This page last edited on

01 August, 2008



Housing and Care

   My tortoises live outside in the tortoise pen which is along the side of the house. I can view them from the living room window and the spare bedroom window. This makes them even more enjoyable because I can watch them eat and walk around without disturbing them. Almost all of the video and pictures of them on this website were taken from the living room window. I love that I can observe them acting naturally without disturbing them. In the morning I clean out the water dishes and give them fresh food.  Sometimes they are out before I arrive in the pen but most of the time its fairly quiet early in the morning.  They all tend to come out and feed on their own schedule. In the winter they are out more if the weather is pleasant than in the heat of the summer.  If the weather is cold or rainy you don't see them.


  They have four of the extra-large dog houses that they sleep in and use for protection from the sun/heat, rain and cold. I put my old aluminum hurricane shutters on top of the houses to keep the rain away from the houses and to add extra insulation.  The inside of the houses have dirt and hay so that they can burrow and keep warm or cool depending on the weather and as dry as possible.  The shutters purposely hang over the edges of the houses to steer the rain away so the water doesn't leak into the houses.  This is also helpful when there are hurricanes because I leave the reptiles out. I did bring them in the first two storms we had but they were so miserable and made such a mess that I determined it was better to leave them outside.  Besides the tortoises, I have two species of turtles that live in the tortoise pen. There are two Florida box turtles and two Central American wood turtles.  You can visit their pages from the turtle page on the top picture menu. They require the same type of housing and fenced in area that the tortoises require.

  I have had to make a few modifications to the pen over the years to keep the reptiles from getting out. I placed a lot of 12" x 12" blocks in the front of the fenced gate to they couldn't dig under the gate and get out. My dog got a hold of one who dug out. Luckily she was able to get rehab'd and she is still alive. NEVER TRUST A DOG WITH A REPTILE EVER!!! To them turtles and tortoises are nothing more than a walking bone! The pen is completely enclosed by a six foot wood fence and a 4 foot wood fence gate. The reptiles have never dug under the fence and I have never had any wild animals attack them. They live outside year round because the weather in south Florida doesn't get cold enough to endanger them in the winter. If it were to get in the high 30s at night I would bring them in. They have plenty of hay in their houses to keep warm.


  Indoor tortoises REQUIRE UV RAY LIGHTS!!! This is a must have for all indoor reptiles!!! If you raise hatchlings inside, as you should, you need the proper lighting set up for them. Once they live outside they get natural UV light and sunshine which they need for their overall health and shell formation. This is a HUGE problem that rescue groups see time and again and one in which can be completely AVOIDED. LEARN about this requirement before getting any reptile!  Reptile shops will have everything that you need to get set up but be prepared to spend $$$. If you can't afford it do not get the tortoise!

  I hope that you enjoy the video and pictures on this page and that my housing and care information was helpful to you.





Click on Playlist to view the  movie of the tortoise pen.



Tortoise pen gate

Notice the Tortoise Xing sing on the fenced gate.



End of the pen

They have a tube to hide in as well as the houses

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DISCLAIMER:  This website was set up to SHARE my OWN experience with my reptiles, guinea pigs, ponds/fish, gardens and local wildlife and to post pictures and video of them. It was NOT SET UP to offer my opinion or expertise on ANY QUESTION that I am asked and what I post on this website should not be taken as "EXPERT ADVISE" or how to take care of reptiles, guinea pigs, ponds/fish, gardens or local wildlife. I AM NOT A REPTILE RESCUE GROUP, GUINEA PIG RESCUE GROUP, VETERINARIAN, REPTILE EXPERT, GUINEA PIG EXPERT, PONDS/FISH EXPERT, GARDEN EXPERT OR WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR! I have limited experience with reptiles, guinea pigs, local wildlife, ponds/fish and gardens, therefore, I am NOT QUALIFIED to give out advise or answer questions and you, as a visitor to this website, should not take anything on this website as expert advise or accurate information.  I present this website for fun and fun only - NOT as a reference website to instruct anyone on how to properly take care of reptiles, guinea pigs, local wildlife, ponds/fish or gardens.  I share how I DO THINGS for my reptiles, guinea pigs, local wildlife, ponds/fish and gardens and this is not intended for others to take as expert advise or to mimic. Furthermore, my political views are my own and not intended to offend, annoy, hurt or demean any person, entity or organization. I express my views as an American who has the right to free speech under the Constitution of the United States of America. Please feel free to set up your own website and express your views, post your pictures and video and share with the rest of us in cyberspace what your little corner of the world is like. Thank you very much for your kind understanding in appreciating the value and contents of this website.


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