Tortoise tuck in time

With nighttime temperatures dropping into the fifties, it’s time to start tucking in the Sulcatas at night. Winters in Arizona are usually mild and the tortoises still bask in the sunshine during the day. These gentle giants do not hibernate and must have a warm place to sleep at night.

Last year we only needed only one house; the green bottomed house on the left. Over the past several months the tortoises have grown so much we had to get a second house. We lucked out and found a neighbor discarding a couple of large dog houses, perfect for our tortoises.

We equip each house with temperature controlled heat lamps. The floors are lined with a thick piece of plywood and covered with hay. This keeps the bottoms warm and dry and makes them easier to clean.

When the temperature drops, we make sure everyone is inside a heated house. Sunday night we had to pull two tortoises out of the blue planter pot, a favorite hangout spot. Once everyone is inside, the heaters are turned on and beach towels cover the opening. The heating elements are on a thermostat and the houses have vents on the top and back for air circulation.

When it gets colder during the winter sometimes they don’t want to come outside. Who can blame them? No one likes getting out of a warm comfy bed and stepping out into the cold. Hope everyone stays toasty warm this fall and winter! Thank you for reading and have a happy animal filled day! 🙂 Mrs. Zoo

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