ANTIBIOTICS: Give only on advice from vet. Amoxycillin antibiotic (suitable also for babies, pregnant or feeding moms) in grape flavour is most appetizing. In liquid form the antibiotic is only effective for about 10 days, rather buy a bottle in powder form and mix up enough. Adults can be given 0.25 ml twice a day for 5 days. The antibiotic is usually very sweet and loved by marmosets. During and after the antibiotic treatment give Protexin or Interflora.


ARM SOCK: -  For babies being hand reared I find this part of the babies exercise as a strengthening program — when the baby recovers from weakness and is strong enough, I use this method as much as possible -- as a baby is left to lie in a cage isolated and  not using its hands, feet and body muscles in holding onto its parents — this method not only encourages muscle toning but also allows baby to feel the natural pulse / heart beat and heat of a parent ( even if surrogate).

I cut off the foot of a long thin sock or stocking - and place it on my left arm between my hand and elbow, leaving my right arm free as I am right handed — the monkey can lie on the arm holding onto the sock for grip ( your skin is not as easy for a monkey to hold onto and older monkeys tend to leave you with scratch marks and scaring) .For hand rearing babies I use two stocking legs or socks( depending on the weather) with the baby in-between, attach an elastic or hair band at top and bottom ends of socks to prevent socks from sliding up or down arm and to prevent baby from falling or crawling out, especially when becoming a bit active. If baby falls fast asleep I pull top sock down to the shoulders of the baby to expose the head. If needed cover fully with stocking. If using a top stocking I keep baby warmer when necessary by covering baby up to its shoulders with a piece of blanket (10 x I5 cm) and then pull top stocking over baby. I may also cover with the sleeve of an old vest.

Remember that the baby must be able to breathe through covering.

I sometimes use a narrow knitted neck scarf folded in half and sewn across and along the open side of the part that goes around the back of the neck forming a tunnel opened at one short end. I place the baby inside and close open end with a hair band to prevent baby from getting out. I wear the scarf keeping baby really warm. I place another hair band on the other side to match and a third one at my chest to hold the two loose parts of the scarf securely together around my neck


BABY -NEEDS/ BEHAVIOR — between birth and 5 / 6 weeks old (particularly in babies being hand reared) baby sleeps most of the time.

See * of index list for the basics of fulfilling, babies needs and being able to cope with the needs of babies.


After 1st week baby may develop its own inner alarm clock and at feeding times automatically awake, move around and call for food.

During 2"d week or when strong enough, additional to the arm sock exercise I (after feeding) wake up the baby and exercise the baby by making it climb from my one hand to another. Later I turn my hand up side down and further make baby hang from the dangling blanket. I also place baby on the bed (with warm electric blanket) away from me and scratch with my hand on bed so baby will run across to me.

From 2 weeks old I also often carry baby around in my hand (keeping it warm) so that baby can see different things / colours and light shades. If my hand gets sweaty I wrap baby in a blanket and hold it in my hand.

~When baby needs to wee or pooh on its own, it may squeak and lift its tail- so be warned.

When baby is starting to play more, I place a mirror (with plastic edging) in its home and if playing on the bed I stand a mirror on the bed, here the baby looks at itself, runs around mirror or away from it and then back to it.

I gently rub the baby's sides of face, top of head, along the back and tail, especially when starting to fall asleep.

I also make one or two noises, like kissing sound, saying hello or scratching on my clothes to familiarize baby of my presence, creating a sense of knowing its me and a sense of security knowing I am there.

Baby may also suck its thumb or toe or hold its hand over its face.

Baby may enjoy chewing on your finger, nail or the skin of your hand.        

Baby may sneeze every so often, so do not panic unless the baby is showing signs of a cold or allergy.

Baby will yawn a number of times, particularly when tired and ready to go back to bed.

White eared marmosets are born with black furry ears, the fur slowly turn white whilst growing up.


BATHING - monkeys do not like water except to drink. If it rains they usually run for cover. Monkeys clean themselves by grooming themselves and each other (nibbling and regularly scratching – see scratching).

Should you find it necessary to have to bath your monkey, do not use soap, rather use plain water or Elizabeth Anne's baby shampoo and rinse well with clean water. Towel dry as much as possible (some may even enjoy a gentle blow dry). Do not wash too often, maybe once a month if necessary, as you will wash away their natural skin oils which are imperative to their natural well being.


BEE STING -, bee stings can cause vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, fever and renal failure and where stung some swelling and redness.

A bee may even be swallowed.

There is usually very little chance of survival - telephone your vet immediately. I would keep an antihistamine handy and your vet may advise you of the dosage to give - then be on your way to the vet. Preferably have someone drive you so that you can keep your monkey warm, feed electrolytes (Energade or sugar water if nothing else) of 2 to 5 ml every 2 hours, keep airway clear. If monkey has collapsed insert a short tube down esophagus to control respiration, give analgesic and use calamine lotion on stung area. Prevention is better than cure so preferably give fruit juices in the late afternoons (as to during the day when bees are out looking for food and in the late afternoons should have returned home).Also ensure that there isn’t a beehive near the cage or in the sleeping box and if there is get rid of it. Get an expert bee remover as you may attract or attack other bees in the area. Once all clear use a strong dilution of Jeyes Fluid around and on the cage flooring.


BIRTH CONTROL - see pregnancy prevention

Bitten by a MARMOSET — I ensure that I have a tetanus infection which used to last  years and now 15 years, renew when its expiry time is due — other than that -if bitten  disinfect the wound very well and put a plaster on. The wound may bleed for a while but will soon stop if pressure is applied. For about three days it can be very sore and swollen. It may, but seldom, be necessary for stitches — see aggressive or misplaced behavior.


BLEEDING AFTER BIRTH — slight signs of blood on private part may be visible and natural -- dripping blood is not a good sign. Consult the vet who will examine and treat accordingly. Bleeding may be a sign of placenta still inside, infection, torn womb, undelivered baby within. It may be necessary for the vet to give injections to clot blood or to operate.


BLEEDING BEFORE BIRTH — bleeding from private part could be a sign of abortion, which should take place within 24 hours or possibly an infection for which an antibiotic (which will not harm the unborn babies) may be necessary — contact your vet.


BLOATED GASTRIC DILATION & INTESTINAL OBSTRUCTION — symptoms may be bloated stomach, breathing difficulty and severe pain – contact your vet immediately.


BLOATED TUMMY — often occurs in babies, particularly from 2 days old or hand raised babies. The tummy swells and becomes rather firm / hard — contacts your vet immediately. May be due to: Baby being sick — baby may need an antibiotic prescribed by the vet.

Baby may have colic (gas / wind).

Baby may have intolerance to lactose- Found in some milk formulas (SNTIA included) and dairy milk. Ensure (vanilla flavoured) which is lactose free may then be used in place of lactose milk formula.

Baby may have an infection or problems with the change over from the mother’s milk to the milk formula.

Baby may have to stop milk formula for up to 12 to 24 hours and be given electrolyte feeds such as Darrows from chemist or Energade. Rubbing baby's tummy with cotton wool dampened with warm sterile water may also help


BREEDING PAIR — in each group there would be only one breeding pair — it is said that the pheromones which the dominant female gives off, suppress the estrus cycle(inhibit ovulation) of the other females within the group, rendering them infertile. For caged marmosets, it is believed that at least a 2 m distance between cages is required to facilitate breeding amongst various pairs. Although the wind may blow the pheromones from one cage to another causing the same infertile effect.

If both or one of the marmosets in a pair was taken away from its parents or other monkeys before it had the experience of learning how to deliver and care for babies, then they as a pair may not be able to cope as parents and would not be a breeding pair but rather partners - see pregnancy: hand reared female / male

Partners mate for life, unless one dies and a new mate found


BRUSHING - my tame monkeys enjoy their fur being brushed / groomed. I use a very small plastic doll brush. Brushing removes loose hair, dry skin, stimulates blood circulation and is enjoyable and relaxing. My monkeys stretch out on my legs above my knees at brush times - sometimes I put a blanket over my knees so that they can hold on.

I also hold their tails, brushing along the body and down the tail and vice versa.


BODY TEMPERATURE - see warming new homes and sick adults


CAGE CLEANING - some prefer not to disturb the natural environment of territorial markings and smells within the cage, but because of “caging" it is necessary to disinfect within and clean cages and accessories to maintain a healthy environment.

Sweep inside the cage every day, especially in summer. I use a hard straw hand brush or a child's sea-side rake and a dustpan.

Hose down and then disinfect, approximately every two weeks in summer and once a month in winter. It might be necessary to clean more regularly depending on your circumstances. Sometimes I just hose down. Other times I hose down and then disinfect the flooring of the cage, be it sand, grass or cement. Around the outside of the cage with Jeyes fluid and with water or 1 cup bleach mixed with 4L of water or Lysol diluted according to instructions on the label.

When disinfecting the cage fencing, branches and accessories, some people also use the above mentioned disinfects, allowing 10 minutes to disinfect and then rinsing off well so as not to cause an irritation to the monkeys.

I prefer not to use the above mentioned strong disinfectants on the cage fencing, branches and accessories - I use F10 which is very safe and does not necessarily need to be rinsed off.

Periodically the branches and accessories in cage need to be scrubbed with a scouring pad then hosed down and disinfected.

Cleaning of cages are  not only for hygienic purposes but also to alleviate bad smelling odors - avoid washing all areas most used for scent marking purposes. The next time wash these areas and leave others - you want to maintain some of their natural environmental odors - see disinfectants for cages


CAGE HOUSING - a bird cage is definitely not at all suitable. An aviary type cage is big enough to run and jump around in, it’s ideal. The smallest size for a pair being, lm x 1.8m x l.8m height.  Kleshinchy with 1cm x 2cm holes is ideal for hanging onto. The bigger the cage the better. With the increase in the number of monkeys so should the size of the cage increase.

For young babies in a cage, ensure that it cannot climb through the bars and escape.

Build cage where it can get the early morning sun with lots of sunlight during the rest of the day, especially in winter - see sunlight

Ensure that there is a covered section where the monkeys can find shelter from the sun, rain and hail. Ensure food is protected from the sun and rain. Ensure sleeping box is protected from being rained into.

Cages standing on sand and grass are easier to keep clean and smell free, than those on cement. Sand creates a natural drainage / absorption system for urine and cleaning products. It also aids as part of the natural monkey environment.

Ensure plenty of different size branches and runners, important for feet and hand exercise because of the opening, and closing of the feet and hands. Add baskets, toys - see toys, tubing / piping to run in and out of and hammocks. I make hammocks from shade hanging or loose strings/ threads, as monkeys tend to get wound up in them and may even strangle themselves. Also check sleeping blankets regularly for loose threads and holes.

A variety of non-toxic plants and runner branches are a must, but be sure to check periodically if the plants or branches are in any form dangerous or deadly ie. eaten through, sharp pointed branches etc. – it is vital that you use safe plants - see attached list of plants – see plants, even if you think they are safe -- be sure.

Change the environment periodically and rotate or add new toys etc. The stimulation of change is healthy and monkeys love exploring new things. As marmosets see colour, add a variety of colour for excitement.

Build cage with two sections in main cage and small section big enough for you to stand in - door on outside of smaller cage and between the two sections leading from smaller cage to bigger cage a 2nd door. Enter small cage, close outer door and then enter main cage. This way monkeys cannot escape and should you go away or if you should be ill, then someone else can feed your monkeys without the monkeys escaping. If someone else needs to feed and has fear of being attacked then they can enter outer door, close 2"d door-, place food in smaller cage, opening door and then exit outer door- see sleeping box.

As dogs have been known to enter the cages by digging under them and killing the monkeys, I’ve put up fencing, around the outside of my cages to keep the dogs away from the cages. Dogs may also tend to jump up on the sides of the cages causing extreme stress for the monkey. Aggressive monkeys or monkeys wanting to play, may stick their arms through the cage to attack or reach a dog and the dog may bite the monkeys hand off – see rats and mice


CALCIUM DEFICIENCY – sometimes noticed in metabolic bone disease such as shorter than normal limbs, hands and feet turning abnormally outwards – missing teeth or small teeth - signs of lameness usually means disease are already too far advanced and permanent damage already done – fractures of the limbs and back vertebra are common –recoveries of a broken back often leads to other problems such as pinched nerves and pain displacement, resulting in self-mutilation and requiring periodic intensive treatment by vet.

