They LOVE to play.
A happy monkey is a playful monkey and a playful monkey is a happy monkey.
We put lots of toys in the cage including mirrors because they love to see the little monkey and will often stare at it. Also plenty of things to swing from, climb, hang from and perch on.. They seem very drawn to bright colors especially orange.
Playing with your monkey
We find that they like to play peek-a-boo so we make a point of giving time to do that each day which helps bonding. We also use soft toys and play with those, they will often play fight with the soft toy and of course chew the heck out of it…
Biting and chewing are a major part of interaction remember so expect to get your fingers and you ear lobes nibbled and chewed…
When tame enough you can massage behind their ears – they love this so much they’ll often fall asleep
They’re very vocal creatures and we like to make noises to see which they react to, we also like to mimic some of their noises which seems to really make them interact.. Just have fun with it because these guys will love every minute.
Marmosets are very vocal and have a range of calls to indicate everything from the joy of play, through a range of general chitter-chatter, all the way through to distress calls… They are not loud unless scared or distressed and are most readily confused with the chirruping of birds.
Many people analyze the different calls and try to learn them from a website but but we suggest you will most likely easily get a sense of if the call is general communication ‘chitter-chatter’ temporary frustration, needing feeding, wanting to be handled, or some form of distress call..and there is no substitute for experience.
Using your instincts and observing behavior that goes with the call should quickly let you know the nature of the call and we feel that developing that empathy is a vital part of being a parent to a marmoset.
Remember they are very social and will communicate a lot especially when younger.
Stance & Facial Expression
Marmosets have a wide range of facial expressions..again by observing this in conjunction with stance, call and general behavior you’ll get a feel for what they need.
When a marmoset is submissive in fear or just in play, their ears will flatten right down leaving them with a smooth outline of the head..
When angry or frustrated the tail can become rigid and sometimes the tip will flick or shake..
Piloerection is when they “fluff up” to make themselves seem bigger.. This can happen when they feel threatened or just angry because they can’t get something they want.. and they look like little fluffy wookies..
Monkey’s bite.. they bite during play, during regular interaction and they can bite to be mean or get their own way. Just like a child needs to be taught that there are acceptable levels of behavior and unacceptable levels of behavior so will your Marmoset.
Play biting is allowed, it isn’t too hard and won’t break the skin.. likewise gentle biting as interaction…but biting to get their own way or in anger can be painful and you can see they are trying to hurt This needs to be managed during rearing so they understand it’s not allowed. If you don’t train them out of it before they are adults then you could have a problem on your hands..
Many breeders talk about disciplining your baby by pinching it on the butt when it’s misbehaving. I DO NOT condone this pinching at all!!!! You could damage your baby and 9 times out of 10 it just doesn’t work anyway. To discipline I shout loudly (like by saying ouch or stop it) then its time out for that baby. Put your baby in its large cage in “time out” for about 3-5 minutes. This does more for letting your baby know there are consequences for misbehaving.
Remember you aren’t training your monkey to never bite, they use biting in normal interaction so you want to allow them to do that, but you are training them to not bite to get their own way or in anger..
You must be very consistent and in time your baby will catch on that if he/she acts up then its time out time. No baby wants to be left alone for any time in its cage so they usual catch on pretty fast!