Nikki Joins Sammy at Wombat Creek

28th June 2021 Larry and I went to Singleton to Michelle and Ron’s place. They are both hardworking dedicated carers. It was lovely to meet them and see the little ones Michelle had in care. Michelle had very kindly agreed that Nikki could come to me to be a buddy for Sammy.

Nikki came in to Michelle 9/5/2021 weighing 560g on intake. The next day she was taken to RSPCA vet Singleton for a check. She had damaged back legs  and a wheezy chest. Given x- ray for legs , no permanent damage , soft tissue swelling but with normal bone opacity, growth plates evident no abnormalities detected. She was  given injectable antibiotics for pneumonia  and cream given to Michelle to apply to bruising on her legs . Panadol was used for leg pain and also later used meloxicam for pain but switched back to Panadol .Poor little Nikki, a lot to go through at that early stage of development. Bad enough to lose mum’s natural immunoglobulins which in marsupials carry on for an extended period of time during lactation. Antibiotics really mess up gut flora in marsupials  but unfortunately sometimes necessary.

No water was given by Michelle with milk formula as she was told it was not needed. Wombaroo milk replacement is a very concentrated form of food  ,it’s not fluid. Universal milk formulas are very diluted and already have a large quantity of water in the made up milk. Mum’s milk would depend on weather conditions .Example – her milk would change to a more watery consistency in very warm weather. The correct amount of water should be added to milk feed at the time of feeding. Michelle used vytrate for hydration and scouring. Michelle was instructed to give Nikki  yoghurt with each feed  consistently from 5/6/2021 until transfer to me on 28/6/2021.This was to help restore gut flora. I do believe in the use of yoghurt, but only in moderation .Macropods are lactose intolerant and lactose can lead to blindness. I always use impact when I have a young joey in care and I believe it could have been very beneficial for Nikki if Michelle had been advised to use it.

Sam now flat fur coming through – getting his daily doze of sun

Nikki weighed 1525 grams when transferred to me. Michelle had been having continual problems with her gut but felt she was on the mend when passed to me. The switch to another carer must have had a negative effect on her. Her faces was sloppy and she didn’t pellet.

my daily wash !

Grey kangaroos are very easily stressed. I began giving Nikki some water and also used impact , she continued gaining weight but continued to produce sloppy faeces. Her faeces then became green but controlled ,this determined it was not thrush.  She also started losing weight. I called Lynda who thought that the problem was that her system had been compromised and she had depleted gut flora. Lynda got me to use colloidal silver,10ml between each meal and after 2 days  her faeces started forming, after 4 days she started pelleting , eating well again and gaining weight. Although she looked well and settled into a happy little joey she would probably always have a compromised immune system. The colloidal silver worked well for Nikki .I have used it with other joeys but not with the same success.

Sammy and Nikki became firm buddies and  thrived on being together.

Sam and Nikki happy together


Sam and Nikki now starting to eat grass . roots and dirt




Once the little guys start eating grass I put them on a daily doze of coccivet. Greys are susceptible to coccidiosis which is an intestinal tract infection caused by a single-celled organism (a protozoa) called coccidia. Coccivet (amprolium) is used as a preventative for this awful disease. Greys are the  most easily stressed and the most complex of all kangaroo species. Wet weather conditions make it very hard to keep the ground clear of faeces when the animals are confined in care if rain becomes very heavy. Coccidiosis is contracted by ingesting contaminated faeces.

Sam and Nikki were happy and well adjusted.They continued to thrive and eventually moved to the outside pen which they loved. They would come walking with me everyday and we were having a great time.

I got a call asking me if I would take another 3 greys about the same size and make a group. 5 grey kangaroos would have been to many in my small pen. Larry and I decided we would build a large pen and take the other 3.It is hard for people to find suitable soft release areas and kangaroos must be moved on from backyards once they reach a certain age. My initial reluctance was that I hadn’t raised the others from a young age and  I wouldn’t be able to bush walk them as they would not think of me as “mum” .  Sam and Nikki loved their walks , however I thought that maybe they would enjoy being part of a group more ….I had never had more than 2 together and have always been told that a group of greys is better so the decision was made. The building began and with the help of our friend and neighbour Ken he & Larry completed the pen in the next month.We moved Sam and Nikki into it to get them used to being in there. They were aprox. 4500grams .

Sam & Nikki

Niki finding her “hop”showing off – Sam watching

“Sammy Boy” I Love You So

Sat 24th April 2021 – Larry decided to go to Merriwa Races with some friends. As they approached the entry a car a couple in front hit a grey kangaroo on the road.She was a young mother with a joey in pouch . Larry immediately went to the scene but the poor mother had died with the impact but little pinkie in pouch alive. He removed the baby and wrapped him to keep him warm , hopefully maintaining mum’s body temp, then drove back home 30ks with joey which he gave to me and told me he had already named him Sam.

Sam was aprox. 500 grams which made him about 4 mths old. A newborn joey is about the size of a peanut .

Little Alien

He was so fragile , ears almost flat and eyes still closed , a tiny little creature. So started my love a fair with Sammy!! I was terrified of either having his body temp to hot or to cold . I used a hot water bottle and monitored temp with a digital thermometer. The temp never stays even for long so it’s a continuous process of  moving heat and padding around. I had been reading about getting a pet incubator as heard they are very good. I decided that as they needed to be on continuously wouldn’t be good here as we are off grid and use only solar. In hindsight I have asked myself many times why I didn’t just have him attached to me all the time in a small bag close to my body for body heat and so he could hear my heartbeat. I did that  with the first grey joey I raised ‘Bozzo”. I have realised  that I listen a lot to other people and I quite often doubt myself imagining that others are always going to know better . People say that you shouldn’t handle a joey all the time and I do agree but having joey in a bag attached to one’s self so they are getting your natural body heat is quite different. I wish I had done that with Sam as it was 100% effective with Bozzo. Naturally you have to have a warm place on the ready where you put baby when necessary.

applying pawpaw over Sam’s pink skin fuless skin – you can see how small he is !

 After a few days Sam began to feed quite well .By the 10th May he was sucking his teat independently for his milk and I was able to stop syringe feeding.He had put on weight and was now aprox. 670grams .I transitioned him to a slightly stronger milk formula. This happens naturally in mum’s pouch. The inside of the pouch is warm, nearly fur-less, and has four nipples that supply milk with different nutrient levels. The pouch is lined with sweat glands that release antimicrobial fluid to protect the joey from germs, viruses and parasites. How amazing they are! Because joeys are naturally kept at a high humidity in the pouch I used pawpaw ointment to rub over Sammy’s pink furless skin to keep it from drying out. I noticed Sam’s heels had small patches where the leathery skin wasn’t covering.

Sam’s poor raw heels

This worried me a bit so I called Lynda who said to stop using flannel inner bags, as they draw the moisture, and change to single knit jersey.She said she didn’t think it would be a lingering problem and to spread  the pawpaw onto his heels  frequently. She said Sam was probably a restless little fellow and turned himself a lot in his bag , rubbing his delicate little heels. Lynda was correct and eventually he grew the leathery covering he needed. Sam continued to grow and by the time he was 1500 grams I thought I would see if I could get another little joey so he didn’t have to grow up alone.

Sam having a big stretch

Sam May 11th. He will soon have a friend.

Sam likes his dummy!



I  made a call to the macropod Wildlife Aid macropod co to ask if someone might have a little joey in care about Sam’s weight they would let me have as a buddy for Sammy. Michelle very kindly allowed me to have Nikki.Michelle had 3 little ones in care as  at that time .