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Looking for Input for outside year round enclosure Southern California.

Xirxes

New Member
Messages
5
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

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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
Messages
5
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

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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

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My goof. Won't work because you have a Columbian. The winter would kill it.
 

Xirxes

New Member
Messages
5
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

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S. Cal is colder than Hollywood, Fl. I'd personally feel safer if box is heated to 75f.
 

N8bub

Active Member
Messages
238
Location
KCMO
+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
Messages
5
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
Messages
2
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
 

blakerosen56

New Member
Messages
3
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!
Id just watch out using the garden water
 

ToadHallBetty

Member
Messages
67
Location
Citronelle Alabama
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.
Check out kamp Kenan on YouTube.. He keeps a number of reptiles outside. You will need to build a heated insulated hide box for your tegu and shut him in when reps drop. You don't want him to go out and then be too cold to get back in.
 

AtlasInSd

New Member
Messages
3
I live in San Diego, Ca, have a large Argentine Tegu, and run a reptile rescue. While our summer temperatures are nice for an outdoor Tegu, Spring/Fall nights and Winter Temps are not. You will end up with health problems if they do not have access to a UVB lit, warm indoor area large enough for them to stay in during that time. Additionally, your outdoor enclosure will need to be fully enclosed as Tegu's will climb quite easily up most walls. I've seem them climb wood and stucco walls with ease. They can also dig under walls. We get lots of strays and lots of contacts from owners with outdoor enclosures that find their animals have escaped. Lastly, it needs to be fully enclosed due to predators. Coyotes, Bob cats, Mountain Lions (depending if your in the hills), Racoons and many more will prey on reptiles readily and a cold Tegu cant put up much of a fight. The bottom line is it can be done right at a great effort and cost here, but any less and it will likely end in disaster.

If Space is an issue, you could look into a multi level enclosure against a wall. My Tegus indoor enclosure has 3 levels, the bottom level is a dark substrate box filled with substrate over a foot deep for burrowing (sleeps there every night). A ramp leads to the second level which has a large water pool (bathroom mostly) with filter and uvb lighting, and the top basking levels has tile with undertank heaters under them to heat the tile, and large uvb and basking lights above, panoramic plexiglass viewing as well as a window looking outside for some visual enrichment. The tegu gets fed here and spends most of his time basking in full display when not taken out to roam or in the outdoor aviary.
 
Last edited:

TylorB.

New Member
Messages
4
I would suggest checking out rose city reptiles in Texas he has outdoor setups for his tegus I believe they are all Argentine but his setups are sturdy and if you can make sure the heat, uvb and all electrical is weather proof and accessible for the gu it should not make much of a difference if in the house or not with that being said it is much harder to each those needs outside safely but it can be done.
 

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