Are you wondering what foxes eat? They have a diverse diet. They are excellent hunters catching and killing smaller animals that are below them in the food chain. Their prey includes rabbits, small birds, frogs, and rodents, among other small animals.
For this reason, you might assume they are carnivores, but the truth is that they are omnivorous. They feed on berries, fruits, and vegetables. For urban foxes, they tend to scavenge for leftover food in the dustbin.
Table of Contents
- Foxes Habits and Biology
- Do Foxes Eat Dirt?
- What Do Foxes Like To Eat Most? (Fox diet)
- Food to Avoid Feeding Foxes
- Tips to Feed Foxes
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Foxes Habits and Biology
Foxes live in diverse habitats, including mountains, grassland, forests, deserts, and the human environment, such as suburban areas and farms. Their resourcefulness has made them be recognized as the most cunning and intelligent animals in the juggle. Like cats, their thick tails help with balance, warm cover, and communication with other foxes.
How do animals know they are stepping into their enemies’ territory? Every animal has a distinctive manner in which they mark their habitat or home. For foxes, they mark their territory using their urine, faeces and scent. Scent can also be used during the breeding season to mark their reproductive status. How big is the foxes’ habitat? Their territory ranges between 2kms to 5kms. Their population density and food availability influence their habitat size. In some areas, there are more foxes than others, and in such a case, they will have a significant habitat compared to places they are few.
While foxes are omnivores, they are solitary hunters catching smaller animals like rodents and rabbits. They also eat fruits, vegetables and those living near the human environment scavenge for leftovers in the dustbins. They hide in their habitat during the day, which is usually a hole underground or a hole at a big tree. At nightfall, they leap out to go hunting and patrol their territory. They are generally described as opportunistic predators and scavengers.
In a day, they eat about 300g to 450g a diet comprising small prey such as birds, rabbits, and mice. Though they are omnivores, they only eat fruits and ground nuts when there is food scarcity. However, when food is abundant, they will hunt excess and bury them for seasons like winter when the food is scarce.
In early spring and during winter, foxes meet to mate. The gestation period usually lasts 51 to 53 days, and 2 to 12 cubs are born. Winning takes about four to six weeks. During this period, both parents take care of their young one before they can start hunting independently at the beginning of the fall when they are between 10 and 12 weeks. By the time they reach six months, they are independent. In one year, both males and female reach their sexual maturity, and they start to disintegrate from the family and move to a new environment to establish their own
Their population is primarily managed by various diseases such as parvovirus and distemper, predators higher in the food chain like the leopards and humans. Also, during food scarcity, foxes can feed on young and week foxes, thus reducing their population.
Do Foxes Eat Dirt?
Foxes are known to have a broad diet ranging from meat to fruits and nuts. They are also known to hunt excess food when abundant and bury it for when there is scarcity.
Such meat will get dirt from the soil, but foxes will still eat. They dig up the earthworms and groundnuts, which are generally covered in dirt, and eat them.
More so, city foxes and those living close to humans scavenge for food in the dustbin, packed with other dirt.
What Do Foxes Like To Eat Most? (Fox diet)
1. Meat protein diet
Foxes’ diet is primarily made of meatproteins. They like cooked or raw meat. Though they are omnivores, they like hunting small animals like rabbits, rodents, and birds.
They hunt from evening through the night. For those living near the city or human habitats, if you want to feed them, you can give them cooked meat, and they will keep visiting your home.
They also love tinned pet food like Pedigree chopped ground dinner wet dog food. These are dog food. If you have a dog, you can choose to share them with foxes visiting your home. You can also order specifically to feed the foxes.
Do foxes love fruits and vegetables? Foxes love vegetables like frozen vegetables, cherry tomatoes, and they would eat them all through the day. Several teaspoons of vegetables daily would do the trick for young foxes and large spoons of vegetables for bigger foxes.
How do I know if I am feeding a lot of vegetables to a fox? Observe their stool, and if you notice to compose a lot of vegetable matter, there higher chances you are feeding it a lot of veggies, and it is necessary to reduce them.
Similarly, fruits like cherries and berries should not be provided as the main diet but rather as a treat.
Taurine is a form of vitamin supplement necessary for fox’s health. It can be found in dog foods. If it is not part of the ingredients from the tin in which you are feeding your fox’s you can purchase taurine capsules.
