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How food affects the mood of baby finger monkeys

Finger monkey, otherwise known as pigmy marmoset, is the world’s smallest monkey. The male finger monkey weights about 140 grams, whereas the female one weighs 120 grams, and they can grow up to around 15 inches from head to tail.  While they’re native to the wild, finger monkeys can also live as domesticated pets. If you want to get started, here is some information on the pocket monkey cost.

You need to know, however, that the name “finger monkey" isn’t really a scientific name, neither is it a common name for a particular monkey. It just refers to a monkey that can cling to your finger. The idea of a finger monkey was popularized when some images emerged from rescue centres and zoos of baby pygmy marmosets clinging to their caretakers’ fingers.

For this article, the focus is on the feeding habits of baby finger monkeys, and how food can affect their mood.

Feeding a baby finger monkey

Just like other animals, finger monkeys need food to stay alive and healthy. In their natural habitat, finger monkeys mainly feed on fruits, the gum or sap of trees, and insects such as bugs, butterflies, and beetles. Conversely, when they’re domesticated, their diet has to be different.

When it comes to feeding a baby finger monkey, you should know that it needs to be treated like a human infant. In the beginning, you should give it only liquid food. It will consume solid food as it fully matures. Here are some of the liquid consumable s that you can feed a baby finger monkey:

  • Almond Milk
  • Fresh goat milk
  • Diluted or organic fruit juices
  • Gum from tropic trees or artificial sap
  • Baby milk

When it has grown big enough, you can give your baby finger monkey some solid food, which include:

  • Monkey biscuits
  • Fresh leaves
  • Small or chopped fresh fruits
  • Nectar from topical flowers
  • Insects such as flies and crickets
  • Oatmeal and rice cereals
  • Spiders and small lizards

Also, remember that your baby pigmy marmoset must remain well-hydrated. As such, you need to provide your tiny primate with sufficient water, to prevent it from developing dehydration related ailments.

It is also worth noting that feeding a baby finger monkey requires some kill. You’re advised against feeding your baby finger monkey while it is lying on its back. You should place it on its belly, with the head tilted slightly upwards, to prevent choking and possible death.

So how does food affect the mood of a baby finger monkey?

First, you should never forget that these primates require specialized diet, and they can’t survive on human food alone.  In fact, if given too much human food, it will be quite an uphill task to get the baby finger monkeys to eat  their own food, which are specially formulated for their proper development. The diet should also be varied to avoid boredom and loss of appetite.

Baby finger monkeys may show aggressiveness when hungry, and you need to feed them every two hours for at least the first two weeks. You also should realize that certain foods can affect baby finger monkeys in various ways.

  • Certain drinks are unhealthy for the monkeys

You should avoid giving the small primates unhealthy drinks such as soft drinks, beer, coffee, and concentrated juice drinks. These drinks may be potentially harmful to the animals. Likewise, avoid giving them water that has been enriched with fluoride.

  • Pigmy marmosets require high amounts of vitamin D3

Unfortunately, they can’t make it in their own body, and hence it should be provided as supplement. Likewise, the primates need other dietary supplements to prevent metabolic bone disease.

  • It is imperative that food is presented to the tiny primates in a way that promotes their natural food finding habits – catching insects, gnawing, foraging, finding, reaching, and getting into fruit.

For instance, wild finger monkeys have to hang upside down in order to eat dangling fruits and flowers. As such, you can hang the fruits at home in a way that they swing around, challenging the small creatures as they try to reach the food and needing them to balance.

Additionally, you can provide live insects, as they attract a lot of attention. Your finger monkey will chase, stalk, and pounce on them. Crickets, locusts, and grasshoppers are some of the insects that can be safely introduced. This is an excellent way to keep the primates busy, hence preventing boredom.

Besides feeding the finger monkeys several times a day to match their natural feeding times, you need to also introduce new food and novel textures. These will stimulate their curiosity and interest.  However, be sure that these foods are restricted to the types and quantities within their normally diet. In fact, using excess food can result in obesity.

To promote the primate’s foraging behaviour, you can mix dry food into floor substrate. Alternatively, you can place scatter feed mix in a raised box to allow foraging higher up, where the small creatures are more active.

Other important information about Pygmy Marmosets

  • Finger monkeys can get acclimatized to different environments quite easily and quickly for survival.
  • The primates are highly prone to diarrhoea, and they may require intensive therapy. However, it can prove fatal.
  • Finger monkeys are quite notorious for throwing faeces on others, biting of owners, and sometimes attack, especially when it is enraged or sees a person it considers a threat.
  • You’re also advised to never feed your pigmy marmoset raw meat, cockroaches, and mice, and ensure that your fresh fruits and vegetables are properly washed before feeding.


Feeding time is among the most significant moments in a baby finger monkey’s day. As such, it is imperative that you take the necessary time to prepare the food. Moreover, when feeding your baby pygmy marmoset, you should always remember that upholding proper nutrition is vital to raising a happy and healthy primate.  In fact, the sooner you get your tiny primate into a well-balanced routine, the higher your chances of enjoying their company for many years to come. Therefore, be sure to treat your baby finger monkey well.