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Needs modifying for a reasonable sized tortoise
on 27 March 2017
I have been looking for a hutch which would accommodate my tortoise. There seem to be none tailor made for that purpose, but many people seem to use one of these, or one from other sources which seem to be built to the same pattern, for their tortoises, so I thought I'd try it. The door seemed to be a bit narrow for my tortoise, but I thought I'd get one and if necessary I'd modify it; much easier than building one from scratch.
The house is pretty easy to put together. The sides, front and back simply bolt together. Impossible to go wrong.
The roof is a bit harder as there are no markings for the screws for the hinges, but with a little bit of common sense that too is easily achieved, as is fixing the stay.
The floor is in two sections which just drop into place. They are slatted, I assume to aid ventilation and facilitate the elimination of excreted liquids (wee). The gaps aren't very wide, so I doubt they'd cause any problems, but if they did a plastic floor tile or piece of line could easily be trimmed to shape to provide a cover.
Once constructed I disturbed the tortoise from its hibernation for a fitting, only to find she was too wide to get in through the door.
So plan B. I decided to turn the whole of the front into a door. I won't go into details as it shouldn't be foo difficult for anyone else to do the same. I've attached a couple of photos to show the finished product.
The timber I used was matchboard, like that used in the house, but was a bit wider than that used by the manufacturers. I salvaged the two upright frames of the original door for the sides of the new one, and found a couple of other pieces of timber in my garage (I told my wife it would come in handy one day...) for the top and bottom bars of the door.
I did buy a couple of hinges, as I didn't think the single one provided would be enough.
A coat of preservative and the job was finished. It's a different shade, though you can't really tell from the photo. I doubt the tortoise will care.
The eagle-eyed will spot a little bit of damage to the timber above the door. I confess that was my fault, and nothing to do with Bunny Business.