For young foxes, about 500g daily is enough supplements, but adults might require more. However, this is not a requirement as they get vitamins from non-grain foods and small animals like mice, rodents, and insects.
Food to Avoid Feeding Foxes
Before diving into the specific type of food that you should avoid feeding your fox, any food that can hurt a dog or a cat is poisonous to your fox.
1. Avoid feeding grains to foxes
While foxes are known as wild scavengers, they do not eat grains in the wild. Therefore, under no circumstances should you feed them with a diet comprising grains like oats, rice or wheat.
2. Fruits like grapes and raisins
These fruits are known to cause vomiting, kidney problems, and hypercalcemia in dogs and foxes. Since they are lethal to foxes, they should not be anywhere close to their diet.
3. Avoid feeding foxes’ with pepper, tomatoes or green eggplant
These types of fruits are known to contain toxins called glycoalkaloids. Even the leaves and stems of these plants should be avoided.
While after the fruits ripen, the toxins are said to leave the plant and are safe for animal consumption, the fruits still retain their toxins level, making them not suitable for foxes’ consumption.
However, tomatoes can be fed but at a controlled level to prevent toxins buildup.
4. Avoid feeding green potatoes.
Green potatoes contain several toxins that are harmful to foxes. As such, care should be taken when storing potatoes to avoid being exposed to sunlight.
The potatoes should instead be stored in a light-proof sack. Any sprouting or green potatoes should not be part of the foxes’ diet as not even cooking can destroy the toxins.
5. Coffee and chocolate
When foxes are thirsty, let them take plain water and nothing else. Coffee, for instance, contains about 150mg of caffeine which is enough lethal doses to a fox.
Similarly, chocolate contains theobromine, a compound that is poisonous to many animals, including foxes.
Tips to Feed Foxes
Feeding wild animals is one way of getting closer to nature. Besides, when foxes are on the verge of becoming extinct due to numerous predators, including themselves, feeding can help them thrive.
Would you like to feed some foxes in your neighborhood, but you do not know how? The best way to feed foxes in your backyard is to try and give them the same diet they are used to in the forest.
A wild animal will always be wild, and no matter how much their diet might seem unsuitable, it is essential to maintain its neutrality as much as possible.
Feeding them with raw or cooked meat is excellent, and other canned pet foods and unsalted peanuts, fruits, and cheese. Below are some feeding tips:
- Establish a feeding program that encourages foxes to visit your home at a specific time by leaving some food out in the garden or backyard. The fox will get used to the program when they visit any other time, and they find nothing.
- Leave a bowl of water near the food.
- Leave enough food but not too much to become lazy to search for its food and become dependent on you.
- Feed them during seasons when their food is scarce in the wilderness, like during winter.
- Regularly clean your feeding utensils to avoid contamination and the spread of diseases.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. Can foxes climb fences?
Yes, foxes have claws that enable them to climb up a fence of up to six feet high
2. Can foxes jump up a fence?
Yes, foxes have the potential of jumping off a fence which is three meters high
3. Can foxes be pets?
No, despite their deceiving friendly appearances, do not make them your pet as wild animal will always be wild.
4. Can foxes swim?
Yes, foxes are like cats and can swim pretty well, and they truly do swim
5. Can foxes climb trees?
Yes, Foxes can climb up trees and especially the grey species
6. Can foxes eat chocolate?
No. Chocolate is poisonous to a fox and any animal of Canidae family.
7. Can foxes eat raw chicken?
Yes, foxes can eat chicken raw or cooked their primary diet is meat
8. Can foxes eat chicken bones?
Yes, foxes eat a wide variety of diet and can therefore eat chicken bone without any problem
9. Will foxes attack humans?
No, foxes are not a threat tohuman as they are higher in the food chain
10. Will foxes attack cats?
No, foxes belong to the same family as cats and therefore pose little or no threat to them
While foxes are omnivorous, you would expect them to eat fruit and vegetable only. However, they have a diverse diet which includes meat hunted at night and down.
Meat is their primary food diet, and they only eat vegetables when there is scarcity. As such, there is a wide range of food that you can feed foxes, but some are poisonous and should be avoided. However, do not try to tame a fox as a wild animal will remain to be wild.
