Re: outdoor iguana enclosure
Posted by rogervan on 7/19/2012, 12:46 pm, in reply to "outdoor iguana enclosure"
Can you keep him inside your house for his first year? |
Are the temperatures and humidity high enough year round for outdoor iguanas? What is the lowest nighttime temperature in a typical cool season?
It needs four walls, a mesh roof, and a strong mesh floor. You bury the floor mesh under six inches of dirt, and this stops any burrowing predator. Form the floor into a 16 inch low mound to make the rainwater run off.
Make the walls eight feet tall. The lower four feet should be solid material like plywood. The upper four feet should be 1/2 inch X 1 inch mesh. You can decorate it with a virtual forest if you want to. You should use 16 inch stips of 1/2 X 1 mesh (or 16 inch strips of sheet metal) to bury 12 inches into the ground all around the enclosure, so nothing can dig under the walls to get at your iguana. This will stop snakes that are large enough to eat him. I had an escaped lizard-eating snake invade my house because it smelled my iguanas from afar. How odd is that, for a suburban house in the San Francisco Bay Area. A snake may smell your ig from a mile away and travel that far to investigate.
The roof should be 1/2 inch X 1 inch mesh so the rain can get through it. Inside the enclosure should be a small highly elevated shelter 16 inches deep (make the top 26 inches deep so it sheds rainwater), 16 inches tall, and seven feet long, with strips of carpet for cushioning (igs love to lay on soft surfaces). This is sized so your ig can have it for it's entire life, and where your ig can get out of the rain and the sun, and have a commanding elevated view which they love.
The downside: Out of sight = out of mind. REmotely housed iguanas tend to be ignored and get spordic feeding and attention. For the first year your ig will need to be picked up at least three times/day, and will need to be fed and watered every day for 20 years. Don't put any other animal in with the iguana, it will make him crazy.
I would cover the floor with smooth four inch stones so he can't eat the dirt. Beware the size of the stones. I bet a big iguana can swallow a golf ball, and they are well known to eat gravel up to at least 3/4 inch. I would probably repeatedly plant edible plants in the floor so he can have the fun recreation of eating them down to nothing.
About the other issues - others have covered them in this thread. If you have more questions, feel free to ask.