Wombaroo Echidna Milk Replacer Late Lactation – 1.25Kg
Wombaroo Echidna Milk Replacer Late Lactation (formerly called >30) is a nutritionally balanced milk substitute for echidna young greater than 50 days of age.
Finely-furred with spines just emerging to fully-spined. Faeces toothpaste consistency to soft then firm pellets.
Specifically formulated to match the composition of later lactation echidna milk.
Very high energy (fat) content milk to cater for infrequent feeding intervals.
High in protein to coincide with peak growth rate.
Low in carbohydrate to avoid digestive upset and fermentation of milk in the gut.
Also suitable for young platypus.
Echidna milk composition changes significantly as the young ages. Echidna Milk Replacer Late Lactation is specially formulated for older juveniles, when they would normally be deposited in the burrow (greater than 50 days of age). At this stage they are growing spines, and rapidly increasing in body weight. These animals require a high energy (fat) milk to cater for infrequent feeds, and large quantities of protein for growth. Note that age estimation of echidnas based on body length or weight becomes inaccurate after 50 days of age.
Success in hand-rearing furless echidnas greatly improves if they receive Impact Colostrum Supplement within a week of coming in to care. However Impact may also be of benefit to more advanced, spined young with a compromised immune system. Refer to “Directions for Marsupials” under the Impact feeding guidelines.
Making up Milk:
To make 100mL of milk: Mix 36g of powder (5 scoops) with 70ml of warm water.
To make 700mL of milk: Mix 250g of powder with 70ml of warm water.
Add half the water to the powder first and mix to a paste. Then add the remaining water and mix thoroughly. Pre-boil the water to ensure that it is sterilised. If the water is too hot it can cause the milk to curdle. If it is too cold then it will be difficult to disperse the powder. Wombaroo contains elevated protein and fat levels, so the milk needs to be well mixed to prevent it from separating out. An electric whisk can be used for mixing larger quantities. Milk can be stored in the fridge for a day or can be frozen for up to two weeks. It is useful to make up milk in larger quantities and store it frozen in small portions (eg ice cube trays), so that the required daily feed volumes can be easily thawed out. Once thawed out, discard any unused milk, and wash feeding utensils thoroughly.
Warm milk to about 30°C and feed from the palm of the hand or a shallow rubber bowl. Thorough washing of hands and wearing of powder-free disposable rubber gloves may be useful to reduce the risk of contamination with micro-organisms. Echidna young suckle vigorously and milk can be consumed up to a rate of 2ml per minute. This rapid intake of milk with a high nutrient content means that young echidna feed infrequently. In the wild, burrow young (>50 days of age) are only suckled by their mother about once every 5 days. Digestion of milk is slow, so the contents of the stomach need to be fully emptied before the next feed. For hand-reared animals we recommend to feed at least 2 days apart. This time frame may be further extended as the animal gets older and well-established. Note that the Wombaroo Feeding guidelines give average daily feed volumes, so multiply this by the number of days between each feed.
If the young is showing signs of dehydration (eg during hot weather), give extra drinks of water between feeds. Echidnas dehydrate rapidly if not maintained under optimum husbandry conditions. In particular, carers often keep echidnas at too high a temperature, which can cause dehydration. It is important to provide housing where temperatures do not exceed 30ºC. Fresh drinking water should always be available once animals become mobile. Consult your veterinarian or specialist wildlife carer for further information about husbandry and feeding of young echidnas.