how hot is too hot?

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samsmom

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i live in texas where temps have been and will continue to be over 100. my outdoor enclosure has lots of shady areas, several hides and always fresh water. is it safe to leave samson (11 mon) outside all day or will he get too hot? i've been thinking about letting him stay out at night also? i will attempt to add pictures but not sure if it will work!

entire outdoor enclosure.jpg outdoor enclosure.jpg back outdoor enclosure.jpg flower pot hide.jpg front outdoor enclosure.jpg cement block hide.jpg
 
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klinej50

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I would also love to know this answer. I live in Texas as well and my two Leo's stay out a majority of the day but I always worry it might be to hot.
 

Jabuticaba

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samsmom said:
i live in texas where temps have been and will continue to be over 100. my outdoor enclosure has lots of shady areas, several hides and always fresh water. is it safe to leave samson (11 mon) outside all day or will he get too hot? i've been thinking about letting him stay out at night also? i will attempt to add pictures but not sure if it will work!

Hi. What species is your tort? Really nice digs, btw! :)


May[CHERRY BLOSSOM], Darwin[TURTLE] & Wallace[TURTLE]
Winnipeg, Canada
 

samsmom

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sulcata, and thanks, we have worked very hard all summer on this enclosure!
 

Yvonne G

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You can throw a small tarp over the top of the dog kennel to provide more shade. I have drip pipe strung along the tops of a line of T-posts, with sprinkler-type drip emitters spaced about 5' all along the pipe. When the temp gets over 100F degrees I turn on the water there. The emitters spray out a very fine mist of water in appx. a 5' circle, and this successfully lowers the temp in the tortoise habitat.
 

samsmom

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we do have the cover for the top but i was concerned there was not enough sunlight getting in plus we have black widow spiders and i was worried they might like the dark corners and i don't like spiders! i also have a mister attached around the top of the dog run, though one of the nozzles broke sunday and i've not been able to find replacements. if i put the tarp back on would direct morning and evening sun provide enough uvb rays?
 

Terry Allan Hall

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I live in Wise County (about 30 miles due west from Fort Worth) and my Hermann's and daughter's Ornate box turtles stay out from mid-spring to mid-fall. During the heat of the day, they retreat into stone "caves" I built them, that stay 20+ degrees cooler, and come out in the mornings and late afternoons.

Box turtles' "cave"
5c50538d-badb-4095-b3c5-c1bc9bf02f15


Hermann's tortoises' "cave"
ea72e7f6-7d4e-4b94-a598-479159d1a204


A simpler "cave"
images

Build your enclosure quite a bit larger than your sulcata's enclosure currently is, as it'll soon grow MUCH larger, being out in the fresh air and sunlight!

The enclosure in the pic would be perfect for a Russian/Steppe, a Hermann's or a Greek (and looks great!), but a sulcata will outgrow it amazingly fast!

Figure a minimum of 20' X 50" X 5', in a few years. :cool:
 

samsmom

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thanks terry and i love your "caves". how did you build them?

btw-as samson outgrows the 10x5 dog run the area inside the stone fence approx 16x16 will be his new enclosure, as he outgrows that we'll just keep expanding until he is big enough to roam the whole back yard! when i'm outside samson is allowed to roam outside the run but during the day he stays nice and secure inside the fence! the stone wall will be built taller and stones will be set in mortar, we will also fix our wrought iron fence so he will not be able to see out.
 

Terry Allan Hall

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samsmom said:
thanks terry and i love your "caves". how did you build them?

Just set the top stone (about 36" X 18" piece of limestone, in both cases) on supporting stones, with a layer of mortar holding them together. Then I mortared a pile of stones to make a way to climb to the top for basking.

Ptolemy surveying his dominion...
94f81e8c-9197-41ca-b62b-634c073adf07

Recently helped a friend build a adult sulcata-sized "cave" for a her tortoise, Goliath, with a piece of limestone approx. 48" X 48" for the top.

btw-as samson outgrows the 10x5 dog run the area inside the stone fence approx 16x16 will be his new enclosure, as he outgrows that we'll just keep expanding until he is big enough to roam the whole back yard! when i'm outside samson is allowed to roam outside the run but during the day he stays nice and secure inside the fence! the stone wall will be built taller and stones will be set in mortar, we will also fix our wrought iron fence so he will not be able to see out.

Sounds like a plan! :cool:
 

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There is only way way to answer your question. On one of your 100+ days, take you thermometer's remote probe and put it in the hide in YOUR enclosure. If the temp stays in the low 90s or better, you are golden and good to go for all day. If it creeps up into the high 90s or more, you will need to take some steps. Putting the cover on and getting your misters fixed will help, but even better would be to dig a hole and bury the hide. The farther underground you go, the cooler it will be. Check this out: http://www.tortoiseforum.org/thread-28662.html

Your tortoise would get enough UV if he sat in full shade for an hour. UV rays refract and bounce around, so they get UV just being outside at all.

If your night temps are staying around 80, then outside full time should work in your enclosure. I like to make a heated shelter with a thermostat, so I don't have to worry about temps.
 

samsmom

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thanks tom! i will use my thermo probe and going tomorrow to find more nozzles. wasn't sure about the uv rays so that helps alot. don't think i'll have to worry about night time temps for a few more weeks as it is plenty warm enough and i don't plan to keep samson outside permanently just yet, just want to see how he will do!

don't have time right now to check out thread you suggested but i will later tonight!
 

Tom

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Oh yes. I have rotated many juveniles through there. Currently my five Sudan sulcatas live in there. They are taking their sweet time learning to go underground on their own at night, but I am about to ramp up my training efforts. Once they learn, it is so awesome. They come up and eat, it gets too hot, they go back down, come back up and eat in the evening, then put themselves to bed in the late evening and sleep in safety and warmth underground. I think this is an ideal system for sulcatas. I love it. It works all year long for me, and they grow very well in it.
 
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