There may be many reasons for calcium deficiency - the most common being lack of enough direct sunlight and or an insufficient calcium diet.

Babies are particularly prone to rickets - a bone disease associated with the lack of direct sunlight and or inadequate calcium in diet – see rickets

Prevention is better than cure – see sunlight – see foods ...see calcium deficiency in pregnant females.

Calcium deficiency in pregnant females- sometimes caused by too much breeding thus depleting the body of sustainable nutrition – sometimes occurs during the last few weeks of pregnancy as lameness of the legs – take immediately to vet – calcium injections followed by a calcium supplemented diet and enough sunlight may be necessary


CASTRATION -testicles removed -- no erection as to desired, thus no fathering of children. It is believed that castration is not a cure for aggressive behavior - see
pregnancy prevention


CATCHING A NOT SO TAME MONKEY - chasing a monkey around the cage, trying to catch it with your hands, a net or a towel, is extremely distressing for the monkey s, besides the danger of injury. Rather place a small sized bird cage or hamster cage inside the main cage with sweets or food inside. Hold the door open with a length of string extending out of the big cage where you can wait to release or pull the string and close the small cage door once the correct monkey is in the small cage. To release the monkey into a smaller traveling cage or box, tilt ( if necessary) the small cage gently then position the door securely to entrance of the traveling cage or box and gently slid open the small cage door. Wait until the monkey passes through doorway and gently but quickly close doorway to new housing. If possible place small cage into bigger cage, open small cage door and wait for monkey to exit.

If necessary hold monkey with your hands using thick  gloves, as the monkey will bite you if given the chance. Preferably place a blanket or towel over the monkey, especially over its head, as the darkness encourages some calming of the monkey. Hold monkey gently but firmly, with fingers of one hand on both sides, at base of back of head and shoulders, whilst supporting the rest of the body with your other hand, to prevent it from turning and twisting to bite you.

The grip of a baby or adult monkey’s arms and hands are incredible for its size - to uplift a holding-on monkey, firstly gently undo the hand-rips and then the back legs. COLDS AND FLUE - treatment by vet -- to avoid contaminating your monkeys if you have a cold or flue, do not go near them and if you have to, be quick and wear a mask or towel around your nose and mouth - give extra vitamin C in winter.


COLOSTRUNI - see mother’s milk


COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR --NIONKEY - marmosets are very suseptable to stress, so when you are with or near your monkey do not distress them with loud noises and wild actions. Try to keep a low profile and move at a slower pace. When entering their cage you should cause as little disturbance as possible. Monkeys can pick up your stress levels and will respond accordingly, so before going near them, take control of your stress levels. You may allocate familiar verbalizations for regular activities that you perform, such as when you put their food dishes in the cage, feed them through the cage fencing, when you collect their food dishes, when you are just visiting, when you brush them etc. You may even use sign language or make friendly monkey sounds that you have learnt from them.


CONSTIPATION – for newborns if they have not poohed after you have fed them give 2 drops of sugar water teaspoon (sugar in 1/3 cup water) before and after feeding and every feeding thereafter until the poohs rehydrate and add 1 drop sunflower cooking, oil to milk solution (to loosen stool) – Electrolite or Darrows rehydration powder mixed 1 part with 10 parts water may be used instead of sugar water.

Duphalax or Mirr-cott or Laxon can be used instead of cooking oil but these are strong medicines and should be avoided if possible and if necessary used with caution.

When poohed and weed return to normal milk feed

Stimulate after every feed

For older monkeys see dehydration


DANGERS – freedom to roam your home and /or your garden is a definite no – rather ensure that your monkey has a big enough cage to live in.

Some dangers facing marmosets in a human created environment are – being trodden or sat on – drowning in toilets, ponds or swimming pools - jumping onto hot stoves plates, having fingers and toes and tails squashed, broken or chopped off whilst sitting on top of doors which get closed, bitten or killed by dogs and cats, heart attacks and stress illnesses, strangled in loose threads of blankets, cords or strings in cage – being run over by car in drive ways - snatched away by birds of prey, wondering off or running away because of fear or fright and getting lost or stolen, eating poisonous plants ,electrocuted by electric blankets, lighting or electrical cords, stressed by rain and no where to hide or even killed by hail, illnesses due to incorrect diets or starvation, illnesses picked up from humans , illnesses or injuries not treated or incorrectly treated ,bee stings, dogs entering cages by digging under them, dogs biting of the hand of monkey reaching through cage, illness through rodent and mice entering their cages and even being attacked by rodents or monkeys attacking them.


DEHYDRATION– contact vet and take immediately to vet

For rehydration or to prevent dehydration – give plenty (force feed if necessary) Darrows or any natural electrolyte powder mixed with water or Energade, Powerade or Lucosade – cannot overdose – older monkeys can also be fed potato water, rice water or rice cereal mixed with water – see runny tummy

Dehydration may often occur with a runny tummy and it may be necessary to rehydrate or prevent the dangers of dehydration, until runny tummy is cleared.


DEPENDENCY ON PARENTS – babies are able to eat and drink by themselves at about 5 / 6 weeks old - by 51/2 to 6 months old the baby should be self sufficient from a feeding point of view. Babies will cling to the parents backs until 6 / 8 months old – by 7 / 8 months old the baby should be well learned on being a monkey. At this stage the baby may also have learned the basics of baby delivery and baby care skills; although I feel that experience in baby delivery and baby care enhances the monkey’s skills.

Babies are dependant on parents to teach them monkey behavior and language as well as how to be good parents as in when the parents next have one or two litters of babies –thus monkeys should stay with parents until at least 12 / 18 months old. Without this vital learning period monkeys may, in later life, develop behavioral problem which are mostly irreversible.— see monkey behavior — see aggression or misplaced behavior -see pregnancy : hand reared female / male


DIARRHOEA — see runny tummy


DISINFECTANTS FOR CAGES — F 10 is effective against a variety of bacteria. Fungi, viruses and spores, are non-toxic, non-irritating and non-corrosive - Jeyes fluid may be used for flooring and a very weak solution for cages, branches and accessories. Well hosed off after 10 minutes takes away the smells / odors — or 1 cup bleach mixed with 4 1 of water. Lysol - Eliminator : mixing ratio 1 - 200 — Herbatain — Palvoclean or Virkon may also be used. It is said that the sun, as with chlorine in swimming pools, kills the harmful effects of Jeyes fluid, rendering it safe. I find it best to do all this during the night when monkeys are asleep. If necessary, during the day, guide the monkeys into an away cage before cleaning their main cage.

I also find it necessary, to periodically, scrub with a scouring pad and water, the branches and accessories and then rinse and disinfect well

Do not destroy all the old familiar smells of monkey home. Leave some parts uncleaned and next time you can rotate and clean these parts whilst leaving other parts unclean.


DISINFECTING AROUND THE HOME — when baby starts roaming around or my bigger monkeys visit my home, I keep a spray bottle of disinfectant diluted with water and a toilet roll handy -- to clean up as they pooh or wee


DRY TAIL SYNDROME — after physical damage to the tail, this bacterium infection usually sets in — a creeping infection best treated by liberal amputation by a vet.


DYING — sometimes over many hours - monkey becomes weak and cannot grip  tightly and then not at all — monkey will curl up - sleepy and lameness, with irregular breathing periodic gasping  for air — periodic crying -- comatose state with slight breathing, maybe a few sharp scream and then they are gone — in weakened new bornes this is often how it happens and can be over many agonizing hours -- a sign of improvement would be if monkey from a curled up position lays flat on its tummy with arms on either sides of its head.


EATING NEW BORN BABY — may be due to many reasons - see rejected baby


FALLEN NEWBORNS BABIES — see new born babies


FAMILY STRUCTURE — in the wilds, 4 to 15 / 20 monkey usually in a family group - the mother and father, and two or more litters of offspring, who do not breed until they are sexually mature and have left the group - generation after generation can live together forever.


FAT MONKEY — see weight gain


FEEDING DISHES — use clean utensils and feeding dishes - for cleanliness and durable stainless steel is most effective but expensive — I use the plastic bird feeding dishes with plastic hooks — the hard plastic ones with the metal hanging hooks break easily, especially if the monkeys throw them onto the cage floor. Pet Masters in Boksburg keep these dishes in a variety of colours and sizes. I have two sets of dishes per cage, approximately 20 dishes per cage. I remove the dirty dishes at night and soak them in a bucket of hot water with a small dash of Jik added to disinfect and soften the food left inside. 5 minutes later I add an anti-fungal and anti­bacterial dishwashing liquid to ease the washing away of oiliness in the dishes. Rinse well in fresh hot water and then lay the dishes upside down on a draining tray to dry over night. The next morning I use the other set of clean dishes. The next evening I pack away the now dried dishes and soak the dishes from the day — repeating the process daily at night.

I use 3 sizes of dishes: very large dishes for the various dryer foods such as fruit, vegetables, pasta, nuts and small or medium dishes for each wet foods such as a dish for porridge or a dish for yoghurt mix etc

If monkeys tend to fight over who is eating first and out of which dish,

spread the dishes figh and if necessary divide the food into extra dishes.


FEEDING FROM YOUR MOUTH — see herpes virus


FEEDING INSTRUMENTS — for new born babies I prefer to use a I ml syringe as it allows controlled release of small amounts of liquids to prevent the baby from choking -- when I add cereal to the milk I tend to use a 3 or 5 ml syringe.

The nozzle is very hard and unlike a mom’s nipple, I place a teat over the nozzle. Some recommend using a short piece of bicycle tubing - I believe it is toxic and the taste is terrible- therefore have a suck on it and you’ll realize the taste is bad — instead I use butterfly wing tubing used in hospitals for drips bought from Mista Surge  Pharmaceutical Wholesalers. Tel: 011 - 882 9264 or a hospital dispensary which I cut for the feeder tube to a 2 cm length and dispose of the needle and then balance the tubing.

I find holding the syringe between my index finger and middle finger with my thumb on the plunger is not controlling enough and therefore one tends to squeeze too much out, choking the baby and messing on them. I hold the syringe as if I was holding a knife above my head and with which I was going to stab someone. I hold the syringe inside my closed hand along the inside of my palm, nozzle extending at the base of my little finger and plunger protruding between index finger and thumb. My thumb now has better control of the plunger —squeezing little by little into mouth according to how baby feeds

Sterilize feeding instruments after every feed. After rinsing instruments, soak them in Milton or warm water. Boiled water will spoil the rubber on the syringe plunger and then it no longer travels up and down the syringe easily. I use the longer purity bottle to sterilize the instruments in.

Sterilize once a day the feeding accessories, like the bottle that contains daily milk mixture etc and clean inside syringe with tiny baby medicine bottle brush (baby shop). Prepare fresh solution of sterilizing liquid daily. Make sure you shake out as much sterilizing liquid as possible as you do not want it mixing with the milk.

     see scratching


FOODS FOR BABIES - see washing your hands - see herpes virus and mother’s milk –It is best that the babies be fed and cared for by its parents, but if not then baby must be cared for and fed by humans, during the days and throughout the nights as well -feeding methods, amounts fed, duration. Betijeenfieeds, brands of milk powders, the addition of Susgen cream, Ensure, glucose powder, vitamins such as a pinch of bio-vita in one feed per diet, etc. vary vastly

Some feed on demand or if demanded when the baby wakes and persists in crying and moving around looking for mommy's nipple.

To begin with, place the feeder nipple into the baby's mouth even if at first it does not want to accept it, soon after it will become familiar with its new nipple feeder and recognize the nipple and smell of milk and eagerly search and open its mouth to reach it. When baby has had enough milk to drink, or needs a short breather, it will turn its head away from nipple- try a few more times to feed. Should baby continuously turn its head away and not want to open its mouth, refusing to accept the feed, then there may be a problem and you may need to force feed it. Consult your vet - there is a great possibility that the baby may not survive.

See feeding instruments

Milk formulas and nutritional formulas will last unopened until the date of expiration as usually indicated on the container, but once opened it may only last for a few weeks. Therefore check the written information on container carefully and make a note on the container of the date it has been opened and when it will expire.

