Archive for the ‘feeding’ category

My Monkey Plate – A visual Aid for Feeding Your Primate

August 12th, 2017

By Janice Metzger


Feeding a nonhuman primate can be complicated. How many biscuits should you feed? What kind of vegetables? Are they getting enough fiber? What IS fiber?! Am I feeding too much? Am I feeding enough? It’s no wonder that most of the questions we primate owners have about caring for our monkeys are related to diet.

Mazuri, a leading manufacturer of commercial primate diets, recommends that 50% of the primate diet be made up of biscuits and the other 50% made up of everything else that our monkey eats; such as vegetables, fruits, browse, nuts, proteins, etc. BUT, animal diets are always measured by weight, not by volume. To make this even more difficult, foods are measured on a dry weight basis. This means that you must calculate what the food weighs minus the moisture, or water content, in the food. There are numerous complicated formulas for doing this, but most of us in private ownership do not have access to this information. So, what do we do?

Fortunately for us, Mazuri recently published a shortcut on their website that can be calculated easily with a kitchen scale. Mazuri recommends a diet of 30% biscuits, 70% other foods by actual weight (not dry weight). This shortcut considers that vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, proteins and browse have a higher water content than dry biscuits. So, if we were to somehow squeeze all the water out of a diet of 30% biscuits/70% other foods, the result would be a diet that is approximately 50% biscuits and 50% other foods by dry weight, the industry standard.

Still confused? Are you pulling your hair out and screaming, “JUST SHOW ME HOW TO FEED MY MONKEY!”?

» Read more: My Monkey Plate – A visual Aid for Feeding Your Primate

Browse In The Primate Diet

April 5th, 2017

By Janice Metzger

bamboo browse primate diet

“Browse”, as it relates to primate diets, is plant material such as leaves, vines, berries, twigs and even branches. Wild-living primates consume many types of plant materials that are native to the regions in which they live. Browse is an important part of our captive-living primates’ diets as well. Though we do not have access to the native plants of our primates’ ancestral homes, many common plants in the U.S. are suitable to be fed as browse to our primates.

Browse supplies more fiber than even the high-fiber commercial biscuits, and more fiber than many of the vegetables that we feed to our primates. Fiber is an essential element in our primates’ diet as their “gut,” or intestinal tract utilizes fiber to properly digest and metabolize the food they eat. Primates need substantially more fiber in their diets than humans do. Not only does browse supply essential fiber, but is also a source of enrichment as our monkeys explore and manipulate the plant materials; picking the leaves and berries off the stems and stripping the bark from the branches.

» Read more: Browse In The Primate Diet

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.

» Read more: Foraging for fun and fitness

Homemade Monkey Biscuits

September 12th, 2016

By Janice Metzger

homemade monkey biscuits

This recipe for homemade monkey biscuits is packed with good, healthy nutrition for your primate. Sure, our monkey friends could live on just dry biscuits and water, but the addition of healthful foods to their diet contributes not only to their nutritional health, but to their enrichment and quality of life as well. Primates are like us, enjoying a variety of food items.

» Read more: Homemade Monkey Biscuits

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? is trying to close that gap.

» Read more: Sell at Primate Store

Bandy Boys Pumpkin Spice Veggie Delight

April 11th, 2014

Experienced primate owners like Donna often come up with special recipes where they integrate monkey chow directly into the recipe since they know how important these biscuits are for their monkeys.  This recipe contains a bunch of healthy ingredients that most primates are sure to love. Donna’s monkeys love these veggie squares and we’re pretty excited she allowed us to share this recipe with the rest of the monkey community.  Let’s find out how to make these tasteful Bandy Boys Pumpkin Spice Veggie Delight Biscuits.  Thanks Donna!

» Read more: Bandy Boys Pumpkin Spice Veggie Delight

Monkey Smoothie

January 27th, 2014

Looking to “Mix” things up in your monkey’s diet?  This is a smoothie mix for your monkeys or you could even make this into popsicles and give this to your monkeys on a hot day or as a treat. You can get the plastic popsicle containers from the dollar store and our monkeys love them because they have a plastic handle they can hold on to and it keeps their hands from getting cold.

Thank you Winona for sharing!

» Read more: Monkey Smoothie

Monkey Cookies

January 25th, 2014

Monkey Chow

Are you feeding your monkey a commercial primate diet?  If you don’t, you really should because it contains all the necessary ingredients to keep your primate healthy.   The most popular primate diets are made by Zupreem and Mazuri.   The primate dry food shown above is also often referred to in the primate world as monkey chow.  Many primate owners soak their biscuits in juice to make them more interesting for their primate but if you’re still having a hard time feeding these essential biscuits to your primate(s), maybe it’s time to make some monkey cookies.  Listed below we have several recipes for monkey cookies that are sure to be a hit with your monkey.  Thank you Eva and Donna for sending these in!

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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.

» Read more: Puzzle Pipe Treat Holder

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.

» Read more: Ice Cube Treats