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Outdoor hobbit (Sully) hut

Discussion in 'Tortoise Enclosures' started by Maidens Hill Farm, Jan 18, 2019.

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  1. Maidens Hill Farm

    Maidens Hill Farm Member

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    Hey there! So, right now we are in Virginia..and its been super rainy and the temps vary. Chello can go out when its sunny and warm enough. (I'm still waiting to hear people's opinions about whether they will go inside when they need to or if I need to regulate. He wants to go out for hours, even if 45 degree/sunny weather).

    anyway, we haven't built a shallow pond (baby pool type thing) outside yet. I want to wait until spring when its warm. For now, I have a large cat box in his hut. So far, he uses it as a littler box! Im open to suggestions to how to make a nice shallow pool that can be cleaned. Cheers
    DancesWithDinosaurs likes this.
  2. shellcior

    shellcior Member

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    Sorry, I just saw your message. In case you were still wanting to know, here is the link on Amazon to the camera. It was under $60. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GJ9BGJW/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

    It's great as it the mount is on the ceiling of the shed but I can easily pull it off of the mount as it is held on by a magnate. I used the camera to watch some baby redfoots hatching while at Christmas with the family. We all watched off and on all during that day! So far I have had NO problems.
    DancesWithDinosaurs likes this.
  3. Lyric

    Lyric New Member 5 Year Member

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    It looks like Monty is blessed to have really great tortoise parents. Phenomenal amount of work that you all did! I saw the other threads about maintaining temperature for him. What is his water source?
    What will his water source be?
  4. Sleppo

    Sleppo Well-Known Member

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    So cool, thanks for rescuing this guy/gal!
  5. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    In some cases, some of the time, they figure out how to go in and out to stay warm, but sometimes they don't. They don't like to be cooped up in a small area all day. They need to get out and stretch their legs. A lot. Where they come from, the temperature is correct all day every day. There is no cold to deal with, so they don't have a mechanism that says, "You are too cold. Go back to the warm spot." Because of the extreme heat in Sub Saharan Africa, the DO have a mechanism that says, "Its too hot! Get underground before you cook!" You'll see the latter in summer. They will often use our man-made above ground shelters as "burrows", but not always. What happens is their urge to roam around, explore, forage, and be a sulcata over rides their need to be warm. They will stay out and get too cold, and sometimes park in a corner or under a bush. If left there long enough, they can get sick or die. They don't understand the concept of "go to this other place for warmth because it is not going to warm up here where you are..." In Africa, wherever they end up is always going to be warm enough.

    This is the dilemma of keeping them in colder climates. That warm house is great for night time, but they need a warm world to run around in all day long. How do you provide that when there is snow outside? I don't have the answer. The only solution I see is to build a big heated warehouse with lighting and heated floors, and put in a back up generator for those winter storms that knock the power out. They can't live in a small heated night box all the time, but its too cold for them to be outside for 9 months a year in some places here in the US. What to do?
  6. Markw84

    Markw84 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I will add to this that Sulcatas and other tropical tortoises do not "know to come in from the cold" They "know" that to moderate temperature extremes, they need to go into their burrow, or shelter in a crevice, under an overhanging rock, or thick bush cover. They have lived "knowing" the ground is their friend. In these places of cover, the temperature will be right about 80° year round. IF too cold - the protected area will protect and warm them. If too hot - the protected area will cool them. Their form - with a flat bottom - is made to take advantage of the stable ground temperatures.

    When we put one of them in the US, or most any temperate area where we keep tortoises, they don't know that the secure hiding spots are not warm. They never experience that. SO they push into a corner, or into their burrow. They will push under something or into a corner. Under a bush, etc, etc. Some dark secure place as they "know" that is where the conditions are right for them. But they are wrong in these foreign places where ground temps can often be 50°-60°. They sit there waiting to let the ground temps warm them, but it never happens. Their slowed metabolism slows even further, and they can just sit. It makes no sense to them to "go and find a warm night box". They can and do learn to see their night box as their burrow. They can learn this quite quickly and the habit of retreating to their burrow will become very strong. But while away from their "burrow" if they become too cold, or too hot, they often will rely on instinct and find a nearby hide in a corner or under a bush to regain their normal body heat to allow them to then continue back to their burrow. They don't "know" that that spot is cold. It is never cold in their hides where they evolved. This is a big danger in our cooler climates.
  7. DancesWithDinosaurs

    DancesWithDinosaurs New Member

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  8. DancesWithDinosaurs

    DancesWithDinosaurs New Member

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    Maybe the light is helpful when your tort is inside during winter? Then again, when our Easter Box is hibernating under the soil, he isn't getting light. Possibly get the rescue to explain their push for 1 as they might have found greater success by implementing the light. *I would use buried protection because it's surprising how fast & far turtle's & torts can tunnel out. A recent example is a tort digging way under to neighbor's yard where their Shepard fell in the hole with a large tort! Best wishes!
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  9. shellcior

    shellcior Member

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    I think Tank has spoiled me. I have a camera inside his 4' x 8' shed that has all of his heating elements for the winter. Here near Houston, it gets warm enough during the day for grazing after noon and then he goes through his plastic/rubber "door curtain" to get warm in his shed. I can see if he is in his warm area when the weather gets bad and just check on him in general while at work. During the summer, I take 3 of the 6 doors off of the shed so that the warm air can circulate through the shed. He still goes to his "safe and warm spot" in the shed for shelter and security every evening or when he wants to get out of the sun. In the pic I just took from his camera, you can see even with the doors off, he still likes to use the door curtain. lol. to the right, you can see his 'shallow cement pond' (which has a shade cloth over it) that he can soak in or cool off. To this day, he has never attempted to dig in the yard. I am really lucky he is such a great tort.

    Attached Files:

    DancesWithDinosaurs and Tom like this.
  10. MPappagallo

    MPappagallo Active Member

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    Wow! This is one lucky sully! Kudos to you for all the hard work on that amazing enclosure. I am sure your sully is enjoying the heck out of it!
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