The following is but an average basic guideline to which the above ingredients * may be added in correct proportions and at the correct stages in the baby’s life:

To the first two feeds, no matter when weakened baby removed, I add a pinch of colostrum powder -- see mothers milk

Milk mixture consisting of 5 teaspoons / measures warm cooled boiled water mixed with 1 teaspoon / measures SMA baby milk powder - I add a good pinch of Protexin probiotic powder to each daily milk mixture for the first week of the baby’s life and then to one feed per day - see Protexin powder - feed milk at room temperature of 37. 7 degrees Celsius.

I allow for each feed the following amounts of milk and allow the baby to drink as much of that amount as it wants, but definitely not more, as the baby sometimes does not know when to stop and over feeding may occur. Over feeding is a common problem - the stomach is very tiny and with over feeding the baby will become bloated and problems may occur.

The minimum amount that baby should be drinking, depends on the size of the baby, it’s highlighted in bold print:

I" week - offer 5 ml (4 teaspoon) every 2 hours (.25)

2114 week - offer 2 ml milk every 2 1, 2 hours (1.5)

3rd week - add a pinch of Nestum or Cerelac no. 1 baby cereal regular or honey to each feed, the mixture must be runny, offer 5 ml (1 teaspoon) (2.5 every 3 hours - from 3 weeks old, feeding 2 feeds 4 hours apart or missing 1 feed during the nights, for strong babies may not do baby harm, although I prefer not to miss a feed at this stage

4m week - add even more cereal to mixture, to form a slightly thicker mixture, offer

5 ml (3) every 4 hours - give a very little Purity (first foods - bottled) such as fruit and yoghurt or mashed banana in between meals, maybe give one type of food for the day and the next day something different so that babies tummy can cope with the new food.

Introduction - if active baby, then for practice, I leave a bit of food in purity lid inside the cage for baby to eat on its own accord - see weaning

5th week—adding an even bigger pinch of baby cereal to thicken the milk to porridge. ‑

offer 7 H (5) every 5 hours with an increase in amount and more of a variety of starter foods in between, such as Purity foods, fruit and mashed banana or potato, scrambled egg, 2 minute noodles (without flavouring).I make a mixture of purity sweet potato, butternut and pear and if baby will chew, scrambled egg mixed in too. I prefer at this stage to give baby once or twice a day a very weak solution of nartjie energade, especially if the baby is a big food eater.

6th week - baby should be eating a variety of foods on his own and given porridge/ milk feeds from a dish.

Prepare fresh milk daily - store in fridge and then warm one feed at a time, at room temperature -- preferably warm the baby’s milk in the microwave, because cold milk will cause stomach ache. I warm the milk in a blood sample tube standing in hot water in a spice bottle - when going out I place tubes of milk in a six pack cooler box with a frozen ice pack in and I take a flask of hot water as well. If not at home and desperate, I fill the syringe with a feed of milk a I/2 hour before feeding. Just before feeding I warm it by holding the syringe in my closed hand for a few minutes. I use the flask method during the evenings – taking after feeding one feed from the cage and keeping it next to my bed - it’s easier than boiling the kettle. With a bottle of water for cleaning the syringe, change water in between feeds.

Feed baby in upright position as if it were standing on its back legs. I hold the baby in my right hand with index finger closed .Its head protruding between my thumb and index finger and the back of the baby’s head against my upper chest, with the baby facing away from me. With baby’s left arm over my index finger and its right arm under and around my index finger I then am able to prevent the baby from moving its head unnecessarily when feeding and I am able to look down and monitor feeding whilst finding it easier to control the syringe.

I then feed baby with syringe facing it as if I were going to stab my chest.

I hold the syringe in the palm of my hand with the nipple protruding below my little finger and with my thumb I push little by little down on the plunger. This way it allows me to have complete control of the plunger movement according to the baby's suckling. Remember to keep the baby warm and feeding stimulation is important. Stimulate baby after every feed - see stimulating, baby after feed

If you feel baby did not have enough milk then after stimulating, try to feed more.

See constipation - see bloatation - see runny tummy - see sunlight - see hand raising A lactose intolerant baby may be fed Ensure instead of SMA - see lactose intolerance

Baby sleeps most of the time during this period.


FOODS FOR MONKEYS EATING ON THEIR OWN - see washing your hands Marmosets are omnivores thus some of their natural foods would consist of fruits, flowers, nectars, leaves, insects, frogs, lizards, crickets, grasshoppers and gum. The best feeding would be as close as the natural goods they would eat in the wild, but a domesticated diet, although not realistically correct, should satisfy their basic dietary needs. They require a high protein diet, especially in the early (first 2 years) and old aging years.

As with humans it is necessary for your marmoset to eat a regular balanced diet consisting of all the vitamins, minerals, fats, carbohydrates, proteins, textures, varieties, colours in order to be healthy and not lose an interest and its appetite for food It is not necessary to give additional vitamins, especially on a regular basis if a healthy, varied daily diet is ensured.

Nursing females eat far more than they would normally eat — so remember during this period to provide extra food.- see weight gain — see weight loss.

Give fresh food and water in clean, sterilized dishes daily. Ensure that the food dishes in cages are put where sunlight and rain can’t reach it.

Place food higher up in the cage and not on the ground - with a perch / branch to stand on. As they are messy eaters and throw a lot of food on the ground. I prefer to place shade netting a little lower  under the food dishes so that  the food rather fall to the ground therefore  the food can fall onto a cleaner surface and maybe still be eaten - see rats and mice

Most illness are related to diet / food. Cut food into 1 cm size. As some foods go off within a few hours, it may be better not to leave it in the cage too long or rather feed them 2 or 3 times a day.

To prevent salmonella infection, do not feed raw / uncooked meat, poultry or eggs. Always cook food thoroughly and make sure your hands are clean when handling monkey’s food — see washing your hands. Also ensure that food is correctly stored, if necessary, refrigerate it.

Some monkeys are lactose intolerant an should not be given dairy products — see lactose intolerance

Foods that are safe to eat: Domesticated diet

Biscuits : homewheat, provita, marie,  brown or whole-wheat bread ,cereals (dry) like cornflakes, maximize, oaties, fruit loops, honey nutos, meuslie, wheat-bix — cheese - eggs scrambled or boiled (never raw) - porridge : mielie meel, oats or semolina - legumes chick peas, butter beans etc (but only two or three each per day) - milk : cow or other —nuts : almonds, cashew, peanuts (raw in shells), sunflower or mixed — pasta : 2 minute low fat without flavouring, or others — mushrooms (not from the garden) rice .- boiled with no salt -- peanut butter & honey mixed tog or on bread — purity fruits - vegetables raisins (soak in water if preferred) — yoghurt or yogi sip - Ensure

I feed my monkeys porridge that is made as follow: cooked semolina (cooks in 2 minute) or mielie meal. Once cooked and cooled off substantially, I add the monkey chow, brown bread (crumbed), soya milk powder (as high in protein and fresh cow’s milk which goes off quickly, especially in cage if not eaten soon enough).Some monkeys are lactose intolerant and should not have cows milk, honey or a bit of fructose fruit sugar. I thin the mixture by adding plenty of cooling, boiled water.

Twice a week I add it to their serving of calmag powder. On another day I add a Protein powder to their serving.

I make up enough porridge for 3 days and keep refrigerated for freshness (it thickens in the fridge so make it a rather runny consistency).


If monkeys tend to fight over who is eating first and out of which dish, spread the dishes apart and if necessary divide food into extra dishes — see feeding dishes

fruit — apple, (not too much), cherries,granadilla, grapes, guavas, kiwi fruit, leeches, loquats, mango mulberries (in moderation), pear, raisins (in moderation), spanspek, watermelon (pips removed) — do not give often or in large amounts : apricots, bananas, grapes, paw paw and peaches given too often causes diarrhea (running stomachs) — see runny tummy

drinks — plenty of fresh water given daily - milk formulas and nutritional formulas will last unopened until date of expiry as usually indicated on the container, but once opened it may only last for a few weeks. Make sure to check the written information on the container careful and make notes on the container of the date opened and date it expires.

Ensure, SMA, Vita Juice, vegetable and baby fruit juice, fruit juices high in sugar mixed half with water to dilute, in order to prevent tooth rot. Tropica, low fat yoghurt and yogi sip — can also be diluted slightly. Energade, Powerade and Lucozade. Fruit juice and low fat yoghurt mixed together. Jelly set or onset with medication in for sick monkeys - remember you can add monkey’s weekly calmag powder to their monkeys

I give my monkey a mixture made up of the following : low fat dairy yoghurt, soya yoghurt (high in protein- from Woolies ), Yozi corn yoghurt (from Checkers), brown bread (crumbed), purity fruit diluted with cooled boiled water -- I make enough for 3 days and then refrigerate it. I rather leave out the dairy yoghurt for the cages where there is a lactose intolerant monkey.

Meat — cooked chicken: white, skin, neck, liver — cooked mince or cooked steak (never raw meat — see salmonella), purity vegetables and meat — mealworms, crickets, birds, certain insects, certain spiders, frogs and lizards.

sweets — not good at all, especially not good for their teeth, but now and again given as a treat will be fine  or you can put the medicine into  a marshmallow — see medication –give  low in sugar  sweets such as carob rather than chocolate, custard, ice-cream, jelly, jelly babies, jelly tots nougat (very nutritional) popcorn (unsalted).

vegetables — baby corn, broccoli, butterbeans (tin-rinsed), carrots, cauliflower, chickpeas (tin-rinsed), cucumber, gem squash, green beans (fresh or tin),green peas, baby marrows, fresh

mushrooms, Patti pans, potatoes, pumpkin, purity vegetable and meat, spinach, sprouts, sweet corn, sweet potatoes.

water — sufficient daily clean fresh water is necessary.

Foods that must not be given: (for variety reasons)

Avocado pear, alcohol, beetroot, cabbage, cat and dog food, chilies, chocolate, coconut, coffee, coke, cream, curry and hot foods, figs, fish, shell fish. Fortris juice, grapefruit, hi-bran foods & cereal, mussels, olives, onions-, oysters, prunes, salami, salt, samoosas, shell fish. tomato, raw eggs, raw meats, too much fat

Additional to foods above the following may be given:

B 12 syrup    3 drops a day in water (use pediatric type )

Beefee poitWer     I - 1/4 teaspoon a day in food or over fruit

Calcium & magnesium - such as Natitura Kalmag - V4 teaspoon in porridge twice a week

Marmoset Delights- an assortment of yummy treats - packed with vitamins and minerals - see Monkey Chow below

Afeqhs, orins *** - a regular source of protein along with other meats - see mealworms

Monkey Chow- - an excellent source of vitamins and minerals - some eat it as it is or as a mix                                                                                                       porridge,

 yoghurt or fruit juice - order from Pet shop - Mr Pet 011 6155397 or

Pet Masters (Boksburg 011 8942359 or other branches) may order for you –

Marmoset Delights may also be given as a health treat – also can be order from pet shop

Multi-vitamin such as Bio-Vita a Me-pet product can be given twice a week

Protexin powder - probiotic - mixed in porridge or sprinkled over fruit - twice a

Sweets - marshmallow, a tube of jelly, nougat, carob chocolate - a seldom treat or in which to put medication - choose sweets low in sugar.

Vita-Juice - contains ascorbic acid which helps the absorption of all other vitamins from local grocery store or chemist.

Vitamin c supplement (yediatric type) - a pinch in powder form mixed into drink or jelly  per monkey, every 2nd or 3rd day, especially in the winter.

To obtain these products try a health shop* or chemist* and buy natural products suitable for babies - otherwise try a vet or a pet shop**


FREEDOM TO ROAM - your home and/or your garden is a definite no - see dangers - rather ensure that your monkey has a big enough cage to live in.


FRIENDS TOGETHER – marmosets in the wild live in groups consisting of the dominant breeding male and female (parent-partners) and their off-spring - up to about 20 in a group. It is usually better to have in one cage, either one male and two or more females or one female and two or more males - one of the same sex will be the dominant and they will if need be usually sort this out after a few squirmishes, if not you will have to remove one of the rivals to new dwellings. Two or more of both sexes in one cage, unless offspring of the dominant breeding part will usually result in major battles, causing battles or even death. Remember not to inbreed.


GESTATION PERIOD - approximately 23 weeks le. 144 to 154 days - mom will usually fall pregnant within the first week after birth - or three weeks later with ovulation.


