are many ways in which to house a tortoise and it manly depends on
the size and
Tortoises under the age of 3 should be housed
in a large vivarium. This should be at least 3 foot long
and should be well ventilated. The juvenile tortoise should have
access to a basking lamp (see leaflet on basking) which is a
reflector bulb suspended over the tortoise to generate a temperature
of 90° F or 32-34° C. in the past owners have been advise to use a
UV strip light too. But due to recent reports of tortoises
with eye problems, UV lighting is not recommended until
are carried out.
The basking lamp should be positioned at one end and a box with
shredded paper at the other. Do not use straw. If the
vivarium sides are see through then block
them out. Otherwise the tortoise will spend most of its day trying
to get through.
If your tortoise is an adult, then an outdoor area is
required. Firstly you will need a secure, well fenced in garden,
remember tortoises are excellent climbers and diggers.
If you have a garden shed, greenhouse, outhouse
or garage you are halfway there. Corner
off an area inside, to
ensure that the tortoise does not disappear under the other items
stored there. You will require an electricity supply to this
indoor area, to install a basking lamp. The same principle
applies, a reflector bulb suspended from above to generate a temperature
of 90o F or 32-34o C.
simply cut a hole in the housing quarters
to allow the tortoise to come and go from the garden area. Leave
the basking lamp on for a minimum of 8 hours per day and a maximum
of 12 hours.
Your tortoise will soon learn to come and go from the indoor area.
By positioning the lamp at one end and a box of shredded
paper at the other, the tortoise
will sleep under the paper and then wake up and bask under
the lamp until he decides he is warm enough to go out into the
See our Feeding Manual for a list of poisonous and edible
plants for your garden.
Unfortunately there are still tortoises living in this
country, who are left in the home to roam around and other that
are put in the garden
all summer to fend for themselves. Owner must remember that
the temperature in this country does not reach 90° F on a daily
basis, and these temperatures are required for a cold-blooded
tortoise to bask under.
floor should be lined with newspaper, which is cheap and easy to