Help for Mill Bred Joeys

If you have recently purchased a joey from a pet store, pet expo, mall kiosk, flea market, home & garden show, or similar venue, then in all likelihood your joey was mill bred. Special care may be needed to help your joey survive. This page is meant to be a quick guide to assist you in that endeavor.

Checking for Dehydration

The first thing you need to do is to find out if the joey is dehydrated at all. To check for dehydration, simply gently pull up the skin above the shoulder blades. If the skin stays "tented" up for longer than a few seconds, then the joey is dehydrated. The longer it stays tented, the more severe the dehydration. If severely dehydrated, immediately bring the joey to a vet for immediate sub-q (sub-cutaneous) injection. If only slightly dehydrated immediately start giving the joey unflavored Pedialyte every hour for the next 6 hours or until rehydrated. If not rehydrated within that time, then vet care will be needed.

How to Feed the Joey:

To prevent aspiration into the lungs, it is important to follow these steps:

What Do You Need to Feed the Joey?

For the first 24 hours, you will need to feed the joey plain, unflavored Pedialyte. This is because most joeys are already dehydrated by the time rejection is noticed. After that, you will need to feed Joey Formula. To prevent bloating, you will need to gradually switch over to the formula as follows:

Day 1: 25% replacement formula, 75% Pedialyte

Day 2: 50% replacement formula, 50% Pedialyte

Day 3: 75% replacement formula, 25% Pedialyte

Day 4: 100% replacement formula

For feeding, you will need one of the following:

To make Joey Formula, you will need:

Feeding Reference Guide:

For the first 24 hours, you will need to feed the joey plain, unflavored Pedialyte. This is because most joeys are already dehydrated by the time rejection is noticed. After that, you will need to feed Joey Formula. To prevent bloating, you will need to gradually switch over to the formula as follows:

Day 1: 25% replacement formula, 75% Pedialyte

Day 2: 50% replacement formula, 50% Pedialyte

Day 3: 75% replacement formula, 25% Pedialyte

Day 4: 100% replacement formula

Feeding Reference Guide:

Age of JoeyAmount to FeedFrequency
Newly oop - 2 weeks oop0.3 - 0.5 cc'sEvery 1-2 hours
2 wks oop - 4 wks oop0.5 - 1.0 cc'sEvery 2-3 hours
4 wks oop - 6 wks oop1.0 - 2.0 cc'sEvery 3-4 hours
6 wks oop - 8 wks oop2.0 - 4.0 cc's**
**At this age, your joey should be starting to eat on its own. For further information, read the section about 6-8 wk oop joeys on the page about Hand Raising A Joey.

Stimulating the Joey:

After feeding your joey, you will need to stimulate it to defecate & urinate. This is done by moistening a Q-tip and gently rubbing it over the joey’s cloaca. It is not unusual for your joey to hiss while you stimulate it. Don’t worry if it does. Note that a joey’s urine is usually clear, so you will not “see” it on the Q-tip. The feces is normally a brownish-orange color and will be fairly soft until the joey is about five weeks old; however, if watery at all, then immediate veterinary care is needed.

Keep in mind that if the joey was dehydrated when you first found it, it may not defecate for the first 24 hours – that is normal and should not be of concern; however, if the joey does not defecate for more than 24 hours, there may be an abdominal blockage and immediate veterinary care is necessary.

For Further Information

This page is simply meant to be a “Quick Reference Guide” to get you started. For complete information, including how to make an incubator, please read: Hand Raising A Joey

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