This is Boo. A healthy and well nourished young squirrel monkey enjoying a fresh carrot
SOME VITAL STATISTICS ON CALLITRICHIDS
The mean average body temperature of callitrichids is between 98.6F and 100.4F. The average life span of a mormoset in captivity is approximately 12 years, and for a tamarin it is 16 years. Sexual maturity is reached at around 12 months for the females and 17 months for the male.
NEUTERING: It has been proven the neutering marmosets and tamarins does nothing to decrease aggressive behaviors or biting. It does however eliminate the increased frustration associated with his natural sex drive. Should you decide to neuter your calliltrichid, wait until he is at least a 12 months old so that maximum growth can take place.
CANINE TEETH: Do NOT be tempted to remove canine teeth to make bites less painful. This is both cruel and dangerous as it can lead to malocclusion or the jaw to fracture more easily. Also, the practice of filing the teeth down can leave the tooth open to infection and make it difficult to properly chew their food. Avoid doing these things to make your life easier. Please take the time and make the effort to properly socialize and discipline your companion rather then turn to barbaric practices for the sake of convenience.
DISEASES: People with immune suppressing illness should probably not own callitrichids. The common human cold sore caused by the Herpes simplex virus is fatal in all cases, and measles can also be extremely harmful. For this reason, if a child is around a marmoset or tamarin, be sure that they have been properly vaccinated.
COMMON MEDICAL SITUATIONS: Diarrhea is an all too common medical problem for young marmosets and tamarins. It can be attributed to multiple factors like weaning, a change in diet and the stress associated with adjusting to new living arrangements. Should this occur, they can safely be given 0.25ml of Children;s Kaopectate or 0.25 ml of Pepto Bismol. Supplement fluids with Children's Pedialyte (unflavored) If diarrhea persists more than 48 hours, please all your vet, immediately! Calllitrichids, even very young ones, often hide signs of distress until they are quite ill. They are small and extremely fragile when it comes to reserves. Don't postpone medical care if you even suspect something may be wrong or waste valuable time with "folk" cures. Quick, medical intervention with proper fluids can be crucial to their survival.
BASIC DIET AND CARE GUIDELINES FOR CALLITRICHIDS
Pulling an infant from its mother and immediately placing it on a surrogate (stuffy) is unnatural and cruel. It denies the baby the stimulation and contact it needs for healthy emotional development. It has been proven that motion encourages the connections of neuronal pathways, and babies that are carried not only develop motor skills more quickly, but gain weight more steadily and appear healthier all around. Don't let anyone try to convince you that it's just fine to put this tiny, emotionally dependent and fragile infant on a heating pad and surrogate stuffy. It is during this early stage that he develops unwavering trust and deep emotional attachment to his caregiver. Handle your baby constantly. Get him accustomed to being fondled and petted. Make soft vocalizations and twittering noises so he can learn to recognize your "voice" He should be with you every waking hour…..period. Place him in your hair to hang on much like he would on his own parents, or tucked inside your shirt. This will help him learn your scent, and also help him grow dependent on you to meet his deep emotional and social needs.
From personal experience, I can say that babies carried by their human parent rather than placed on a surrogate, blossom into affectionate and responsive family members. On the other hand, there are countless stories of emotionally displaced and neurotic monkeys that suffer needlessly because uninformed parents were convinced that minimal handling and attention to physical needs would be sufficient. Animals treated this way will never become the loving companion you desire. If your life is too busy for this constant, committed care or for any reason you feel the need to place your baby on a surrogate from the beginning, please rethink your reasons for being a monkey parent. Theresimply are no shortcuts to doing this the right way. You want easy?.... I suggest getting a goldfish!
If you have a veterinarian that has experience with the care and feeding of callitrichids, that should always be your number one source for information. I recommend that you always follow his or her guidelines as well as use your common sense and judgment to arrive at a regimen that best suits the health needs of your baby.
Below are the feeding and care protocols used by my personal veterinarian who has many years of experience rearing primates. Please feel free to use it as a guideline and make adjustments based on the advice of your own veterinarian.
Have an accurate gram scale and weigh your baby daily at the same time of day. Monitoring his or her weight is the best indicator of health and proper growth. A healthy baby should gain weight daily. A good visual indicator of health is to observe how the infant caries it's tail. If the tail is straight or limp the baby may be in distress. A happy, healthy baby tends to carry his tail tightly curled to his body.
