Quick Help Guide for Rejected Joeys

If you see any symptoms of Joey Rejection, you need to immediately pull the joey from its parents and start Hand Raising. For complete, specific information, please go to my page about Hand Raising A Joey; however, for quick, how-to-start information, this page will get you going...

Symptoms of Rejection include, but are not limited to:
  • Joey found left alone in nest by both parents for more than 10-15 minutes at a time
  • Joey crying a lot with neither parent responding to the cries
  • Joey trying to crawl out of the nesting area (before 4-5 weeks out of pouch)
  • Joey found alone and cold in a different nesting area from where the parents are
  • Joey found on cage bottom
  • Joey found with bite and/or scratch marks on face and/or body
  • Mother repeatedly pushing the joey away when attempting to nurse
  • Joey being repeatedly hissed and/or crabbed at by the mother when trying to nurse
  • Joey found dehydrated*

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:

  • wrap the joey in a warm cloth, like a burrito (joey must be warm or it will not eat)
  • hold the joey so the head is towards the ceiling and the tail is towards the floor (parallel with the wall)
  • only apply formula to the tip of the joey's lips, never open the mouth to place formula inside the mouth
  • place one drop of formula on the joey's lips at a time, wait for the joey to lap* it up, then place another drop on the lips

* Most rejected joeys do not know how to lap to get their food, they are used to suckling. You may need to put a drop of formula on the joey's lips, then gently rub the tip of the joey's nose with your fingertip until the joey licks. You may need to repeat this process a few times until the joey gets the idea.

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:
Feeding Tips plus a 1.0cc syringe, both of which you should be able to purchase from your veterinarian -or- you can order from me
2 oz. PetAg® baby bottle for kittens/puppies, which you should be able to purchase from a pet store
0.5cc syringe, which you should be able to purchase from your veterinarian
To make Joey Formula, you will need:
Wombaroo® Impact Colostrum Supplement
 Distilled Water
 Unflavored Pedialyte
* Do NOT use Kitten Formula, it is too high in lactose and young joeys are lactose intolerant. Bloating and other issues can be caused by high-lactose products.

Feeding Reference Guide:

Age of Joey
 Amount to Feed
 Frequency
 
Newly oop - 2 weeks oop
 0.3 - 0.5 cc's
 Every 1-2 hours
 
2 wks oop - 4 wks oop
 0.5 - 1.0 cc's
 Every 2-3 hours
 
4 wks oop - 6 wks oop
 1.0 - 2.0 cc's
 Every 3-4 hours
 
6 wks oop - 8 wks oop
 2.0 - 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:

Rejected Joey Supplies:

I carry many rejected joey supplies in my web store. To see what is available, please visit:

Site most recently updated in October, 2016