Outdoor enclosure for baby rads.

x-tank

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Hi, this James. I am new here.
I recently got few baby rads about 7 mos old from local here in socal. I was told there were born in California Turtle Conservancy center. They were tiny, so I was reluctant to leave them outdoor without making sure they will be safe . After couple weekends placing them in outdoor cage while I was at home, I had opportunity to observe sun light, their activity, and possible predatory entry to the cage. I finally finalized this outdoor enclosure 64" x 64". I installed wood panels underneath the soil around the cage and also surround the entire enclosure to prevent animal to dig in/out or small predators to climb in/out. I also make sure there are always shades and water provided. I spread some grass-seeds and broadleaf forage seeds in there, so will expect some growth in a week or two. I bring them inside the house before sunset.
What do you think? any suggestion?
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Yvonne G

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Since you've asked for suggestions: I would make them be 'indoor' tortoises until they're a couple years old. I like to house babies in a warm, humid environment until they've grown for a year or so. Then they have forays outside.
 

x-tank

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Since you've asked for suggestions: I would make them be 'indoor' tortoises until they're a couple years old. I like to house babies in a warm, humid environment until they've grown for a year or so. Then they have forays outside.

OK that make sense. I can bring them out for sun exposure couple hours a day maybe 3 times a week. The rest of time back to their indoor place.
 

coastal

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I would remove all the pine nuggets, how do you open the doors with the wood trim? If that is not PT wood paint it or it will rot fast. 5 will outgrow that space in a few years time. Plant grass plants for shelter/shade/hide spots. Use caution with the water dish, best to keep in an always shaded spot. If the animals flip they wont bake in the sun until you catch them. Best of luck with your group they are fun animals.
 

Kapidolo Farms

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I would remove all the pine nuggets, how do you open the doors with the wood trim? If that is not PT wood paint it or it will rot fast. 5 will outgrow that space in a few years time. Plant grass plants for shelter/shade/hide spots. Use caution with the water dish, best to keep in an always shaded spot. If the animals flip they wont bake in the sun until you catch them. Best of luck with your group they are fun animals.
"pine nuggets"? Are you suggesting fir bark is an inappropriate substrate?
 

Kapidolo Farms

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@x-tank the wire used for the outdoor enclosure will keep large things like crows, raccoons, and opossums out, but not rats and mice. I have rats and mice and have found you need 1/4 inch by 1/4 inch mesh to keep them out. Even 1/2 by 1.2 is too large. I've not built any small tortoise enclosures outside yet but have made small mesh boxes and put tortoise food in them to test what size mesh is required. Even a 1/4 inch door gap is too big. It is a frustrating process, but rodents can be a real problem. I have large Manouria outside and they seem to do okay, but neonates and small guys, even large Testudo species can be predated on by rats.
 

coastal

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"pine nuggets"? Are you suggesting fir bark is an inappropriate substrate?
Outdoor setup has Pine Nuggets, not a debate over if you can use our not. Simply no mulch period out there.
 

x-tank

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thanks for all the comments.
1. the opening is on top. There are 2 small side doors which I closed them permanently.
2. the enclosure was sold to keep rabbits and for outdoor use.
3. The substrate in glass tank is Repti-Bark. Outdoor is homedepot earthgro mulch which I will replace them.
4. The outdoor enclosure is completely surround by wood panel and around the foundation too. Unless rodent jump over. Lucky I don't have mice or rodent issues here in general.
5. As perviously someone suggested they are too small to be outdoor, I only keep them about 3hrs on the weekends or days that I happen to be home and still warm outside. I bring them indoor no later than 4:30pm.
6. Here is the space for their future playground.
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Tom

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Looks wonderful out there.

I would start planting lots of good trees and bushes out there right now so that when they are bigger and eating a lot more, you'll have enough food for them. Fruitless mulberry trees, spineless opuntia, grape vines for the leaves, lavatera, hibiscus and blue hibiscus, cape honeysuckle, and so many more. Also start collecting weed seeds like plantain and mallow and start spreading those around as a seasonal crop.
 

x-tank

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Looks wonderful out there.

I would start planting lots of good trees and bushes out there right now so that when they are bigger and eating a lot more, you'll have enough food for them. Fruitless mulberry trees, spineless opuntia, grape vines for the leaves, lavatera, hibiscus and blue hibiscus, cape honeysuckle, and so many more. Also start collecting weed seeds like plantain and mallow and start spreading those around as a seasonal crop.

Thanks Tom as always.
I just planted some hibiscus couple weeks ago and also opuntia and edible succulents. I will convert one of raised bed to just random weeds and flowers. It will be nice to grow into self sustainable food source graden.

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