Tortoise Box Works!!

The-Great-Stash

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2014
Messages
105
Many moons ago, I once posted (twice accidentally and unknowingly) about how to keep my trio of Russian tortoises outdoors all year round with a hide box that they can all retreat to to escape extreme heat and cold as well as making it flood proof. Well, folks, I have finally got my answer going back days before a winter storm hit my home in Texas...
20201207_175602.jpg
20201208_112741.jpg
20201208_112719_HDR.jpg
It's so darn simple! I dug it in deep enough to keep snow and frost from penetrating within but also to help escape from the extreme summer heat. BUT it's also high enough to prevent flooding in as had been proven this past week!! The surrounding box is wrapped around cardboard and black mulch, and the inside is also lined with cardboard and filled with dirt, moss, straw and grass, and reptibark chips. I had no worries as I suspect that all my tortoises are farm raised or imported so keeping them outdoors has been super easy.

A big thanks to all those here who have given me great answers and ideas to help me out. This design is simple but effective though I still would like to improve on it further. Please, what do y'all think?
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
40,446
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
If it works great.
An improvement would be a heated night box like Tom builds. Its insulated and heated when needed. He is in CA and gets very hot temps and some cold temps. He buried his like you did the box you use.
Many use them buried or not.
 

The-Great-Stash

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2014
Messages
105
If it works great.
An improvement would be a heated night box like Tom builds. Its insulated and heated when needed. He is in CA and gets very hot temps and some cold temps. He buried his like you did the box you use.
Many use them buried or not.
Don't reckon I've ever built one before. But I do like how they look for larger tortoises on Kamp Kenan's channel. If I tried something like that but halfway in the ground, it'd have to be a heat pat screwed on the ceiling part or something.

In any case, I love hearing new ideas if it'll help me help my pets, thanks very much.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,398
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Don't reckon I've ever built one before. But I do like how they look for larger tortoises on Kamp Kenan's channel. If I tried something like that but halfway in the ground, it'd have to be a heat pat screwed on the ceiling part or something.

In any case, I love hearing new ideas if it'll help me help my pets, thanks very much.
Kamp Kenan is not a good source of info. He does lots of things wrong.

Cardboard, straw and grass are all going to rot and mold. These aren't good materials to be using for this application. Moss should never be used. It does nothing and they always eat it. It can cause an impaction.

The thin plastic top and thin walls of your tub do not offer the necessary insulation to resist temperature change. While you have a very hardy species that can survive a lot, it would be best to provide them with housing that was closer to optimal, rather than just survivable. The plastic tub might be better than nothing for them, but it won't be as those materials begin to rot and promote mold and mildew.

This care sheet is full of all sorts of useful info, but it also explains outdoor housing and shows pics of how best to do it: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/the-best-way-to-raise-any-temperate-species-of-tortoise.183131/
 

The-Great-Stash

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2014
Messages
105
Kamp Kenan is not a good source of info. He does lots of things wrong.

Cardboard, straw and grass are all going to rot and mold. These aren't good materials to be using for this application. Moss should never be used. It does nothing and they always eat it. It can cause an impaction.

The thin plastic top and thin walls of your tub do not offer the necessary insulation to resist temperature change. While you have a very hardy species that can survive a lot, it would be best to provide them with housing that was closer to optimal, rather than just survivable. The plastic tub might be better than nothing for them, but it won't be as those materials begin to rot and promote mold and mildew.

This care sheet is full of all sorts of useful info, but it also explains outdoor housing and shows pics of how best to do it: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/the-best-way-to-raise-any-temperate-species-of-tortoise.183131/
This is EXACTLY the kind of info I need! Learning from mistakes and preventing future ones. Thanks for the source, I've already read it thru but will go over it again repeatedly and try to break it down more easily for my sake. Sorry, not so good with words or talking to others as I'm on the autism spectrum. Can't help it😅. I'm ignorant, but not an idiot especially when it comes to giving the best that I can for my pets. So thanks again!
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,398
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
This is EXACTLY the kind of info I need! Learning from mistakes and preventing future ones. Thanks for the source, I've already read it thru but will go over it again repeatedly and try to break it down more easily for my sake. Sorry, not so good with words or talking to others as I'm on the autism spectrum. Can't help it😅. I'm ignorant, but not an idiot especially when it comes to giving the best that I can for my pets. So thanks again!
I would never have known. I'm happy to help and questions are welcome.
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
24,226
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
There are brackets (cups?) Sold at most hardware stores that allow you to cut and use a portion of a wooden broomstick handle or PVC pipe across the sides of a box enclosure. Allowing you to suspend a CHE and still use the lid of the box to access your tortoises with ease.
Unfortunately, my photo doesn't show the brackets.
For my Redfoot and living in an area with very mild winters, this works fantastic.
I know very little about how cold it gets in your area of Texas.
 

Attachments

  • 20210116_140511.jpg
    20210116_140511.jpg
    1.2 MB · Views: 6
Last edited:

The-Great-Stash

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2014
Messages
105
There are brackets (cups?) Sold at most hardware stores that allow you to cut and use a portion of a wooden broomstick handle or PVC pipe across the sides of a box enclosure. Allowing you to suspend a CHE and still use the lid of the box to access your tortoises with ease.
Unfortunately, my photo doesn't show the brackets.
For my Redfoot and living in an area with very mild winters, this works fantastic.
I know very little about how cold it gets in your area of Texas.
I appreciate the idea, this helps!
 
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top