GROOMING - see scratching


HAIR LOSS DUE TO RINGNVOR-N1 - often occurs in homes where cats are kept - bare skin patches mostly around face and sometimes on arms -consult your vet


HAIR LOSS ON TAIL, ARMS & OTHER PARTS OF BODY - usually a result of various vitamin and mineral deficiencies due to diet - take monkey to vet - if various vitamin and mineral supplements along with an adequate diet are taken the hair will grow back quickly. May also be due to stress and/ or lack of sunlight - see stress - see sunlight


HAIR LOSS ON UNDERSIDE OF TAIL - often due to chronic diarrhea – take the monkey to vet.


HAND REARING – (depending on the circumstances)Hand rearing a baby completely may not be necessary -- it may be possible to give baby back to mom when both the baby and the mom are physically  and mentally ready.In births of more than two babies, it may be possible to remove 1 baby and attend to it for 24 hour  then give it back to mom and take a different baby for 24 hours, in this way rotation enables all babies to receive the mom’s milk, care and to learn monkey social interaction and behavioral skills.

The parents may not accept the baby back, especially if it had been rejected at birth, so rather be careful when offering to return the baby back to them, as they may not only continue to reject it ,but may even attack the baby(injuring or even killing it).

If possible return baby to parents or other monkey environment as soon as it is able to feed itself or as soon as possible thereafter - see food for babies - see sunlight

 If you have another nursing mother with only one baby, it may be possible for her to foster   

the other baby – before giving the foster mom the new baby, wrap the baby in the foster mommy's sleeping blanket to transfer her smell onto it, thus making acceptance of adopted baby more encouraging.

I most certainly would recommend using the baby safety net, particularly when returning a baby less than 6 weeks old to a monkey cage as the baby may appear fine and the next minute may be found lying on the ground -- the impact of the fall may be detrimental - a net gives the baby a greater chance of a successful recovery.

A monkey is a wild animal and is best allowed to be as such. A monkey needs monkey friends and well balanced monkeys to teach it how to be a monkey; monkey language, monkey behavior and monkey socialisation. Hand reared by humans alone, mostly leads to aggressive and misplaced behavior in later years (usually at puberty - 12 to 18 months of age) which is irreversible and which causes a life time of distress for the monkey and


heartache for the owner - see aggression and / or misplaced behavior


To help your hand raised nionkey, get it as early as possible a friend or partner preferably of 7/8 months old (or older) which is parent raised.

- see pregnancy: hand reared female / male


For young babies ensure that if in the cage, it cannot climb through the bars and escape. Until about 5 /6 -.7 weeks old, the baby will sleep most of the time.


HANDS AND FEET - marmosets have 10 fingers and 10 toes. Their nails are like claws of a bird except for the big toe nails which are like that of a human. Their nails can often scratch human skin and sometimes cause bleeding and scaring. Thus marmosets are often not suitable as pets for children and often adults too. Their long fingers are suitable for holding food, although rather awkwardly. They need plenty of different size branches and runners which, because of the opening and closing of feet and hands, is an important and necessary exercise.


HARNESSING- no matter how tame a monkey- a harness and lease when going out is a definite must to ensure safety, because loud noises such as those of traffic or airplanes will frighten your monkey and  cause it to run away and endanger itself - see outings and to the vet

Strapping it around the chest or neck may often be uncomfortable and stressful to a monkey - rather use a narrow shoe lace tired with a reef knot (right over left and then left over right ) around the waist - loose enough to be comfortable but tight enough not to slip over hips  legs) - cut loose ends of knot short - do not remove unless strap is no longer fitting properly, because of weight gain or loss - the monkey should wear this day and night and will usually not even be aware of it. For a leash use a tiny swivel key hook (like that used to attach keys to the belt) with an open and close button (usually from hardware shop) tied to a length of shoe or boot lace. Make a finger loop at other end of leash. Then just hook the swivel hook on and off waist harness as preferred - make sure it closes properly and does not allow the harness lace to slip out. Keep leash short enough length to be able to control your monkey on your body. Regularly check harness to ensure correct fitting and security of knot.


HEALTH CHECKS - once a year checked by a monkey vet is a good idea --- but every 6 months may be better option.


HERPES VIRUS - never allow your marmoset contact with your saliva - never  kiss your monkey on its mouth or give it food from your mouth or that you have bitten on / offnever, allow it to eat or drink from your utensils - the herpes virus (cold sores fever blisters)which we carry in our saliva (even if cold sores are not always visible), for a marmosets is fatal - there is no cure - it is a long and agonizing death.


Marmosets are extremely sensitive to the herpes virus - symptoms are sores around and in the mouth, loss of appetite, dehydration, nasal discharge, swollen eyelids and depression..

Avoid allowing your marmoset to lick your eyes, or come into contact with your sweat or blood (eating at your scabs) as by this it means they may also pick up the virus. Another form of the herpes virus is shingles in adults and chicken pox in children .Also never lick your finger while handling your monkey’s food - always wash your hands. I use an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal wash and a separate monkey towel for when I handle my monkey’s food or touch them directly.


hands very well ( also after smoking cigarettes -",here your come into contact with

 HOLDING A MONKEY - do not panic and stay calm as monkeys can sense your mood
and will react accordingly.

If necessary to hold-, in particular an adult monkey for medication or inspection - hold from back of monkey with thumb and index finger  on either side of neck supporting the head - do not hold around neck too tightly - use other hand to support the lower part of the body. Restrict monkey from pulling arms up as they are usually good at this, and will scratch you, make a run for it or grasp the instrument - a towel can be placed around the monkey first to assist with holding the arms down or to cover the head which helps in calming the monkey down.


HOLIDAY ACCOMODATION - should you, for a period, not be available to feed and care for your monkeys and do not have someone reliable to do so for you, you could Place your monkeys in day care at a vet or reputable establishment for monkeys.


HYPOGLYCAUNTIA AND HYPOTHEWNTU - effects mostly monkeys between 6 to 9 months old or older monkeys that have had "colds" during early stages of winter, when the sleeping quarters are not warm enough. Convulsions and then comatose state with sub-normal body temperature - do not warm monkey but take immediately to vet.


ILLNESS – if you suspect that your monkey is not feeling well do not wait, rather take your monkey to a vet straight away - preferably a vet who is familiar with monkeys or who is prepared to telephonically converse with a monkey vet in order to ascertain and treat the condition. If your monkey does not want to eat his favorite sweet, then you will know that he is not well.

Before taking the monkey to a vet, telephonically ensure that vet is available and notify him to expect your visit so that he can be prepared, especially in an emergency.

Most illness is related to diet / food - so ensure that you feed, particularly in early life, an adequately varied and healthy diet daily.

Monkeys are susceptible to most human illnesses, so contagious humans must / should not go near them - see you are not well - see herpes virus


INTERBREEDING - inter-breeding is not good and does not usually occur - usually one breeding pair in group i.e. one dominant female with one dominant male in the group will breed. It is said that they are able to detect the presence of blood line / ties and will not mate, but should family ie. Parent and child or brother and sister conceive, deformities will usually be present in off-spring and they will usually if not still born be eaten by the parents at birth or rejected (left to die).

Generations are able to live together without interbreeding - the other females will not invite intercourse as it is believed that the release of pheromones by the dominant female inhibits ovulation in the subordinate females, within the group - a natural pregnancy   preventative measure.

Surviving babies with deformities due to interbreeding should not be mated. Brothers and sisters should rather be mated with new blood and their off-springs (cousins) may be mated. I feel that the introduction of new blood lines is always best - see pregnancy hand reared female / male


INTRODUCING MONKEY TO NEW MONKEY / S - place monkey that is being introduced, into a different cage with new monkeys, into a small cage (hamster or budgie type). Place small cage inside the new main cage - retreat and watch from a distance. Leave for about 20 to 30 minutes to allow monkey’s in big cage to investigate and get used to the stranger and visa versa. If no signs of aggression, enter main cage and open small cage door to enable monkey to exit when it is ready. Be on stand by just in case there is a problem. Survey again from a distance for a while just to be sure that there is no problems and check on them now and again throughout the day.




LABOUR – During the last stages of pregnancy, the mother’s tummy will drop and expand noticeably – birthing generally takes place during the night in the darkness of the sleeping box, unless something is wrong. If the female is in labour during the day she should be taken to the vet immediately. 1 to 2 hours of labour with births approximately 1/2hour apart – the placenta is expelled about ½ hour after the last birth. The dad will assist with the delivery of the babies and the placenta, eating of the placenta and cleaning of the babies. Should there be deformities or a problem of some sorts the parents would usually reject or eat the new bornes - see baby eating

The following morning check if all the monkeys is coping. The babies should be holding high on the parents shoulders or high on the sides of the waists or underneath high on the tummy. Mom will be exhausted for a day or two. Mom will do the feeding and then pass the babies on to the father for stimulation. Dad is usually assisted by older siblings. The new parents are very protective and sensitive at this stage, causing as little disturbance as possible, check sleeping box and remove dead babies or those left to die but that are still alive, you may try to hand rear these. If there are dead babies in sleeping box it may be best that nature took its course, as survival might have been more harmful for the new born.

Change soiled bedding for clean ones.

It has been reported that a mommy who had previously had her own babies, has successfully delivered and raised her babies on her own, without the help of a daddy – it is not advisable to take the chance and it is recommended that you, if possible, try to replace daddy with an experience foster daddy, before mommy gives birth.


LACTOSE INTOLERENCE – some monkeys are lactose intolerant and should not be given dairy milk products – instead you may give your monkey either soya milk, soya yoghurt (from Woolies) Yozi corn yoghurt (from Checkers), soya milk powder, soya protein powder, calmag powder, Ensure.

A sign of lactose intolerance may be continuously vomiting up milk foods and possible diarrhoea


LIFE SPAN – in the wilds 16 to 20 years – domesticated monkeys 7 to 16 years, averaging 12 years.


MALE OR FEMALE – males have only a little pippy hole and lower down the anus - females have a pippy hole and a long slit, from pippy hole all the way down to near the anus -- usually difficult to see within first few days – look very carefully and if necessary use a magnifying glass or use your two fingers to gently part the private area where the slit should be to make the slit more visible, if there is a slit. May be seen whilst monkey is hanging on side of cage or by photographing (sports setting) and zooming in. Often even adult females are mistaken for males.


MEALWORMS – a good natural part of wild food diet – may be purchased from some pet shops and home bred in container in dark dry area (ensure worms are not able to climb up the sides of the container and also watch that breeding box does not attract ants, rats, flies etc).

Mav be bred in digestive bran (found in grocery shop along with cake flours) which the worms eat to fine sand. Worms may be fed on halved and de-seeded gem squash or bananas. When fully grown worms turn to lava, which later turn into black beetles which lay eggs and then die. The eggs eventually hatch into tiny worms. The cycle starts again.

The dead beetles may also be fed to your monkey

Feed to monkey when worms fully grown, leaving some to breed again. Worms may be given to monkeys by hand, in a dish or hidden for them to hunt and find.


MEDICATION – preferably, do not give your monkey medication unless under supervision of a vet.

Beware of giving medication to pregnant or feeding females as it might be harmful to the unborn or feeding babies. Homeopathic medication is the safest as it is gentle and cannot be overdosed.

Use a syringe (without the needle) or medicine dropper, as used for eardrop etc, if this does not work then try dipping a marshmallows into medication and letting the monkey lick it off – if monkey won’t  lick then put inside a marshmallow and give monkey the marshmallow – or put medication in a little of his favorite food, like jelly or porridge and only when eaten then put the balance of food in the cage - or put it in the feeding dish with a few tiny pieces of marshmallow so that he has to lick up the medication to get the marshmallow pieces off the bottom of the dish.

If necessary, give medication in water.

The worst scenario would have to be to the hold monkey and force feed medication (using a syringe without the needle or medicine dropper).

If human medication in particular – ensure amount given in proportion to size of monkey.


MILK STIMULATION IN FEEDING MUMS – some believe in coke being a stimulant – many believe that it is not and is in fact unhealthy, as it destroys the nutritional food value of the lactose in mom’s milk and baby will be drinking milk with no nourishment and thus weaken and die of starvation within 3 to 4 days.

