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Looking for Input for outside year round enclosure Southern California.

Xirxes

New Member
Hello,

I have been given the opportunity to take over care of a 3 year old Columbian black and white female Tegu. I need advice on what I will need to keep her happy in an outside enclosure year round.

My area has hot season high/low temp average of 91/68F, and cold season average 72/49F, with below average rainfall for California.

My current idea is to build an 8x12' enclosure, with wire mesh ground level, 2' high plywood, wire up to 6-7' height, and top I haven't decided yet. Probably 1/2 hard plywood, 1/2 wire mesh.

Large laying water container in shade, few logs/bark additions for hide and feeding on, 4-6" proper soft mulch flooring, 2'x2'x3' enclosure in shade,probably wood construction covered with insulating foam board, set on ground level, with top cleaning/check access and large tube access from one side, mulch covering tube access and all sides but top for access. Thinking a reptitherm habitat heater (18"x18" mat) mounted on the 24"x24" end side, thermostat controlled 8-9" from end at 85F, mulch on floor.

Feeding mixed fruit, veggies for 3/4 of food, ground turkey 1/4 of food, 3 x weekly.

For humidity, overhead fine spray, 360 degree spray controllable output on my garden irrigation timing (2x 5 mins/week summer, 1x 5 mins winter).

Any suggestions/tweaks that can really help me bring this baby home and avoid potential pitfalls?

I have two months to make this happen.

Thanks in advance!
 

Walter1

Moderator
Staff member
1,000+ Post Club
5 Year Member
Am I misunderstanding that there wouuld be a 2' high wood wall? If so, why? Otherwise sounds good. Make sure she can escape intense heat as needed. Come winter, she'll have to come inside for a while. Columbians aren't temperate.
 

Xirxes

New Member
I have heard that Tegus can and will climb fencing. I dont want her to climb and fall, and i also have two chihuahua mixes that i do not want pestering/acting like walking turkeys near her. It can be 1', but i dont want them eyeballing eachother all day.

I will not be able to bring her inside at all. This is why the preparation must be a good one. I am willing to heat a large dry-ish space and allow her to hibernate outdoors, but i do not have sufficient room for her inside the house in the winter, hence the year round in title.
 

Walter1

Moderator
Staff member
1,000+ Post Club
5 Year Member
I see. 2ft high wooden wall is good. For winter outside, depends onhow coldand for how long. A burrow that keeps at 58-60 even warmer but not colder is a must. If S CA. has winter days that can be sunny and say at least 65-70 or better in the shade, then lizard can come out to bask and maybe dink a little. If so, you should be fine.
 

Walter1

Moderator
Staff member
1,000+ Post Club
5 Year Member
My goof. Won't work because you have a Columbian. The winter would kill it.
 

Xirxes

New Member
With a box heated to 70F? I am thoroughly confused.

Underground reptiles in FLA over winters all of their adults outside, with no hides, just 1.5-2' of soil to bury themselves in, argentine, Columbian and Chaco, and they get night frost!
 

Walter1

Moderator
Staff member
1,000+ Post Club
5 Year Member
S. Cal is colder than Hollywood, Fl. I'd personally feel safer if box is heated to 75f.
 

N8bub

Active Member
+1 on what Walt said about Colombians needing warm temperatures. They don't hibernate also the fruit and vegetables ratio is to high, Colombians may or may not eat fruits etc. But will definitely require much more protein ( mice, roaches, chicks, etc. 90% meat 10% veggies
 

Xirxes

New Member
90/10 meat/fruit is quite a bit different than the 8-12 different info sheets I have read on these specific critters stating between 50/50 and 15/75. Any sources for your info?
 

joew

New Member
Hi - I am also in SoCal and exploring the option housing a tegu year-round in my yard. I have been looking at different enclosures people have made, but want to be sure it is really even possible and healthy for the animal. I have the space and can accomdate both light and shade and also misting thtough my sprinkler system. I can add a heating pad, but was not planning on adding additional lighting/UV. I was wondering if the OP did this and how it worked out. Or if anyone knows of someone in SoCal doing this that I could speak with. Best, Joe
 
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