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.”

Monkey Smoothie

January 27, 2014 4:37 am

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!

more...

Posted in feeding, monkey recipes

Monkey Cookies

January 25, 2014 10:13 pm

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!

more...

Posted in feeding

Puzzle Pipe Treat Holder

September 9, 2012 2:58 am

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.

more...

Posted in enrichment, feeding

Ice Cube Treats

August 28, 2012 1:08 pm

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.

more...

Posted in enrichment, feeding

Monkey Shake Mix

April 15, 2012 4:56 pm

Monkey Shake Mix Ingredients

Looking to “Mix” things up in your monkey’s diet? With the weather getting better every day, the monkey shake mix submitted by Mary seems perfect to keep your monkey in great shape.   Mary shared that Brandon, her Java Macaque, loves this monkey shake mix and thrives on it!

more...

Posted in feeding

« Page 1, 2, 3, 4 »