Specifics for Sulcata winter house re: Tom's design

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Nov 29, 2018
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Greetings! I am adopting a 4 yo male Sulcata soon and creating a home before hand. We are going to build the house designed by Tom in a previous thread, if anyone is familiar. My husband is a builder so I am lucky!

That said, Ive been thinking about how they like to burrow. Does anyone think its possible to dig down under part of where the box will sit, box it in underground a bit (plywood lined 'hole'), leave a hole in the floor of the house- thus leaving a spot for him to burrow down for comfort. Is this crazy? Does anyone foresee any problems with this?

also, basic care question... We reside in Virginia, where it is cold this time of year most days. I know sunlight is important, when the weather is ok. Do we leave the door open to the house even when its cold (40 degrees or so) or keep them out of the cold air? Will Sulcatas even go into the cold voluntarily for a bit?

Thanks in advance..Im so grateful for this site and all the knowledge!
 

Yvonne G

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I wouldn't allow him to burrow in your climate. The burrow gets so deep, with a bend in the corridor, that you wouldn't be able to get him out on frozen nights.
 
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ah, got it...thanks. I guess we will let him indulge in the summer months. I do wonder though, if the area is boxed in under the dirt and under the heated house if it would freeze. Probably not worth the risk. Thanks for the info. Do yours venture out in 40-45 degrees or choose to stay inside all day?
 

Yvonne G

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My Dudley is 110lbs, so he's able to stay warm down into his core for a lot longer than a smaller tortoise would. He comes out on cold, foggy or rainy days and grazes a bit, but if there's no sun for him to sit under, he usually goes back in his shed.
 

wellington

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I believe @Tom has some pics of his night box buried so the tortoises can "burrow" into the night box. I think the top of the box is left where he can open it. I might have it semi correct. I alerted Tom so he can explain better and/or post his pics.
 
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Perfect Info thanks. Honestly if our new friend stays inside, completely inside, for 3 or four months we needed to spend more time designing a big space. Since he can venture out a bit I feel a 4 x 6 or so could work. We currently are planning on digging a mound and burying a House much like ton’s design.. so seeing his other burried plans would be awesome. Getting so excited to meet this guy!!
 
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Hopefully we will be adopting this guy pretty soon. Naming him Monty Chello ( just moved to VA .. after the famed Monticello home of Thomas Montgomery.)
 

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