INFANT CARE and FEEDING: Of primary importance is that once a baby is pulled from the mother, it should have interaction with a human caregiver almost continually. Hand-raising a baby callitrichid requires an incredible amount of devotion, time and emotional energy. To best simulate their natural lives, you should carry the infant as often as possible for warmth and emotional security. This is best done by having a small pouch that can be safely tucked into your shirt to keep the baby warm and to maintain the stimulation of motion and touch. Infants can not thermo-regulate until they are about two months old and need an outside source of warmth. Keeping the baby close achieves both goals. HEATING: Should you need to put the infant on a surrogate for brief periods, take care that the ambient temperature is maintained at around 95 degrees F to avoid chilling. Either a well insulated and padded heating pad (that stays on) or reptile heating squares are suggested. Do be careful that overheating does not occur as this can be quite hazardous. FORMULA: Enfamil or Similac powder low iron: mix as directed using bottled or distilled water only. Do not use formula with added iron as the levels are too high for the infant to properly metabolize and can cause permanent liver damage. As low iron formulas are getting more difficult to find, there are formulas like Similac 60/40 still being made for infants with low iron needs. Warm formula to 98 degrees for feeding. Feed every 2 - 3 hours day and night up to three weeks of age. Volume: marmosets start at 0.1mL and increase 0.1 to 0.2 mL daily to two to three weeks. Tamarins start at 0.5 mL and increase to 0.1 to 0.2 mL up to 3 weeks of age. By the age of three weeks, all callitrichids begin to eat soft solid foods. The best indicator of proper volume is the infant. They will let you know when they are hungry. They will either be quite vocal and seem agitated, they will nibble at anything placed in front of them or they will keep trying to reach into your mouth to "see" if there is food available. Never be tempted to overfeed by forcing your baby to eat more after they seem full and push away their bottle. Any extra sleep you think you can get by "topping" them off will be spent soothing them because their tummy is upset.
BEGINNER SOLIDS: single grain baby cereal mixed into formula: mash in a little banana, papaya or mango. Yogurt can also be mixed into this mash. Babies usually only will take food that is given to them by their parents, so it may be necessary to act like you are eating it before offering it to the baby. Under no circumstances should you ever feed the infant from any food or utensil you have had in your mouth. Human bacteria and particularly any form of human herpes will cause fatal encephalitis. Remember to always wash your hands before handling an infant.
OFFER SOLID FOODS two to three times a day with active encouragement. Begin to decrease formula feedings to six times a day week four, four times a day week five, then usually offer formula feedings two - three times a day until 20 weeks of age. Have solid foods available all the time during this 20 weeks, and actively encourage eating them. Most callitrichids eat at dawn and dusk and/or in the late evening around our dinnertime. By week four, begin mashing in a little canned or dry marmoset diet to the cereal mix to begin the "flavor and texture" process. If given the marmoset diet from an early age, it is more likely that it will be the proper percentage of their diet as adults. Don't wait too late to introduce this important diet staple. Canned and dry marmoset diets contain the complex proteins and high vitamin D3
ADULT DIET: Marmosets and Tamarins For weight of 500 grams Morning: Canned or dry marmoset diet (30) grams AFTERNOON AND DINNER 2 biscuits soaked in Orange juice (amount from 1/2 orange) approx 1/8 apple, 1/5 banana, 1 tsp yogurt, 1 tsp cottage cheese 25 grams of High Quality feline diet dry (like Wellness Diet, or Iams) 1 drop of pediatric vitamins daily
TWO OR THREE TIMES A WEEK FOR VARIETY: Fruits like papaya, mango, pear, strawberry, or a grape, orange section, small cube of cantaloupe (the size of a dice) Veggies: a green bean, small carrot coin, (avoid high starch veggies like potato or corn...little nutritional value) Small piece of cheese (string cheese or cheddar) cooked shrimp, artificial crab, hard boiled egg with shell dark meat chicken (broiled or boiled)
Always try to use the freshest fruits and vegetables available as vitamin content begins to deteriorate soon after they are harvested.
MONKEY SMOOTHIE: 1 tsp Whey Protein Powder (can be found unsweetened, no artificial sweetener or additives at GNC) 1 tsp yogurt 1 tsp baby banana 1 oz. water can be offered in a dish or given by syringe as a treat before bed... a good way to give medications if needed
Fresh water available always!
Treats: 3 times a week crickets...(obtain from a reputable source that is sterile and free of parasites) Avoid larval worms and plain proteins like chicken as the sole source of protein as these are not "whole" and balanced once a week raisin, small piece of pasta, fruity gem monkey treats
NOTE: They love to find treats hiding in holes on perches or hanging from string. They seem to love the idea that they "found" a treat and typically "twitter" with joy at the process.
Chocolate is not harmful to callitrichids, but any kind of sweet should be fed on rare occasions only.
CALLITRICHID SUPPLEMENTS AND SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS:
UVB LIGHT: Unfiltered sunlight, approved UVB light bulbs for at least 25 to 20 minutes per day VITAMIN C: Chewable vitamin C tablet 50 to 100 mg daily Poly-Vi-Sol children's liquid vitamins: 1 drop daily OR a children's chewable multiple vitamin with minerals can be offered once weekly Vitamin E: 400 iu once weekly Calcium with vitamin D3: NOTE: most human "D" products are D2. Recommend 1/4 USANA Body Rox tablet crushed or chewed daily AVOID:products with onion...onion has been shown to cause anemia in many primates. Read labels carefully, as some baby foods like chicken sticks contain onion for flavoring. IMPORTANT NOTE: Always take the time to carefully wash produce in a soap based wash as most pesticides are oil based and will not come off with water alone. Do peel or thoroughly scrub all root vegetables. Remember that pound for pound small monkeys that ingest these pesticides and contaminates will be exposed to a much higher percentage than we will.
If you have general questions or need details about any of our products, or if you just need to "monkey" talk, please contact me at (253) 862-0432 or email me at LindaLawrence@aol.com If I'm unable to answer your questions, I'll do my best to direct you to someone who can.