Note that if you have not been supplied with a proper bottle and marsupial teat from a breeder, you will need to acquire this equipment as soon as possible.
Joeys have very tender mouths and cannot use hard rubber teats. A special marsupial nipple will be required. These nipples vary in size and cost less than $2 / £1.22 each.
A mother macropod’s milk changes composition over the course of the joey’s development to supply the correct nutritional levels. Milk replacement products for joeys are therefore rated by age in an effort to match these growth patterns.
Manufacturers like Wombaroo Food Products compile growth charts to aid surrogate joey parents in selecting the right grade of food and the correct feeding amounts. The food comes packaged as a dry powder to be mixed with water.
Always feed your joey in the pouch, then remove the animal and take it to the toilet. The baby’s mother would simulate urination and defecation by licking. Simply tap or gently stroke the joey’s anal area with a tissue or damp washcloth to replicate this action.
Joeys should be toileted after feedings and when they wake up from a nap. This is an extremely important aspect of hand rearing since the animals will be subject to urinary tract and bowel diseases if they are not toileted frequently enough.
If your joey was obtained from a breeder, the animal should be quite comfortable taking a bottle. If, however, you are raising an orphan, the baby may have to get used to the process.
Gently cup your hand under the baby’s chin and cover its eyes to help the animal quieten down enough to start eating.
Follow the frequency of feeding recommended on the supplemental product you are using until the baby is ready for solid foods.
Most breeders suggest that joeys be allowed to take a bottle as long as they like. In time, the joey will refuse a liquid diet and it will be time to transition to adult foods.
When the joey begins to lose interest in the bottle, you can begin to offer it little bits of green grass before serving the typically recommended diet of hay and cubed foods.
An excellent guide
A thoughtful and informative book that respects the animal and goes to lengths in providing information to do just that. Covers what anyone looking to care for these amazing creatures the information they need to know.