Foxes have a really diverse diet. They are expert hunters, catching rabbits, rodents, birds, frogs and earthworms as well as eating carrion. But they aren't carnivorous - they are actually omnivores as they dine on berries and fruit too.What do foxes eat in a day? ›
Nonetheless, it is generally considered that a fox needs to eat roughly 500 grams (just over one pound) of food per day.Can a fox drink milk? ›
Foxes will also drink milk if it's there, but as with dogs and cats their digestive system isn't really equipped to digest milk and it isn't good for them.How do you feed foxes? ›
The best way to feed foxes in your garden is to try and replicate their natural diet. Primarily this means meat protein so leave out cooked or raw meat, tinned dog food, or specially-formulated fox food like Wild Things. Your foxes will also be pleased with treats like unsalted peanuts, fruit and cheese.What is a fox favorite food? ›
Plants. Red foxes eat a lot of plants including grasses, acorns, tubers, grains, and even fungi. Although Red foxes enjoy vegetation, in the autumn, they prefer to eat fruits. Cherry, persimmon, mulberry (blueberry), grape, plum, apple, and raspberry are some of their favorites.What food will attract a fox? ›
Foxes favor strong-smelling or super sweet foods like fish (fresh or canned), chicken, meat, and sugar-coated vegetables.What do foxes like to eat and drink? ›
Virtually anything. Being carnivores, they like cooked or raw meat and tinned pet food. Foxes also like other savoury items such as cheese, table scraps, bread soaked in fat, fruit and cooked vegetables. However, be aware that anything you put out for foxes could equally be taken by dogs, cats and other wildlife.What do foxes eat at night? ›
At night, red foxes will prey on carrion, and may also target poultry farms. Foxes that live near urban populations will also eat rats, pigeons, or any trash they can find.Do foxes eat rice? ›
Foxes do not eat grains in the wild; therefore, you should avoid feeding things like wheat, rice, oats, and other grain matter in their food. Since foxes instead eat small prey such as mice and birds that eat grains, this is how they get some of the carbohydrates they need.Does fox hurt dog? ›
Most dogs are not at risk from an attack by a fox unless they have threatened their young, but they still should not be left outside unattended for a host of safety reasons, including harsh weather, harassment and dog-napping.
They can't digest it. It can make them very sick and even kill them (though if you have been feeding chocolate to foxes, don't feel guilty.Does a fox like honey? ›
Fox Food. Foxes are omnivores that eat nuts, fruits, insects, honey, leaves, acorns, other items from the forest and meat.How often do foxes eat? ›
How often do Foxes eat? Because of their incredible sense of hearing, foxes will attack prey as often as they locate one and as long as they are hungry. These canids will eat as long as the food is readily available and consume anything between the amount of 0.5 and 1 kilogram of food every day.How much food does a fox need? ›
It is thought that foxes need to eat around 500 grams of food a day but this can vary depending on who energy-rich their meals are. Is they have a highly nutritious meal then they might be able to survive on less but a lunch in bin scraps might leave them needed to top up their resources.How do you take care of a fox? ›
Outdoor enclosures require a secure top and a floor that prevents the fox from digging or climbing out. Within the enclosure should be a shelter to keep the fox out of the elements and provide shade. It is also important to to give your fox things to play with and climb within their enclosure to keep them occupied.Does fox eat fish? ›
Foxes eat small mammals, fish, birds, eggs, insects, berries, and insects. They typically hunt during the evening hours, making them a nocturnal species.Do foxes like pizza? ›
Foxes are omnivores, which means they will eat virtually anything they come across. They have a reputation for taking poultry, but more often eat such undesirables as rats and slugs, along with fruit, berries, roots, 'carrion' (animal remains) and in cities, discarded chips and pizzas!Does fox eat corn? ›
Foxes will eat both wild and cultivated fruits (in some instances vegetables and crops, such as corn and barley, too) and those most commonly consumed include blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, persimmons, mulberries, apples, plums, grapes, dates, figs and even acorns.Do foxes like eggs? ›
Foxes generally carry eggs away from nests. They may then eat them or they will cache (bury) them for consumption later. The whole egg is taken in the mouth, crushed and the contents eaten.Do fox eat tomatoes? ›
Foxes love vegetables like frozen vegetables, cherry tomatoes, and they would eat them all through the day.
