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Baby Marmosets

  Treetop Treasures Tiny Primate Retreat

 Let's talk Marmosets, shall we!!! Marmosets are adorable there is no doubt about it. They're also very complex little monkeys that need specialized care or they will not survive. I'm here to tell you the facts that most breeders skip or lie about in order to sell you a baby marmoset. baby Marmoset for sale marmoset for sale finger monkey for sale tiny monkey for sale pocket monkey for sale baby monkeymarmoset marmoset breeder  
It makes me sick to my stomach to see marmosets and tamarins being called "starter monkeys" or great first monkeys. This really needs to STOP. If they are properly cared for they can be a long term companion. All too often they are used as stepping stones to bigger monkeys, they deserve so much more. You don't just get a trial run on a monkey, then when they aren't what you expected because you failed to research, you just dispose of them and try another one. They are very intelligent and form a strong bond with their human. So if you really want a bigger monkey, don't bother even getting a small one.
For starters CHECK THE PRIMATE LAWS FOR YOUR STATE,COUNTY,AND CITY. THERE ARE A TON OF PRIMATE BANS IN PLACE, JUST BECAUSE YOUR STATE DOESN'T HAVE A BAN DOESN'T MEAN YOUR COUNTY OR CITY IS OK. The best way of ensuring you will not have to surrender your monkey, is to contact Fish and Wildlife Commission or Department of Agriculture.

 Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Wyoming

Even if your state is not listed as banned, that doesn't mean they are legal. Laws change all the time check your state, county, and city to make sure monkeys are legal where you live.
There are plenty of shady breeders out there that will sell to banned states just to make a buck. I AM NOT ONE OF THOSE BREEDERS, I actually care about ALL of my monkeys and my babies will ONLY go to LEGAL homes. Trust me when I tell you I will do my due diligence confirming you do not live in a banned location.

What I want more than anything is to help educate people so they can make an informed decision about whether or not they are ready to make a 10 to 15 year commitment to a little monkey. It is literally a life changing decision that should not be taken lightly. Once you get a baby they depend on you for everything. They cannot be left in a cage alone for extended periods of time they require a lot of attention and care. If you work full-time, like to take vacations, have young children, or want children a monkey is not a pet you should even consider.They are also not a pet for a teenager, they require too much care, they can't just be locked in a cage when the novelty wears off.

Baby Marmosets like everyone, however they're very susceptible to viruses, colds, flus, and cold sores all of which can be fatal. They should not be exposed to a lot of people for this reason, you should not take them out in public.

 Once they reach sexual maturity they change drastically. Typically only like the 1 or 2 people that raised them as a baby. One of the biggest lies breeders tell people is that, "If the Marmoset is raised with children they make great family pets".

This statement could not be any further from the truth. ADULT MARMOSETS DO NOT LIKE CHILDREN and will target them. They're very jealous and don't want to compete for attention. Just because they are little doesn't mean they are nice, they can be very vicious and can do serious damage to the face and ears.

They have powerful little jaws - very sharp teeth and claws. In the wild they gnaw on tree bark to get at the sap and gum, so our skin is….. well…… you get the picture I hope. I have told people more times than I can count “do not buy a monkey if you have kids”.


·        their monkey will be different
·        their 5 year old is mature
·        they post pictures of their Marmoset and kids saying they are best buddies

This makes me cringe because I'm well aware of how it will end. It is not a matter of IF the Marmoset will attack it’s WHEN. The next post is them selling the poor Marmoset usually with a lie about health issues, but the truth is the Marmoset grew up and started acting like a monkey and they dump him/her. So no, you will not "TRAIN" your Marmoset not to bite, this is just nonsense.

 What not to do…..

Retaliate by pinching, biting, squeezing, thumping on the nose or whatever form of  "discipline" people use. When a human reacts to a bite with a violent act it only confuses the monkey and makes them lose all trust.

“Not all bites are meant to be vicious”. Marmosets are very playful by nature and remember the part about very sharp teeth? Yea, a simple play bite can hurt and draw blood….ask my husband. He’s the one that typically plays (or as he says wrestles with them) and often comes away with a few tiny punctures on fingers – back of the arms – hands – or where ever he gets it …

People say, mother and father Marmosets bite their young, WELL  we are not 1 lb. so we couldn't possibly replicate the discipline the parents administer to their babies. It is not possible to rewire their brains or remove their natural instincts.

Ever notice the people that have Marmosets that bite all the time?? That's because they are reacting to the negative behavior. Typically aggressive Marmosets have lost their trust, still have all their reproductive parts or they were in an abusive situation at one time. If a human is constantly hurting them, they will bite worse and grow to hate their tormentor.

More often than not the human that tormented the poor innocent monkey dumps them or locks them in a cage which causes depression, self-mutilation, hunger strikes, and most of them just give up on life.
They didn't do ANYTHING wrong biting is normal for them
If they could talk, I bet a whole lot of people would be shocked at just how unhappy they are
They don't need to be controlled, they need to be loved

What can we do…..

We can ignore the negative behavior and or attempt to figure out what is bothering them. Marmosets can become bored, change their environment – add new toys to play with – change the branches in their enclosures - get him/her a playmate,they're much happier in pairs – PLAY WITH THEM MORE…… spice things up a little!!!!

SPAYING and NEUTERING is a MUST for all pet monkeys

A sexually frustrated monkey is an aggressive and sad monkey. Spaying and neutering does not stop the biting completely, monkeys bite……they’re monkeys. It’s their way of telling us they're scared, sick, hurt, or just pissed off.

