Buddy & Belle <BR>written by Maria<P>Buddy and Belle's story started about 2 weeks before they came oop. I <BR>noticed that the edge of their mother's (Bates) pouch looked slightly swollen <BR>and pink. Since she obviously had twins in the pouch, I didn't want to <BR>medicate her unless it was absolutely necessary. The condition of Bates' <BR>pouch remained stable with no additional swelling, and eventually Buddy & <BR>Belle made their appearance. Bates was taking good care of her joeys, as <BR>usual, though the edge of her pouch remained pink and slightly swollen. I <BR>continued to moniter the situation and after the babies had been oop about 3 <BR>weeks, I noticed the the swelling had increased and the color had turned more <BR>red than pink. I decided that it was time to medicate Bates, so I started <BR>checking on what type of medication wouldn't harm the joeys. After a round <BR>of phone calls, I went to check once more on how mama and joeys were doing. <BR>At that time, I noticed that both joeys had bite marks on their noses. Bates <BR>had decided that it hurt too much to have her pouch stretched for nursing and <BR>rejected both of them. Now the real work began. <BR>I removed Buddy & Belle from their parents cage into a small aquarium in my <BR>living room. I put a baby saver heating pad (purchased from Morton Jones <BR>catalog) under part of the nest box to keep the joeys warm without <BR>overheating them. Then I started hand feeding the joeys every 2 hours around <BR>the clock. I hadn't heard of Clara's "Wombaroo Formula" yet, and the only <BR>other thing I had been told worked was Nekton Lori which didn't sound right <BR>to me. So, I used a formula that I had success with before consisting of <BR>food that seemed sensible to me. <BR>Feeding #1 was Gerber Mixed Fruit Juice with Yogurt, mixed in equal parts <BR>with warm water. I fed them with a syringe by putting one drop at a time on <BR>their lips and letting them lick it off. I was very careful not to squeeze <BR>the liquid into their mouths, because it is very easy to accidentally get <BR>fluids into the lungs and kill them. After feeding, I used a q-tip. damp <BR>with warm water, to gently stroke their genitals and get them to defecate and <BR>urinate. This must be done before or after each feeding until you are sure <BR>the joey's are going on their own. <BR>Feeding #2 was Gerber stage 1 chicken mixed with an equal amount of stage one <BR>sweet potatos and thinned with enough baby fruit juice so that it would go <BR>through the syringe. During the course of hand feeding, I used various stage <BR>1 meats and vegetables, sweet potatos and carrots were prefered over green <BR>beans and peas. <BR>I continued to alternate the 2 feedings gradually lengthening the time <BR>between night time feedings so that I could actually get 3 1/2 hours of sleep <BR>at a time. I also kept dry Mazuri Omnivore Feed in the cage at all times as <BR>well as small pieces of fresh fruits. That way I would more easily see when <BR>Buddy & Belle were starting to be ready to be weaned. <BR>After what seemed to be an eternity, Belle was finally eating solid foods and <BR>rejecting the syringe. She was ready to go to a loving home with her new <BR>owner (Michelle). <BR>Unfortunately, Buddy wasn't doing as well. He had apparently not been as <BR>persistent about nursing as Belle, and so he was much smaller than she when I <BR>started hand feeding. He tried to reject the syringe from the start, so I <BR>was forced to feed him a drop at a time every half hour for about a week. He <BR>was still very small when Belle was ready to go. I continued to hand feed <BR>him for about 3 weeks after Belle was weaned. He eventually started eating <BR>solids and is now a large, sweet glider. Buddy is still here with me, <BR>because after all the extra time I spent with him, I just couldn't bear to <BR>have him go to a new home. <BR>I do not suggest hand-feeding babies just to make them sweeter. Mother's <BR>milk is always best for gliders whenever possible. However, if you need to <BR>hand-feed, it is possible to do it and save your orphaned or rejected babies. <BR>P.S. Bates had a slight scratch on the edge of her pouch which cleared right <BR>up with neosporin applied 3 times a day for a week. <P>