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Caring For A Wallaby

Determining your intentions with and choosing a Wallaby

The first decision you will make after deciding to adopt an infant Wallaby, is whether to adopt a little boy or a little girl.  This is a personal decision and there are many factors which may cause you to decide one way or the other.  If you are interested in breeding wallabies, you will of course need both a boy and a girl.  It is important to know that a female (Bennetts) Wallaby will reach sexual maturity at only 11 to 12 months.  Full size will not be reached for nearly three years.  A male (Bennetts) wallaby will not reach sexual maturity until 21 to 24 months of age, so if you are going to raise both together, your little girl will be ready to breed long before your little boy will be able to fully perform.  You can also choose between the more common gray Bennetts Wallabies or the stunning and rare Albino Bennetts Wallabies.

If you do not intend to breed Wallabies you must decide simply if a male or female is the correct choice for you.  We tend to recommend (on the average), that if someone simply wants a pet Wallaby or two and does not desire to breed, that they consider getting a little boy or two and having them neutered.  At very least we feel that the little boys should not be ruled out simply because a lot of people “think” that the girls are more desirable. Many breeders and publications describe the female Wallabies as sweeter, tamer or easier to handle than the males but the truth is that there is little difference other than size and sex. Individual personality and upbringing play a major role in how any wallaby will interact with human beings. A male Bennetts Wallaby who has been neutered, raised in a loving environment and socialized well, will typically grow up to be of equally stable temperament as a little girl and will not display the hormonal desires evident in the females or in the intact males of the species. Take the Pepsi challenge and visit the Fall City Wallaby Ranch and meet our girls, boys and neutered boys!! Nearly all animals go through what we refer to as the “terrible twos” but grow through this playful and boundary testing phase in fairly short order. That said, the females are of course wonderful and lovable animals and they instinctively strongly desire to have a baby in their pouch to care for so you must decide what your priorities are. The most important thing to remember, is that Wallabies are exotic animals and while they may be tamed and socialized, they are outdoor animals and are not domestic pets.

It is equally important to know that in the United States, if you plan to breed and sell Wallabies yourself, you will be required to obtain USDA licensing, follow the guidelines set by the USDA for living conditions as well as housing and be subject to unannounced visits by the USDA to verify that you are following the guidelines of the USDA. These guidelines are not terribly difficult to meet but include expense and inconvenience beyond the simple costs you will incur in purchasing your wallabies. Some of the requirements of the USDA licensing process include precise record keeping, feeding-housing and heating requirements, six (or eight) foot perimeter fencing (in addition to the animal enclosures) located a minimum of 3 feet away from your animal enclosures to segregate your animals from the public and provide a safety system of containment should your animals find their way out of their enclosures.  USDA Licensed Facilities must also maintain record of annual Veterinary inspection of your facility and availability at all times of an individual, over the age of 18 years old to provide access to your facility, medications and records when the USDA shows up to inspect your facility.  Needless to say, the commitment of resources and time required to maintain a USDA Licensed Facility, while not terribly daunting, are surely substantially greater that the relatively small costs of acquisition of a pair of Bennetts Wallabies.

A full grown female Bennetts Wallaby will sit about two and one half feet high and weigh between 30 and 40 pounds.  A neutered male Bennetts Wallaby will sit a little over two and a half feet high and weigh 35 to 45 pounds and an intact male Bennetts Wallaby will sit about three feet high and weigh from 45 to as much as 60 pounds for a large male.  All Wallabies are probably capable of jumping over a four foot fence in a panic but probably could not clear a six foot fence.  They can live under ideal conditions and good health for 12 to as old as 17 or 18 years.   Bennetts Wallabies are available in the more common gray variety as well as the more rare Albino variety.  Albino Bennetts Wallabies are commonly slightly larger than their gray counterparts and due to their rarity, are a bit more costly to obtain initially.