Feeding time is one of the
most important moments in the day of a monkey. 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
rickets. In our store we sell a Primate Vitamin Mixture
that fits the need of your primate
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,
Cooked vegetables like peas, cauliflower, green beans, ...
Hard boiled eggs
Cooked meat like chicken and turkey
Seeds, grains and nuts
Insects like mealworms and grasshoppers
Marmosets 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. You can buy arabic
gum at our store. 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
The use of several small feeding bowls on different places can be a good
|I cut waterhoses up into about 8 inch long pieces, piped them full
of peanut butter, placed them in the freezer and then stuck a stick in there when I was
getting ready to give it to the animals and they would each go about getting the peanut
butter out in different ways but the stick was to simulate what tool they used in a
natural setting to get out termites/ants ... etc ... they had the best time working with
that treat ....
I got this recipe from a "big" zoo here in
Belgium. They give it to all their monkeys, I give those cereal balls to my marmoset
monkeys. They love it and it's very healthy so ... try it yourself !!! Mix baby milk
with cooked water and add baby cereal, protein powder and primate
vitamin mixture to it.
One of the best enrichment devices are the dog kongs you
can get at the pet stores. Get one that he/she can
easily handle, and can get their fingers into.
Take the kong, plaster peanut butter over the small open end. Roll it in oatmeal,
freeze it. Then when frozen solid, take it out, fill it with cereals, cut
fruit/veggies, and other treats. I will usually fill it up with juice or water even,
and refreeze (those strawberry/tomato green plastic mesh mini basket things work great for
keeping them upright in the freezer). Also, top off with a banana slice, a half of a
cherry tomato, or another goodie on the large open end, to get them started eating it.
Good good good... plus they get to keep the kong for after
treat playing activity!
3 scoops infant formula
1 jar strained baby veggies or fruits (I alternate)
5 monk chow biscuits
in blender put 4oz water & monk biscuits, blend until biscuits are
totally chopped..add formula and babyfood and water until desired texture for bottle.
Even very fussy eaters will usually take this, and it gets monk chow into them
also. Makes 8-9oz...throw out any left after 3 days.
One of the enrichments we've used included banana skins,
and they are safe for macaques, don't know about capuchins or spiders, or any others.
take a banana, skin it, if you can just split the skin, that's the best, split it
lengthwise, then stuff it full of things, mixed fruits, cereals in substance, then freeze
You can roll the banana in granola and freeze it too, works great for
foraging stimulation. Also, take a paper bag, mix some cereal with some honey, or
jam, or pnut butter, and pack the bottom of the bag, sack lunch!