Foxes will eat a wide range of foods. They are carnivores so like cooked or fresh meat and can cope with chicken bones without problem.What food do foxes not like? ›
Using natural ingredients like chilli peppers, garlic and capsaicin will keep the foxes away. Try boiling the chilli pepper and garlic with some water, then mix it in a blender.Do foxes eat ants? ›
Daniel Nelson. Foxes eat a diverse diet as omnivores, focusing on small animals such as birds, rabbits, rodents, frogs, mice, insects, and fish.What is a red foxes favorite food? ›
Red foxes prefer rodents and rabbits, but they will also eat birds, amphibians, and fruit. Red foxes will also steal food from garbage cans or farms.Do fox eat cats? ›
Although it is rare, foxes do sometimes attack (and eat) cats. However, this is usually only kittens, or very old or sick cats. This is because foxes are opportunistic predators and will attack something if they think it is easy prey. Kittens are much smaller than foxes and often defenceless.Do foxes play with their food? ›
Playing with your food. Once the prey has been caught, the fox will sometimes 'play' with the animal before either eating it or letting it go.Do foxes eat snakes? ›
They are omnivores and eat almost anything they can find. This includes smaller animals such as rodents, rabbits, lizards, snakes, and amphibians. It also includes plant matter such as berries, nuts and seeds. With such a broad diet red foxes are sure to find something to eat in almost any environment.Do foxes like spicy food? ›
They favour strong smelling or super sweet foods like fish, chicken, meant, and vegetables. There are a lot of DIY ways to repel foxes from your garden through just smell alone, this just shows how strong there sense of smell really is. They hate the following, Garlic, Chilli Peppers and Capsaicin.Can fox eat bananas? ›
They are Obligate carnivores. They eat MEAT, not bananas.Can foxes eat cake? ›
Allow access to a food store, a fox will eat cake, poultry pellets, milk powder or fish meal. Fruit is also eaten; gooseberries, raspberries, blackberries and anything else that takes their fancy.
Short answer: no, they can't. They simply don't have compatible parts. (Of course, that doesn't mean they can't be friends: witness Juniper the Fox and Moose the Dog, above). The longer answer to why dog-fox hybrids can't exist has to do with the two species having vastly different numbers of chromosomes.Do fox fight dogs? ›
Do Foxes Attack Dogs or Cats? Fox attacks on dogs are rare because these animals try to evade conflict. However, they will defend themselves against a dog if cornered. Adult cats are usually safe, but a fox may hunt and prey on kittens.What happens if a fox bites you? ›
Fox bites are painful and can get infected if they are not cleaned properly. Since the pests are known carriers of several diseases, including rabies, their bites also carry the threat of transmission.Can a fox eat onion? ›
Onion, garlic, and chives should also be avoided, as they belong to the genus Allium which can create a toxic reaction for your pet fox. Why is this so? They include a sulfur compound called disulfide that if eaten in large quantities can damage red blood cells. Dehydrated foods and meats should be avoided.Are potatoes bad for foxes? ›
The RSPCA “living with foxes” leaflet advises people that “cheese, boiled potatoes, raw chicken pieces, bread and table scraps” are suitable foods to put out to “help foxes living in the area”.Is pork bad for foxes? ›
Meats such as beef and pork are more likely to cause gout in foxes. Both are fattier and cause their organs to work harder, not to mention pork can sometimes be a host to parasites that can be harmful to foxes. Since red foxes have the highest uric acid levels in most canids, feeding leaner white meats are better.Do foxes like salt? ›
As is the case with the salt licks provided by Mother Nature, manmade licks are also frequented by a variety of other animals such as rabbits, groundhogs, foxes, gray squirrels, chipmunks and birds. Some birds definitely eat more salt than others do.Do foxes fall in love? ›
Do Foxes Fall in Love? Quite simply, Yes. It is scientifically proven that animals experience empathy, affection and attachment, (though the scientific community may continue to debate the full details). Love is chemistry, a force of nature experienced by all.Do foxes like pork? ›
Foxes are omnivores. They eat fruits, veggies, insects, small mammals like rabbits, chickens, mice, rats, voles, moles, etc. foxes aren't very large; they average between 6–10lbs (yes, even beneath their winter fluff!). They cannot eat peppers, onions, pork, beef, chocolate.Do fox eat frogs? ›
Foxes are omnivores and eat small mammals, birds, reptiles, frogs, eggs, insects, worms, fish, crabs, mollusks, fruits, berries, vegetables, seeds, fungi and carrion.
