Box turtles make great pets. Unfortunately, most of them are kept in aquariums. Turtles would be much happier if they had an outdoor enclosure that mimicked their natural environment. These tips will help you create such an enclosure for your pet box turtle.
Select the right location. Find a spot in your yard that receives a good amount of sun. Morning sun is preferable, with shade in the hot afternoon. It’s fine if the enclosure receives direct sunlight, just be sure to provide places for the turtles to escape the sun within the enclosure.
Get the materials. You’ll need enough solid, untreated wood to create an enclosure that is at least 4×6 feet. The sides of the enclosure should be at least 18 inches high. You also need enough 2×2 wood pieces to create a cover. Use wire mesh for the cover as well as underneath the enclosure.
Dig a hole. Based on the measurements you’ve decided, dig a hole so that the enclosure is sunk into ground. Lay the wire mesh a few inches under the soil to discourage the turtles from digging.
Create a wooden frame. Using the wood you purchased, create a wooden frame around the inside edges of the hole. Secure the wood at the corners with stainless steel corner plates.
Line the bottom of the enclosure with a substrate material. You can use a mixture of topsoil and moss, as well as bark and grass clippings. This will allow the turtle to burrow under the bark and grass clippings.
Fill the enclosure with places to hide. You want the turtles to have places to hide and find shade. You can use manufactured half logs or pieces of bark resting on logs or rocks. Turtles can also use the bark and logs to explore their territory. Place a shallow pan of water in the enclosure so that turtles can climb in and out of the pan but not become submerged completely.
Put food in the enclosure. Place lettuce, edible herbs, and other greens inside the enclosure. You can even put strawberry and tomato plants in there, just be sure they haven’t been treated with pesticides.
Connect the 2×2 wood pieces to create a cover for the enclosure. Use a staple gun to attach the wire mesh to the 2x2s, which will act as a cover for the pen. Use hinges to attach the cover to the wood frame. This will keep other pets and possible predators out of the enclosure. It will also keep the turtles inside the enclosure you worked so hard to create.
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