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Old 02-12-2011, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Mountains of middle TN
5,232 posts, read 13,551,278 times
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Anyone know if this is possible?

We've got exotic pets that don't hibernate and can't handle temps under 50. We're planning a move to Maine this summer - if all goes as planned - and will be taking them if we can find a way to make it work.

The house we're looking at buying has a full walk out basement. We were thinking of enclosing a 15x20 or so area in the basement and putting down the heated flooring under the tile in the room. We hang UVA/UVB lights for them while the temps are too low for them to be outdoors. We can add additional heat lamps in the room as well as space heaters if needed. However, because it's so far north, they'll probably spend half the year or more indoors.

They hate being inside and I don't want them miserable, so I started wondering if it's possible to grow sod in part of the room on the floor. 90% of their diet is grass, weeds (like dandelion) or cactus, all of which I'd like to put there. Can an area be sectioned off and put down soil and keep it watered so it will grow? If so, having them indoors won't be so bad. They'd feel more or less that they're outdoors.

If that won't work, does anyone have any other ideas, other than not moving or getting rid of them. Both are not options.
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Old 02-12-2011, 11:41 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...
38,673 posts, read 45,016,991 times
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Ideally you'd have to lay the sod on about 12 inches of soil for good rooting, set up a uniform water system, drainage system, provide at least 75-80 degrees of heat most of the time, 8 hours minimum of daylight temp flourescent lighting system, a fertilizing method, lawn mower.
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Old 02-13-2011, 02:10 AM
 
33,134 posts, read 39,067,107 times
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After spending a lot of money on set up and large monthly electric bills for the lighting and heating i'd be worried about mold and dampness from the high humidity levels that will be a result of trying to maintain a lawn in your basement..
What kind of exotic animals are we talking about?Does any one in Maine have similar exotics? what do they do? Is there a specific forum for these types of animals?
You may also want to check zoning in the area to see if the animals are even allowed, expect to be visited by the local law as the operation is going to look a lot like a grow-op from the utilities viewpoint and if a helicopter has FLIR device your house will stick out like a sore thumb...

Last edited by jambo101; 02-13-2011 at 02:49 AM..
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:36 AM
 
25,631 posts, read 29,103,055 times
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Growing "Grass" indoors is doable. If you want to spend tons of money. Hell people do it in California all the time. However the ROI is huge if they don't get caught.
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Old 02-13-2011, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Mountains of middle TN
5,232 posts, read 13,551,278 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
After spending a lot of money on set up and large monthly electric bills for the lighting and heating i'd be worried about mold and dampness from the high humidity levels that will be a result of trying to maintain a lawn in your basement..
What kind of exotic animals are we talking about?Does any one in Maine have similar exotics? what do they do? Is there a specific forum for these types of animals?
You may also want to check zoning in the area to see if the animals are even allowed, expect to be visited by the local law as the operation is going to look a lot like a grow-op from the utilities viewpoint and if a helicopter has FLIR device your house will stick out like a sore thumb...
Sounds like it's too tough to do.
Yes, they're also kept in the north. People just keep their room warm and feed them hay from local farmers or order it. They're sulcatas - land tortoises. They are allowed up there, we just have to fill out our paperwork through their wildlife department and pay a $25 annual permitting fee per tort per year. Sounds like just keeping their room warm and feeding hay is the way we have to go. I just know how much they dislike being indoors and was hoping I could find a way to simulate outdoors for them. Bummer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldogdad View Post
Growing "Grass" indoors is doable. If you want to spend tons of money. Hell people do it in California all the time. However the ROI is huge if they don't get caught.
The original name I'd given this was growing grass indoors, but before I posted I realized it sounded like I wanted to grow something else, so I changed it. We're both retired law enforcement so I'm going with sod, not grass in my house! LOL
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Old 02-13-2011, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Aiken, South Carolina, US of A
1,752 posts, read 3,619,409 times
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Why not just grow some grass in some pots low enough for them to snack on a bit, which would be alot easier to maintain, and buy them that beautiful fake grass to move around on?
That way they would have both.
They have really improved the artifical grass from what I have heard.
Unless, you are afraid that they might eat some, in which case the artifical grass is a bad idea.
They might not though. They may be smart turtles, and just chew the real stuff.
Many people grow grass for their felines that are inside, well, sort of the same idea, only
low enough for them to enjoy.
GOod luck to you in your move, I hope your turtle friends aren't too upset.
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Old 02-14-2011, 02:08 AM
 
