Use Wombat Milk Replacer >0.6 for late lactation, when joeys are rapidly furring, emerging from the pouch and becoming more active.
Impact Colostrum Supplement may be fed to enhance the immune system.
Making up Milk
To make 100 mL of milk: Mix 25g of powder (3½ scoops) with 80ml of warm water.
To make 1 litre of milk: Mix 250g of powder with 800ml of warm water.
Add half the water to the powder first and mix to a paste. Then make up with remaining water and mix thoroughly. Water is preboiled to ensure that it is sterilised. If the water is too hot it can cause the milk to curdle. If it is too cold then it will be difficult to disperse the powder. An electric whisk can be used for mixing larger quantities. Milk can be stored in the fridge for a day or can be frozen for up to 2 weeks. It may be useful to store frozen milk in small portions (e.g. ice cube trays), so that the required daily feed volumes can be easily thawed out. Once thawed out, discard any unused milk, and wash feeding utensils thoroughly.
Warm milk to about 30°C and feed using a bottle and teat. An LD Teat or FM Teat is recommended for out-of-pouch wombats. Initially feed around 4 times per day for joeys with an Age Factor >0.6, but this may be gradually reduced to twice a day if the joey is progressing well. The high energy content of Wombat Milk Replacer >0.6 formula allows for smaller feed volumes, and a reduced feeding frequency. This may help avoid the joey imprinting on the carer. In the wild, once fully emerged from the pouch, young wombats are left in the burrow for long periods as the mother forages at night. At this stage the young are naturally fed larger volumes but less frequently. If the joey is showing signs of dehydration (e.g. during hot weather), give extra drinks of water between feeds. Joeys dehydrate rapidly if not maintained under optimum husbandry conditions. In particular carers often keep wombats at too high a temperature, which can cause dehydration. Water should always be available once joeys begin to emerge from the pouch and become more active. Joeys at the 0.6 stage should be offered dirt to eat, which helps establish the correct gut flora for the consumption of herbage. Provide ad lib access to fresh dirt, grass and browse from initial pouch emergence. Consult your veterinarian or experienced carer for further information about husbandry and feeding of wombat joeys.
Refer to the Common (Bare-nosed) and Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat growth charts. Even within species there may be significant variation in growth rate depending on sex, regional variation and health status. Weigh joeys regularly to verify weight gains and determine the volume of milk to feed. Overfeeding milk can cause diarrhoea so feed the suggested volumes in our tables.
Using The Good Oil for Animals
In some cases wombats in late lactation may be mal-nourished and require additional weight gain, prior to weaning. In this situation, The Good Oil for Animals may be useful to increase the fat content in milk and provide additional energy in the diet. Use at the rate of 5mL added per 100mL of milk formula and mix in thoroughly. Introduce gradually to avoid digestive upset. Do not over-supplement, as this will dilute the concentration of other nutrients in the milk and may lead to nutritional imbalance.
Once a wombat joey leaves the pouch it begins to eat more solid food and becomes less reliant on milk. The amount of milk fed will depend on the quantity and nutritional value of other food eaten. Joeys should be weaned at about 1.3 - 1.5 times the joey's pouch life. For example a Common Wombat has a pouch life of 290 days, so should be fully weaned by about 380 days. Wombats should be weaned on to high-fibre diet consisting predominantly of grass and hay. Wombaroo Kangaroo Pellets can be used as a supplement to wean joeys and may be used as part of the diet of captive adult animals.