If really needed – stimulate the mom’s milk using Eglonyl - one drop a day for one week or as part of the normal daily food, add a natural milk stimulation food source suitable for marmosets.

ENVIRONMENT STIMULATION - change the environment periodically and rotate or add new toys etc. The stimulation of change is healthy and monkeys love exploring, new things. Remember that monkeys see in colour, so colour variation is also essential.


MISPLACED BEHAVIOUR – see aggressive and / or misplaced behavior MONKEY BEHAVIOR – monkeys apparently do not know instinctively how to be monkeys - it is from being with other monkeys that the monkeys learn how to be monkeys.

Babies should therefore not be taken away from their parents until they have learned at about 7/8 months old- monkey language, behavior and socialization, or at puberty at about 12 to 18 months old -when having also learned from parents how to birth and care for young babies - thus forming the foundations of a stable, well balanced monkey.

If taken away from parents too early (for hand rearing) or hand raised without a parent or raised learner monkey to learn from, behavior problems often occur in later stage of life and are mostly irreversible. With nobody wanting a problem monkey, the monkey suffers –see aggression and / or misplaced behavior - see dependency on parents

Parent raised marmosets would normally never attack you, in fact they are more scared of humans than humans are of them. To enable parent raised monkeys to get used to you, spend about half an hour a day in their cage.

Hand raised marmosets are the ones, though without warning, usually at puberty, one day just suddenly attack you and never be tame again - see pregnancy : hand reared female / male,

Normal monkey behavior / activities - eating, playing, chasing each other, sunbathing, relaxing by stretching out in shade, yawning, cuddling together, grooming themselves and each other, searching for and catching insects, sometimes sneezing, exploring, vocalized communication and calls, territory marking by gnawing and urinating - fluffing up their fur and lifting their tail and showing off their private parts.

Babies may cry because they do not want to be alone – once on parents or on you they stop crying.

Monkeys tend to climb to the highest place possible – tend to lift their tails when having a pee or pooh.

MOTHERS MILK – for new borne the mother’s milk contains colostrums which is very necessary in building the immune system moms milk before baby is removed is thus very important – by the morning when mom out of sleeping box, baby has usually been fed by mom, but if possible do not remove baby until about lunch time to facilitate colostrum feeds, otherwise add a tiny pinch of colostrums powder (purchase in capsule from chemist) to babies first two or three feeds on the first day - SMA is often said to be the closest to moms milk - a drop of sterilized cream and or a pinch of Sustacren or Ensure may be added to feed - see food for babies - see milk stimulation in feeding moms


MOVING HUNIE - if you are changing cages or monkey is going to a new home be sure to

Place in the new home something from the old cage which the monkey is familiar with, such as a blanket and a toy, - monkey will feel less stressed and less confused - see traveling monkey - see introducing monkey to new monkeys

On moving to a new home, monkeys may often spend much time, especially when humans are around, hiding in their sleeping boxes, but as the days pass and they become more familiar and secure in their new home, they will usually refrain from this hiding.


NEW BORNE BABIES - may be rejected at birth by the parents for many reasons eg, should one or both parents not have been taught how to birth and take care of babies, or should they detect that there is something wrong with the babies or if they are not physically or mentally able to cope with the babies due to stress, fear of the safety of their babies from other monkeys, pets / animals or humans etc - see pregnancy: hand reared female / male

Mother usually only has enough milk to feed two babies, with three or more babies it might be best to leave the two strongest with the parents and remove the other /s and hand rear - chance of survival will be greater than waiting for weakening and sliding in down or falling off the parents, at this stage baby has usually given up the will to survive.

Once baby falls to the ground the result is usually fatal, as the baby often sustains internal injuries  black pooh is often a sign of internal injury) and is too weak- to survive -- usually not even a vet can help.

As parents cannot hold their babies in their hands or arms, parents often try to get fallen babies to climb back onto their backs by scratching and moving the baby, but fallen babies are usually too weak to do so, so besides injuries sustained in a fall to the ground baby then gets sand in its eyes and mouth as parents attempt to restore baby to their backs.

For all expected births I set up a baby safety net which has proved to be, on a number of unexpected occasions, a baby life saver - see new born netting

Suns of weakening most obvious between 3 to 4 days after birth and can surprisingly even be up to 10 days or more after birth. Parents are unable to carry their babies in their arms so babies hold on to their fur. The grip of a baby is incredibly strong for its size.

Babies will generally ride high on the parent’s shoulders and sometimes on the side of the waist or high underneath on the tummy. Baby’s curly tail is a good sign of health. A loose tail and signs of sliding down to the parent’s tail is a sign of weakness and soon to fall off. Remove the baby before it is too weak to hold on anymore and hand rear until it is strong enough to return to the parents - see hand rearing

If possible, only remove a third baby or more, if possible, about 12 hours after birth and only once baby has had one or two of moms milk feeds, which contains colostrums. Colostrum aids in building the baby's immune system and is of vital importance for the baby survival. If the baby has to be removed before receiving feeds of mommy's milk, then purchase colostrums capsule from chemist, open and add a tiny pinch to each of the first two or three feeds that you give.

Babies that have fallen or that are very weak should be heated up immediately (under a lamp, in your hand, warm hot water bottle (not very hot or boiling water) or held under your shirt against your stomach and immediately given a few drops (0.25 ml) of glucose or sugar water from a syringe to boost its energy —give one or two feeds of sugar water, 1 to 2 hour apart. I prefer to give two or three small amounts every half hour and then an hour later milk feed. Once stabilized continue heating and commence feeding and stimulating as per hand rearing. Do not expect a fallen baby to survive but try your best.

- see food for new born babies - see , heating - see stimulating after feeding — see hand

rearing - see sunlight

Parents will miss baby for 2 or 3 days — rather keep baby out of sight and hearing range of parents so as not to cause the parents further stress.

Mom will do the feeding and then pass the babies on to the father for stimulating and carrying. Father is usually assisted by older siblings.

Babies cannot see until about a week after birth even though from their first day they lift their heads and appear to be looking around.


NEW BORNE NETTING —just before mommy gives birth, quietly during the night when monkeys are fast asleep, put up safety net in cage, rather than take a chance of babies failing to the ground. Babies may one minute appear fine and the next time you look, baby has fallen .Once baby falls to the ground the result is usually fatal, as the baby often sustains internal injuries (black pooh is often a sign of internal injury) and is too weak to survive — usually not even a vet can help.

I use shade netting (not shade cloth) which is nylon and easy to keep clean - secure net half way up the cage so that distance to fall is lessened — secure sides close up against cage all round, so baby does not fall between netting and side of cage — you can stretch across and reach fallen baby or if need be climb underneath, make a hole, put hand through and reach the baby -- monkeys love this netting and use it as a spring board and hammock —bounce or brush off fallen food and pooh daily — urine falls through netting to the bottom of cage — the bottom of the cage can still, if necessary, be disinfected along with the shade netting. — see diagram and instructions at back of book


ORIGIN — Tropical rainforests of South America where it is very hot and winter temperatures are not cold. Marmosets are part of the new world monkeys, Marmosets are also known as cotton eared, common and white tufted or white eared


OSTEOTNIALACIA — especially in adults — bones become soft, painful joints and bones, lameness, abnormal posture, fractures, tendon ruptures -treatment by a vet is
necessary — diet as well as the vets advice along with vitamin D, phosphorus, direct sunlight and big enriched cage.


OSTEOMYELITIS — especially during the growing period - inflammation of the bone/s could spread to the joints  causing shortening of the limbs — pain, lameness, redness and possible loss of appetite — recommend treatment by a vet - antibiotics, diet and direct sunlight


OUTINGS - ensure harness and leash are secure - see harnessing - take traveling cage with blankets inside for security and for when monkey is tired - ensure you also take food and water - see visiting the vet


OVULATION - about 5 /17 days after the birth of a litter and about every 28 days thereafter with no visible menstruation. In a group in the wilds or in a cage, one dominant female will bear children whilst the pheromones which she gives off will suppress the oestrus cycle of the other females, rendering them infertile - a natural form of preventing pregnancy. Over-ride this suppression by ensuring, a 2m minimum distance between cages, although the wind may also prevent pregnancy by blowing the pheromones into cages that are more than 2m away - see puberty I


PAIN - Natura Pein or Panado Pediatric syrup - 2 drops every 2 hours for 2 or 3 days or a tiny pinch of Disprin mixed with water -- give 25 5 ml three times a day or Panado syrup PANCREATITIS - due to many reasons -- a common cause being too much fat in diet ‑ avoid high fat foods and control fat content of diet - symptoms may appear as monkey putting on weight all round or even an enlarging tummy (it may not be pregnancy) depending on the reason and severity of pancreatitis, it may be treatable or fatal.


consult your vet -it may be a good idea to weigh your monkey on a kitchen scale to monitor weight - besides treatment by vet it may be necessary to overcome pancreatitis by giving  no fat foods ie. no nuts, egg  yolks, sugar, mealworms etc but rather feeding fat free foods such as pasta, rice, potato, sweet potato, butternut, peas, green beans, cooked egg white, plain no. 1 powder-type Nestum or Cerelac baby cereal mixed with water (not milk),chicken


PARENTING - being good parents - see monkey behavior and new born babies and goo: hand reared female / male


PERMITS TO KEEP at present in South Africa, permits are not required as marmosets are not indigenous to our country - although permits legislation is being pushed for, in order to protect these little creatures, which are often neglected and or abused.

Neighbours can sometimes also complain about your monkeys and although you may feel they are being unreasonable, which they sometimes are, you may find that you need to contact for your own sake, your local SPCA (Jhb Chief Inspector Mandy Cattanach w 011 4447730 or 0824505176) - Nature Conservation the permit control authorities 011 3551280 or 011 3551591 or 0825790078 - your local Department of Environmental Health ( Jhb 011 5315604 or 0828235000 : noise monitoring (011 8612291 or 0824547090 or 0828235000 )


PLANTS - although we might think that certain plants are not dangerous it is amazing how some parts of these plants, such as seed or leaves are dangerous and can even cause death - never use plants unless checking for sure - see attached list for guidance. A good amount of vegetation and natural woody running perches are a must Strawberries can be planted at the bottom of the cage or in pots

A Loquat tree is ideal as it grows quicly and is hardly, even when destroyed by the monkeys. Otherwise use apple, peach or mulberry trees.

Besides being totally destroyed by monkeys gnawing at them, the monkey urine often also no off the plants. It is better to plant outside the cage – branches need to reach other branches in the cage, removing them when dried and destroyed and replacing them with fresh branches.


POOH - softish but formed like a sausage - yellow colour is good - sometimes brownish - black is not a good sign - possibly internal bleeding - take to vet immediately. - see constipation. For diarrhoea - see runny tummy - see stimulating baby after feeding


PREGNANCY AFTER PREGNANCY - too much breeding may deplete the body of sustainable nutrition - females can become thin, lame or not feel well - take to vet immediately - some believe that pregnancies throughout lifespan is not a problem - some 6 to 7 years of breeding is enough - see pregnancy prevention



A hand reared female will usually not fall pregnant – as it is said that she will usually fight male off, prevent penetration and or prevent sperm from traveling up high enough to facilitate conception, by squeezing inside and "shutting, the door ". Should she by some chance conceive, she most likely would not know how to care for her babies, and nor would the father if he too were hand raised, thus the babies will not be cared for properly or not at all.

Babies may stand a better chance of survival if daddy was parent raised and assisted mommy with giving birth and could possibly help teach mommy how to care for the babies. Failing this baby it would need to be hand raised by a humans and at a later stage possibly returned to the parents.

Should the daddy be hand raised and the mommy parent raised, then mommy may not succeed in successfully delivering the babies without daddy knowledgeable assistance or because he may do the wrong things. He may not assist in caring for the babies and mommy may not be able to cope on her own.


