THE CAGE AND ITS APPURTENANCES
In the wild, marmosets and tamarins can be found across large areas. Recently, there has been a movement toward releasing groups of tamarins into wooded areas or onto islands, both of which offer obviously more naturalistic settings (Price et al., 1989). The majority of zoos offer both indoor and outdoor enclosures for their marmosets and tamarins. The outdoor enclosures are particularly important because they allow the monkeys to experience the natural elements, seek protection from the rain, and locate sunny spots to bask in. In addition, outdoor enclosures frequently attract insects, and marmosets and tamarins, when given the opportunity, will eagerly forage for insects, just as they do when living in the wild, if they are given the chance (pers. obs).
It is imperative that large exercise areas be made available to the monkeys in the event that their home cage in captivity cannot be made to be of a reasonable size. It is possible for multiple groups of monkeys to use these spaces at the same time, and a plastic tunneling system with a diameter of 15 centimeters can be used to grant the primates free access to their enclosures (Price & McGrew, 1990). This ducting can also be used to transfer monkeys to new housing, which eliminates the need to catch and handle the monkeys, both of which are likely to be stressful activities for the monkeys.
Let us now turn our attention to the furnishings of the cage. When the reintroduction program for the golden lion tamarin (L. rosalia) first started, the tamarins seemed to be physically unable to cope with natural substrates and were lacking in appropriate locomotory behavior (Kleiman et al., 1986). Therefore, if it is at all feasible, the enclosures of captive animals should be outfitted with a high density of naturally occurring branches in addition to ropes that simulate vines. These provide surfaces on which the claws can get a good grip, and they should be arranged in such a way that they have a variety of textures, diameters, and degrees of firmness so that they can serve their purpose properly. Some of the branches should be quite firm, so that they do not give when the animal lands on them. On the other hand, some of the branches should be quite loose, so that the animals must learn to accommodate their jumping to the various surfaces.
Although many captive monkeys do not go to the ground in captivity to forage for dropped food, a few branches should be positioned near the ground so that monkeys can easily leap to a higher position if they are startled while on the ground. This is because most marmosets and tamarins are highly arboreal, so the branches should be positioned well above ground level. Careful consideration needs to be given to both the diameter and the orientation of the branches contained within the cage. In the wild, I discovered that saddle-backed tamarins (S. fuscicollis) frequently traveled by hopping from vertical trunk to vertical trunk, whereas red-bellied tamarins (S. labiatus) more frequently hopped from branch to branch and used thick branches that were near horizontal for quadrupedal travel. According to my own observations made in the field, the vast majority of social interactions appeared to take place on large branches that were either horizontal or gently sloping and were located in an area that received a good amount of natural light. This may have been done to facilitate the detection of potential threats (pers. obs.). A recent comparative study on callitrichids kept in captivity revealed that different species do have preferences for particular diameters and orientations of branch (Seymour & Kinghorn, pers. comm.). Because of this, it is essential to offer a variety of options in terms of both the diameter and the orientation of the branches.
It goes without saying that the branches need to be cleaned in order to ensure proper sanitation. To the best of my knowledge, there has been no study conducted on the effects of cleaning the marmoset and tamarin cages. However, because scent marking is such an important method of communication for these monkeys, it is essential to avoid cleaning the branches an excessive amount, as this could lead to abnormally high frequencies of scent marking. It is possible that the best course of action is to clean no more than half of the branches at any given time. This would provide the monkeys with greater stability in their natural environment. It is possible that replacing branches in a new arrangement is also important, as this would lessen the likelihood of any motor stereotypies and make it easier to keep up the essential skill of acquiring spatial knowledge of new environments (Kleiman, 1989; Redshaw & Mallinson, 1991).
Animals should also be provided with cover so that they have the option to conceal themselves if they so choose. The marmosets and tamarins at the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust are able to freely move between their indoor enclosure and their outdoor enclosure. However, the indoor enclosure is off limits to the public, giving the marmosets and tamarins some degree of privacy (Mallinson, 1975). They also have a sufficient amount of natural vegetation that is dense enough to provide cover in the outdoor enclosures that they have. Hanging screens, such as strips of curtain, can visually divide a large cage area, and this does have positive behavioral results. If natural foliage cannot be provided to give cover, this method does have positive behavioral results (Mackensie, Chamove & Feistner, 1986).
One last thing I want to mention about cage accessories is the value of providing more than one nest box for your pet. One of the individuals may be kicked out of the nest box if there is any sign of hostility among the other members of the group; in this case, the individual would not have a secure place to sleep if there was only one. Nevertheless, I am not aware of any research in this field.
😍 These are must-have items such as small animal cages, cage accessory and food for Finger Monkey pet owners, maybe you need them too? Click images & check them out! ✅
🥰 This large double unit cage has three ramps, ramp covers, and two resting shelves. It is easier to clean the cage interior with removable base pans and double doors. Click the link to see different story options for your pet.
🥰 For the finger monkey diet, you can feed them these fresh unsalted cashews. As much as I enjoy these good-quality cashews, my finger monkey pet does too. Check out if your pet will like it too.
🥰 These cage accessories go with the large double unit cage! They are shelf, pan and ramp covers that are easily removable and washable in the machine. Click the link to check their color options.
🥰 This dried sweet tamarind is convenient as it comes without the shell and seed. It is also natural and fresh! Check out the reviews to see if you want to feed your finger monkey this fruit rich in magnesium and calcium.
🥰 This small animal playpen is perfect for your finger monkey pet to be closer to nature. It has space to put treats, litter box and more. Click to see the video.
🥰 This Maize Flakes Cereal is organic and healthy with ingredients from sprouted oatmeal, which is high in protein. This is perfect for your finger monkey’s diet! Click the link to see other cereal options.