Outdoor Iguana Enclosures
How To Create An Outdoor Iguana Enclosure
Benefits To Outdoor Enclosures
Iguanas are subjected to as much UVB as they desire in the wild. Their colors are naturally vivid and their overall health is generally better than those in captivity. The reasoning behind this is rather simple, they are outside, where they belong and have adapted to live. Nature has a way of providing its creatures with everything they need. In most cases, we can and never will be able to replicate nature indoors. While many of us try to provide the best equipment and resources to our pets, we will never be able to match the power of nature and all it offers.
The biggest benefit to an iguana having an outdoor enclosure is its access to natural, unfiltered sunlight and fresh air. Sunlight provides the crucial elements to calcium absorbtion in iguanas and other basking species. Unfiltered sunlight allows an iguana the ability to create natural D3, which is used to metabolize dietary calcium. This vitamin prevents many of the issues that captive iguanas are subjected to as a result of calcium deficiencies, particularly Metabolic Bone Disease. in addition to disease prevention, there are psychological benefits to natural sunlight and fresh air. Iguanas who have outdoor enclosures tend to be healthier than those kept in indoor enclosures all the time. This alone is a great reason to consider creating an outdoor enclosure for your iguana.
Outdoor Enclosure Precautions
Having an outdoor enclosure is wonderful but comes with a few risks. The enclosure will need to be very secure to ensure that predators can't access your iguana. Dogs, cats and birds of prey are the primary culprits that you will need to deal with. If you reside in a sub-tropical climate and keep your iguana outdoors throughout the evening, other predators like skunks, raccoons, etc. could also be an issue.
Iguanas like to climb because that is where they feel safest. If your iguana locates a means of escape from his outdoor enclosure, catching him could be very difficult once he takes to the highest point he can find. The security of the enclosure and his transport needs to be vital in the design and transfer procedure you come up with.
Permanent Outdoor Enclosures
Solid, permanent enclosures are typically the easiest to maintain. Once the enclosure is built and in place, maintenance to the enclosure is all that is required. Those who create temporary enclosures need to build and take apart the enclosure on an as needed basis. The constant disassembling of the enclosure does weaken the connection points and requires you to have a place to store it when it is not in use.
An inexpensive outdoor enclosure that can be assembled and disassembled as needed would be the PVC Knockdown Cage. The design for this cage uses inexpensive materials that can be replaced as they age or weaken. More permanent structures should be assembled with wood and coated wire, so they can deal with the elements of nature over a prolonged period of time and abuse.
Author: Richard Brooks