Desert Tortoise Hatchling Burrow & Enclosure

We are getting ready to add another member to our family soon and will be adopting our desert tortoise hatchling this week! We are adopting through the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Under state law, desert tortoises are available for adoption for Arizona residents only.

Our family has been in full on research and learning mode for the last two months to prepare an enclosure and burrow. The kids were super eager and motivated to help prep the backyard space for our new little friend and we let them take shovels and rakes to clear the space for the desert tortoise enclosure.

Once the area was clear the construction began. This was a slower process due to the heat of summer. The burrow itself was the most time consuming to construct, mostly because we had no idea how to size it appropriately for a hatchling.

Inside the enclosure is the burrow, water dish, a globemallow and desert hibiscus plants. Our enclosure measures 4 feet by 4 feet. It is 2 feet tall and has a predator proof that Josh made with chicken wire and plywood. After several weeks the project was complete and our application submitted.

Once our application was submitted we received a response fairly quickly that all looked good but we needed to add more shade. This was an easy fix that included scissors, a sun shade, grommets, and zip ties. I also adjusted the burrow construction after watching this Hatchling Burrow Building and Care on YouTube that Arizona Game and Fish recently shared.

We are looking forward to welcoming our desert tortoise hatchling to their new home. And I am extra thankful that our kids will be able to have a pet that won’t aggravate their allergies inside our house.