PREGNANCY PREVENTION - in a group in the wilds or in cages that are more than 2m apart, one dominant female  will bear children whilst the pheromones which she then  will suppress the oestrus cycle of the other females, rendering infertile –  natural form of preventing pregnancy. The wind may also prevent pregnancy by blowing the pheromones into cages that are more than 2m away.

see pregnancy : hand reared female / male

A vasectomy of the male, to prevent pregnancies, is best because he’ll still be able to lead a sexually active life with his partner, although he will not be able to father children. Castration is not necessary and is believed to not be a cure for aggressive behavior – see Vasectomies - see castration - see pregnancy: hand reared female / male


PREGNANT – usually births of one or two babies, sometimes three or even more every 144 -- 155 days. Pregnancy can be detected by "experts" at about 30 days, but easier at 6 weeks by feeling the abdomen for palpation or by radiograph – pregnant monkeys s are to eat more than usual, urinate more often than normal, mommy and or daddy can become more aggressive  or subdued, her tummy may turn a blue colour and as time passes her tummy will drop and grow especially  in the last month and in the last week her tummy will bulge and drop considerably.

– see labour - see pregnancy : hand reared 

female / male

Ensure that she has all the nutritional foods she requires. Should she loose weight contact your vet. Beware of medication suitability for pregnant or feeding moms


PROTECTIVE INSTINCT – Older monkeys can become very protective of their environment, siblings and owners by vocalized shrieks and noises, peeing through the cage bars – biting fingers that are put through or near cage bars and biting ears, lips and neck if given a chance .If bitten disinfect the bitten area and as a safety measure have a tetanus injection. I disinfect and just allow the bite to heal, although very sore for about 2 to 3 days.

Monkeys in your home may also attack visitors, can be seen as intruders or as protection of their owners.

Do not be alarmed if even your tame monkey is weary of you or even attacks you when parenting the infants.


PROTEXIN PROBIOTIC POWDER – or Interflora powder from emptied capsule – Protexin – a multi-strain probiotic – restores and maintains the healthy flora of the intestines - helps boost the immune system in resisting the effects of stress and infections – benefits the balance of the digestive system to maintain healthy growth and aids the conrol of diarrhoea ( runny tummy )- healthy and safe - cannot overdose, even safe for those monkeys who do not need it – give regularly –and should be used during and after a course of antibiotic treatment - see foods for babies

I give my monkeys Protexin once or twice a week to assist in maintaining a good balance in the tummy and try to prevent upset tummies – 4 teaspoons per monkey – see foods for monkeys eating on their own


PUBERTY – approximately 12 to 18 months old – a female may even conceive at about 10 months old (teenager) .conception ideally at approximately 18 to 24 months old when fully physically developed (adult ). Pregnancy before adulthood (18 – 24 months) is not healthy for mother as she herself is still developing and will most likely suffer physically  in later life – see pregnancy prevention - see pregnancy hand reared female / male


PYG_N,1Y -MARMOSET – the smallest members of the marmoset family - body length about 14 cm


RATS AND MICE – visits the cages, especially during the nights, to eat the monkey’s food that has fallen to the ground or that is left in the food dishes or drink the water or juices left in the monkey dishes. They excrete feces (pooh) and urinate on the cages, branches and in the food dishes. As monkeys cannot wash their hands they may become infected from the rodent’s droppings, by licking their hands clean - monkey may get worms or pick up diseases from this.

Remove food dishes when monkeys go to sleep and place non-toxic rat poison in the areas outside of the cages. Keep cats and dogs to control rodents.

Do not use toxic rat poisons as it might be carried even on rodent’s fur into monkey cage and monkey may eat it.

Rats may even attack your monkey or your monkey may attack the rodents and be bitten or killed. If bitten, your monkey will need to be treated by a vet for injuries and rabies.


REHYDRATIONS — see dehydration


REJECTED BABY — many reasons, such as:

-           one or both parents have been hand raised and not learnt how to birth and care for babies — see pregnancy : hand reared female / male

-           babies may be born dead

-           in eating the placenta, do not know when to stop

-           other monkeys in the same cage may pose as a threat

-           cages are too close and the neighboring monkeys appear to be a threat

-           mommy may have a milk or feeding problem

-           mommy may be ill before and / or at time of giving birth


REA,,,IOVf.N'G HOLDING ON --WONKEYS — the grip of a babies arms and hands are incredible for its size — to uplift a holding on baby – firstly gently undo the hand-rips and then the back leas.

For those parents who will not allow easy removal of babies, I have found the least stressful method to be - before monkeys go to sleep, place the sleeping basket at a level where you can easily see and reach inside, wait until all fast asleep, approach sleeping box, shine torch into box and very quickly remove baby from back of parent, switch torch off and quickly get out of cage, be so quick that the parents do not realize what has happened — they will probably only realize a baby is missing when they awake in the morning.

If you should have to remove a baby whilst the parents are awake, do so in disguise (Balaclava or hat on, sunglasses or remove your glasses, etc) in this way the parents and siblings may not recognize you and thus may not develop a fear of you as the “baby snatcher", although they might be weary of you - just in case you wish to take their babies.

If necessary to remove baby whilst parent/s not in sleeping box — see catching a not so tame monkey


RICKETS — mainly in young growing infants — mostly due to lack of sufficient direct sunlight and or insufficient calcium in diet — enlarged swollen joints, lameness, delayed dental growth, lack of appetite, fingers and toes point unusually outwards, weight loss, in proportion to body large head — treatment by vet — painkillers, diet and direct sunlight —see sunlight — see food for babies


ROUNDWORMS - moneys do not get roundworms from dogs, cats or birds


RUNNY TUMMY - diarrhoea - can be due to many causes, such as food, water, toxic plants, malabsorption, maldigestion, stress, poison, infection etc. As usual it is best not to try to treat the monkey yourself, but rather consult your vet.

For babies not yet weaned, consult your vet - it may be necessary to stop milk formula feeds for half a day or so and give electrolyte feeds instead, every 1 to 11/2 hours. Electrolytes such as Darrow from chemist, Energade or glucose water or sugar water (1 teaspoon sugar in 1/1 cup of water) and then feed alternatively one milk formula, one electrolyte feed - or if vomiting up milk feed, then alternate electrolyte feeds and then a mixture of a quarter of the milk feed with three quarters of sugar or glucose water for two or three feeds and then increase the next two or three feed mixtures to a half a milk mixture, the next two or three feeds to a three quarter milk mixture and then back onto full time milk formula feeds.

In the case of a slight runny tummy - monkeys past weaning stage may be given - small Interflora capsule or ' /4 tsp Protexin emptied into food - or 1 capsule Interflora or ltsp Protexin for 3 or 4 monkeys - cannot overdose and is safe for those who do not have runny tummies - keep off dairy products and fruits until cleared - feed boiled potato, butternut, chicken, egg white and pasta - take stool sample and monkey to vet for flotation test and correct treatment. - see dehydration

Should the stools be bad smelling, occurring approximately every two hours and has not cleared after a day, take your monkey to the vet as soon as possible.

A very dangerous situation would be if the stools are more frequent and /or your monkey does not look well, get your monkey to the vet immediately.

Whilst getting your monkey to the vet you need to prevent dehydration by feeding regularly, by force if necessary, natural electrolytes such as Darrows, Energade, Powerade or Lucosade.

Chronic diarrhea may also cause hair loss on the underside of tail


SELF MUTILATION - see aggression and/or misplaced behavior


SCRATCHING - is a common part of grooming - it does not necessarily mean that they have fleas or lice or that something is wrong. Nibbling, and frequent scratching of nibbling themselves and each other (dry grooming) for cleaning, getting rid of d skin and sweat, is natural. If scratching themselves excessively, inspect tame monkeys and for the untamed monkeys give one spray of Frontline (from vet) onto bottom of tail - disinfect cage and sleeping box.

Babies as early as two weeks old instinctively groom themselves even though they may sometimes miss and scratch vigorously at the area next to them.


SEXUAL MATURITY - see puberty


SHOCK - after falling from parents as newly born give 1/4 teaspoon of sugar or glucose give with water or Natura Diro rehydration powder mixed with water for two feeds and then proceed with normal feed of SMA milk solution. Remember to immediately warm the baby up and maintain warmth till 6 weeks old – for adults give 5 ml sugar water, create calmness and warm. When out of shock, return to normal feeding and daily activity


SIGHT – although babies are born with open eyes and appear to be looking around, they cannot see until about a week after birth. Marmosets see in colour. They cannot see in the dark thus they go to sleep before sunset and awake after sunrise.


SIZE – new born babies are 30 g and are as small as your thumb, excluding the tail. Full size usually reaches sizes between 16 and 24 months, body length about 15 cm plus a tail which is a bit longer than the body length. The average weight of a fully grown marmoset is about 400g with maximum weight of 500 g.


SLEEPING BOX – plastic, wooden or a cooler box used in the winter. Ensure that the sleeping box is under a covering / shelter to protect them from rain, with an entrance away from the wind direction. One sleeping box per pair of monkeys with two or three of their offspring. Change bedding once or twice a month and check regularly for holes and loose threads strings (to prevent possible strangulation) and check for spiders, bee nests etc. I prefer a plastic sleeping box as it is non absorbent, easy to clean and very warm inside. I use a medium sized black plastic storage box with a lid and I cut a hole ( a doorway)long enough for monkey and baby around the neck to safely climb in without baby being scraped off parent  in the top corner of the short side. Secure the box against the top (so monkeys can't sit on top and pee on it) and on one side of the cage (for support or stabilization) with 2 stretchable traveling straps, one near each end of the box. Ensure that the doorway is near enough to the cage side to enable monkeys to climb from the side of the cage into the doorway. Place carpeting inside, on the bottom of the box with the blankets on top.

I find the plastic box method above, adequate for Johannesburg winters, even when it gets very cold. Although I place a blanket curtain over their doorway of the sleeping box to block out the draft /cold air from entering .The monkeys will climb and out under this curtain.

For the winter – when the night temperature drops to 15 degrees Celsius, watch the weather forecast on TV to be sure of the temperature.I leave the lid on and add extra blankets.

For cold nights heating pads or infrared lamps may be used. Ensure that the heating pad is on the lowest temperature, covered with carpeting and then blankets. Ensure electrical cords are protected from monkeys who will definitely chew on them therefore place the cords outside of the cage and cover those inside of the cage with piping or hosing so the monkeys cant chew on them and electrocute.

Ensure infrared lamp is thermostatically controlled and has a wire screen to protect the monkeys from getting burnt .Light bulbs are a danger to the monkeys because they can explode.

Remember to ensure protection of the electrical equipment from rain and urine.

On winter mornings, as soon as they wake, a covered warm hot water bottle may be placed in their outer cage where they sit in the sun until the weather warms up in the later mornings. I place the hot water in a plastic box that has only the front top half open – the monkeys sit on the bottle inside the box with their head and hands protruding over the top of the half wall, enabling them to still see what is going on around them. I place in the hot water bottle, 1 part boiling water and 2 parts (or a bit more) cold tap water. I then place this box under cover and the monkeys use it as well, when it is raining.

Monkeys seldom spend time during the day in their sleeping box

For summer when it is rather hot - I remove the lid and add less blankets. I also lower the box to about 15/20 cm away from the roof of the cage to allow the box to be cooler – In secure straps under, up side and across top of box.


SNAKE BITE - symptoms of swelling and redness on the area where bitten, hyper salivation, sweating, drowsiness, trembling, dilated pupils, paralysis of respiratory muscle, swallowing difficulties, vomiting, airway swelling and blockage and drop in blood. The best would be to know what type of snake it was or have a good description of it - check the cage to see if you can find it.

Telephone your vet immediately, follow his instructions and make your way there immediately.

Keep monkey warm, give electrolytes (Energade or sugar water if nothing else is available), give an eighth of a Disprin (diluted in water or electrolyte).

Keep snakes away by keeping their food source away from rats and mice, using a dog or cat to hunt them. Use rat traps or non-toxic rat poison that is safe for humans and other animals, except rats and mice.


SPIDER BITE - symptoms would depend on the type of spider bite - redness at sight of bite, fever, lethargy vomiting, cardiac arrest, salivation, respiratory arrest, seizures. It is best to try to identify the type of spider. Telephone your vet immediately -- follow his instructions. Keep antihistamine at home in case your vet recommends you use some - he will advise you of the dosage.

Prevention is better than cure -in the cages avoid logs and branches with bark on as spider love to nest there, they also love to nest under bricks.

Use a strong dilution of Jeyes Fluid around and on the cage flooring.


STENIULATVN-G BABY AFTER FEEDING - baby should urinate almost every time and pooh every second or third time. If not poohing by this time - see constipation

I sometimes find that baby is quite ok with weeing every time but only poohing 3 or 4 times in 24 hours.

