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.