When can tortoises live outside?

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HollyH8

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I have two yearling sulcata tortoises, one is about 4-5 inches and the other only 3". Anyways, when will they be able to live outside permanently? They are getting pretty big in their enclosure and I don't have room to make a bigger one.

Oh! And I live in Arizona :)
 

Yvonne G

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Tom keeps his outside almost right from hatching. You just have to provide for their needs, keep them warm and safe.
 

Dizisdalife

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When my sulcata was 5-6" he was going outside all day. I would bring him in at night and used his indoor enclosure as a night box. When he got to be 10-11" he went outside permanently. First I built a temperature controlled night box for him to stay in.
 

StudentoftheReptile

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I put mine out this past spring when she was about 4 inches. She hit the 6 inch mark in about 3 months. That sunshine will grow them fast!
 

HollyH8

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Thanks everyone! I'm not sure if I'll put them outside yet or just wait till spring.
 

Eweezyfosheezy

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It really depends on where you are. I'm in the Peoria/Glendale area, once my sulcatas are about 12-13" they stay outside full time.
 

mainey34

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Im in Peoria, Arizona, I have a 6 inch. 2 year old. I put her out all day, but bring her in at night. I think maybe in another year or two I will leave her out. But my opinion, she isn't ready yet.
 

Tom

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Here's my general strategy:
Hatchlings go out for an hour or two tops. Then they get a soak and come back in to their closed chambers.

As they gain size I leave them out longer and longer. At the 4-5" mark, I leave them out for around 3-4 hours during fair weather.

At 6" they stay out all day, but sleep inside. By around 10", they move outside full time with a proper enclosure and a heated retreat of some sort.

I think you are wise to wait until spring. I try to coincide their move outside with spring too. This gives them time to acclimate to the great outdoors full time, with less worry about them getting too cold at night. I highly recommend some sort of underground housing when they do move out. Temps are so much more stable and its really the only way to escape that scorching AZ heat.

And Holly... no one wants to hear someone who made the decision to get a sulcata say they don't have room to make a bigger enclosure. :)
 

HollyH8

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Tom said:
Here's my general strategy:
Hatchlings go out for an hour or two tops. Then they get a soak and come back in to their closed chambers.

As they gain size I leave them out longer and longer. At the 4-5" mark, I leave them out for around 3-4 hours during fair weather.

At 6" they stay out all day, but sleep inside. By around 10", they move outside full time with a proper enclosure and a heated retreat of some sort.

I think you are wise to wait until spring. I try to coincide their move outside with spring too. This gives them time to acclimate to the great outdoors full time, with less worry about them getting too cold at night. I highly recommend some sort of underground housing when they do move out. Temps are so much more stable and its really the only way to escape that scorching AZ heat.

And Holly... no one wants to hear someone who made the decision to get a sulcata say they don't have room to make a bigger enclosure. :)

Haha! I have PLENTY of space outside for them, just not so much indoors.
 

ColorfulTortoise

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I would love to have my tortoise live outside if I didn't live in Vermont. It get's down to 30 below zero here!
 
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