Peregrine Flat Pack Tortoise Table
This type of enclosure offers many important advantages over traditional tank style habitats:
- The amount of floor space provided is substantially more than can be offered in all but the very largest traditional vivaria. This is critical, as exercise is as important to tortoises as it is to humans. By allowing for adequate exercise the risk of respiratory and bone development problems is reduced.
- Ventilation in such units is excellent. There are none of the pockets of dead, stale air as found in enclosed vivaria.
- It is very easy to provide flexible lighting and heating arrangements, and to allow for adequate gradients to permit normal thermoregulation.
- There is no danger of broken glass and the units are easy to disassemble and relocate. Several such enclosures can be stacked on top of one another to provide multiple habitats on the same floor space.
- This type of enclosure provides excellent access and is very easy to clean and maintain.
- The lack of ‘invisible barriers’ reduces stress and promotes normal behaviour.
- The cost of providing large amounts of floor space is very low when compared to expensive glass enclosures.
- Because of their strength, it is possible to use adequate depths of substrate that allow for burying and burrowing. This has important considerations for health, as this is one way that tortoises conserve fluid and prevent dehydration. If tortoises do become dehydrated this can result in irreparable harm to the renal system and increases the danger of potentially fatal bladder ‘stones’ forming.
- Enclosures of this type can be obtained ready made from a number of specialist suppliers, or can be made at home with a basic set of tools and minimal ‘DIY’ skills.
- Alternatively, some keepers have adapted existing furniture such as wardrobes laid on their backs to this purpose, and others have taken large indoor rabbit and guinea pig cages (of the type consisting of a large tray and wire top cover) and used these with considerable success. All of these options can provide a substantial amount of floor space and excellent ventilation at very reasonable cost.