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 eat for their diet? ›
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.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 the diet of the red fox? ›
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.What do foxes eat in the city? ›
Foxes have developed strong stomachs and immune systems, so they're unlikely to be affected by rotting food scraps. Urban foxes primarily scavenge for food, but when they hunt it is usually for birds or small mammals such as rats and mice, helping to keep rodent numbers under control.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.Can I feed a fox 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.What fruit do foxes 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.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.Do fox eat apples? ›
Foxes like fruit and will eat most seasonal fruit, they seem to be especially fond of apples.
Can foxes eat chocolate? ›
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.Do foxes eat fish? ›
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.Do fox 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.Where do fox live and eat? ›
Foxes usually live in forested areas, though they are also found in mountains, grasslands and deserts. They make their homes by digging burrows in the ground. These burrows, also called dens, provide a cool area to sleep, a good location to store food and a safe place to have their pups.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.What are foxes favorite things? ›
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.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.Will a fox eat tomatoes? ›
Foxes love vegetables like frozen vegetables, cherry tomatoes, and they would eat them all through the day.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.Do fox like 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”.
Can you feed a fox? ›
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.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 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 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.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 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.What a fox needs to survive? ›
Red foxes are solitary hunters who feed on rodents, rabbits, birds, and other small game—but their diet can be as flexible as their home habitat. Foxes will eat fruit and vegetables, fish, frogs, and even worms. If living among humans, foxes will opportunistically dine on garbage and pet food.Do fox hide their food? ›
In snowy weather, when food may be hard to find, having some cached in the ground, in low holes in trees or other places may tide them over. Foxes, like this hungry little red fox, often hedge against starving by caching food in small portions throughout their territory.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 like fruit? ›
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.Do fox eats chicken? ›
The fox is the most feared chicken-killer. It is smart, sly and savvy, and it strikes when your guard is down. Unlike other predators, foxes leave little evidence of an attack, but they will just as cleanly pick off your chickens as any other predator.Do foxes like 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. Then apples, sweet potatoes, peaches, or raspberries.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.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)Is onion poisonous to foxes? ›
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 bark? ›
Foxes also commonly bark, which is generally used as another type of contact call to reach out to friends or rivals, Harris said. The bark sounds similar to that of a dog, except slightly higher pitched and sometimes shrill.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.What animal kills fox? ›
Bears, mountain lions, eagles, and wolves eat foxes. Animals like bears, mountain lions, birds like eagles, certain reptiles, wolves, and lynxes eat foxes. As for reptiles, only boas and pythons conveniently eat foxes because of their large body sizes – other snakes generally cannot feed on animals the size of foxes.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 Lions eat fox? ›
Predators. Young red foxes are primarily preyed upon by eagles and coyotes. Mature red foxes can be attacked by larger animals, including bears, wolves and mountain lions. Humans are the most significant predator of adult foxes, who are often hunted for fur or killed because they are considered pests.Is fox a cat or dog? ›
Biological Characteristics. The biological answer to whether foxes are cats or dogs is simple: they belong to the Canidae family, which means they are dogs.Is fox a dog? ›
How foxes and dogs are different. Foxes and dogs are members of the same animal family, canidae, but their lineage splits off from there. While dogs are domesticated members of the canis genus, foxes belong to several different, non-canis genera (that's the plural form of genus).Are all foxes red? ›
Red foxDo foxes like to 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.What are 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.Do foxes like chicken? ›
They are intelligent and love the taste of chicken. Free ranged chickens are the most at risk for fox attacks. If you have a fox attacking your birds, you may want to consider keeping them in a secure coop. Foxes will try to dig under the sides of the coop to get to your chickens.Will a fox eat a cat? ›
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.Should you put food out for 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.What is poisonous to foxes? ›
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.
Do fox eat dogs? ›
Even for small dogs, it's a rare occurrence. However, you should definitely be aware of the potential danger and take steps to mitigate it. Foxes don't often attack and eat dogs, but any hungry wild predator could be a danger to any domesticated animal that's small enough to be a meal!Do foxes eat dead 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. However, foxes will scavenge the remains of dead cats, but actual evidence of them killing cats is extremely rare.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.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 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.What if my dog eats 1080? ›
Take your dog to your nearest veterinarian as soon as possible, do not to wait until symptoms occur. If there will be a delay in getting your dog to a veterinarian clinic, call the Animal Poisons Centre or nearest veterinarian for advice which may include a recommendation to induce vomiting before arriving at a vet.Do foxes hurt pets? ›
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.