Caring for your Monkey
Cage size will vary greatly for a monkey. We recommend a starter cage for a new baby because they can be a little uncoordinated, fall in a large cage and get injured. Please make sure all toys, ropes and hammocks have no strings in which they can get tangled, caught or hung on. When your baby matures, you will find them comfortable in a cage size of 30” x 24” x 60”. This is approximate and can vary, but it is fair to say a cage can never be too big. Make sure the wire spacing is no more than ½” apart so they do not get their heads caught in the bars. A cage pad or bed at the bottom will make the cage warmer and safer in case of a fall.
A high quality heating pad in the bottom of the cage will keep your baby warm. Please make sure the cables of the pad cannot be chewed on. Most times it is safer to put the pad below the cage, (in the tray), where the baby cannot get stuck underneath the heat or twisted in the power cord. It is important to remember that a baby cannot thermo-regulate their body temperature until they are about 10-12 weeks old. This means you must be aware of the temperature surrounding your baby at all times. Do not take him/her into the cold weather without proper precautions. Heat packs can be purchased as a portable heating source for your baby. These heat packs should remain warm for 24 hours and work great with a carrier.
You MUST feed your monkey food that is specifically designed for them!! If not your monkey may develop serious health problems like diabetes or rickets (just to name a few!)
Your baby marmoset will be feeding on SIMILAC NEO SURE powder (low iron) mixed with a powdered marmoset diet and some yogurt. Make sure you have extra syringes because they will become sticky and hard to use after a few weeks. The feeding schedule will usually be every 4 hours and this will be 5 times a day until your baby reaches 6 weeks old. As they eat more solid foods, the hand feedings will be reduced. We also recommend daily weighing to ensure you baby is gaining weight on a daily basis.
Please make sure to use bottled water to mix the formula and powdered diet, as well-water can be detrimental to a baby marmoset. The high bacteria levels have led us to see many problems in babies who are given well-water with their food. As your baby starts to eat solid foods, you should try a variety daily from the enclosed list. Remember to weigh your baby to make sure they are getting enough food.
When your baby came home with you, chances are it was already in diapers. We diaper all of our babies at 4 weeks old because it is cleaner and makes it easier for the marmosets to get accustomed to being diapered. Babies at 4 weeks will do very well with a shirt. It helps them get used to clothing as well as help regulate their body temperature and keep them warm. At this age, we use a diaper cover with a mini pad inside. Most babies will go into a gel marmoset diaper at 10-12 weeks old. The gel diaper will be more absorbent and does not have to be changed as often. This is very important in keeping the baby comfortable and preventing diaper rash.
MARMOSET AND TAMARIN BABIES MUST BE DIAPERED AND CLOTHED! THIS IS NOT ONLY TO COVER UP SCENT SMELL, BUT FOR DOMINATION AS WELL. YOU MUST ALWAYS BE THE DOMINANT ONE!
There are many supplements available for your baby. One of the most prevalent problems in babies is vitamin and calcium deficiency. This is not always due to diet. A marmoset cannot absorb calcium if it is not exposed to UV light (sun light). We recommend a “vita light” or some type of florescent light that produces both UVA and UVB lighting. Sunlight will be the best, but during the winter, it may not always be possible due to the cold temperatures. Sunlight through a window is NOT acceptable. The iron in the glass will block out the needed UV rays. Powdered calcium is a must and should be sprinkled on the food a few times a week. There are other supplements such as Nutri-Stat and Nutri-Cal which will help supplement and increase your baby’s appetite.