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Can My Tortoise Live Outside? Leopard and Sulcata

Discussion in 'Tortoises' started by model700, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. model700

    model700 Well-Known Member

    i have a leopard which is about 2 years old and a sulcata that is a few months. can they live outside? day temps average 65 and night is usually 10 degrees cooler than day. but when its sunny its usually 75-80. so im wondering if they can live outside without a heat source
  2. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    If you had a large underground burrow for them then yes but if you don't they will need additional heating on days that it gets below 60F. Also try to put a large flat flagstone somewhere that it will always be in the sun so they have a warmer place to bask.
  3. model700

    model700 Well-Known Member

    with the borrow how does that give them heat?
  4. Poison

    Poison Elite Member

    The burrow keeps them away from the cold. I know people who use small sheds for night time use. You can ad some heat lamps in it. Or keep it warm in other ways.
  5. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    If the burrows are atleast 12in underground then they will actually be warm and temperature controled naturally. It is the easiest way to keep the torts happy and temp safe. In the winter it will be warmer then the outside and in the summer it is cooler.
    If you want to control the depth of the burrow and still have access to the torts then you can build a burrow yourself. There are 3 ways to do it that I can think of:

    Easiest: stack bricks to make the sides and back, put a thick board across the top, then pile dirt on top of it.

    Semi easy way: take a barrel drum and say it in half them bury it (if it isnt deep enough though the tort will deepen it himself)

    Complicated but best way: build a large home that you can bury. It would consists of 3 parts:
    1. a slanted rectangle that would act as a hallway.
    2. large box that would be where the torts sleep.
    3. A "chimney" that would have a lid. This would be an emergency hatch that you can take off and be able to reach in to get to the tortoises.

    For small tortoises this wouldnt be that hard but I know of one breeder that has boxes large enough that he can stand in them and the escape hatch has hand and footholds. He also had to rent construction equipment in order to dig the holes and then rebury the boxes.

    I personally just let the torts dig where they will until it gets too deep then I collapse it and have them restart the process. gives them the exercise.

    I have tried sheds, houses, and other above grown accommodations but they just don't seem to like them as much as a burrow.
  6. model700

    model700 Well-Known Member

    burrow sounds cool. but would i need any other heat source for the borrow? because the air is very moist. like always foggy at night so that might do something?
  7. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    No if they are deep burrows then the earth regulates itself. The best thing to do if this is the way you want to go is start a hole in an area that you want them to dig and until the burrow is a good size continue to bring them in at night but once it is up to your elbow then they can stay outside 24/7.
  8. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    How big are these tortoises?
  9. model700

    model700 Well-Known Member

    probably 400 grams for the leopard and maybe 100 for the sulcata
  10. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Those are small torts are you sure you want them outside where a bird can take off with them?
  11. model700

    model700 Well-Known Member

    well will crows take a leopard that big? I mean they themselves are probably 800 grams. and we rarely have hawks. if so then I would probably build a pen and cover them up. because they are getting to big for cages.
  12. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    A pen with a lid is best. I lived in the middle of the city in a well populated area and an owl took off with my 1000gram sulcata tortoise. It's not something you want to see so its best to prevent it when possible and yes cross and pidgeons will take off with a tortoise if they can lift it.
  13. lopez82

    lopez82 Elite Member

    I agree with the lidded pen. One of the biggest concerns with keeping tortoises (out here anyway) is crows flying off with them.
  14. model700

    model700 Well-Known Member

    well then i have a few questions. how big untill a bird or racoon wont take my tort? and also do burrows work well in pens?
  15. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Burrows work fine in pens just keep an eye out for an exit in the rest of the yard if you see one make sure all the torts are out and then collapse the burrow.

    If you take your hand and spread your fingers...that big!

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