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Old 07-01-2019, 01:32 PM   #1
jimothy
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Default Outdoor housing in urban area

Although our two spur thighed (iberas) are only 4.5 months/30grams at the moment, we are planning on re-scaping the garden this year and want to plan ahead for when they are big enough to go outside.

We live in central London but are lucky enough to have a garden (about 10m long). I am worried about vicious predators! I have seen rats the size of squirrels and there are lots of foxes around.

Does anyone have any experience of keeping torts outdoors in an urban area? Will they need a completely protected roaming area as well as a hutch? Would you keep them outdoors at all, at what age/size?
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Old 07-01-2019, 01:46 PM   #2
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Although our two spur thighed (iberas) are only 4.5 months/30grams at the moment, we are planning on re-scaping the garden this year and want to plan ahead for when they are big enough to go outside.

We live in central London but are lucky enough to have a garden (about 10m long). I am worried about vicious predators! I have seen rats the size of squirrels and there are lots of foxes around.

Does anyone have any experience of keeping torts outdoors in an urban area? Will they need a completely protected roaming area as well as a hutch? Would you keep them outdoors at all, at what age/size?
I dont live in a urban area, but have kept ibera for a very long time:0)
And I used for hatchlings outside a glass coldframe set on bricks with an opening somewhere where they can come and go as they please. Only the heat from the sun, as they did not have any extra heat other than from the glass. I live in Kent so temps not that different:0)
I always check that my tortoises are in the coldframe at night, and if you are worried you can always cover the gap at night to stop predators. In their enclosure I planted dwarf fruit trees and low growing dwarf hebes for cover and to stop large birds landing in their enclosure. I have used this system for over 30yrs and it has worked really well.
If you can enclosure all, then you should be well protected. But its no so easy to do:0)
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Old 07-01-2019, 03:49 PM   #3
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Although I agree with a lot sandy has said I would step it up a bit and make a big enough enclosure as you can but make it using concrete blocks or bricks cemented together.
Put the blocks two high or higher if you want to put a cold frame in or make one to fit.
On the top I would make a sturdy wooden frame to which fix a good strong inch x inch weld mesh the type used on outside bird pens and with luck if you have rats that will keep them out as unfortunately they will kill torts given the chance.
Always better to over engineer than under.
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Old 07-01-2019, 04:21 PM   #4
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Once they are fully grown adults, would you say they still need protection or just while they are juveniles?


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Although I agree with a lot sandy has said I would step it up a bit and make a big enough enclosure as you can but make it using concrete blocks or bricks cemented together.
Put the blocks two high or higher if you want to put a cold frame in or make one to fit.
On the top I would make a sturdy wooden frame to which fix a good strong inch x inch weld mesh the type used on outside bird pens and with luck if you have rats that will keep them out as unfortunately they will kill torts given the chance.
Always better to over engineer than under.
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Old 07-01-2019, 05:35 PM   #5
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Once they are fully grown adults, would you say they still need protection or just while they are juveniles?
Depends on how much of a wus you are:0) :0)
My adults now live in a heated greenhouse (heated from hibernation until threat of frosts has gone) then all heat switched off. Heat put on again when temps drop. And my tortoise actually hibernate in the GH soil.
They can roam my garden as they like,but I do still check them in at night. 99% of the time they are back in the GH by around 4-5 oclock in the afternoon:0)
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Old 07-01-2019, 07:04 PM   #6
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Once they are fully grown adults, would you say they still need protection or just while they are juveniles?
From large rats, Iíd say give them protection even when theyíre adults.
I take no chances with mine and Iím rural. There are birds of prey, seagulls and other predators as well as rats.
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Old 07-01-2019, 07:19 PM   #7
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Take no chances I know someone on here who has just lost two adult tortoises to a rat
Always better safe than sorry I say.
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Old 07-01-2019, 09:07 PM   #8
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Take no chances I know someone on here who has just lost two adult tortoises to a rat
Always better safe than sorry I say.
Thatís just so sad. Bloody rats!

Absolutely agree, always better safe than sorry.
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Testudo Hermanni 5.12.0:Theo, Tamara, Tabitha, Harriet, Isabelle, Clara, Oscar, Hugo, Oliver, Florence, Arabella, Esme, Aurelia, Felicia, Claudia, Atticus and Celestia
Chickens 0.2.0: Beatrice & Emilia
White's Tree Frog (Litoria Caerulea) 1.0.0: Tiko
Mack Snow Leopard Gecko 0.1.0: Jazz
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Old 07-01-2019, 09:11 PM   #9
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Never in all these years have I had a problem with rats. even though we know they all live within feet of houses and sometimes I do see them during the day but rarely and I have guinea pigs but absolutely no food stuffs outside or anywhere in the garden. I even allowed cats into the areas just in case. I hate rats now. They broke into a secure GH, by digging under the glass frame, where the tortoises hibernate naturally, chewing through wooden thickened struts and killed two of my adults including sadly Patina Apple. it was heart breaking as one was alive when I found her and died shortly later, I think from shock more than anything and I still can't stop thinking about it - but what can you do when you live out rurally. I can't keep them in during the day also but I do check they are all locked up at night or as Sandy says they take themselves off around 3- 4 o'clock each day.

Definitely with small ones that size wrap them up in cotton wall and secure top and bottom.

I think just incredibly horrid and concerning but surely very very rare.

CB
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Old 07-01-2019, 09:46 PM   #10
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Never in all these years have I had a problem with rats. even though we know they all live within feet of houses and sometimes I do see them during the day but rarely and I have guinea pigs but absolutely no food stuffs outside or anywhere in the garden. I even allowed cats into the areas just in case. I hate rats now. They broke into a secure GH, by digging under the glass frame, where the tortoises hibernate naturally, chewing through wooden thickened struts and killed two of my adults including sadly Patina Apple. it was heart breaking as one was alive when I found her and died shortly later, I think from shock more than anything and I still can't stop thinking about it - but what can you do when you live out rurally. I can't keep them in during the day also but I do check they are all locked up at night or as Sandy says they take themselves off around 3- 4 o'clock each day.

Definitely with small ones that size wrap them up in cotton wall and secure top and bottom.

I think just incredibly horrid and concerning but surely very very rare.

CB
Iím so sorry, Clare.
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4 children 3.1.0
Testudo Hermanni 5.12.0:Theo, Tamara, Tabitha, Harriet, Isabelle, Clara, Oscar, Hugo, Oliver, Florence, Arabella, Esme, Aurelia, Felicia, Claudia, Atticus and Celestia
Chickens 0.2.0: Beatrice & Emilia
White's Tree Frog (Litoria Caerulea) 1.0.0: Tiko
Mack Snow Leopard Gecko 0.1.0: Jazz
Leopard Gecko 0.1.0: Bindi
Budgie: 0.1.0: Gaia
Doggies: 1.1.0 Chester and Lottie
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