After every feed, stimulate by gently rubbing, prefer massaging, with cotton wool dipped in baby oil, sunflower cooking oil or Vaseline, to prevent the skin from becoming raw, from belly button down to anus.

I find oil or Vaseline to be too oily. I prefer to use cotton wool repeatedly dipped in warm water and squeezed out, on completion, dry and rub on a little Elizabeth Anne or Johnsons pink baby shampoo for moisturizing.

I also prefer to roll cotton wool into sausage roll shape around a match stick and then pull it  off - I make a whole lot at a time - I find the shape more user friendly as it is firm enough to control and easy to use to absorb urine and wipe away pooh - use more than 1 if necessary.

To start, I find it easiest to place baby on the inside of my hand allowing the baby's hands to grip at the joint of my first fingers, the feet on the bottom of each of my fingers at my nails, so I can keep the legs parted - turn hand over so baby is upside down and stomach is reachable - this I do under the warmth of a heated lamp or in front of a heater, to keep the baby warm. When baby is older and more active I place the baby on a blanket covered by a warm hot water bottle, holding with one hand the baby down.

When the warm hot water bottle is available I place the baby on a fury toy or on a blanket on my knee with my one hand over it to keep it warm.

I massage the area just below the belly button to the peepee and then over and around the anus, repeat this — you can actually see the pushing movement of the anal area when you have the right spot - stay on this spot for a while. Mastering the art of this is a very important task and may sometimes be very time consuming and frustrating.

I find that exercising the baby, making it climb from my one hand to another and run across the bed, works wonders in stimulating bowl action.

During the 2nd/3rd week, the baby may start to pee and pooh by itself, during or after feeds, but stimulate after feed to make sure that full action takes place - by the 4th week baby should urinate and pooh on its own. If baby cries during feeds it may need to release, then stimulate for release and then continue with feeding.

Pooh should be a good 1 to 2cm Ionc, and little poops may be two or three, so for a little long pooh stimulate anus more in case not all out. Good bowl action is necessary to prevent constipation, whereby the stomach will become bloated.

Baby may also develop a runny tummy as new foods are weaning.

Before going out and handling, I stimulate, whilst

C) =1 growing up, to de-wee especially, and going out repeat 2 hourly. Baby may give warning that tummy wants to work - by squeaking continuously before motion, giving you time to prevent an accident or embarrassment.

Some people use ready made monkey nappies for older monkeys (marmosets)

Yellow, softish but long, formed  pooh is a good sign — black pooh may be a danger sign and / or a sign of internal bleeding--see runny tummy


STRESS — marmosets are very sensitive to stress — stress may be due to confined environment, noise, abuse, boredom etc - stress related problems may be recognised as slow development in infants – cognitive impairment (inability to recognize objects if partially obscured) — less playing, climbing, exploring and slower movement than normal — slow to respond -- poor muscle tone — poor co-ordination — attention deficit — sleeping at inappropriate times.

Stress affects blood pressure which in turn affects oxygen supply and is thus not healthy for any monkey, including the unborn infant of a stressed mom.


SUNLIGHT — necessary for the development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth, nerve and muscle activity, clotting of the blood and a good working heart. Direct sunlight daily (not through a window) is of utmost importance for development and maintenance of a healthy monkey. Lack of enough direct sunlight and sufficient calcium intake in diet, can lead to bone diseases such as rickets and in extreme cases, major organ dysfunctions.

Vitamin D from natural sunlight is necessary for the absorption of calcium, which is naturally lost and needs to be replaced with calcium enriched food and possibly calcium supplements, as a surety.

Babies are particularly prone to ricket often caused by lack of direct sunlight and or sufficient calcium in their diet. For monkeys that cannot get natural sunlight or enough, everyday, give an unflavoured calcium and magnesium powder added to food Kalma- by Natura, the magnesium is necessary to facilitate the absorption of the calcium into the body.

10 min a day for new bornes (do not leave baby to burn in sun) and for older marmosets an hour a day minimum, if possible give more.

I find our summer sun is often too hot for babies, so I use a double piece of 40% shade netting or a lace cloth, over the baby cage to block out the direct harshness of the suns rays.

Remember to have a shady area in the cage where monkey can retreat to if too hot in the sun.

- see food for see calcium deficiency - see calcium deficiency in pregnant


SURROGATE -MOTHERS - sometimes a mother who has recently reared her own new born babies, will accept a foster child and once the baby starts suckling on her she will be able to produce milk. If necessary give natural milk stimulating foods (from vet or chemist). Otherwise feed baby yourself and stimulate, then give to the surrogate mother so she can care for the baby and keep the baby warm, by carrying. Before introducing new baby to surrogate mother, wrap baby in her sleeping blanket to transfer her smell onto the baby thus encouraging her acceptability of the infant.


TAIL BITING - mothers have been known to bite off the tail tips of their young – if there is severe bleeding  take the baby to vet.


TAPEWORM - monkeys may pick up tapeworm from dogs in the same way as people do


TEETH - babies are born with teeth which are fully erupted by 4 weeks - these teeth are lost and replaced with permanent teeth between 5 to 10 months old. Like us they have 32 teeth but with a very much more v-shaped jaw line.

It is not necessary to clean your marmosets’ teeth. But broken or rotting teeth need to be attended to by a vet because infections, tooth abscesses etc may result. It may then be necessary for the vet to clean or extract the tooth or teeth etc.

Do not feed your monkey too many sweets or foods high in sugar


TERRITORY MARKINGS - by rubbing glands of chest and anal region on objects and food, gnawing, urinating, vocalized calls, chasing, lifting the tail and showing you its private parts, body hair standing up and tongue flicking.


THIN MONKEY - if not gaining a healthy weight whilst growing / developing or if sudden or over a period of time loss of weight, then something is wrong - visit your vet to diagnose and treat the problem - worms can be a cause of weight loss - depletion of vitamins with pregnancy or after pregnancy can also cause weight loss - general old age. Thinness requires extra proteins such as chicken & eggs and body building foods – once treated by vet weight gain you need to increase appetite feed according to vets instructions and with 1-is consent monkey may be fed 5 ml per day of prepared Ensure


TOOTH ABSCESS - do not often occur - abscess of the canine teeth seen as draining abscess breaking through the skin just below the eye - requires immediate and intensive to prevent permanent eye damage.


TOYS - are very important to keep monkeys alert and inquisitive - periodically add new toys like fluffy toys, swings, ladders, balls, mirrors with plastic edgings, bells, tree branches, plastic lids and baby or pet toys, horizontal and vertical perches and ropes (cable tie) to exercise feet and balance, hammocks made from shade netting to swing on or lie on. Tree branches especially from fruit trees are ideal as monkeys enjoy gnawing on them, eating the leaves and swinging on them. A permanent growing tree is even better - see plants - see attached list of plants

Make eating fun by hiding the treats so that monkey has to spend some time reaching mealworm in bran, or raisins or marshmallows in a hollow container or log with holes big enough for arms to fit into - an apple, orange or paw paw with a slit in the skin so that monkey has to peel fruit before eating.


TRAVELING -MONKEY - see harnessing

For general outings - see outings and to the vet

For monkeys moving to a new cage or to new owners - see moving, home

For monkeys traveling long, distance by motor vehicle - place monkey in smallish traveling cage or box - ensure enough air holes, with enough blankets, food and water. Place traveling compartment on seat of vehicle, preferably as far from the engine as possible to minamise the engine noise, which for the monkey is usually scary - thus  place on floor in front of front seat. If very hot switch on fan or air conditioner. To minimise stress and fear, cover cage with blanket, so that activities in vehicle and moving outside are not noticed by monkey.

Although an aeroplane or boat trip could be extremely stressful it may be necessary -consult your vet for a sedative for the monkey to ease the stress of the journey


UNTAMED MONKEY - a baby up to about 5 weeks old, if taken away from parents

would usually be tame and readily handled, thereafter a wild streak tends to sets in where baby does not want to be held or sit on you -- gentle handling and rubbing its head while you hold it, may after 5 days or so eventually tame the baby - if this fails then the marmoset will most likely never allow you to hold it.

For babies that are parent raised, spend time, busying yourself and sometimes just sitting still in their cage so that they can get used to you in their safe environment. Their curiosity will probably draw them to you.


VASECTOMY - tube tying only - still have erection and be sexually active, but unable to father children - see pregnancy prevention


VISITING THE VET - if your monkey is ill and you take it in a cage to the vet - see traveling monkey cage take a blanket to cover the cage with, especially for when entering the vets rooms - if your visit to the vet might require your monkey to stay over at the vet, go prepared just in case – take along to leave with the vet - a change of blankets plus the one monkey is in, a favorite toy for comfort, food dishes, some basic foods and a few sweets – you can always return with more food or food specified by the vet later – ensure you have all the monkeys goodies when monkey leaves the vet.


WARMING NEW BORNES AND SICK ADULTS – warming should be maintained at what would normally be the body temperature - 24 hours a day – for babies of up to 5 to 6 weeks of age, some people say maintain heating at 28 to 30 degrees Celsius, others –n say maintain at 25 to 28 degrees Celsius - for sick marmosets older than 5 / 6 weeks old some say maintain at their own body temperatures at '15 to 37 degree Celsius - place blanket over monkey when keeping warm. I find for the babies that 29 degrees Celsius is a good temperature.

The same temperatures apply in general weather conditions of cold winter nights.

An electric blanket or heating pad is often not reliable as the heat between the body and blanket / pad tends to increase/build up and become too hot, causing overheating, cardiac arrest and death.

A desk lamp is often very effective – depending on the weather, I may use a 60 watt frosted globe during hotter periods or a 100 watt frosted globe during colder periods or I alternate globes between day and night. I find, for new babies, a closed box with an open top lid or a hamster cage with a towel around the sides, keeps the warmth in – then I shine the lamp in from the top.

A lace curtain, a towel or shade netting, may be placed between caging and lamp, but on the cage farthest away from light bulb so it does not catch alight, so as to cut out the brightness of the light especially when baby becomes mobile and climbs and looks around from on top of blankets.

I prefer a low wattage infrared body lamp, as the light is not too bright and the rays are healthy.

It may be necessary to rather shine the lamp onto the wall of cage rather than directly onto blankets -- I sometimes place, on top of cage in line with the elements of an infrared globe a thick smallish circle of cardboard to block out excessive heat allowing only the - surroundinc, warmth into the cage.

I find the warmth better contained, for babies, in a walled box with a part lid (shirting the lamp down) and when baby more mobile and starting, to climb out of box (usually around 4 weeks old), I place the box inside a small cage, so that baby remains safe but will still be able to be mobile. If using a cage only, for older babies and adults I, put a towel either around the walls of the cage and shine the lamp from above or drape a towel over the whole cage except for one side through which I shine the lamp.

Place baby on fluffy toy** so that it feels like moms fur, surrounded by blanketing and cover with single layer of blanket so that it can still breath. Beware - loose threads that could strangle baby and beware **some fluffy toys have fluff that comes off easily and which I find tends to be swallowed by the baby suckling on it, causing congestion in bowl action. I prefer to use toweling or a blanket rolled up like a sausage and tied at both ends – wedge between blanketing so it does not keep rolling over as baby hangs on.

A hot water bottle with covering over (homemade blanket covering or toweling) with warm water only – I find suitable for shorter or emergency periods such as traveling, as warmth holds only for about 1- hours — but fluctuating temperatures and refilling of water bottles over  periods may not be practical or healthy.

Remember to leave a place not heated for the monkey to move to, should it find it too hot in one place. I often find that younger babies often do not have the sense to move from a place too hot to a cooler place, and even from a cold place to a warmer spot and may over heat or get too cold, therefore I take more precaution to limit the baby's space to a smallish area and even more precaution in ensuring that the temperature inside the box and baby itself are controlled regularly.

I keep a room thermometer (from the R5 or Cazy Store) in with baby, under the blankets, and check it regularly so as to adjust the lamp distance or wattage of globe, in order to control correct heating temperature. You don't want baby to get cold or burn up. I never use body thermometer as it does not register a low enough temperature, tending to be inaccurate for monkey purposes, and if the temperature rises too much it can burst, with the glass and mercury being dangerous.

For traveling I use a car 12 volt emergency lamp connected to my car battery or the inside car heating fan, but not blowing directly onto the baby.

