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Dnykrk

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Apr 20, 2024
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Location (City and/or State)
Lancaster, CA
Hi, we have an Aldabra that’s about 2 years old now living out in Lancaster, CA. She’s getting bigger now, and we’re looking for ideas on how to best keep her outdoors. We would like to see her continue to thrive in this environment. Any suggestions are appreciated.
 

TammyJ

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Jun 21, 2016
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Jamaica
Hi and welcome to the forum. Wish I had space for an Aldabra, as I have the right weather here in Jamaica. Pictures please!
 

wellington

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Chicago, Illinois, USA
What kind of winter temps day and night do you get?
@dd33 may be able to advise.
A heated shed will be needed for if you have cold days or nights. If you get temps that he would have to stay inside for a whole day or two plus, it would need to be a larger size shed. A large fenced in area for him to roam also daily.
 

dd33

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Florida
It won't be easy to keep an Aldabra tortoise in Lancaster. @Yvonne G has some experience keeping them in a similar climate and may be able to offer some advice. We keep ours in Florida and I think it is too cold here for them.

At 2 years old she wont need a huge amount of space to roam and graze. Perhaps 16x16 or 16x32 for another year or so then more and more space after that. It is very important that these guys walk around a lot, especially when they are small and growing rapidly.

Because of your climate you will probably need more than a basic heated night house. You will need a large shed or perhaps even a small building/greenhouse. The house should be kept around 80 degrees at all times. I would try to keep the humidity up around 80% in the house, this will be a challenge because heating it to 80 degrees will burn off all the moisture in the air. Keeping the humidity in the house high will be the only way you can try to prevent pyramiding in your dry climate.

Because of their dark shells, they heat up very quickly in the sun and will stay quite warm on cold and sunny days. Ours will happily graze in 40-50 degree weather when it is sunny out. If you have multiple days in a row of cold weather, or its cold and overcast you are going to need to keep her locked in the house. I suspect this could be for days or weeks in your climate so the house will need to be sized accordingly. That means enough space to get up, move around and eat inside the house. Also enough space for you to walk inside and work.

These guys are not smart enough to know that they need to go back to the heated house if they get cold. Also, as the temperature drops, their energy/ability to walk back to the house at night disappears. My advice is to not provide her with any hiding places, shade areas, wallows or anything else she might prefer to sleep in other than her night house. It might not be as enriching for her but it is in her best interest from a safety perspective. Manually moving them into the house every night gets old REAL fast. The process gets more difficult as you get older and they get bigger. Eventually those two lines cross.
 

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