My baby Hermanns first 'outdoor time' enclosure.

TheTattooedTortoise

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Good'ay folks, hope everyone is happy and healthy!!
So we've had little Sheldon since April now, he's doing really well and seems quite content with us, is growing nicely and in general is a pretty happy tort!

Obviously I know the benefits of outdoor time and natural sunlight for tortoises are extensive so inbetween the crap weather here, I've been chipping away at an 8ft x 4 ft outdoor enclosure for the little guy to start spending small amounts of time in on nice days, supervised of course. As I said he's only just coming up to a year old (67g) so it will only be an hour at a time as I don't want him 'over exposed' to the elements.
I've been growing pansies, violas, mallow, geraniums, carex grasses etc organically since before we got sheldon as I knew I'd need them safe, established and ready for the outdoor build,
Ive also included an area that has been heavily 'tortoise seeded' so he will have a nice selection of healthy munchies on tap when he's out there.
Ive added several hide areas, and plenty of shady spots for him to hide inbetween as well as lots of sunny space to explore with visual barriers and decor to stop him being "bored".
He hasn't been introduced just yet as the good weather is only just arriving and I also want the seed area to become more established before I sentence them to death via greedy tortoise!
Because we don't get a lot of intense sun here in Wales, I've introduced some slate and basking rocks in areas throughout so they absorb and hold heat from the sun and stay nice and warm for Sheldon to bask on.
We're currently overhauling a lot of the back garden and turning it into a tranquil 'zen garden' type deal so I wanted Sheldon's enclosure to look and feel like part of the whole design.
Anyway here are some shots of the project, I hope he likes it.

I should also add that a netted cover will be added once the enclosure is in use.
 

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wellington

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OMG it's beautiful.
However, there are a whole lot of flipping dangers and no real soft spot like grass. All the rock will likely cause shell damage and scratches both on the platoon and edges.
I would add grass or a larger area of planted flowers and weeds.
Also be very cautious with him out there with all the flipping hazards.
It is a beautiful enclosure though.
 

TheTattooedTortoise

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@wellington thanks very much!

Yes I'm very mindful of the many potential flip hazards, do doubt things will need tweaking but rest assured when I tell you that he will always be under 100% constant supervision too so any flips will be caught immediately and I can adjust the hazard accordingly!
I will definitely take Into serious consideration your point about too much stone, not enough grass and possible shell damage so I will start planning how I can make those adjustments without being too intrusive to the original design.
Many thanks for your input/advice.
Much appreciated
 

Yvonne G

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It's beautiful, but not tortoise friendly. I'd make the tortoise a place for tortoises and keep this eye-appealing section as a conversation piece.

(he'll use the plants to scale the fence, the rocks will get too hot in the sun, nothing to graze on, not enough cover - but I'll bet you had a lot of fun building it!)
 

TaylorTortoise

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Agree here with everyone, That is a beautiful outdoor garden for simple observation. However, for animal captivity purposes I would definitely make slight adjustments with all those rocks. Look into the environment needs for your tortoise. What they need for survival to help them feel safe, etc.

Maybe get some grass spots, wood, and planting pots to hide. Maybe some real plants to help with shade, hiding?
 

Tom

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I agree with the concerns that the other posters brought up and I'll add one: Did you grow those flowers and plants from seed yourself, or did you buy them? I ask because decorative plants grown at commercial nurseries and sold at retail stores are full of toxic systemic pesticides. The plants absorb these toxins into their tissues, so it can't be rinsed off or washed away. They stay toxic for a year.
 

TaylorTortoise

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I agree with the concerns that the other posters brought up and I'll add one: Did you grow those flowers and plants from seed yourself, or did you buy them? I ask because decorative plants grown at commercial nurseries and sold at retail stores are full of toxic systemic pesticides. The plants absorb these toxins into their tissues, so it can't be rinsed off or washed away. They stay toxic for a year.
Plants have tissue?
 

TheTattooedTortoise

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Thanks for the replies everyone.

Yes @Tom I've grown most of the plants myself from seed and also use a local nursery with a huge organics section. I'm aware of the issue with chems and ferts from 'store bought' plants/flowers. I've seen it mentioned in many other threads and understand the dangers it poses.

As for the other comments...

There are several built hides already in the enclosure, one made from large supported rocks and another from a half hollowed piece of log, both at either end of the space with orchid bark inside.
I will also be adding some small shrubs for extra shade inbetween.
So as per advice, I've decided to remove one section of stone/slate and replace with more soil and extra edibles,
As far as "nothing to graze on", the whole enclosure is full of edible plants...

petunias, violas, pansies, mallow, geranium, self heal.
As well as cornflower, Ribwort & Broadleaf plantain, red clover & nipplewort that is just coming through now.
Plus the food dish of course.

As far as scaling the walls, I will have to monitor his use and watch for where the potential risks are... he is only just 7cm long at the moment so I'm positive that he can't even reach the areas to get a shot at climbing out at the moment, either way he will be watched like a hawk and I will make the needed changes to suit..

It's an 'on going project' so there is no drama, I'll just potter on and do what needs to be!

Thanks for the input folks.
 
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