Outdoor shelter

Stevec8787

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Really just want some ideas for something lockable for a shelter to lock my Russian up in 8’x8’ enclosure at night and double as some shade/shelter. Like idk, a lockable deck box for example tipped on its side? Feel like everything I’ve read about them and what I experienced in the temporary bin I had her in for a month is she will just dig down and never use the hide I provide.
 
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There are many online if you look up tortoise enclosure ( on Amazon ) but they are pretty pricey. I got a clear plastic container on Amazon which was only 30 dollars. I don’t know how big your tortoise is, but it fits mine perfectly. My tortoise is about two and a half inches in shell length because it is a baby, but we may need to upgrade the size soon. It is way bigger than 8 by 8. It is like 16 by 12 or something. It is all clear though and it is on Amazon.
 

Stevec8787

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There are many online if you look up tortoise enclosure ( on Amazon ) but they are pretty pricey. I got a clear plastic container on Amazon which was only 30 dollars. I don’t know how big your tortoise is, but it fits mine perfectly. My tortoise is about two and a half inches in shell length because it is a baby, but we may need to upgrade the size soon. It is way bigger than 8 by 8. It is like 16 by 12 or something. It is all clear though and it is on Amazon.
I think you misunderstood, my outdoor enclosure is 8 feet by 8 feet and I just want an idea for a shelter/hide/shade inside the pen. Or I’ve spent way too much money on an 8 foot by 8 foot pen lol
 

Stevec8787

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Here are good directions for one: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/single-tortoise-night-box.181515/

but it also depends on if you are wanting this for year round, and what your climate is like (ie: if you are near Duck vs up in Asheville, the requirements will be different)
I was planning on doing the fridge method for winter. I’m in southeast NC/Wilmington area. Winter is a roller coaster from 30 at night to 75 during the day randomly so I was going to force her to hibernate in a mini fridge. This really is just for extra shade and protection from predators at night. I’ve been taking her inside at night and i just think it’d be easier to keep her in the pen.
 

SinLA

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hmm ok sorry you said "something lockable for a shelter to lock my Russian up in 8’x8’ enclosure at night" so not a night box? or not lockable? Here's my outdoor enclosure, I have one section of it is fully enclosed and in theory lockable but its really too heavy for anything other than a human to open (and if a human wants to open it, have bigger issues going on).

Within the "deep shade" section (the section with the sun screen on it) I also have this dog house: https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/dog-palace-breeze-small-3716611? which is MUCH BIGGER than he needs (i actually have about 2/3 of it blocked off), but its not lockable. however he can go in/out of the doggy door quite well. Its legit insulated
 

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Stevec8787

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hmm ok sorry you said "something lockable for a shelter to lock my Russian up in 8’x8’ enclosure at night" so not a night box? or not lockable? Here's my outdoor enclosure, I have one section of it is fully enclosed and in theory lockable but its really too heavy for anything other than a human to open (and if a human wants to open it, have bigger issues going on).

Within the "deep shade" section (the section with the sun screen on it) I also have this dog house: https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/dog-palace-breeze-small-3716611? which is MUCH BIGGER than he needs (i actually have about 2/3 of it blocked off), but its not lockable. however he can go in/out of the doggy door quite well. Its legit insulated
That’s an awesome enclosure. No definitely a night box just I’m terrible with building stuff and my climate doesn’t need extra heat (for a russian) and I’ll be brumating her when she would need heat in my climate at night. it’s purely so if a raccoon or something gets in she’s locked in a box and I don’t need to haul her into the house every night as I feel like this is stressful for her going back and forth. I know people use modified dog houses forth this too and make the door lockable but I can’t find anything cheap. So I was looking at like $40 dollar deck boxes and the concept would be to lay it on its side opened so she can use it as dry space when it rains and for more shade and then I put her in it at night, close and lock it. So wondering if anyone has repurposed something cheap that can accomplish this. Thanks

Edit to add: the reason I made this Russian specific is because I’ve read they don’t like to use hides/shelters they just burrow into the ground and really wanted to confirm that aspect of it for this species
 

SinLA

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That’s an awesome enclosure. No definitely a night box just I’m terrible with building stuff and my climate doesn’t need extra heat (for a russian) and I’ll be brumating her when she would need heat in my climate at night. it’s purely so if a raccoon or something gets in she’s locked in a box and I don’t need to haul her into the house every night as I feel like this is stressful for her going back and forth. I know people use modified dog houses forth this too and make the door lockable but I can’t find anything cheap. So I was looking at like $40 dollar deck boxes and the concept would be to lay it on its side opened so she can use it as dry space when it rains and for more shade and then I put her in it at night, close and lock it. So wondering if anyone has repurposed something cheap that can accomplish this. Thanks

Edit to add: the reason I made this Russian specific is because I’ve read they don’t like to use hides/shelters they just burrow into the ground and really wanted to confirm that aspect of it for this species
My guy does like to burrow, but also very much likes hides...

I don't know much about the idea of doing a locked "deck box" at night (@Tom or @wellington ??) I'll defer to others on the risks of that... he should definitely be locked up at night against predators.

for what it is worth, i also jumped thru hoops to get a heated night box set up, and in the end, it was just easier for me to bring him inside at night than deal with all of that. He stays out in my locked area when nights stay above 60-65 degrees, but colder than that he's inside
 

Stevec8787

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My guy does like to burrow, but also very much likes hides...

