ideal for winter outdoor enclosure in indiana

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jason g.

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Sulcata! She will be about a year old. I'm just not familiar with green houses. Are they hard to heat?
 

Eweezyfosheezy

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I dont have a greenhouse so I cant really give you any good info about them but I would assume in very cold weather like you have in Indiana it would be very hard. Since he is only a year old it should be fairly easy to keep him indoors over winter.
 

jason g.

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Well for right now I really just want it to be a safe grazing area. I just want her to be able to graze in the winter. She just seems happier out there.
 

wellington

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I would not keep a yearling outside in winter yet I live in Chicago, same winters about. We probably get less snow. A green house over a tort house would have a good chance of over heating the tort if it was in a lot of sun. Green houses get really hot during sunny days. He would have no escape from the heat. My plans for my leopard, who is 16 months old, and a few years to go before he lives outside in the winter is this. A heated, well insulated tort house. With a removable green house attached. The green house will have some heat, but not as much as the tort house, unless I don't get much sun on it. Also, put the heating device on a thermostat, so there is no worries, of the tort house over heating or getting to cold. Little worrie anyway. I bought a popup greenhouse 8x8 for around $175.00. I will stable it and secure it with wood around the outside/inside, not sure yet, against wind and breakout. In summer, I will tear it down and store. If you have the room to build a large enough heated tort house, you probably could do with just that and let him go in and out as he please. I know some members do. Howeve, their sulcatas are much older. Yours should still be kept inside for your winters for a few more years, or depending on his size.

jason g. said:
I was just brain storming about what to do in the winter time. My ideal is to put a green house outside over top of her currant enclosure. I don't know anything about green houses so I was just wondering since the temps in Indiana get down to 0° at times in the winter would this even work???
http://www.greenhousemegastore.com/product/grow-it-10-x-20-peak-style-greenhouse/

Check out prices on wayfair.com first. Also on wayfair, look up Dream house pop up green house. That's the one I got.
 

Eweezyfosheezy

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You can always grow seeds in tubs and let her graze in them. I dont know anything about greenhouses so I will let someone else help you out there. Good luck!!!
 

jason g.

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Eweezyfosheezy said:
You can always grow seeds in tubs and let her graze in them. I dont know anything about greenhouses so I will let someone else help you out there. Good luck!!!

I do that now but she never eats it for some reason.
2012-07-09_06-46-32_807.jpg
Well she is outside for about 7 or 8 hours a day. Thanks for all the info on the green houses Wellington. I'll do some more reading on all the green house stuff I can find.
 

wellington

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I use coconut coir on the inside housing. I grow weeds and grasses right in that, his enclosure, no extra little tubs. It works and it isn't crowded, it's every place he walks, well just about. I didn't do the whole area. Maybe your planting tubs are too small, or too hard for her to get in and out on it's own?
 

jason g.

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wellington said:
I use coconut coir on the inside housing. I grow weeds and grasses right in that, his enclosure, no extra little tubs. It works and it isn't crowded, it's every place he walks, well just about. I didn't do the whole area. Maybe your planting tubs are too small, or too hard for her to get in and out on it's own?

Wow cool I didn't know the coco coir was good for that. :) It sounds like a good route to go instead of growing in pans. Thank you Thank you very much.
 

wellington

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If this works, you can see some of it growing in the one side of his enclosure. I did have it on both sides. But the one side grew better then the other, due to more walking on it. If this works, search the thread for my postings. You will see one of my postings with a row of pics in it. One of the pics will give you an idea. It worked pretty good. Just don't have any really good pics of it.:(
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/Thread-ACCIDENTAL-EXPERIMENT?pid=378191#pid378191[hr]
Your so very welcome. Just glad I could help:D
 

chairman

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I live in southern Indiana and wouldn't trust my sulcata to a greenhouse. Not enough insulation. Build yourself a barn with standard housing-grade construction- 2x6 insulated walls, insulated floors, insulated ceiling... 2 oil-filled radiator style space heaters, a couple basking lamps, a pig blanket inside a hide, perhaps an additional CHE inside the hide... When I built my shed I thought that typical 2x4 walls, insulated ceiling, but no insulated floor would do the trick. I was wrong and have had to upgrade my shed after-the-fact several times.
 

wellington

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No a green house only would not be good enough. The green house needs to be able to be heated as well, in case he wants to go into it and there is no sun that day. However, it will give the tort a little more natural outdoor space during the day/sun light hours, instead of only being in a artificial sun lite room/barn. natural grazing can also take place in the green house. Naturally, I wouldn't allow the tort into the green house at night.
 

lynnedit

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A perfect world in a cold winter climate for a Sulcata would include a roomy well insulated shed (floor: yes!) with heat and a basking area. Perhaps a skylight or couple of windows.
This could lead outside, or to a greenhouse with concrete footings to be sturdy. Nice bright area to graze and hang out in Spring/Fall. Then this could lead outside for summer. The tortoise could take its pick of temps, etc.

