There are a number of milk substitutes available, none mimic mums milk very well. No
marsupials in their early development can digest lactose as rapidly as is required if fed cows
milk, therefore a low lactose formula must be given to most, if not all, species. If you choose
Wombaroo or Biolac then follow directions on the packs, remembering that from quite early
on, if using Wombaroo, extra fluid has to be given at some stages to ensure hydration is
correct at some stages, it can be added to the formula or between milk feeds. Personally I
add it to the formula rather than stress the animal by handling more than is necessary, this is
not recommended by Wombaroo, to date I have not had any problems. Di-vetelact and
Formula One can be used for all sp but, if used as per pack directions, will not raise strong,
healthy animals. If using either of these products follow the formula below.
To 350ml warm boiled water, add 7 scoops [supplied] Di-vetelact, one egg yolk [approx.
16gms] and 3-4tspns full cream natural yogurt – Jalna, red lid is a good one [yogurt is
optional]. Stir with a fork. Always keep refrigerated, use within 24hrs.
quantities 50ml water to 1 scoop powder, little less than 1tspn egg yolk, 1tspn yogurt. If
using Formula One, weigh out 65gms of powder and make up as for Di-vetelact. For smaller
quantities of Formula One 100ml water to approx 19gm or 1 well filled scoop [provided]. For
pinks I add 1 or 2 drops of pure cold pressed wheatgerm oil to 1 or 2 bottles each day, furred
joeys have it in their bottles for a few days, this supplies extra goodness including Vitamin E
which helps with stress. A small amount of Vitamin C a few times helps the immune system.
If you are on standby for picking up marsupial babies then you must always have a quantity
of milk formula on hand in case you have to offer a feed. All brands keep well if kept cool
and in a dark place, if for some reason you have no formula when a baby arrives, an
electrolyte replacer [Lectade, Vytrate] may be offered as can plain warm boiled water but
formula must be obtained urgently. Pinks will need to be fed 4hrly around the clock, taking
in a total of about 10% of their bodyweight in formula over the 24hrs. Seek advice for more
Cleanliness is essential, all equipment should be sterilised. Glass bottles kept in sterilising
solution are best, flush thoroughly with boiling water just prior to filling with formula, for tiny
babies a salt solution may be preferred. Teats should be washed in warm soapy water and
kept dry in the fridge or covered. They are sterilised before each use by immersing in boiling
water for several minutes. Regularly they should be scoured with salt to make sure there is
no milk residue build-up.
note : The ‘scoop’ method is not suitable for measuring out Formula One, it is a heavy dense
powder, not dry and fine like the Di-vetelact. Weighing is by far the preferred method. This
product also raises animals with a much better fur growth. Di-vetelact raised joeys mostly
suffer the ‘Di-vetelact Syndrome’ that is their fur is finer than it should be, density is not
good, the fur around the thighs and behind the ears is either very fine or non-existent until
the joey is outside and eating.