I don't know much about the idea of doing a locked "deck box" at night (@Tom or @wellington ??) I'll defer to others on the risks of that... he should definitely be locked up at night against predators.

for what it is worth, i also jumped thru hoops to get a heated night box set up, and in the end, it was just easier for me to bring him inside at night than deal with all of that. He stays out in my locked area when nights stay above 60-65 degrees, but colder than that he's inside
Yeah I just don’t have the confidence to build the box lol or the funds to fight with my wife over haha maybe I’ll just continue taking her inside.
 

wellington

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My guy does like to burrow, but also very much likes hides...

I don't know much about the idea of doing a locked "deck box" at night (@Tom or @wellington ??) I'll defer to others on the risks of that... he should definitely be locked up at night against predators.

for what it is worth, i also jumped thru hoops to get a heated night box set up, and in the end, it was just easier for me to bring him inside at night than deal with all of that. He stays out in my locked area when nights stay above 60-65 degrees, but colder than that he's inside
I have used deck boxes before. They work fine in my opinion as long as you don't need it to be a heated night box. They will not hold heat good enough. They would be hard to insulate I think.
Bringing them inside at night is fine too.
 

Stevec8787

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I have used deck boxes before. They work fine in my opinion as long as you don't need it to be a heated night box. They will not hold heat good enough. They would be hard to insulate I think.
Bringing them inside at night is fine too.
Yeah stritcly for security at night . I appreciate the input.
 

SinLA

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I think if you get something with that fake "wicker" look, it will be breathable but also let rain out. For me bringing inside is best (I have an indoor setup in my insulated garage) b/c I don't have to worry about an extreme weather event overnight (not that we get them as much in CA as you would in NC) but they should still stay in the 60s at least at night so you'd be better able to guarantee that inside.
 

wellington

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I think if you get something with that fake "wicker" look, it will be breathable but also let rain out. For me bringing inside is best (I have an indoor setup in my insulated garage) b/c I don't have to worry about an extreme weather event overnight (not that we get them as much in CA as you would in NC) but they should still stay in the 60s at least at night so you'd be better able to guarantee that inside.
The fake wicker will let rain in not out. Well I guess out but after already in. Those are not the best to get. Your tort would not be sheltered from the rain in those. Get the solid plastic ones and you can drill your own air holes if needed, but they aren't air tight anyway.
 

SinLA

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The fake wicker will let rain in not out. Well I guess out but after already in. Those are not the best to get. Your tort would not be sheltered from the rain in those. Get the solid plastic ones and you can drill your own air holes if needed, but they aren't air tight anyway.
Oh ya! Better idea!
 

Stevec8787

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Oh ya! Better idea!
Yeah I’m going to head to Walmart tomorrow and see what i can find to “mcgyver” a lock box out of. Those plastic totes with those plastic locking handles could probably still be popped open by a raccoon
 

Tom

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I was planning on doing the fridge method for winter. I’m in southeast NC/Wilmington area. Winter is a roller coaster from 30 at night to 75 during the day randomly so I was going to force her to hibernate in a mini fridge. This really is just for extra shade and protection from predators at night. I’ve been taking her inside at night and i just think it’d be easier to keep her in the pen.
Do the night box. Especially if you are going to brumate. You must have the correct temps to empty the gut before brumation, and after brumation, the weather NEVER cooperates. Right after you wake your tortoise, get it active hydrated and eating, a cold spell will hit, and you will need the warmer ambient night temps and the basking bulb during the day until the weather warms back up.

And nothing is more secure from nocturnal predators either.

The box is shown and explained here:

I am totally self taught. These are easy to build. I'll talk you through it. You can call me as you build for the inevitable questions that come up.

More here:



 

Stevec8787

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Do the night box. Especially if you are going to brumate. You must have the correct temps to empty the gut before brumation, and after brumation, the weather NEVER cooperates. Right after you wake your tortoise, get it active hydrated and eating, a cold spell will hit, and you will need the warmer ambient night temps and the basking bulb during the day until the weather warms back up.

And nothing is more secure from nocturnal predators either.

The box is shown and explained here:

I am totally self taught. These are easy to build. I'll talk you through it. You can call me as you build for the inevitable questions that come up.

More here:



Thanks for all the info. I’ll take a look through all these and think it over. I was thinking I’d just start pulling her inside at night at the end of October/ beginning of November when we should still be hitting high 70s ambient during the day to empty the gut but you are absolutely correct about spring because it can be 80 end of february and 30night 50day randomly throughout the spring until may. I’ll shoot you a message if I have any questions, thanks again!
 
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Ricky j

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hmm ok sorry you said "something lockable for a shelter to lock my Russian up in 8’x8’ enclosure at night" so not a night box? or not lockable? Here's my outdoor enclosure, I have one section of it is fully enclosed and in theory lockable but its really too heavy for anything other than a human to open (and if a human wants to open it, have bigger issues going on).

Within the "deep shade" section (the section with the sun screen on it) I also have this dog house: https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/dog-palace-breeze-small-3716611? which is MUCH BIGGER than he needs (i actually have about 2/3 of it blocked off), but its not lockable. however he can go in/out of the doggy door quite well. Its legit insulated
That's a nice enclosure 👍👍
 
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