If your resources are limited, then the shed only, roomy, insulated and secure as possible. Probably best to plan ahead for tortoise growth and put resources into long term housing.

I have a GH only that is well insulated: lower walls are wood with 2" foam insulation. Roof is double wall polycarbonate with bubble wrap insulation. Headed rubbermaid house inside.
This does well in our area from early spring to later fall with an oil filled heater and basking lights. But we don't get as cold in the Pacific NW.
Right now they don't use it. Windows all open so temps are OK, they just prefer being outside. Only the cactus in there....
 

Yvonne G

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I have a small 8'x10' greenhouse that I put all my cactus in for the winter. It has plywood sides up about 3', then poly stuff from there on up over the roof. If I didn't have a heater in there it would be as cold inside as it is outside. With the heater, I can only get it up to about 50F on the coldest nights. It keeps the plants from freezing, but I wouldn't keep a tortoise in there. My power bill is outta' sight!

Maybe with a light over the tortoise plus a heater in the green house it would be ok. But an insulated shed works much better. That's what most folks in cold climates with sulcatas use.
 

kevantheman35

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I live in indiana as well (fort wayne). Last winter my sulcata lived in the garage in a very large crate that i insulated with foam 2 heat lamps and a heater. I felt terrible about this set up and worried about the power going out at night constantly. Hes 15 lbs now and i need to find a permanant set up stat!
 

MAURICE CATHCART

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Hi, I live in the West coast of Scotland and have just built a new outdoor enclosure for 3 x 6 year old Sulcatas. The enclosure is made from exterior grade plywood with 80mm insulation all round. i have an oil filled radiator connected to an underfloor heating thermostat set at 70 deg F on the floor which gives 70 degrees floor temp and 80 deg F ceiling temp. I also have a 150 watt ceramic heat bulb set at 80deg F and a uvb 10 lamp. The enclosure is built into a 6 x 11 greenhouse which provides a grazing area free from rain which we have lots of living in Scotland. The greenhouse does warm up in the sun but does not provide any night time heating. It is only used to keep the tortoise enclosure free from rain . Both the enclosure door and greenhouse door is closed in the evening but the Sulcatas are free to roam in the garden during summer months. Until now they were housed in our home but they are now at the stage that they want to be outside and it is hard to keep their indoor enclosure and house odour-free. Hoping this helps.:tort:
 

Yvonne G

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MAURICE CATHCART said:
Hi, I live in the West coast of Scotland and have just built a new outdoor enclosure for 3 x 6 year old Sulcatas. The enclosure is made from exterior grade plywood with 80mm insulation all round. i have an oil filled radiator connected to an underfloor heating thermostat set at 70 deg F on the floor which gives 70 degrees floor temp and 80 deg F ceiling temp.

Hi Maurice:

Won't you take a few moments to start a new thread in the "introductions" section and tell us a bit about yourself?
 

lynnedit

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MAURICE CATHCART said:
Hi, I live in the West coast of Scotland and have just built a new outdoor enclosure for 3 x 6 year old Sulcatas. The enclosure is made from exterior grade plywood with 80mm insulation all round. i have an oil filled radiator connected to an underfloor heating thermostat set at 70 deg F on the floor which gives 70 degrees floor temp and 80 deg F ceiling temp. I also have a 150 watt ceramic heat bulb set at 80deg F and a uvb 10 lamp. The enclosure is built into a 6 x 11 greenhouse which provides a grazing area free from rain which we have lots of living in Scotland. The greenhouse does warm up in the sun but does not provide any night time heating. It is only used to keep the tortoise enclosure free from rain . Both the enclosure door and greenhouse door is closed in the evening but the Sulcatas are free to roam in the garden during summer months. Until now they were housed in our home but they are now at the stage that they want to be outside and it is hard to keep their indoor enclosure and house odour-free. Hoping this helps.:tort:

Admirable. Greenhouses are extremely helpful in rainy climates to just provide a dry area. I like the sound of your setup.
Someday, in addition to introducing yourself, post some pictures!
 
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