Females that are not spayed can become extremely aggressive during their estrus cycle. They will attack women and girls on their periods - women taking hormone replacements or fertility drugs, not even domestic animals are safe from a female that is cycling.
Sexually frustrated males can also smell women and girls on the periods and will most likely target them.

Spaying and neutering will calm the hormone fueled rages and full blown attacks. It is cruel to keep a monkey that is consumed with thoughts of breeding and no way to alleviate the need. Spaying and neutering also has many health benefits, it eliminates the risk for all reproductive cancers.

It is very important to get them fixed before they reach sexual maturity!!!

·        Females at 10 months
·        Males at about 6 months or as soon as their testicles drop

If more breeders preached the importance of spaying and neutering a lot less young adult Marmosets would be resold when they reach sexual maturity and become aggressive.

A lot of breeders also like to sell two at a time, so they say they are unrelated and will breed. The chances of that happening are slim to none, they will consider themselves siblings and will not breed. Then when they reach sexual maturity the male will get aggressive toward the female because he's sexually frustrated.Or if  he does breed her and she's too young, she will die. So either way it doesn't end well.

I'm all for having TWO they are much happier in pairs, but if you want them to stay your pet they need to be spayed and neutered.

Breeding is not for ametuers. You should have a lot of experience with them. I mean YEARS, not months. Don't just go buy a pair, not knowing ANYTHING about them, but think you can breed. That is irresponsible to say the least. Innocent little lives are on the line, while wannabe breeders are just winging it.

There are a lot of people that seem to think marmosets are like dogs, that they just bring the male over for the day to breed their female. WELL it doesn't work that way, first they have to bond which sometimes takes a long time, sometimes it never happens. They are like people not all of them get along. Then if they do breed the MALE is the one that takes care of the babies, the females only feed them. So they have to stay together.


Don’t get all freaked out……. They make amazing little companions for a person or couple that are home all the time and are done raising their kids.

Monkey proof your house……..

·        Put away breakables
·        Get rid of house plants most of them are toxic
·        Keep bathroom and laundry room doors closed etc….

Couple of things to remember……

·        They are not destructive like the bigger monkeys but they will scent mark
·        They do not need leashes or belly collars

         These can cause injury or death when they jump or get caught on things
         They do fine just jumping and playing
·        Diapers are okay as long as they have plenty of time to air out
·        Clothes are not good for the little guys they're not dolls
·        They only weigh 1 lb. and shouldn't have to drag around itchy, hot clothes

NEVER EVER put anything around your Marmosets neck, they have enough things that can kill them, they shouldn't have to wear a noose

·        When taking them out it is always best to use a carrier
·         it's not safe to have them loose in the car even on a leash

I have heard of them getting stuck behind dashboards, getting squashed in car doors,               and even escaping from the car

Adult immune systems are still very fragile and they can catch everything they are exposed to so it is best to keep them sheltered.

If they bite someone and that person requires medical attention or files a report. Fish and wildlife will take the monkey and most likely destroy him/her to check for rabies. As for their sharp claws NEVER cut them, they can splinter and get infected.

Claws can be easily filed by just providing natural safe branches or put mild sandpaper (like a bird’s perch has) on a board where they like to run.

NEVER have their teeth pulled……none of them….. not even their K9's this can result in a broken jaw or cause their other teeth to shift horribly. If you can't handle a bite, don't buy a monkey, it's that simple. It is very unfortunate that the discussion of pulling teeth in such a tiny monkey is taking place  but………

·        When idiot owners request it
·        Vets do it
·        It's barbaric and should be illegal
·        if an abscess doesn't kill them, malnutrition will

Care and Well-being…..

 When creating a happy habitat let’s start with the most important thing being lighting, mercury vapor lights are crucial for a healthy Marmoset or Tamarin (they cannot absorb D3 or Calcium without it). 150 or 160 watts is best, they should be on from sunrise to sunset. Hang the light 10 – 12 inches above an area so the marm can lay and bask in the light. All monkeys should have access to an outdoor enclosure (see our enclosures HERE), they love it outside and NEED the natural sunlight (sunlight from a window is filtered this does not count).

Monkeys that are used to being indoors with A/C need tunnels or some access to get back indoors when they need to cool down to prevent heat stroke. They also need a humidifier, their natural habitat is an extremely humid environment. Our homes using A/C and heat removes all the humidity from the air, which causes their skin to become dry and itchy and their lungs and nose to get dry so they sneeze a lot. In order to keep them comfortable keep a humidifier running. 

As for caging the bigger, the better, they need room to jump, swing and climb or they can get weak muscles also known as cage paralysis. Do not use any small ropes, string, or anything with a loop they could get caught in. I like to use natural manila rope 2 inch diameter, typical PVC end caps can be glued on the ends with an eye bolt in the end of the cap to be used for connecting to the cage.

Also avoid toys with small pieces or beads they could choke on them once they destroy them. It is best to use 6mm plastic chain to hang toys, and softboxes!! They love natural branches ( I will add safe trees to use) they also love swings, mirrors and places to hide too!!

It's not a good idea to let your small monkey sleep with you, they get in odd spots looking for heat and could be seriously injured or killed. They need their own safe space to sleep.

Many monkeys have been killed by dogs and cats, so to be safe I would not let them interact Animals will only put up with a marmoset biting them for so long before they bite back and a tiny marmoset or tamarin doesn't stand a chance.

                                                              Safe Plants and Trees

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