Handrearing a Pouch Joey


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Before You Start - Think with Your Head, Not Your Heart


Never buy or acquire a cute little joey as a Christmas or birthday
present ------ end of story and in South Australia this practice is illegal.


You must realise that rearing a joey is like rearing a human baby and not a puppy.   


Before making the commitment think hard. 


Have you considered some of the very basic requirements such as these?


        Time: Giving feeds every 4 hours, mixing food, washing nappies, giving cuddles etc, etc for many months!

        A Constant Heat Source: The joey must be kept warm 24 hours a day.

        Cleanliness: Sterilised food utensils, clean nappies and pouches are a must.

        Living Area: A safe and large, outside living area will be needed as the joey grows up.


Hairless joeys are notoriously difficult to rear.  They need intensive mothering and a specialized diet.    Success rates are normally very low.    If you wish to try to rear a hairless joey consult people who have had experience in this area before embarking on such a project.    Most will be very sympathetic to your needs.


You cannot turn your adult tame roo or wallaby back to the bush with safety to itself (*), so, remember that you will probably be taking on a lifetime commitment for up to, or even more than, 20 years.    (*) Note: this practice is also illegal in South Australia.


A tame adult buck is as dangerous and as unreliable as a bull.    No matter how gentle he has been, one day he will treat you, or your children, as a mate or as a rival and either can be equally traumatic to the person concerned.    The consequence of this is that the roo may have to be shot, which is hardly fair to an animal faithfully doing what his instinct tells him to do.    So remember that you will need to have your buck desexed at an early stage; at the second tetanus injection is the best time.


Important Points to Remember


        Human babies don’t like strangers - neither do joeys.

        If sickness symptoms show up as anything different in normal behaviour patterns.    Ring your Vet - don’t just “wait & see”

        Diarrhoea is dangerous if it continues for more than one day

        Kangaroos, as ruminants, must never be given antibiotics by mouth.

        Treat dry skin with baby oil, hand cream or lanolin.

        Do some further reading and learn more about your roo.

        Don’t forget to apply for your NPWS permit.

        Do not release any tame roo back to the bush.

        Get your young tame buck castrated at an early stage.

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Golden Brushtail Possum
Red Kangaroos
Yellow-footed Rock-wallabies
Baby Squirrel Glider
Sugar Glider

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