Archive for the ‘enrichment’ category

Foraging for fun and fitness

January 25th, 2017

By Janice Metzger

foraging ideas for monkeys

Wild-living monkeys spend the majority of their time searching for food and consuming it. Foraging activities take up the largest part of their day, followed by play and social grooming. Foraging activities provide opportunities for primates in the wild to interact with one another and work together to obtain food. Foraging affords an opportunity for exercise and muscle building, which keeps the wild-living monkey’s caloric intake and energy expenditure ratio in balance.
Working for food, or foraging, is mentally stimulating for our captive-living primates as well. Providing opportunities for our monkeys to search out and forage for food helps to reduce boredom and encourages healthy movement and activity. Anything we can do to make our monkeys’ food more difficult to obtain and consume stimulates higher order thinking skills such as problem-solving and strategizing. Placing foraging devices high in the enclosure or outside it encourages climbing, stretching and reaching.

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Sell at Primate Store

May 25th, 2016

sell at primate store

Many of the toys. primate enrichment devices, monkey diaper covers and clothes used by primate owners are handmade. Thanks to social media, the creators of such products have the ability to market their products to a limited community. Unfortunately on social media your audience is very limited and as a buyer, it can be quite challenging to figure out who is selling what, plus can you really trust the seller? Primatestore.com is trying to close that gap.

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Primate Enrichment Feeder

October 12th, 2015

primate enrichment feeder

I wanted to talk to you about one of Benji’s favorite enrichment feeders.   The goal of this feeder is mainly to prolong feeding time.  I build this enrichment feeder over a year ago and as you can tell, it is still in great condition.  Since this feeder is made out of PVC, it is not only very durable but it can also be kept clean rather easily.  So how does a feeder like did provide any enrichment to your monkey(s)?

Due to the fact that your monkey can’t really see what is in the feeder, he’ll have to dig through the holes to find out what is on the bottom.  I typically fill this feeder with seeds, nuts, popcorn, dried fruits and sometimes also mealworms.  To prolong feeding time even more, you can also fill it up with things like straw or paper to slow down the retrieval process.  You could even drop in an entire banana, just make sure you wash the peel first.

It really isn’t hard to make this primate enrichment feeder, so let’s get started!

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Primate Enrichment Cups

January 26th, 2014

One of my favorite topics to talk about is primate enrichment.  In the wild primates spent a lot of time hunting for food.  As a matter of fact, that is how they mainly keep themselves busy during the day so why not try to mimic this behavior in our homes?   The design above is my own creation but it is based on the design of several others that I’ve seen over the years.  Some people prefer to use plastic drinking cups but to make this enrichment unit virtual indestructible, I decided to use pipe caps.  I had to make some tweaks along the way but am pretty happy with the end-result.   I’ve been using these primate enrichment cups with my capuchin for several months now and he loves it.  It’s fairly easy to make, so let’s get started!

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Pumpkins as an Enrichment Device

October 30th, 2013

When you do a little research, you’ll notice that raw pumpkin seeds are actually very healthy.  When you dig a little further, you’re also going to notice that zoos often add pumpkins to their primate enclosure simply because it’s a cheap and they’re actually amazing enrichment devices.  Simply cut a hole in the pumpkin and your monkey(s) will keep themselves busy for many hours.

Let’s talk a little bit about the great benefits of pumpkin seeds.

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Bio-Serv Enrichment Devices – The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

March 9th, 2013

Bio-Serv has some pretty unique treats for primates and while not every monkey loves every treat, they’ve got plenty of different treats so one of them could be your monkey’s favorite!  The great thing about their treats is that they’re nutritional complete and that nearly all of them have vitamin D3 in them which is very important especially for new world primates.   This blog isn’t so much about their treats but more about their enrichment devices.   We’ve tested out 3 of them with our capuchin so let’s find out together if these enrichment devices are worth their asking price.

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Monkey Treat Dispenser

March 6th, 2013

A few months ago I read about an amazing treat dispenser one could easily build themselves so to the store I went to get the necessary materials to build this great enrichment device.   Out of all the enrichment units we have available to our capuchin, this one is without any doubt his favorite.   This monkey treat dispenser is available outside his monkey room and the first thing he’ll do when we release him from his room is run towards it to see what we put in it today.  He loves to pull the handle up to see what appears in the dispenser hole.  We typically put nuts, seeds, or popcorn into this primate enrichment unit which fit perfectly for this device.   It’s a enrichment device that will encourage their natural foraging instincts.  Interested in making our own?  Let’s find out after the break what you’ll need to get started!

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Puzzle Pipe Treat Holder

September 9th, 2012

In nature, primates spend most of their time foraging for food.  It is basically what keeps primates busy all day long.   To prevent boredom in captivity, it is recommended to provide your monkey with new toys and enrichment units every so often.   The problem with regular toys is that monkeys get very easily bored with them but a device that dispenses treats is sure to keep their attention.

A few weeks ago I read about a puzzle treat feeder and decided to create my first true enrichment unit which truly didn’t take very long to assemble but it sure is loved by our capuchin.     I would like to use this opportunity to share all details of this project with you, so you can create your own enrichment unit.

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Ice Cube Treats

August 28th, 2012

It sure has been a hot summer this year and I for one can tell you that our airco sure didn’t get a chance to draw unemployment this season.  So, what about our primates?  Besides the fact that people cover outdoor enclosures to protect their primates from the heat, many also provide them with a small pool that helps them cool off during those hot summer days.   For those where their primates lives inside their house, it gets a little harder to provide a way to cool off.  One easy way to help your primates cool off is by using ice cube treats.

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Primate Activity Cube

May 27th, 2012

Primate Activity Cube

While  making changes to the environment in which your primate(s) is spending most of their time at is very important to keep them intrigued, introducing new toys is just another way of preventing boredom.   Many of the items we introduce to our capuchin are sure to keep him busy for a while and allow him to really go to town.   Amongst the items we like to introduce weekly are carton boxes, magazines, or paper bags – all items that are available at no cost.

Every other week we like to buy a new item to add to the collection of primate toys.  One of his true favorites are plush animals which he really likes to carry around.   We often shop in the baby/toddler sections of the store or for a dog toy since those are typically more sturdy toys that can handle those sharp teeth.    If it is a battery operated toy, it is crucial that the battery area is secured with a screw.   It is especially important with baby toys to keep an eye on your primate since they’re really great at taking things apart.

During our last shopping trip at Target, we were once again trying to find another great enrichment toy for our monkey.     More on this with several pictures after the break!

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