As with most pets, owning a wallaby comes with a lot of responsibilities. And along with these responsibilities is to learn more about the animal, their characteristics, diet, and breeding behaviors. One of the very first decisions you will make when adopting a joey is whether to adopt a boy or a girl, or both, should you want to breed them later. And with this, you need to understand their sexual maturity.
Choose Your Wallaby
Female Bennett’s wallaby or more popularly known as red-necked wallaby, reach sexual maturity at around 1 year old. They reach their full size at about 3 years old. Male Bennett's wallabies on the other hand, reach their sexual maturity at about 2 years old. Thus, if you’re thinking of raising both, you should know your female will be ready to breed long before the male can perform.
A fully grown female red-necked wallaby can reach around two and a half feet high and weigh up to 30 to 40 lbs. Neutered male Bennett’s on the other hand, is about the same size, but a little heavier. In some cases, male Bennett’s wallabies can reach up to 60 lbs.
Wallabies, like their kangaroo cousins, jump high, though not as high as their bigger relatives. Bennett’s wallabies can actually jump over a 4-foot fence, but most of the time, they can’t jump over 6-foot fences. They can stay healthy for about 12 to 18 years. Gray is the common color for wallabies, though there are white or albino types, which are actually a little larger than the regular ones. Of course, because they’re rare, albino wallabies are pricier.
If You Don’t Want To Breed
If you don’t actually wish to breed your wallabies, then you can decide for whatever gender of wallaby you want. Most experts often recommend getting one or two male joeys and have them neutered. Though many consider the females are tamer, sweeter and easier to handle, there is actually very little difference between the two gender types, aside from their size. Upbringing and unique individual personality still play the bigger role on the animal’s temperament. Generally, wallabies are tamed and socialized animals. The most important thing is that you have a good outdoor space for these animals.
Know About the USDA Guidelines
In the US, should you wish to breed and sell these exotic animals, you will be required by the USDA to complete licensing certification and follow the guidelines set by the government for the living conditions and housing of the wallabies. USDA will also put you on unannounced visits to make sure you’re actually following their guidelines. The guidelines may not be difficult, but they can be time-consuming and includes some expenses. Basic requirements include accurate record keeping, heating requirements, feeding and housing and at least 6 feet perimeter fencing, aside from an enclosure of at least 3 feet away from the public. Also included is a safety system should the wallaby escaped its enclosure.
Also, the USDA Licensed Facilities will require you to keep record of yearly vet inspections of your facility, including availability and access to the facility, medications, and USDA inspection records. In other words, owning wallabies as pets in the US may require a lot of work.