What Do Foxes Eat
What Do Foxes Eat?
The answer to "what do foxes eat?" may or may not surprise you. We grew up to believe that high on the list of a fox's favorite food is the chicken. "A fox in the hen house" and a "fox guarding the hen house" are all too familiar phrases, and for years in and around farms the fox's main enemy was probably the shotgun.
A fox will still raid a hen house given the chance, but if the chicken's pen is well fenced in, and there are other food sources available, the fox will usually leave the chickens alone. Chicken farmers have long since realized that the fox is a valuable animal to have around, as it feeds on rodents and other pests. It also does most of its hunting at night, so is not apt to bother chickens which roam around the yard in the daytime. The fox is also a very shy animal, and is unlikely to enter an area when humans are about.
What Do Foxes Eat In The Wild? - In the wild, foxes will eat quite a variety of things. The fox is somewhat opportunistic when it comes to its choice of food. They eat mainly small rodents, or for that matter any small animal. The fox itself is not particularly large, seldom weighing more than 10 pounds, so it will stick to a diet of squirrels, rabbits (both wild and domestic) mice, and virtually anything they can catch. They've even been known to take on a muskrat which has strayed too far from the water's edge.
The fox is not known to give dogs any trouble, partly because many dogs are larger than the fox, and even smaller breeds are capable of putting up a fight, something the fox is generally reluctant to do when in search of a meal. The fox is not known for giving cats too much of a problem either, though that could because a cat is fast on its feet, and can be difficult to sneak up on, which is the way a fox hunts.
Foxes will eat birds, young ones in the nest certainly, and mature ones when they can catch one. The also will eat a bird's eggs should they happen upon a nest. Foxes hear low frequency sounds very well, and are every bit as good as a robin when it comes to hearing something burrowing beneath the surface of the ground. A mole near the surface would stand little chance against a fox. Fruits, berries and insects round out the fox's diet in the wild.
What Do Foxes Eat In The City? - The fox is a member of the canine family, which includes coyotes, wolves and dogs. Like coyotes, the fox has little trouble in adjusting to an urban environment, and will gladly help itself to dog food, it the dog is not nearby, or the garbage pail. Foxes have even been observed on occasion eating pizza crusts. We don't often catch them in the act, since they are a very shy animal.
What Do Foxes Eat When Newborn? - Newborn foxes, called pups, like dogs are born blind. They survive on their mother's milk for the first few weeks of life. Eventually, the mother will leave the den, hunt, and return to feed the pups regurgitated food. A little later she'll bring small animals such as mice for them to eat. It's not unusual for the mother to bring home a live mouse for the young foxes to play with. This way they learn to hunt for their prey. What starts as play, isn't that way for the mouse of course.
Because of the variety in its diet, and its ability to easily adapt from wilderness to an urban environment, the fox isn't apt to disappear any time soon, at least due to starvation. Its primary predator is the human, so if we take care to preserve the species, it should be with us for a good long time.