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Making possum/wallaby joey pouches


When juvenile marsupials come into care they need to be kept warm and quiet. WIRES carers are always in need of suitable pouches. Many people who would like to help our wildlife but are unable to commit to rescue or care volunteering, can help by making pouches and linings.






Wool: 8 ply pure wool (unfortunately we are unable to use pouches made from synthetic materials)
Knitting: Pouches should be knitted in plain stitch both sides, or 2 purl 2 knit.
Needles: Size 8 needles
Dimensions: 25 cm wide by 30 cm long
Closed on three sides and open at the top.


Material: pure cotton washable material only.
Dimensions: 25 cm wide by 30 cm long
The lining should not be attached to the pouch as it will need to be changed regularly.
We generally require more linings than pouches to allow washing and regular changes.
The lining should be closed on three sides and open at the top.

Having joeys in care not only takes time with chores such as feeding many times throughout the night and day, cleaning enclosures, making bottles etc etc. Each joey be that a possum, glider, macropod or tiny Bandicoot needs a pouch.There are two kinds of pouched needed, one inner liner made of cotton and an outer pouch made of wool.

The inner liner is changed in many cases after each feed resulting in up to 6 pouches being used per joey over 24 hours. If you have multiple joeys in care  the number of pouches used over 24 hours can amount to quite a few. The average carer will often have 20-30 pouches in the wash at any given time.
The size of pouches vary greatly depending on the stage of development of the joey in need and unfortunately with washing regularly, the life span of a pouch is not unlimited and as such the need for pouches is always great for marsupial carers.

Our branch is lucky, we have dedicated carers sewing and knitting pouches on a regular basis helping out other carers by supplying pouches when needed, we also receive pouches in the post from wonderful members of the public having read  on our website  how they may be able to help. This is greatly appreciated.


It is not only Australian members of the public that help out,  pouches arrive in the post having been sent all the way from places such as South Africa where we recently received a parcel of beautiful hand knitted pouches made from organic hand dyed wool.
Susan and Roseanne are both members of a group called knit4charities.  This group of lovely people are all over the world, Rosanne from Coraki ( our local area) had contact with Susan from Sydney who had contact with the South African branch.

Some of the pouches received were made by a lady in Johannesburg, others were made by a lady caring for birds and microbats from a small town outside of Cape Town called Wellington .  This lady and her sister Jenny also run a " Farm Program" which try to alleviate the conditions of "pets" on farms. They help with advice on feeds, worming and immunisations in conjunction with local vets and the RSPCA. and believe it or not still find time to knit pouches for others.

Bonnie from Venice decided even though being on the other side of the world she could help Australian wildlife and knitted this beautiful woollen pouch plus made lovely liners one of which is seen in the image above.
We wish to thank everyone for these lovely parcels arriving in the post from concerned Australians and from members of the public all over the world wanting to do their bit to help our native animals.



Making crocheted nests

Many chicks and fledgling birds come into care with WIRES Northern Rivers, in many cases we can successfully reunite these orphans with the parent birds, but sadly with some this is not possible and the orphan is taken into care.  These crocheted nests are ideal to keep the chicks warm and snug. They are easy to make and are basically a beanie pattern but with a flat base. Using double thickness wool and longer sides so they can be folded over gives the nests a firmer shape. A variety of sizes enable the nests to be used for different sized species of birds.

We welcome any donated crocheted nests. We can arrange pickup from any Northern Rivers location; just give us a call on 66281898. If donated items are coming from outside our region, they can be sent in a postbag to PO Box 1356 Lismore 2480.

Crocheted Nest Pattern

Size H or 5mm crochet hook
Starting ring: crochet 3 chains using 2 or 3 threads of pure wool or cotton yarn held together, slip stitch last chain to first chain to make a ring.
Round 1: Chain 2 ( this counts as your first stitch), work between 10-15 single crochets into the ring ( depending on the thickness of the yarn). Slip stitch the last single crochet to the top stitch in the chain 2 that started this round.
Round 2: Chain 2. Single crochet into the next two stitches, then do 2 single crochets into the next stitch, single crochet into the next two stitches, then 2 single crochets in the next stitch. Repeat this around the circle. Slip stitch your last single crochet into the top of the chain 2 that started this round.
Round 3, 4, 5, 6, and on: Repeat round 2 until your circle is at least 7cm to 15cm, for each following round crochet ONE single crochet into each stitch. You will see the sides begin to form. Crochet until the sides are about 5-7cm high. Bind off and weave in the loose ends.




Much needed Donations list

All of us like to do our bit for the environment by recycling, reusing and reducing waste. It is a great feeling if you can find a good cause to donate goods to. Sometimes businesses and other organisations also have unwanted stock or supplies, such as those with damaged packaging. As volunteer wildlife carers, Wires
Northern Rivers appreciates donations of various goods from local businesses and individuals... And your donations can help us to help wildlife in our region.
We have put together a wish list, including things we regularly need, and a few “one off” goods that our volunteers would greatly appreciate.

 Aviary wire (max. proof) 1cm square
 Shade cloth – in good condition

Water proof plywood such as marine or builders plywood
 Cable ties
 Larger aviaries
 Towels
Cotton sheets
 Sewing machine and overlocker thread
 Velcro (sew on)
 Plastic tubs (small to large)
 Marine ply (offcuts are OK)
 Hemp ropes
 Tissues
 Cotton wool
 Napisan
 Washing powders and softener
 Antibacterial Soakers
 Antibacterial hand wash
Clean unused Paint rollers (23cm
 Washed River Sand
 Frontline for cats

First aid supplies
 Alcohol wipes
 Isopropyl alcohol
 Cotton/absorbent pads

Donations of capital items that were purchased by you, are $2 and less than 12 months old OR have a market value of $5,000 may be eligible for a tax deduction.

If you are able to help with donations, please send us an email: wiresnr@wiresnr.org

You can post any donations to :


P.O.BOX 1356





Why are we collecting funds?

As a guide, consider these costs of caring:

  • Raptors need large aviaries that can cost between $3,000 and $10,000 to build, and then there's the cost of feeding each one.
  • A heated terrarium for reptiles can cost up to $1,000
  • Possum boxes cost around $55 each, then there's a enclosure/aviary needed to house them as they recover, pouches in which they can snuggle during the day, and $14 per week to feed and care for them - especially the orphans who need a special formula before they progress to their normal feed

    $300 helps to rear a brushtail possum joey over a period of 5 months.

    $180 help to rear a ringtail possum joey until it can be released.

    $15 feeds a wallaby joey for 1 week.

    $780  helps to rear a wallaby until it can be released after approximately 12 months in care.

    $25 feeds a Tawny frogmouth in need of long-term care over several weeks.

    $180 allows a juvenile flying fox to go into creche until release.

    $1,600 builds a mobile enclosure for releasing possums at different locations.

    $2,460 build a small flight aviary for birds.

    $5,500 builds a mobile nursery pen for wallabies and kangaroos

    $10,500 builds a pre-release facility for wallabies and kangaroos

Key areas of expenditure for funds donated:

  • Enable us to provide better financial support to our dedicated volunteers, including food subsidies
  • Provide an even higher standard of care to native wildlife in distress by providing improved rehabilitation facilities such as aviaries and pre release enclosures.
  • Directly help give more people the skills they need to become rehabilitators working for Australian wildlife by supporting our ongoing training programs










Updated March 2021  

Webmaster: Susanne Ulyatt

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