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Pygmy Marmoset Monkey | by Scott Kinmartin
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Pygmy Marmoset Monkey

A juvenile Marmoset Monkey.


Fact: Marmosets usually have twins; triplets and quadruplets also occur.


Breeders hand-raise marmosets in an effort to produce better pets. However, one must realize that these are wild animals and are not domesticated. Breeders remove infants from their parents for hand-rearing when they are between 3 and 10 days of age, so the infants can receive colostrum and milk for the antibodies. Infants are delicate and usually weigh between 28 and 35 grams at birth. They are born with eyes open, a full coat of fur, a mouthful of teeth, and extremely strong, muscular forearms for grasping the parents.


Babies cannot thermoregulate for the first two months. The father carries the infant the majority of the time, and the female usually only carries the infant to nurse it. The baby normally rides across the parent's neck and shoulders. A good indicator of whether the baby is healthy is observation of the tail. Marmoset babies hold their tails tightly against the parents' bodies. Again, if the tail is limp, the baby is in distress. This indicator also works to assess a baby being hand-fed.


Hand-raising a baby callitrichid requires an incredible amount of devotion, time and emotional energy. To simulate their natural lives, infants should be carried by their owners as much as possible for warmth and emotional security. Keeping a baby on a stuffed animal surrogate for extended periods of time is unnatural and cruel. Infants need the stimulation and affection afforded by constant contact.


If a baby must be placed for short periods of time on a surrogate, use an insulated soft-sided six-pack cooler, with a microwaveable soft heating pad under a stuffed animal. Do not use a regular plug-in type heating pad because if the baby crawls between the stuffed animal and the pad, it can quickly overheat and die.


Infants should be fed Enfamil human baby formula. Once a week, a drop of pediatric multi-vitamins should be mixed into the formula. Formula should be warmed to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit before feeding. Newborns should be fed every two hours around the clock and must be stimulated in the perineal area to urinate and defecate. Babies usually begin sleeping through the night when they are about two weeks old. Weaning occurs at about 8 to 10 weeks of age, but in the family group, the babies nurse until the next infants are born (usually six months after the previous birth).

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Taken on November 9, 2006