When do orphans come into care
Flying Fox orphans usually come into care from October to January, but the season can start as early as August and stretch out as far as March.
Looking after Flying Fox orphans is very time intensive, especially when they are very young. Thus, it is best if you are working from home, retired or you are allowed to take them with you during the day. Depending on their age on entry, Flying Fox orphans stay with their foster parents for up to 13 weeks and since they are very social, it is encouraged to raise at least 2 orphans at the same time.
For the first 4 weeks of their lives, they require 5-6 assisted milk feeds per day and need to be housed in a heated environment. Until about 10 weeks of age, they still require 4 milk feeds per day, but can be gradually trained to self-feed from a dripper bottle. During this time they live on a clothes airer, which is ideally setup in a spare room. From 10 weeks onwards they tend to become flighted and get gradually weaned off milk and onto solid food until they enter ‘creche’ with other youngsters at 12-13 weeks of age.
For orphan rearing, you will require quite some equipment, part of which can be loaned from BatsQLD. Equipment includes incubators, baskets, cages and airers for housing; heat-pads, towels, wraps and mumma rolls, scales and calipers, feeding bowls and bottles. You will also require specialised milk formula and teats for your little bubs. Be also prepared for a lot of laundry and thus, a good washing machine is a life saver!
More details will be provided in our dedicated Orphan Rearing Workshops … check-out upcoming trainings.