Marmosets - Primate Diet

Wild marmosets are omnivorous.  They feed on  flowers, fruits, nectar, tree saps and gums, insects, spiders, lizards, amphibians, snails, and other small invertebrates.

Recommended diet for marmosets should consist of:

2-5% Insects
5-10% Hi Protein (eggs, yoghurt, etc)
15-20% Fresh Fruit & Vegetables
75-80% Commercial Marmoset Diet (Dry or Canned)

Vitamin A/D3 is important especially if they don’t have access to an outdoor enclosure.  Vitamin D3 is needed for their bone structure.   1 drop per animal every day is enough. Do not overdose!

Fresh water is required at all times.  Some people prefer to give their marmoset(s) baby milk.

A varied diet is very important to avoid boredom and loss of appetite.  Feed them twice a day.  Once in the morning and once in the evening.

Cut all food into approximately 1/2 inch square pieces

Daily:

Marmoset Diet (dry or canned)
Chopped fruits: like mango, papaya, apple, banana, grapes, strawberries, …
Fresh vegetables like carrots, tomato, cucumber, fennel, cauliflower, mushrooms…
Cooked vegetables like peas, cauliflower, …
Baby cereal
Hard boiled eggs (white)
Yoghurt
Cooked meat (like chicken and turkey)
Cooked fish
Rice
Vitamin supplements

Twice weekly :

Insects: like mealworms, grasshoppers, crickets, …
3 drops of multivitamin solution in half a grape per animal

Arabic gum

Marmosets and Bushbabies are known to be gum feeders. With their sharp teeth they gnaw holes in trees to get the gum. In the wild they spend 1/3 of their time doing this. Besides the fact that “it will keep them busy for a while”, it’s also a source of energy, calcium and other minerals. It is known that also other species like squirrel monkeys and tamarins like arabic gum.

Mix one part of powder with two parts of water. After two to three hours it’s ready for distribution. Drill some holes into wood (like branches or bamboo) and fill them with this prepared gum.

5 Recipes with Arabic Gum from a large primate breeder :

  • 30% gum + 70% water
  • 10% banana + 20% gum + 70% water
  • 30% gum + 70% fruit juice
  • take baby food “canned” (poultry – apple) + dry gumi ( =pasta)
  • cut fruits in cubes and put dry gum (like sugar) on it