What to do. (sulcata won't come out of burrow)

Mroe

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We put our Aferican Salcuta outside this summer and they dug a two foot deep hole and tunnel on the ground. The weather is now cold and they won’t come out to eat their food. Not sure what to do wondering if the cold killed them. If they are alive should we put a heated dog house up for them?
 

Ink

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@Tom should be able to help you
 

wellington

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Dig him out and cover in the burrow, then build a insulated heated night box.
You said they? If you have two, you need to separate them.
 

Yvonne G

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He may be too cold to be able to move. I've heard of people setting up a hair dryer at the mouth of the burrow to heat the burrow.

It's imperative that you get him out and close the burrow. Sulcatas need to be kept warm day and night. When I had a sulcata (125lbs) he had a 12' by 12' shed with a pig blanket on the floor and a hanging 160watt CHE hanging from the ceiling in the center of the shed about 3' above the back of the tortoise. The shed door was covered with a vinyl strip door and the tortoise could come and go as he wished, even on cold days. But he always went back into the shed when he got cold. And I ALWAYS made sure he was in there at night with the door closed.

If the hair dryer trick doesn't work, dig him out!
 

Tom

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We put our Aferican Salcuta outside this summer and they dug a two foot deep hole and tunnel on the ground. The weather is now cold and they won’t come out to eat their food. Not sure what to do wondering if the cold killed them. If they are alive should we put a heated dog house up for them?
Get out there and dig it up immediately. Get it warm. It is likely not dead yet.

Burrows are great for summertime, but you have to catch them above ground in fall, block off the burrow entrance, and make them sleep in their heated, insulated night house over winter.

Here are two examples:


Bringing the tortoise into the house does not work. Its too cold down on the floor. They need to be at 80 degrees or more all night. No one has 80 degree temps on the floor in winter.

Using dog houses with heat lamps doesn't work either. Dog houses are design for dogs. They don't stay warm enough and let to much heat out. Heat lamps and CHEs will also damage the carapace of a large sulcata and not warm the animal enough. That sort of over head heat works great for babies in indoor enclosures, but it is not effective for large tortoises.
 

TammyJ

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What's happening now? Have you got him out?
 

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