How do I raise a turtle

Garden, balcony or terrarium?

Quite clearly - the Greek tortoise needs a spacious outdoor enclosure in the garden for a way of life close to nature. The posture on the balcony should be your second choice, if at all. Because the bigger the animal gets, the more limited the space on the balcony becomes. In the case of adult animals, this ultimately leads to housing conditions that are not appropriate to the species.

In addition, the midday sun on a south-facing balcony can cause the animals to overheat. In turn, drafty balconies can cause the animals to catch cold. You should also refrain from permanent housing in a terrarium.

How big should the enclosure be?

As a lover of the Greek tortoise, you first and foremost need a lot of space for a spacious, well-structured outdoor enclosure. When it comes to the size of the enclosure, it is best to plan according to the motto: the more generous, the better! Use the following rule of thumb as a guide:

  • Length of the enclosure: eight times the body length of the turtle
  • Width of the enclosure: five times the length of the turtle's body
  • for each additional turtle: plus two x two body lengths
  • for young animals (up to approx. 200 grams): a maximum of two to four square meters, otherwise they will be "lost"

So that your turtles do not run out, the border of the outdoor enclosure should be at least 25 to 30 centimeters. Please also note that your tortoise can dig very well.

How do I set up the outdoor enclosure?

The original habitat of the tortoise are light pine and oak forests, steppes, shrub and heathland landscapes, as well as cultivated areas such as meadows, arable land, olive and citrus groves.

Try to design the turtle enclosure as close to nature as possible in order to recreate the natural habitat of your Greek tortoise as well as possible.

Pay attention to sunny spots as well as shady spots in the outdoor area. Create a landscape of hills, stones and plants where your Greek tortoise will find plenty of opportunities to hide.

For more hiding places, you can use half clay pots, larger branches, tree roots or even leaves, for example. The tortoises also like different stony and earthy soil substrates in which they can dig.

The small prehistoric animals also appreciate it when they find not only dry areas but also more humid areas. You can lay out some areas with damp straw, for example. This ensures the necessary humid and warm climate and also offers young animals hiding places.

When keeping young animals, you should also attach a net or wire mesh over the enclosure to protect the small turtles from birds.

Which technology for the cold frame?

If you want to keep your Greek tortoise in the garden all year round, a cold frame or greenhouse is essential for the cold days.

For the technical equipment of the cold frame, you should think of light, heat and an adequate UVB supply.

Are you also interested in other terrarium inhabitants? In our magazine we have many more portraits for you in which we present terrarium animals.