General ramblings

Speedy's New House!

May 5, 2014

You may or not remember that last Summer, we found ourselves the very proud owners of a 75 year old tortoise called Speedy!

She hibernated over the winter, and we were a little worried that she might not wake up this Spring (average life expectancy is apparently about 75 years..!) but she has-hurray!

When we re-homed her, she came with her own house, which was one of those plastic garden storage cabinet things, modified slightly to become a tortoise abode. But it wasn’t the most aesthetically pleasing, or the warmest, or very waterproof…
So we decided to treat her to a new house, and Hubby took it upon himself to make it.
He came up with intricate plans and designs over the winter, and as soon as we knew she had woken up ok, he set to work.

He was donated this old dog kennel as a starting point:

Speedy house81

After some sawing, some hammering, a spot of painting, this is Speedy’s new house:

Speedy house finished21


Speedy house finished1

Hubby is keen to point out the following features:

  • insulated walls-a work colleague moved into a new house, and found a sheet of insulating material in his back garden (as you do!)
    Speedy house53
  • the floor is lined with the rubber floor stuff that is used in playgrounds-again this was donated by someone who for some reason had some kicking around
  • the Perspex window, to provide a conservatory area (the Perspex is one of the few things we had to buy new), which is also where her heat lamp hangs down, so she can stay nice and toasty
    Speedy house52
  • the hinged flap at the back for access to clean her out, that is also insulated with salvaged material
    Speedy house3


  • AND all the extra bits and pieces of wood that were needed were ‘pre-loved’!

Speedy is very pleased with her new house. Don’t ask me how I know this, I just do.

Stay tuned for the next exciting pet home upcycle-hubby is currently in the process of turning a sideboard into a cage for the guinea pigs we recently re-homed 🙂


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  • Reply Fancy a Cuppa..? | My Make Do and Mend Year June 27, 2014 at 6:01 am

    […] I am Jen. I love in Wiltshire in the UK with the lovely hubby, and two rapidly growing Smalls (BigSmall and SmallSmall). The Smalls are both boys, leaving me battling the female corner, and fiddling lots of questions about willies, and my lack thereof. We have two slightly annoying cats called Nigella and Clarissa. Nigella is more annoying. We have a 76 year old tortoise called Speedy, who lives in a converted dog kennel. […]

  • Reply Sideboard Upcycle (AKA Guinea Pig Mansion…) | My Make Do and Mend Year May 17, 2014 at 7:01 am

    […] that they had always lived indoors! So an out door house was needed and fast. Unfortunately Speedy the Tortoise’s house was still work in progress when Gus and Arthur arrived so they moved into the spare bedroom […]

  • Reply Sarah May 6, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Excellent upcycle will have to remember this when my tortoise grows out of his table top pen! Have you done anything “Green” in terms of heat lamps etc as it bothers me how much I have it on etc

    • Reply Jen May 6, 2014 at 6:57 pm

      No 🙁 But we have solar panels, so some of the time the heat lamp is powered by this (although as is always the way with solar-when you need the heat/light the sun isn’t there..!). We did discuss a drainpipe to collect the water off the roof!

  • Reply Julie @icemaidencakes May 5, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    Lucky speedy, all the mod cons a tortoise could need 🙂

    • Reply Jen May 6, 2014 at 8:39 am

      If only it were self-cleaning…!! I’ve requested that modification for the guinea pig’s cage 😉

  • Reply KnitNell May 5, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Lucky, lucky Speedy!

    • Reply Jen May 5, 2014 at 7:32 pm

      Yes she is, thank you!

  • Reply helen marshall May 5, 2014 at 7:33 am

    wonderful-a very clever hubby.the upcycled guinea pig house will be far better for them than anything you could buy xxx

    • Reply Jen May 5, 2014 at 8:11 am

      Thanks Helen. Looking forwards to the big reveal, but he’s now been sidetracked making them a run..!

  • Reply mommyemu May 5, 2014 at 6:56 am

    Loving speedy ‘ s new home x

    • Reply Jen May 5, 2014 at 8:11 am


  • Reply Vivienne Downes May 5, 2014 at 6:20 am

    Let’s hope Speedy has many happy years to come to enjoy hubby’s hard work … It looks fab !

    • Reply Jen May 5, 2014 at 8:11 am

      Yes, let’s hope so Vivienne!

  • Reply lindaswildlifegarden May 5, 2014 at 6:09 am

    Reblogged this on Linda's wildlife garden and commented:
    lovely post Jen have a Blessed day

    • Reply Jen May 5, 2014 at 8:12 am

      Thanks Linda 🙂

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