For young babies I use the arm sock — see arm sock or a curtain net bag which I place around my neck under my shirt, strapped or hanging just above belly button and which is closed with a -vulcro strip, so baby can’t climb out.

I sometimes fold a knitted scarf in half and sew the middle 30cm across and then along the open length, creating a tunnel — Then place baby inside through the open end with a band around the scarf to close the open end so baby does not crawl out -- I then wear the scarf around my neck securing the two lengths of the scarf at my chest with another hair band, so it does not fall off.

For stronger infants I sometimes put them on my head under my hair. Sometimes, to keep the warmth in wear a hat through which the baby can breathe.

I also lace a ticking clock near sleeping cage / box to act a the sound of the parents heartbeat.

When cold and necessary to take baby out of warmed cage, I turn on the room heater to warm the air where I am handling the baby.


WASHING YOUR HANDS — always wash your hands before preparing your monkeys food or giving it food from your hands or when handling your monkey, to prevent passing on to your monkeys any germs or illnesses you may be carrying — use a separate towel used only for when you are dealing with your monkeys to dry your hands with -see herpes virus


WASTING SYNDROME — over a period of a few months or a year monkey gets thinner and thinner until just skin and bones, even though it may be eating enough of a good diet and may show no other signs of being ill, or monkey may not look well and possibly also show other symptoms such as fatigue, approximately 6 years old — exact cause of disease unknown, thought to be possibly caused by the pancreas worm — other causes may be an infection of the large stomach,  kidney infection, vitamin deficiency or an upset in the normal intestinal flora — it appears that prevention of this disease may be a high protein diet with added vitamin. Supplements like vitamins, proteins

XVIPNINC - at first baby n q not want to eat food but you must continue to persevere 11         NINE     1-11        May no,   11t                  you       continue I and if need be,  gently forceful so that it has at least a little bit. Do not give to baby only vitamins to eat sweet fruits / foods. At 3 weeks start weaning - feed using the bottom tip of the narrowly tapered handle of a teaspoon (preferably plastic) or on your finger tip (wash your hands before feeding). Start maybe with a tiny bit of Purity  fruit and yoghurt between milk feeds, twice in the first day between milk feeds, increase by one extra food feed per day - maybe give one type of food for the one day and the next day something, different and alternate between these two types of food - one type per day, so that babies tummy can cope with the new food introduction.

The next week between milk feeds, feed more food and a bigger variety - such as mashed banana and a nibble on a small slice of soft pear or soft apple, the next week, more regularly - tiny pieces of scrambled egg and two minute noodles without the favoring regularly    

The next week a bit of scrambled or boiled egg or tiny chopped noodles with a bit of thick cereal or with purity Sweet potato or pear or butternut, or mashed banana . Babies will eventually, maybe even weeks later begin to take an interest in eating solid food.

When baby is up and about put food and drink in purity lids which are easy for him to reach into - when older and more stable in balance you can introduce feeding bowls - see food for babies

Weaning for humans can be very frustrating, as baby may not want to eat all the foods fed to it, but as baby grows up, it usually develops its appetite for more and various foods WEIGHT GAIN - if your monkey is gaining an abnormal amount of weight, all round or even she is pregnant - besides the health problems of being fat the fatness may in fact be due to an unsuspected health problem and clarity should be obtained from your vet- Before your monkey starts to show signs of ill health, which by this time could be severe or even fatal - see pancreatitis


WEIGHT LOSS - if your monkey is losing weight, especially if being fed enough of its losing weight, consult your vet - see wasting syndrome - see worms


WEEKEND FEEDING - to enable me to sleep in a bit and for my monkeys not to have to wait anxiously for a late breakfast, I place in their cages in the evening, whilst they were asleep, a bowl of various yummy treats, that would keep overnight and keep their tummies full until breakfast arrived.

I no longer do this as I found rats and mice were, during the evenings, entering the cages to seek food and water, causing my monkeys to be ill - see rats and mice. Now I prepare, on weekends, some food and water dishes in the evenings, set my alarm clock, and early in the mornings I place the food in the monkey’s cages and then go back to bed. Later when I get up I give them the balance of their morning food.


WINTER — cage should be positioned so that it gets the early morning sun as well as sunlight throughout the day.

Revamp Sleeping, box for winter cold night temperatures — see cage housing

Vitamin C intake may be increased — see food for monkeys eating on their oNNn WORMS — symptoms may not be noticeable. May cause intestinal blockage, thinness, and vomiting or even eat the brain – Although the monkey might still have appetite for food later, vomiting might monkey to vet for floatation test on stool sample and appropriate treatment .

Worms are not transferable between animals. For an animal to get worms the worm eggs would usually have to be eaten by the animal. Eating the carrier of worms, such as rodents or cockroaches, the carriers feces, the carriers vomit or through their skin, worms eggs may be ingested.

To help prevent worms, keep cages clean and try to prevent monkey from eating rodents or cockroaches — see rats and mice

Some believe de-worming should only be done if animal has worms — some believe de-worming should be done every 6 months.

Do not give pregnant mothers any de-worming medications without consulting with your vet first as they are often very harmful to the unborn infants


YOU ARE NOT WELL — should you be ill and contagious such as having coughs, flue, chicken pox, allergies, shingles, mumps, herpes etc and it is impossible to get someone else to attend to your caged monkeys until you are better, then as a last resort when entering cage, at least wear a surgeons mask which you can purchase at very low from the chemist or wear a towel over your nose and mouth. Spend as little time as possible doing what you have to do in contracting any illness



Dr Bruce Peck - Pretoria -012-3348 57121'4 -083 255 328s or lus brother ylelcombe Peck - monkey specialist and works with Ondersterpoort Vet Hospital - 494 Atterbury Rd, 'Menlo Park - from Jhb - along -N, I to Pretoria - along NI follow route to Pietersburg pass Rigel Rd turn off - take next left turn off which is Atterbury - at robot left into Atterbury - 2nd robot do u-turn and about 3rd house on your left.

Dr -fNIel-,'-yq Greenberg - -- Wendywood Jhb (Sandton) - Wendywoo

011-8021164 pager 011 - 321 0111 code 4113 - very good but cannot do all operations as he does not have all the small enough equipment - but will attend to and give advise and if he cannot help he will refer you to Dr Peck -- animal behavior

psychologist and vet - also known as Dr Platshund 90 Cavendish St, Cnr Western Service Rd, Wendywood, Sandton - Take NI to Pretoria - after Grayston turn off - take Woodmead turn off - at I st robots take left turn - at next robot at T junction turn right ‑

at second robot turn right - at next or robot is slip road, turn left - pass petrol garage and next left turn - sharp left into I" house

Onderstev poort Vetenary Science Laboratery - Pretoria - 012 - 5298000 Dr van der Spyt or Dr Willerniqa van Wyk D/L 012-5298105 or - 012-529 8036 / 90'7

Dr Russel - 011 - 706 1381 - cnr Grovenor & William Nichol - Bryanston Dr Lee - 011 -- 679 1042 - 375 Ondekkers Road - Florida Park

Animal Emergency Hospital - phone I" to see if they can assist and be prepared

011 - 788 4748 / 9 - 126 Jan Smuts eve - Cnr Wells Ave - Packwood – after hours only Mon-Fri                         am : Sat I pm - 9pm -. Sun & P/H 12 noon -- lam

- Mon-Fr; 7pm - 7

Johannesburg Zoo - Dr Louise Lecarto or Dr Leslie or Dr Voigt or Dr Rasmoose - 011 - 624 1524 / 646 2000

Pretoria Zoo - 012-3283265 - Dr Espi or Dr Ian

Founvays Vet Hospital - ? ? ? - 011 - 705 3411



CROW - Cnt for the Rehabilitation of Wild Animals - Yellow Wood Park, Montclaire / Queenswood, Durban - big on monkeys

TNIarmoset Care Center for advise and sanctuary - 012 - 5424848 - 082 754 0998 - wforget(Pi, - Wendy Me Cleod - membership club and news letters - has sanctuary in Limbro Park Jhb & sells book on marmosets - works with Onderstepoort Vet Hospital who are very good with monkey knowledge and medical treatment / operations Paws and Claws - Box 473016 Parklands 2121



African Violet                   Forsythia                        Prayer plant Alaska V.—Ii-o. Nastu-I-lurns Fuchsia


Apricot tree                     GeraniumRose - flowers only

Bamboo species               Ginger                            Rubber tree

Banana trees                   Glorious Glean Trail. Mix Shellainger

Beans                              Granadilla                       Silverberry

Blue-leafed ~Nl'attle       Grape vines                    Southern Dewberry

Borage                            Guava tree                     Spinach

Bromeliads                      Hackberry                       Strawberry

Broccoli                           Hibiscus rot Rose of'Sharoii or St Johns 'Tort

Brussels Sprouts              Honey Locusts                Sunflower

Calendulas                      Honeysuckle -    or S Cairadla,.sis as the bevies are -,dlilbl, too many

Cantaloupe                      aus rzusa                       Sweet Potato

Casablanca                      Jade plant                      Swiss Chard (spinach)

Cast Iron plant                Johnny Jump-ups           Tangerine Gem

Chinese Guava                Kablouna Calendulas      Thyme

Chive Blossoms               Kalanchoe                      Turnips

Clover                             Lemon Basili et - flowers only V,01

Coleus                             Lemongrass                    Wandering yew

Comfrey                          Lilac                               Weeping Chinese Banyarn

Corn                                I ; F*

~ lope                           NNhirlybird Nasturtiums

Cottage Pinks                  Long-leaved Magnolias   Willow tree

Crocus                            Malabar Spinach             Wild Cherry tree


Daisies (some species only) Mammouth Sunflower Wild Strawberry'S

Dandelions                      Masturtion

Delphinium                      'Melons

Day Lily                           Mulberry (ripe berries only)

Dianthus                         Norfolk pine tree

Do ' gwood                      Palm trees

Double Canterberry Bells Passion Vine

Dracaena                        Peach tree

Easter lily                        Peas Empress of India Nasturtiums Petunia

Ferns                              Pine

Fig a                               Prayer plant

Poisonous plants are too many to list - rather avoid plants not listed above



From hardware shop

1.    Buy shade netting - comes 3m wide - I buy 40% as it is cheapest - buy 1/2 in longer than the width of your cage - possibly 11/2 in long - approximately R60

2.  Buy dowl sticks - 2 x the length of your cage - possibly 2 x 1.9m

3.  Buy dowl sticks - 2 x the width of your cage - possibly 2 x 90 cm

not too thin as they will break - buy the second thickest -- R75

cut dowl sticks to fit cage meshing and not overlap onto frame bars -- rather too short than too long

4,  Buy at least 20 x 20cm long, or longer but not shorter, cable ties - RIO

5,  Buy a roll of thinish nylon string or not too thin ordinary string, if you cannot get nylon - R10

From a haberdashery shop

6. Buy a big eyed sewing needle to thread string through - R5 Total cost about R160 / 8200

Assembly of safety net

1.  Cut shade netting about about 15 cm bigger than size of cage - length and width

2.  Overlap edges of shade netting big enough for dowl sticks to fit into and for netting to now be about


2 / 3 ems wider than cage size on each side ( its ok if bigger - rather too big than too small) sew with string down all four sides -- before sewing closed the ends. slide dowl stick in and then finish off.

3.  Place shade netting 1/2 way up the cage - you may need assistance the cage, start in one corner and work down that one length and one width threading cable ties through netting, next to dowl sticks, at intervals, so that babies cannot fall between the net and cage meshing, and then both ends of cable ties through and around wire meshing - secure cable ties. Make sure that netting fits against cage meshing -with no gaps. If dowl sticks do not reach all corner then secure through netting alone, but make sure no gaps.

4.  You will now have to be under the netting. If need be, roll the second fitting length and width dowl sticks and netting to make a fairly tight fit against cage meshing, from inside the cage again secure cable ties. Do not secure netting to door with cable ties as you mill not be able to open the cage door for feeding, cleaning and to now get out.

5.  Open cage door or have someone open it for you and climb out from under the net. Make sure the monkeys do not escape through the open door when you exit. Make sure you set up net slowly and peacefully - you do not want to stress the new parents.

You can now feed the monkeys by leaning in through the open door over the top of the netting and placing food near doorway, where you can reach. 

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