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Cosy Tortoises

Innovative Tortoise Housing and Ideal Set-Up and Care Information

Tortoise Houses and set-up information

Find your ideal tortoise set-up based on;

  • ​Whether you keep them indoors or outdoors
  • ​How dry and warm your tortoises need to be
  • The most practical option for your lifestyle and garden
  • The most energy efficient solution


All-Season Houses

Perfect for keeping tortoises outdoors with good access to your garden during the day.  This set-up is ideal for common and garden tortoises including most Mediterrranean tortoises who are reasonably damp and cold tolerant.  Meaning they adapt well to having access to a UK garden providing they have permanent access to a heatlamp and a drier hide area both of which are provided in the All-Season House.

In the their natural habitat Mediterranean Tortoises are typically found on low fertility grass meadows.  Access to plenty natural grazing is important because they need at least 50% grass in their diet to ensure healthy digestion.

The integrated hides are important for allowing them to mimic the natural behaviour of hiding from the sun during the hottest part of the day keeping stress levels to a minimum.

The most important feature of an All-Season House is the provision of permanent access to a heatlamp.  This means basking temperatures can be acheived whenever the tortoise chooses, ensuring healthy digestion is achieved regardless of climate differences compared with their natural habitat.

See the All-Season Houses page and Tortoise House Information page for details of this housing by clicking on the underlined links or using the top menu.


Outdoor Runs

An Outdoor Run can provide good security, both to prevent a tortoise escaping from an insecure garden boundary and from wildlife or other pets.

They can also be a good way of tailoring your tortoises' diet to only what is found in their natural habitat rather than them eating all your favourite plants, that may not be ideal food for them either.  Please see our Seeds page for ideas for improving your tortoises diet by planting wildflowers and grass mixtures that are good tortoise food.

Paired together an All-Season House and Outdoor Run can be a secure long-term solution to housing a tortoise outside when you are out for large portions of the day.

See the Outdoor Run page for details of this housing by clicking on the underlined links or using the top menu.


Indoor Tortoise Tables

Wood indoor tortoise tables  are usually the preferred way of providing indoor housing for tortoises.  The only exception being tortoises who need high-humidity environments such as Redfoot tortoises, most other Tropical tortoises and some African species.  Higher-humidity can be achieved with plastic, glass or fibreglass tables providing they are large enough for good air-flow as well.

Tortoises who are particularly damp, draught or sensitive following an illness may require permanent indoor housing.  Essentially, any tortoise table should have as large a floor area as possible, with at least two sides that are easily accessible. Typically UV lighting and heatlamps are suspended over the table to replicate the heat and light usually provided by the Sun outdoors, essential for the health of all reptiles.  The Infra-red (IR) heat produced by heatbulbs mimics the heat from the Sun required for basking that ensures good digestion by reptiles.  The Ultra-Violet (UV) light, specifically UVB light allows vitamin D to be produced in skin, which is essential for the uptake of calcium that is so important for the continual growth and renewal of all  tortoises' shells.  See our House Electrics page for information about cost efficient IR heat bulbs, heatlamps and UV lighting options.

See the Indoor Tortoise Table page for details of this housing by clicking on the underlined links or using the top menu.


The Natural Ground HousesAfrican tortoises. Of course, keeping AfricanNatural Ground Houses are designed to be placed on a perimeter wall at least 65 mm wide.  The house hide portion does not contain a base or windows because the Sunroom is an attached removable polycarbonate covered run. In all other respects they are like our standard All-Season Houses which are designed to house tortoises all year round outside.

See the Natural Ground All-Season Houses page for details of this housing by clicking on the underlined links or using the top menu.


Giant All-Season Houses

Giant All-Season Houses are ideal for large groups of small Mediterranean tortoises such as Hermann and Horsefield tortoises that need a fairly dry house large enough to suit their needs when the UK weather means they cannot be outside. They are also ideal for medium Mediterranean species like Marginated tortoises or larger African species of tortoises who come from drier habitats such as Leopard or Sulcata tortoises.  There are three sizes available with different height sides below the windows and overall heights appropriate for the different-sized tortoises.  The overall height is kept to a minimum to conserve energy as much as possible.

See the Giant All-Season Houses page for details of this housing by clicking on the underlined links or using the top menu

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