Neither red nor gray foxes chew their food. Instead, they swallow small prey whole or rip off small pieces. All foxes walk on their toes, in a manner called digitigrade.How much can a fox eat in a day? ›
Diet: As an omnivore the fox eats invertebrates, fruits and vegetation, small birds and mammals. It eats between 1 and 2 lbs. each day.Do foxes eat a lot? ›
Fox Diets in the Wild
In the wild, most foxes will only make a kill once or twice each week. This means that they need other reliable sources of sustenance, so most foxes turn to eating various insects. They'll also eat some mushrooms, wild grasses, nuts, or berries if necessity dictates.
Turns out, foxes are able to laugh as a result of being domesticated by humans for more than six decades. The phenomenon, first observed by Russian researchers on silver foxes, appears to have spread to other fox species too. Here's a video of a laughing silver fox.What does a fox need to survive? ›
Small culverts, thickets, and wooded areas provide needed resting areas for foxes (Bateman 2012). They prefer to raise their young (kits, pups, or cubs) in dens. They might dig these dens, for which they need an area with soil that is soft enough to dig in (Bateman 2012).What kind of toys do foxes like? ›
Your fox will love having toys to play with. Plushies, ropes, squeaky toys, baby rattles, dangling and spring cat toys, and similar things will give your fox something to do besides digging in the couch cushions and stealing your shoes.How do foxes keep clean? ›
To do so, they'll tear things up in their quest to find the perfect spot to "mark" with their urine and feces. Some fox owners have tried to get their pet fox to use an indoor litter box. Sometimes this can be successful, but they'll usually also urinate and defecate all over the rest of the house too.What should you not feed to foxes? ›
Foxes do not eat grains in the wild; therefore, you should avoid feeding things like wheat, rice, oats, and other grain matter in their food. Since foxes instead eat small prey such as mice and birds that eat grains, this is how they get some of the carbohydrates they need.Should I feed a fox in my garden? ›
Generally we suggest people don't feed foxes, because it will undermine their territory if they can't be bothered to go farther afield. Also, foxes don't just take what they need – they take what's available and bury it for later.Should you feed foxes every night? ›
It's best not to put out large amounts of food every night, If you don't feed them, there are plenty of other food sources around. It may be strange but urban foxes frequently eat peanuts, bird seed, and other food put out on bird tables.
In the wild, foxes will eat a wide variety of foods, although their diet is primarily meat-based. Generally, they will hunt animals when available but will settle for plants when they can't catch meat. In particular, they enjoy high protein, fatty foods like fish, eggs, and birds.Is chocolate poisonous to foxes? ›
- Chocolate: this tasty treat for humans is poisonous to canids. They can't digest it. It can make them very sick and even kill them (though if you have been feeding chocolate to foxes, don't feel guilty.What vegetables do fox eat? ›
Foxes will eat both wild and cultivated fruits (in some instances vegetables and crops, such as corn and barley, too) and those most commonly consumed include blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, persimmons, mulberries, apples, plums, grapes, dates, figs and even acorns.Do foxes eat dead foxes? ›
Foxes are opportunistic omnivores, whose diet includes rodents, berries and carrion. A study of the scat and stomach contents of road-killed specimens (to assess whether cannibalism could explain the transmission of a parasite) indicated that their diet includes cadavers of their own kind.Do foxes eat bananas? ›
Certainly, if it manages to catch it. Foxes are carnivores and will eat any warm living animal it manages to catch.How much food does a fox eat per day? ›
Diet: As an omnivore the fox eats invertebrates, fruits and vegetation, small birds and mammals. It eats between 1 and 2 lbs. each day.What time of day do foxes eat? ›
Red foxes are predominantly nocturnal and prefer to hunt late in the evening through until the early hours of the morning; consequently, they tend to have more food in their stomachs at night than during the daytime.Does it hurt to feed foxes? ›
Feeding foxes can alter their natural behavior; the animal may lose its fear of humans, and by association, its fear of pets and even vehicles.Do foxes bite? ›
Though they won't bite unprompted, foxes attack when they are rabid or protecting their young. Fox bites are painful and can get infected if they are not cleaned properly. Since the pests are known carriers of several diseases, including rabies, their bites also carry the threat of transmission.Will foxes hurt a cat? ›
Foxes pose little danger to cats. But, like any other dog, foxes will chase cats. Generally, though, when faced with the claws and teeth of a cat, foxes will back away, knowing they will probably suffer a serious injury in any fight.