What to consider when adopting a marmoset
Please remember that while marmosets are adorable, they are intelligent animals that require specific dietary needs, as well as environmental enrichment, and vet care. Not to mention you are making a commitment to provide and care for this creature who has a life-span of up to eighteen years. They will need fresh food prepared daily, regular baths, as well as maintaining a clean environment for them.
Environmental enrichment is more than just toys and treats. To provide environment enrichment you should have plenty of ropes, ladders, branches, perches, tunnels, and swings to allow them to naturally move as they would in trees. Nesting boxes, scent-retaining materials, hammocks, and foraging toys should also be provided. They enjoy shredded paper and objects that require puzzle solving skills. Foraging for food is the most natural behavior to marmosets and should always be considered when providing a meal. Try challenging their natural instincts by using pvc tunnels, foraging drawers, cups, and puzzle feeders to keep them from getting bored. I would also like to recommend adding mirrors, auditory enrichment (jungle sounds and marmoset calls), and even video enrichment if possible. Gum powder mixed with yogurt and nectar pods are great treats to put in tunnels and holes to resemble the tree sap in nature. Also, hanging fruit from a non-bleached string or offering frozen fruit and fruit juice as pops to lick are very enticing.
Positive Reinforcement & Training
Positive reinforcement is giving a reward such as praise or a treat following a desired action to increase the chances of the behavior happening again. This is a great tool when training, bathing, or encouraging good behavior. Yogurt drops, cheerios, goldfish snacks, raisins, or fruit are wonderful options. Allowing your vet to give treats will give your marmoset a positive experience and more trust in the new people. You can choose to use a harness and diapers to help with potty training as well. YouTube is a great source for training videos!
Marmosets are selective eaters and should always be provided fresh water and a range of nutritious food as well as supplements with D3. You can find commercial brands that provide a range of options from dry biscuits to canned food. Fresh fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and animal protein (insects, chicken, eggs) should always be included in their regular diet. Always provide multiple bowls for more than one animal and feed multiple times a day to match their natural eating times. Do not over feed on snacks or sugary fruits because marmosets can become overweight. Make sure you always feed the recommended amount per size and age of your animal and NEVER feed your marmoset food from your mouth. They can contract colds and diseases and you do not want to risk it.
-Commercial Primate Diet (Zupreem or Mazuri are recommended)
-Fresh Fruit like mango, apple, papaya, grapes, bananas, pears, & oranges
*Fresh bell peppers and oranges are sometimes used as deodorant by the monkeys when they enjoy the smell
-Cooked vegetables likes peas, cauliflower, green beans, carrots, & corn
-Cooked meat like chicken, turkey, fish, scrambled eggs, & hard boiled eggs
-Yogurt & Nectar Pods
-Rice, pasta, seeds, & grains
-Nuts like almonds, walnuts, & pecans
-Insects fresh or dried can be dusted with calcium supplements. Mealworms, grasshoppers, & dubias
-Artificial gum like Guar gum powder & Moringa leaf powder
Marmosets need an environment that encourages climbing, hiding, jumping, foraging, and sleeping. Which means ropes and branches to climb, hammocks and nest boxes for sleeping, tunnels and toys for enrichment, paper and blankets for scent. They also require UVA/UVB lighting to absorb D3 and calcium. A heat bulb can be used to keep them warm as well. Make sure to only use non-toxic products when cleaning their environment!
Grooming your marmoset should always be a positive experience and should start at an early age. When bathing your marmoset use a towel to hold underneath them while running a small stream of warm water over their lower back, legs, and tail. Try not to let water get into their ears and please research safe soap options for your marmoset. Always give positive praise and treats as a reward.
-We use this as a breakfast recipe so we can incorporate monkey biscuits for the marmosets who are picky. Take the ingredients and blend in a large blender until it is no longer chunky and thick. You may have to blend and combine in larger bowl if you are making a large batch. It can be stored up to three months and should be frozen and stored immediately. You can find small silicone ice molds that are perfect for portion sizes.
4-6 cups of veggies
2 cups of fruit
8oz. whole milk
6tbsp. calcium fortified orange juice
46oz. unsweetened applesauce
1-2 cups of original instant oatmeal
8oz. boiled chicken
1-2 cups of monkey biscuits soaked in water to soften
Gum powder (optional)
3tsp. Moringa Leaf Powder (optional)
-This is just a mix of dry foods to use for foraging fun. Mix and match as you desire.
Cheerios, Goldfish Crackers , Raisins, Almonds, Walnuts, Dried coconut, Dried banana chips, yogurt drops, dried meal worms, & other dehydrated fruit.
Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo
Use a simple recipe with light seasoning. They do like garlic & onions & it's safe!
In conclusion, when choosing to get a marmoset make sure you are using a person legally licensed with the USDA. Someone who follows regulations to ensure you are getting a quality animal without health problems. And please do your research to make sure your state laws allow you to own these animals or if you may need a permit.
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