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.
2. Canned pet food
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.
3. Fruit and vegetables for 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.
4. Foxes love taurine
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.
What do foxes like to eat the most? ›
The fox diet changes based on what is available. These animals are omnivores, so foxes eat anything from berries to small birds. They are opportunistic predators and scavengers. Food scraps, fallen fruit, and unsecured garbage cans may attract these wildlife pests.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.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 red fox 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. Their ability to find food, even during the winter, is one reason why red foxes have a reputation for being cunning and smart.Can 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.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.Can foxes 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.Do foxes eat fruit and vegetables? ›
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 bread? ›
Putting a little bit of stale bread out for the foxes is usually fine, as long as you aren't doing it so frequently and in such volumes that it's inviting spoilage, encouraging them to foul (poop) in your garden, and changing their behavior too much (i.e. they start to hang out in your garden during the day, or ...How does a fox eat an egg? ›
Foxes. 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.
What do baby fox eat? ›
Baby foxes, or kits, are born blind and rely solely on their parents for food. For the first two weeks, they eat only the regurgitated meat that their moth feeds them. Once they can stomach whole food, their mother will bring them small live prey, like mice and insects.Do foxes like boiled eggs? ›
We also like to give our foxes hard boiled eggs in the shell as enrichment and the shell provides them with extra calcium. If you desire to feed your fox meat, it needs to be lean meat, cooked to avoid parasites. Like any animal, your fox should always be provided with clean water in a dish.Will a fox eat apples? ›
In the fall, it's fruit and berries like blackberries, apples and persimmons, plus acorns, sedges and tubers. What's their favorite fruit, though? Foxes seem to particularly enjoy eating wild apples. Foxes are mainly carnivorous, so most of their diet consists of small animals.Do foxes like bananas? ›
They are Obligate carnivores. They eat MEAT, not bananas.Do foxes eat potatoes? ›
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”.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.Do foxes eat raw carrots? ›
In order to mimic their natural diet the foxes eat a raw diet. They get a variety of meats like quail, turkey, duck, rabbit, and other game animals she may have eaten in the wild. I mix this with some yummy veggies like green beans, carrots or peas.Can foxes eat onions? ›
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.Do foxes like ice cream? ›
Foxes seem to love vanilla flavoured ice cream and, if it's allowed to melt, the fox is unable to carry away and cache the medicated food.Do foxes eat peanut butter? ›
If you're considering keeping red foxes as pets, you'll need to be aware of all the food these animals require. Fish, eggs, boneless poultry, jams, wet or dry dog food, and peanut butter sandwiches are all on the list of domestic treats they seem to like.
Can foxes eat popcorn? ›
Bovril (high in salt, so small amounts only) Unsalted and unsweetened popcorn. Unsalted and unsweetened porridge. Tuna or salmon (fish can cause disease in foxes if it makes up more than 10% of diet)Do foxes like cheese? ›
The bulk of a fox's diet is made up of meat protein, so the best things to feed your local foxes are cooked or raw meat, or tinned dog food. They are also fond of peanuts, fruit and cheese.What foods are poisonous to foxes? ›
- Avocados: ...
- Caffeine: ...
- Chocolate: ...
- Grapes And Rasins: ...
- Green Eggplant, Peppers, and Tomatoes: ...
- Green Potatoes: ...
- Macadamia Nuts and Walnuts: ...
- Onions, Garlic, and Chives:
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 fox eat tomatoes? ›
Foxes love vegetables like frozen vegetables, cherry tomatoes, and they would eat them all through the day.Can foxes eat chicken bones? ›
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. They will eat dog or cat food either tinned or dried. Other foodstuffs given to foxes include scraps of left-over food from meals; peanuts; fruit and cooked vegetables.Do foxes eat sweet corn? ›
As MJ says, fox will eat not just sweetcorn, all sorts, including raspberries.Do foxes eat ants? ›
Foxes will hunt and love to feed on small rodents, birds, and insects. Foxes love to consume insects as well, and insects make up a large portion of a fox's diet.Do fox eat cats? ›
Do foxes eat or attack cats, dogs or other pets? A typical adult cat is almost the same size as a fox and has a well-deserved reputation for self-defense, so foxes are generally uninterested in taking on cats. Kittens and very small (less than five pounds) adult cats, however, could be prey for a fox.Can foxes eat dry dog food? ›
Foxes eat a very varied diet in the wild; from earthworms, insects, fruits, wild birds, and small mammals. However, the urban fox is pretty happy to eat most things from tinned cat and dog food, dry complete dog biscuits, and any cooked vegetables or table scraps.