33,134 posts, read 39,067,107 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterfly4u View Post
buy them that beautiful fake grass to move around on?
That way they would have both.
They have really improved the artifical grass from what I have heard.
That artificial grass would be a b,,ch to clean up any mess the turtles left behind as youd have to basically hose it down which could be problematic.. the grass in pots sound doable but as said before its going to be mucking hay to keep the area clean, not sure what its going to smell like..

Doing a bit of Google research (http://www.google.ca/#hl=en&source=h...e6e3a07d57ee39)
Comes up with a tortoise that is native to the semi desert regions of the Sahara,and they like to live in burrows,A Maine winter sounds about as far away from that habitat as you can get,
If it were my call i'd be looking for some local zoo or nature park to donate the animals to so they could remain living in an environment that is a bit closer to their natural environment..

Last edited by jambo101; 02-14-2011 at 02:19 AM..
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Mountains of middle TN
5,232 posts, read 13,551,278 times
Reputation: 6011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterfly4u View Post
Why not just grow some grass in some pots low enough for them to snack on a bit, which would be alot easier to maintain, and buy them that beautiful fake grass to move around on?
That way they would have both.
They have really improved the artifical grass from what I have heard.
Unless, you are afraid that they might eat some, in which case the artifical grass is a bad idea.
They might not though. They may be smart turtles, and just chew the real stuff.
Many people grow grass for their felines that are inside, well, sort of the same idea, only
low enough for them to enjoy.
GOod luck to you in your move, I hope your turtle friends aren't too upset.
They'd eat the artificial stuff. I caught them chewing on the foam insulation around the edges of the room they're in right now. Smart is not a good way to describe them! The grass in pots may be a good idea!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
That artificial grass would be a b,,ch to clean up any mess the turtles left behind as youd have to basically hose it down which could be problematic.. the grass in pots sound doable but as said before its going to be mucking hay to keep the area clean, not sure what its going to smell like..

Doing a bit of Google research (Google)
Comes up with a tortoise that is native to the semi desert regions of the Sahara,and they like to live in burrows,A Maine winter sounds about as far away from that habitat as you can get,
If it were my call i'd be looking for some local zoo or nature park to donate the animals to so they could remain living in an environment that is a bit closer to their natural environment..
Definitely very different than what they're used to. But there are no zoos that take them. They lay and hatch over 100 eggs at a time. Breeders all over the US sell them as quarter sized hatchlings, not telling anyone how big they'll get, and God knows people don't bother to research on their own. So when they get to be basketball size in a few years and are eating like cows and become too difficult to care for, people start dumping them. They've filled the zoos as well as herp rescues. The only option we do have is finding a friend or family member down south that can take them, but so far no one is interested in three tortoises that will exceed a couple hundred pounds each, take down their privacy fences in a single afternoon and totally destroy the foundation of their homes. I thought they were great selling features, but I guess the people we know are different than we are! LOL

So, they have to go with us and we just have to find a way to make it work. They don't like being indoors all winter - we have to do that now anyway - but they'll live. They'll still be outside in the summer and during the day in the spring and fall. Just inside all winter and at night spring and fall. I think if they have heated floors and some real grass to munch on they'll be happier than they are now. Here we've got them on pellets and hay. They hate hay. And all pellets aren't good for them, so they're stuck eating it, like it or not.
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Old 02-15-2011, 01:22 AM
 
33,134 posts, read 39,067,107 times
Reputation: 28484
Best of luck to you and your pets..
Heres a FAQ about sulcatas you may find interesting
Sulcata Station: Frequently Asked Questions
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Old 02-15-2011, 12:35 PM
 
25,631 posts, read 29,103,055 times
Reputation: 23049
Sounds like a lot of money and time for some tortoises. Good luck
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