Land Turtle Housing

Indoor Housing

Maybe you live in the city or in an apartment where you don’t have a yard, or you have neighbors with pets that may do something harmful to your box turtle. If I lived in one of those situations, I would definitely want to have my turtle indoors with the occasional supervised outdoor time.

Land Turtle

For their housing, you can use a wood or plastic box. Use a box measuring at least 2 by 3 feet by 1 1/2 feet high. The bigger, the better. Box turtles are great climbers, so make sure the walls are high enough so that they can’t escape. Do not use a water aquarium. It gets very hot inside, like a greenhouse effect. Your turtle could suffer from a heatstroke and die. You can keep the temperature between 75F to 85F degrees by using an incandescent lamp. To simulate natural sunlight, you should use a full spectrum light. Your turtles like their house to be warm and a little moist.

Your turtle will need a place to hide or sleep. This is a place where they can relieve stress (since stress can cause disease or even death). You can use a cardboard shoe box or if you want to be a little fancier, use a flower pot with a hole in it or a hollowed out log.

Turtles love to hang out and soak in water, so they will need a water dish. It has to be shallow enough so that they can climb in and out easily. Fill it up with water about 1/2 inch deep. Box turtles are not very good swimmers, so don’t fill the water up too high. Your turtle will defecate in its water bowl. They drink out of this some water, so make sure that you change the water regularly, especially if you see feces in the water.

Here is an example of an indoor land turtle setup.

Outdoor Housing

Your turtle that lives outdoors has the same basic needs as the indoor housing. To prevent your turtle from roaming off and predators from getting to your turtle, you will need to have an enclosed cage. Remember, they are great climbers and they are great diggers as well. Make sure they can not dig their way out and that the outside area has been pesticide free for the past few years.

You don’t need to put any extra lighting for your turtle outdoors. They will get natural sunlight for their heating as well, although they will still need hiding places. Just as in the indoor setup, you can use a cardboard box, flower pot, or hollowed out logs which you can use for shading. If they need more shading, you can use plants. Include a water dish with a half inch deep water and provide a place where your turtle can bury itself in. Maybe some leaves and grass clippings.

Here is an example of an outdoor land turtle setup.