How to build an outdoor tortoise enclosure

Tortoises are adorable pets that need to be taken care of along with a good habitat to live in. tortoises live for a long time and grow to reach big sizes. So, they need a big habitat with the same conditions similar to their natural environment. In this article, I am going to teach you how to build a perfect outdoor enclosure that will suit both your tortoise and your outdoor area. Where your tortoise lives? It is one of the things that affect the tortoise’s health and life.

Build an outdoor tortoise enclosure

Outdoor enclosure
Outdoor enclosure

1. Choose a suitable place to put your enclosure. Then, start your building process

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Tortoises can dig in the sand or soil grounds. For that, you should start building the enclosure with choosing any place with a hard-surface ground such as; concrete, slab, porch….., etc. to build your enclosure on. After that, make your calculations to determine the dimensions of your enclosure. You can use any unusable lumbers from your house or you can buy new ones.  The dimensions that I have selected for our base were 12cm *12cm with a height of 2 cm from the ground. Then cut the door borders and put it on half of the roof and the other half of the roof is going to be some wooden boards.

2. Make a hide-out place for your tortoise inside the enclosure

This place is important for your tortoise as it uses this place to hide from bad weather and the sun; this area is going to take half the space of the enclosure. You should make this area easy to be reached and cleaned. So make the wood boards at the top movable and don’t screw them.

3. Finish the enclosure door by attaching a wire net to the door wood frame

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To prevent your pet from escaping and protect it from animals that might attack your tortoise, you should attach a mesh wire to your door using a staple gun. This will allow the sunlight to enter your enclosure, which will help your tortoise in digesting food.

4. The finishing touch and decorations

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Paint your enclosure with your favorite color and Put a suitable floor such as; grass, sand….., etc. The final step is putting some accessories for your tortoise and a bowl of water for the tortoise to soak in. our enclosure is done. Just put your tortoise inside it and provide it with food and water.

Perfect accessories for your enclosure

Reptile heat mat

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  • An under-tank heater that is used to control the temperature of the tank
  • It is an energy-saving and a waterproof design
  • It can be located under the enclosure or inside the enclosure covered by a layer of sand to avoid direct contact with your pet.
  • Low energy consumption
  • It can be used with all types of enclosure.

 Tortoise bedding

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  • Many types of tortoise beddings, as well as reptile bedding, can be found on Amazon and other online stores such as; rainforest earth bedding, beach chips, soil bedding, and straw terrain.
  • All types of bedding are harmless to tortoises
  • Bedding is used as an absorbent to reduce any odor and to simulate the natural environment where your pet used to live
  • All the beddings are made from natural components

Heat emitter bulb

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  • A durable bulb that lasts for a long time 
  • It doesn’t emit light. It only emits heat to simulate the natural environment for your pet
  • Used in warming your reptile in the cold days
  • It also produces infrared rays which are good for the health of your tortoise

Water bowl for reptile

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  • There are many unique designs on Amazon and other online stores
  • A water bowl should be made from non-toxic resins
  • It shouldn’t be deep so that the tortoise can get inside it and outside it easily
  • Pick a one that is easy to clean

Food bowl

  • It should be made from a non-toxic material
  •  It should be easy to be washed and cleaned
  • There are many shapes and designs available on amazon and other online stores 

Hiding bridge

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  • It works as a hiding area for your pet
  • It helps your pet in feeling safe and secure  

Tortoise block

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  • A chewable block with high nutritional values
  • A great source of calcium and food supplements
  • It helps in preventing the overgrowth of tortoise’s peak

Wooden house

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  • A decorative piece that is perfect for your enclosure
  • It can be used as a hiding area for young tortoises
  • it is made from wood  

Tips for building a suitable enclosure for your tortoise

  • The enclosure should be similar to the natural environment that the tortoise used to live in
  • Over moist will promote fungal growth which has a bad impact on the health of your tortoise
  • Provide your pet with a shallow water bowl to soak and drink
  • Make a hide-out area inside the enclosure for your tortoise.
  • Make sure to provide your pet with a basking area and shading area as well inside its enclosure
  • Tortoises prefer to live in a non-transparent enclosure so, avoid using a glass tank as an enclosure for your tortoise. as tortoises need a spacious area to live in

Pros and cons of outdoor tortoise enclosure

Pros of outdoor enclosures

  • Outdoor areas will provide you with a spacious area to put your enclosure in. A tortoise can grow to be very big so, a large habitat is needed.
  • outdoor enclosures get better sunlight and have a good ventilation
  • the outdoor enclosure can be one of your garden decorations to become a focal point that will attract your visitors and friends

Cons of outdoor enclosures

  • During the bad weather days, an outdoor enclosure may not be the best choice for your pet. As the temperature can get low and there may be rain. So, in this case, it is better to get your pet inside the house
  • Tortoises in the outdoor enclosure can be stolen. to prevent that, secure the enclosure with a good lock
  • Outdoor enclosures are susceptible to animal attacks such as; foxes and mice. So, try to secure your pet from these animals.
  • Tortoises can dig. So, make sure to make the floor of the outdoor enclosure from a hard surface. 

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