
 
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Sure! Just excuse the poop.. it’s time for me to clean!!!



I'm so new at this and I feel like I'm so ill prepared. I think I'm doing the right thing and then it turns out I'm not.

I have a really nice wooden dog house I was saving for fall to insulate and use for my sulcata but I think I better do it now. I bought the zoo med habitat heating pad along with a thermostat and cypress mulch.
 

EllieMay

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We have all been there. Just save yourself a lot of trouble and think big... your tortoise could easily triple in size this year.
 

EllieMay

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That is beautiful! What a lovely place!

My husband and I are going to start on the house this week. Where can you get the plastic strips?
Thank you!! It was an ugly bare spot before the tortoise so I’m pretty proud! I ordered mine off of eBay.. you can get one strip ( which will do for 1 door) for around $13..
I couldn’t find them in store anywhere...
 
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Thank you!! It was an ugly bare spot before the tortoise so I’m pretty proud! I ordered mine off of eBay.. you can get one strip ( which will do for 1 door) for around $13..
I couldn’t find them in store anywhere...

Thank you so much for all your help. I may have a few more questions when we start his house.
 

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