Primate Diet

Marmosets EatingFeeding time is one of the most important moments in a monkeys day.  Therefore it is very important that you take the necessary time to prepare it.

A varied diet is very important to avoid boredom and loss of appetite.   Commercial primate diet should be included in their meal because it is very balanced and therefore healthy food for your monkey.

Make sure that fresh water is available at all times.

Feed your monkey twice a day.

For monkeys like spiders, capuchins, squirrels, marmosets and tamarins you should hang up your bowl or your feeding platform.

Depending on the size of your monkey you will have to cut up the food in bigger or smaller pieces.

Vitamins are very important for primates.  Especially new world primates (like marmosets and tamarins) need extra vit D3 if they are kept indoors (do not overdose).  When they don’t have enough direct sunlight extra vitamins are required (or the use of Vitalights) to prevent them from getting metabolic bone disease such as crickets.

Never feed your monkey raw meat, baby mice’s or cockroaches (toxoplasmonia, protozoa, helminthes,worms …).

Make sure that your fresh vegetables and fresh fruits is washed before feeding.

So what do I need to feed my monkey ?

  • Commercial primate diet
  • Fresh fruit like mango, apple, papaya, grapes, banana, …
  • Fresh vegetables like carrots, cucumber, fennel, onions, cauliflower, tomato, …
  • Cooked vegetables like peas, cauliflower, green beans, …
  • Baby cereal
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Cooked meat like chicken and turkey
  • Cooked fish
  • Rice
  • Seeds, grains and nuts
  • Insects like mealworms and grasshoppers
Zupreem Primate Diet

Arbic Gum for Gum FeedersMarmosets and bushbabies are known as 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 squirrels or tamarins like arabic gum.  Mix one part of powder with two parts of water (or fruit juice).   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.

In the wild primates have to hunt and search for food so they get a lot of exercise and it keeps them busy.  In captivity it is also very important that your monkey is busy all the time to avoid boredom.  If you just give all their food in a bowl, they will be done eating in minutes so perhaps it isn’t a bad idea to make your monkey search and work for his food.  Here are a few ideas to keep your monkey busy with eating :

  • Put their favorite food in a box which they have to open before being able to access it.
  • Hang up a plastic pipe horizontally with small holes in it and put some bedding and mealworms inside it.  Your monkey will have to wait till a mealworm crawls out before he can eat it.
  • Use a plastic bucket with a hole in it (size of your monkeys hand) and put some fruits or vegetables in it.  The nice thing about this bucket is that they can only take one piece at the time and there is also something like a surprise effect for them.
  • The use of several small feeding bowls on different places can be a good idea too.

We also have a list of Primate Recipes at your disposal.  Make sure to try them out!

Note on Marmoset Diet Picture: Terrie explained to me that she spends a lot of time preparing meals for her marmosets. Here is what she said on what’s in their food bowl: “Fresh spinach with eggs & olive oil, black olives, fresh mushrooms, chicken sticks, cooked yellow squash, fresh green beans, fresh sweet potatoes, pasta with cooked veggies, fruit gumivore fare (with marmoset diet, yogurt & fresh cranberries all put into food processer).  My babies eat pretty good!  I fix 2 plates for them all 3 to share everyday but sometimes switch the veggies & add shrimp or a fish of some kind.   Then of course I always give them meal or wax worms every day as well.”

Onions – Good or Bad?

June 14, 2002 6:15 am

Onions : In the group of onions
(sulfur compound foods), we include
chives, leeks, shallots, scallions,
turnips, garlic and even cabbage!

From time to time we hear the wildest stories about onions.  Some people say they are a must in a primates diet, others say they are bad for them.   Time for us to set things straight.  Why this confusion?  It’s simple, onions are good for primates but have a bad effect on a primates body when overdosed.   Many things are dangerous when overdosed.  The best example here is vitamin D3.  Vitamin D3 is very important in a primates diet but causes issues when overdosed.  Let’s make a comparison and then you can decide for yourself whether or not you want to include onions in your primates diet. more...

Posted in feeding

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