A number of my friends have wallabies as pets. I believe my first introduction was a friend who had gone to an animal park that had a wallaby. She was told the wallaby was going to be put down because it was blind. My friend has a wildlife rehabilitation license. Consequently, she asked the director if she could take the wallaby to her own facility.
The wallaby was able to live out his natural life in a loving and caring environment. He had little trouble getting around the acre-plus area he had to roam. I was amazed at how well he adapted to his environment. I was also amazed at his sweet personality.
My second introduction to the wallaby hit me right in the heartstrings. A woman answered the door wearing an apron with pockets. In each of these pockets were Joeys; a baby wallaby.
The biggest populations of wallabies can be found in Australia and New Zealand.
Wallabies are smaller than the kangaroo. Like kangaroos the wallaby is a marsupial. Marsupials do not have a long gestation period. They are born very early and are about the size of a jelly bean. They are hairless, pink and are helpless. The dependent embryo wallaby continues to thrive and grow in its motherís pouch. The motherís pouch is fully equipped with nipples.
You should acquire your wallaby quite young. This will assist with the bonding process. The perfect time would be when the bottle feedings are down to two to three a day.
Carry the youngster with you as much as possible. You can buy special pouches for your Joey. The natural motherís pouch is muscular and holds the Joey to feel secure. The Joey will learn your heart beat, your sight, your smell, and the sound of your voice; this will support the bonding process. You too will learn a great deal about your little oneís personality.
When the Joey isn't with you, his pouch can be hung on the inside of a playpen. Keep an article of your clothing, with your scent, with him to calm him and to continuing the bonding experience.
Wallaby picture, picture of baby wallaby (Joey)
Marsupials belong to a group of animals called macropods (Latin for "big foot"). There is approximately 60 species of kangaroos and wallabies. There are over 20 types of wallabies. Two of these wallabies are primarily used in the pet world. Bennettís are often chosen as pets because of their temperament and they are quite robust. They grow to be about 2 1/2 feet tall and weigh between 25-45 pounds. They live to 12 and 15 years-old. The Bennett's are diurnal which means active during the day and sleeps at night. The Bennett is also one of the biggest wallabies. The second species is the Damal (also called the Tammar Wallaby) they are nocturnal. They are more jumpy, nervous and react to stress more easily.
Why do people have wallabies as pets? Because wallabies are loving, affectionate, devoted, and they are cuddly. The wallaby doesnít bark. They can also be rather curious, mischievous, and cunning
Like any exotic pet, the wallaby is only for people that are informed and ready to care for their pet. Find a veterinarian that knows how to care for a wallaby before purchasing.
Enclosures should be about 50' x 50 feet. To protect your wallaby, the enclosure should be six feet. Of course, the enclosure should be a sturdy wire. A well-built backyard fence will do nicely. Most wallaby owners allow them in the house, and go to their outside area for exercise and play. When the wallabies are outdoors provide a shed so that the wallaby can seek shelter if scared. They may feel threatened and need a place to run to and hide.
They adapt well to most climates. In a hot climate, make sure there is plenty of shade and of course fresh water. In a very cold environment, if left outside provide shelter with a safe heat source. They can get serious respiratory infections if their immune systems are lowered because of cold or moisture. They will enjoy finding sunshine and bask in it in the winter.
Check with local, state, and federal authorities on wallaby requirements, laws, and restrictions. Like most exotic-type pets, it may be different from county to county or even city ordinances.
Wallabyís are herbivores meaning they mainly eat plants. Commercial wallaby food is available for mature wallabies. There is a macropod diet that would be an example and it is called Happy Hopper. A plain horse or llama pellet may be substituted for a short time. Never use a horse diet that includes molasses it will give the wallaby diarrhea. Keep your wallaby on the same diet. Keep plenty on hand so that you donít have to deviate from the diet. Marsupials have delicate digestive systems. Diarrhea can be a common problem and it can be fatal. The wallaby will graze on grass, (make sure it is not sprayed with chemicals or poisons). A grass hay can be used and or substituted when grass is unavailable (example; in the winter). They are foragers by nature and enjoy grazing. They will also like to graze on fresh leaves and shrubs, do not spray, and be prepared that they will eat your shrubs and leaves.
To keep the wallabyís teeth and gums healthy and supply additional nutrients and variety you can feed organic apples, carrots, sweet potatoes, grapes, grape vine and apple tree twigs. MANY commercial and non-commercial grape growers use heavy chemicals, be certain the vines, fruit or tree twigs are not treated. If not providing, a fully-supplemented wallaby diet, include selenium and vitamin E.
Foods related to the cabbage and the broccoli family, will give the wallaby a terrible tummy-ache, and should be avoided. It can also give them gas and drive the toughest person out of the house.
Always make sure there is plenty of fresh water available.
If you purchase your wallaby before it is weaned you will need special pet nursers, marsupial nipples, pouches and a milk replacer for the wallaby. Joeys will need milk that replaces their motherís milk. Biolac is a macropod milk replacer that is recommended. Never use cowís milk.
Many people have wallabies in their homes as house pets. They can usually be paper-trained. The stools are small pellets and can easily be cleaned up. However, they must get outside for exercise and for sunshine to acquire the vitamin D needed for health. Even the nocturnal species will enjoy snoozing in the sun. Be sure that shade is available if it gets hot.
Both females and males make good pets, but it is advised to neuter the males before sexual maturity. They can be quite aggressive. Donít keep two males together that have not been neutered. Usually it is not necessary to spay a female. Ask your veterinarians advice on spaying females. I find that they usually remain quite playful and sweet.
I discourage play fighting with the male joeys while young. They will continue to want to play fight when they mature, and can inflict injury.
The Joey or multiple babies can be taken out in the public in their human pouches to get the wallabies use to people, sights, sounds, and various types of environments.
Purchase your wallaby from a well-established reputable breeder. Prices range from $1,200 for a male wallaby to $4,000 or more for an albino female.
As with any exotic pet, make sure the wallaby is the pet for you. Always educate yourself and be prepared to care for them. Many people buy them because a friend has one, are not prepared for their needs, and they end up abandoned. They do require a great deal of love, attention, and special needs. Sit back with your wallaby darn recipe and above all else enjoy your pet wallaby. Wallaby darn drink
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