When my African Sulcata tortoise (George!) was first hatched 4 years ago in August of 2007 I was completely overwhelmed with how to properly care for him and house the little guy. He will eventually get 50-100 pounds and will be gigantic (among the top three largest species of tortoise). Due to his quick growth and vary large appetite I have gone through many different habitats to properly accommodate him by keeping him comfortable, providing the necessary elements, and keeping him safe. I am a college student so money is pretty scarce so this is a budget version of a habitat costing me under 20 bucks! This instruct able will teach you and guide you through making your own tortoise habitat at a very low price.
I live in michigan so this habitat was made as a summer habitat, I only keep him in it if the weather stays above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 1: Choose a Location and Build the Sides
The base for the habitat is preferably a deck, porch, concrete slab, or any other hard surface. Soil, sand, grass, hay, etc. can be added to the habitat if needed, however a hard ground is preferred since tortoises like to bury and will dig their way out if given the opportunity. I have started by selecting an unused area of the deck around my pool. The deck had a natural corner so I used the existing sizes as two of the walls saving me money on lumber cost.
After the location is selected measure how large you want the habitat to be and decide how deep of an area you would like (I chose to make it 1 foot high). The dimensions will be determined by your location and/ or the dimensions of lumber you may be repurposing. If you can reuse any lumber from around the house this is preferred and great for the environment (and your wallet).
I purchased a 2x12x12 for the sides of the structure and repurposed a few boards for the roof. The door will be created using 2x1x10 cut to size.