So confused

Luke1027

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Hi all, tomorrow I will me making a enclosure in my garden for my Horsefield tortoise. I’m in the north of the uk and concerned about how to protect it from the rain. I have done some research on waterproof pain and varnish but still unsure what is safe and what’s not. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

Turtulas-Len

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Hi all, tomorrow I will me making a enclosure in my garden for my Horsefield tortoise. I’m in the north of the uk and concerned about how to protect it from the rain. I have done some research on waterproof pain and varnish but still unsure what is safe and what’s not. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
If you are talking about protecting wood from moisture I use linseed oil. I prefer the boiled linseed because it dries much quicker than raw linseed oil. Both are safe to use.
 

Luke1027

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Thank you very much for the reply. Just one quick question, is all linseed oil safe to use on the inside of the enclosure?
 

Maro2Bear

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When you go into your DIY/hardware store look at the products carefully. Your “linseed oil” treatment for wood might be different than what is recommended from here.

What kind of wood are you using? There are plenty of building materials available out there that won’t ever rot. One type of wood can be used for the inside, a different waterproof covering for the outside. Think of outside doghouses, or chicken coops or rabbit hutches, Etc.

Good luck on your build. Have fun.
 

Turtulas-Len

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Thank you very much for the reply. Just one quick question, is all linseed oil safe to use on the inside of the enclosure?
Yes, as far as I know. I've never had a problem using it. I believe it's even safe for human consumption. What I like about it is it penetrates deep into the wood for better long term protection from moisture.
 

Luke1027

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Yes, as far as I know. I've never had a problem using it. I believe it's even safe for human consumption. What I like about it is it penetrates deep into the wood for better long term protection from moisture.
Brilliant, thank you for the info it really has helped me out.
 

Lyn W

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I bought a covered cat litter tray from The Range (about £10 roughly 6 tears ago) I use the base as a tray for soaking and the top as a shelter when my tort is out in his garden enclosure.
How old is your tort and is he going to live outside full time?
If so you'll find this useful for making sure he's still warm on colder days.
Don't forget Russians are escape artists and brilliant climbers and diggers so make sure you cap the edges - especially the corners of his enclosure and use something to stop him digging under the boundary.
 

Luke1027

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I bought a covered cat litter tray from The Range (about £10 roughly 6 tears ago) I use the base as a tray for soaking and the top as a shelter when my tort is out in his garden enclosure.
How old is your tort and is he going to live outside full time?
If so you'll find this useful for making sure he's still warm on colder days.
Don't forget Russians are escape artists and brilliant climbers and diggers so make sure you cap the edges - especially the corners of his enclosure and use something to stop him digging under the boundary.
Thank you for all the information. He is just over 2 years. Plans at the moment are that he will be outside from June until September. Maybe next year I will feel a bit braver and make it a bit longer.
 

Lyn W

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Do
Thank you for all the information. He is just over 2 years. Plans at the moment are that he will be outside from June until September. Maybe next year I will feel a bit braver and make it a bit longer.

I wonder if he's still a bit too small to be outdoors day and night?
I don't have a Russian so I'm not sure, but our climate can be cold and wet even in the summer so there will be nights and even days when heat will be needed for UK torts to keep them eating and active, and the link I posted has lots of great ideas.
There's also threads on Tom's night boxes too. If he is to be outside night and day he will need to be safe from predators like rats etc.
Good luck with your build!
 

Luke1027

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Thanks for the reply. I will just put him out there on warm sunny days for now then as he is still very small. Don’t want to do anything to put him at risk. I’m happy that he will be safe from predators. Really appreciate all the help I’m getting here.
 

Cathie G

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Thanks for the reply. I will just put him out there on warm sunny days for now then as he is still very small. Don’t want to do anything to put him at risk. I’m happy that he will be safe from predators. Really appreciate all the help I’m getting here.
Hello and welcome 😊 I have a little Russian and he's at least 20 years old. I still carry him in and out according to the weather. I'm in zone 6 I believe of the US. I don't know what yours would be. Or maybe I'm just an overprotective tort mom 🐢
 

Luke1027

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Hello and welcome 😊 I have a little Russian and he's at least 20 years old. I still carry him in and out according to the weather. I'm in zone 6 I believe of the US. I don't know what yours would be. Or maybe I'm just an overprotective tort mom 🐢
Thanks, it’s nice to hear what other people do. I think that sounds like a good way of doing things. I’ll definitely be keeping him in on cold/wet days and bringing him in at night.
 

Cathie G

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Thanks, it’s nice to hear what other people do. I think that sounds like a good way of doing things. I’ll definitely be keeping him in on cold/wet days and bringing him in at night.
They are so little it's just not a problem to do it that way. Except for the fact of an indoor enclosure plus the outdoor enclosure. It takes a lot of room. I have a Mobi baby cam inside now and hardware cloth lids outside now. I enjoy taking him outside and he loves it too. Spoiled 🐢 He's happy to come inside also when it's time. It's a couple of the things we do together.
 

Luke1027

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Yes, as far as I know. I've never had a problem using it. I believe it's even safe for human consumption. What I like about it is it penetrates deep into the wood for better long term protection from moisture.
Hi, just a quick question. I have used the linseed oil as suggested. I was just wondering how long after it dries do I need to leave it before putting my tortoise inside?
 

Turtulas-Len

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Hi, just a quick question. I have used the linseed oil as suggested. I was just wondering how long after it dries do I need to leave it before putting my tortoise inside?
That depends on which oil you used, the boiled or raw. Weather conditions are also a factor. It will have an oily touch until it's weathered some. Full sun will speed the drying process up.
 

Turtulas-Len

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I used boiled. I have left it out in the sun all day today.
Ok that's good. It's not going to dry like paint though. What oil is left on the surface will not harm your tortoise. If you have any doubt about that take a cloth and wipe it down. What's important is the oil that soaked deeply into the wood. Back before water based paint became available and oil based paint was used on just about everything. When painting wood you would mix in some linseed oil to help the paint sink deeper into the wood for better protection and less peeling of the paint over time.
 

Luke1027

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Thank you so much for all you help. I really appreciate it. So much to learn when it comes to tortoises, but really enjoying it. Thanks again.
 

Lyn W

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When painting wood you would mix in some linseed oil to help the paint sink deeper into the wood for better protection and less peeling of the paint over time.
That's a good tip. Since they banned creosote in the UK I've used fence paint on my picket fence, but that seems to wear off really quickly , so I wonder if the linseed oil would extend the life of that paint?
 

Turtulas-Len

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That's a good tip. Since they banned creosote in the UK I've used fence paint on my picket fence, but that seems to wear off really quickly , so I wonder if the linseed oil would extend the life of that paint?
If the fence paint is oil based it should help, especially on bare wood. Using it with paint I would go with the raw oil not the boiled.
 

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