Can a fox eat a raw egg? ›
To feed, raw, unprocessed food is best: meat scraps, raw whole eggs in their shell, peanuts, seeds, ripe apple and pear slices etc. If fed cooked meat, make sure it is off the bone as the bones are a choking hazard for the foxes.Why do foxes laugh? ›
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.Do foxes eat chickens? ›
Foxes will attack chickens in all hours of the day. They will hunt them during the day and at night. They are fast and sneaky, and it can be hard to identify a fox attack. Sometimes the chickens will simply disappear without a trace.Can foxes eat rotten meat? ›
Eating rotten meat exposes foxes to a high dose of different pathogens which in theory should mean the fox frequently becomes ill. However, over time, the regular exposure to off meat and other foods has contributed to the red fox developing a more sophisticated immune system.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.What milk can foxes drink? ›
However, many animals are lactose intolerant, meaning they can't drink cow's milk. It's usually best to avoid giving foxes cow's milk. However, puppy replacement formula and goat milk are usually appropriate for foxes.Is it OK to feed foxes? ›
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.Can you pet a fox? ›
'It depends on the fox but they can be quite aggressive when they get older. They might start out cute and cuddly but they may become aggressive - probably not toward the owner but towards other people. They might become quite fearful too – that's a general trait of red foxes.Do foxes leave gifts? ›
Foxes deposit their gifts as a way of marking a trail, food or territory. Raccoons like to create gift galleries, also known as latrines, thus they repeatedly go in the same place. When handling these gifts, be sure to protect yourself.Do foxes like bananas? ›
They are Obligate carnivores. They eat MEAT, not bananas.
What is a fox afraid of? ›
Bold foxes can be scared away by loud noises, water hoses, water guns and thrown objects, says the Humane Society. They also advise contacting your local “animal control agency, police department or health department” if a fox shows signs of rabies, mange or if your pet is bitten by a fox.How do you attract foxes? ›
Foxes may have a reputation for being opportunistic feeders that will eat anything, but luring one into an unfamiliar cage will take extra incentive. Foxes favor strong-smelling or super sweet foods like fish (fresh or canned), chicken, meat, and sugar-coated vegetables.Why you should not feed foxes? ›
Intentionally feeding foxes can lead to animals that are unnaturally bold or develop aggressive behavior. This type of behavior results in conflicts between wildlife and humans and can lead to the death of the animal.Can foxes 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.Do foxes like peanut butter? ›
If you're considering keeping red foxes as pets, you'll need to be aware of all the food these animals require. Fish, eggs, boneless poultry, jams, wet or dry dog food, and peanut butter sandwiches are all on the list of domestic treats they seem to like.Do foxes eat raw carrots? ›
In order to mimic their natural diet the foxes eat a raw diet. They get a variety of meats like quail, turkey, duck, rabbit, and other game animals she may have eaten in the wild. I mix this with some yummy veggies like green beans, carrots or peas.What happens if a fox bites you? ›
What should I do if I'm bitten by a fox? Thoroughly wash the wound with soap and water and seek immediate medical attention. Prompt medical care will prevent a rabies infection. Be sure to report the bite to your local animal control agency, police department or health department.Will a fox hurt you? ›
Fox “attacks”, usually minor bites, on people are extremely rare and, generally speaking, foxes are not a threat to humans. The number of attacks on cats and dogs each year is unknown, but seem to be of only minor significance relative to attacks on each other (i.e. dog on cat, or cat on cat).Will a fox hurt a dog? ›
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.How do u call a fox? ›
How to call foxes in daylight - YouTube
What is the best fox bait? ›
When it comes to fox baiting tips, the best bait for foxes is fish or fishy-smelling cat food, pork or other meat. Place the bait around the trap rather than only inside it. Avoid leaving your own scent on the trap, as this may prove to be a deterrent.Can you poison a fox? ›
Strychnine is the best poison to kill foxes. However, permission may be required to use it. It can be added to a bait such as chunk of meat which when consumed by fox would result in death. Foxoff is pre-poisoned bait with a small amount of sodium fluroacetate in it.Do foxes eat dog poop? ›
Dog poo forms a significant part of the diet of red foxes living in pine forests in the Scottish Highlands, a study has revealed. Researchers found that dog faeces has a calorific content similar to foxes' wild prey. But it is much easier to "hunt" - with the foxes feeding on it especially when wild prey is scarce.Can foxes eat bread? ›
Putting a little bit of stale bread out for the foxes is usually fine, as long as you aren't doing it so frequently and in such volumes that it's inviting spoilage, encouraging them to foul (poop) in your garden, and changing their behavior too much (i.e. they start to hang out in your garden during the day, or ...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.