Foxes are one of the most widespread mammals in the world, spread across nearly 30 different species, from the Arctic to the Tropics. Their diet varies from place to place and also from species to species. Being members of the dog family, foxes are also kept in parts of the world as exotic pets. During winter, many people like to support their furry friends from the wild or take care of the ones at their homes. With the onset of winter, many people want to know what they can feed foxes during winter. Therefore to clear all doubts, we bring you our today’s article, “What Can I feed Foxes in Winter (All Winter Foods).”
What Can I Feed Foxes In Winter?
To explain what to feed foxes in winter, we have to categorize foxes into two groups:
a) The Ones In The Wild
So let us first discuss what to feed the foxes in the wild in winter. Foxes are omnivorous beings that feed on a wide spectrum of foods like vegetables, berries, and fruits, as well as animals like rabbits and smaller rodents like mice.
During winters, ground-grown food like vegetables and berries are not easily available. Therefore, foxes mainly rely on animals for their diet. Since foxes do not hibernate, therefore they must eat to sustain themselves during the snow-clad winters.
Foxes rely on rodents like rabbits, mice, rats, squirrels, etc., in the wild for their diet. So what you can feed them can mostly comprise meat if you strictly want to adhere to its natural winter diet.
However, you can also give them some fruits or plant products in addition to supplying them with micronutrients, vitamins, and fibers. If these become too hectic for you, you may simply put some regular dog feed or other such canine food in a bowl or tray outside.
Wandering foxes that visit your neighborhood can easily smell the food using their heightened olfactory senses. Supplementary food does wonder their help to support the already declining canine population in the wild.
b) And The Ones That Stay In Captivity Or As Exotic Pets
Next comes foxes which live in captivity or houses as exotic pets. Meat consists of an amino acid known as Taurine, which is found abundant in meats. Foxes in the wild generally obtain it by hunting or scavenging.
Since captive foxes do not need to hunt, therefore it becomes important to properly formulate their diet according to the seasons to keep them healthy. Mice (pre-killed and free from pesticides), pinkies, or rabbit meat (if available) can serve as some crucial foods for your pet fox.
Red or Siberian foxes, which are slightly larger than fennec foxes, can enjoy a rat or sometimes a rabbit, while fennec foxes usually keep to mice and other smaller rodents.
The majority of your pet fox’s diet should primarily consist of protein, independent of the source. Since foxes also feed on invertebrates in the wild, therefore insects like mealworms, crickets, or other insects that are available in pet stores can serve as essential food items.
Best Winter Foods For Foxes:
Best Foods For Wild Foxes:
a) Animal Products:
- Raw meat
- Dog pellets or other canine foods
- Chunk of Cheese
b) Plant Products:
Best Foods For Pet Foxes:
a) Animal Products:
- Raw meat
- Tinned Dog or Cat foods
b) Plant Products:
- Berries etc
How Can I Feed Foxes In Winter?
Supporting wildlife during critical times may help many animals in the wild, but we must follow specific ways to prevent any deviations from the natural ways. Let us dig deeper and find out how to feed foxes in the winter.
a) Wild Foxes
Well, coming to feeding wild foxes, we must be particularly careful. Woods are pristine and should be kept away from human activities. When we are feeding meat or such products, we need to be sure that they are not contaminated with chemicals or preservatives.
Such chemicals may cause digestive disorders in the animal and may later result in bioaccumulation, followed by biomagnifications in the natural food web. The same goes for berries and fruits.
It is advisable to wash them carefully, free of chemicals, before you place them outside for wild foxes. You can place a bowl or a tray outside in your lawn or backyard, which is frequented by foxes.
The feeding tray must be cleaned regularly to prevent any unnecessary animal from getting attracted to it. An additional bowl with some water can also work wonders.
b) Pet Foxes
Now, let’s talk about pet foxes. Most of the procedures are quite similar to the ones mentioned above. While feeding mice or rats to pet foxes, make sure they aren’t from your homes or the ones caught in rattraps, as they might contain harmful chemicals in them like pesticides, rat kills, etc.
You must procure these animals only from a trustworthy source, and it is advisable to feed the animal whole, as every organ, like the skins and intestines, have its benefits.
Simply feeding them protein-rich sources like chicken breasts won’t do the job perfectly. While feeding insects like crickets, or grasshoppers, make sure that you do not remove the gut and keep it intact.
You can feed vegetables daily, like mixed frozen veggies, cherry tomatoes, etc. The amount may vary depending on the animal species and size. Fruits, however, need to be given in small amounts, occasionally like treats, unlike vegetables.
Care must be taken to keep the diet as natural as possible. Foxes may develop a taste for several human foods and sweets; we must refrain from feeding them such items. A regular checkup from the bet is a must to make sure that your exotic furry pet is healthy.
Here we come to the end of our today’s article, “What Can I Feed Foxes in Winter.” Stay tuned for many more such articles shortly, only on this website.
The Spruce Pets- What to Feed Your Pet Foxes
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A zoology student turned writer. Nature has always been a magnet to me, and to unearth some of its secrets through my articles is my prime intention. If not engaging myself with nature and anime content, you can always find me going through some Bengali classics or filling the air with some soulful Tabla beats. An artist, trying to throw some colors to my blank canvas of life.