What Do Foxes Eat: Fox Diet!

Foxes eat a broad variety of things in the wild. However, their diet is predominantly meat-based. In general, they will hunt animals when accessible and available, but if they can’t get meat, foxes have no problems eating vegetables and fruit. They like high-protein, fatty meals such as fish, eggs, and small birds. They do, however, appreciate both sweet and savory meals such as plants, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and dairy. 

What A Fox Eats

Foxes are technically omnivores since they eat anything ranging from small birds to vegetables to fruits and meat. However, what do foxes eat and their diet changes based on what is available and where they are living. In addition, foxes typically are called scavengers and predators thus unsecured garbage cans, fallen fruit, and food scraps may attract this wildlife creature.

When we talk about “what do foxes eat” in general we see that this wildlife creature often prefers to feed on birds and animals including rodents, rabbits and a wide array of small mammals available.

Foxes in the wild, make an attempt to kill an animal once or twice a week. This indicates that they also need other significant sources of food as well. Hence most of the foxes usually turn to eat numerous insects whereas others might eat wild grass, berries, mushrooms, nuts and more if necessity dictates.

In addition, since this creature is considered an opportunistic eater, foxes don’t bother to pass up a good meal, even if it’s not killed by them. Thus, the dead carcasses that this wildlife comes across are open game. Moreover, they are also kind of surplus killers, which reflects that foxes will kill and arrange food more than they need to eat at once. They tend to hide it for later consumption as well.

What Do Foxes Eat: Their Routine Diet?

As stated, foxes are omnivores by nature. Thus, they will eat a wide range of foods from fruits to vegetables as well as meat. Since their diet is significantly meat-based, foxes will generally hunt small animals wherever available. However, in case of the non-availability of animals, they will settle for plants and grass as well.

Foxes considerably enjoy eating eggs, fatty foods like fish, high protein, carbs and birds. In addition to that, this creature enjoys savory and sweet foods as well including dairy, nuts and more. Are you still curious and want to know “what do foxes eat”? Below mentioned is their diet which is categorized into 15 different categories.

  • Eggs
  • Birds
  • Fruits
  • Frogs
  • Crabs
  • Seeds
  • Fungi
  • Insects
  • Worms
  • Rabbits
  • Reptiles
  • Rodents
  • Raccoons
  • Mollusks
  • Vegetables

Furthermore, if a fox lives near to humans and proximities close to humans, they will likely eat leftover food and trash as well.

What Do Foxes Eat in The Wild?

What do foxes eat in the wild, varies according to their natural habitat, seasons, climate change and environment? For instance, in typical northern climates, they will likely eat cold-adapted mammals including snowshoe hares, lemmings and more. However, foxes that live generally in south regions are supposed to eat more warm-adapted animals.

During summer these wildlife creatures tend to consume more insects, fruits and vegetation. However, during winter, this animal is supposed to eat small mammals. Furthermore, the difference in terms of “what do foxes eat” also exists from species to species.

For instance, one of the largest species of fox is the red fox that’s also one of the most distributed fox species all over the world. This certain type of fox species usually feeds on various small mammals including ground, mice, voles, gerbils, hamsters, squirrels, gophers, woodchucks, rats, and more. In addition, they will also consume eggs, waterfowl, and songbirds.

Furthermore, foxes may also target relatively larger prey for their food including opossums, raccoons, porcupines, and more. Moreover, what foxes eat includes fish, reptiles, and insects, as well as their diet, is also based on plant material and fruits like plums, acorns, apples, berries, and more.

READ MORE:  Are Foxes Nocturnal?

What Do Foxes Eat At Night?

When it is night, foxes will typically prey on carrion and might also make an attempt to target poultry farms as well. In addition, foxes that live in urban close to urban populations will likely eat pigeons, rats, and more.

What Is A Pet Fox’s Diet?

Do you planning to get a fox but don’t know what do foxes eat? As stated, foxes are wild animals and raised in captivity still they shouldn’t be treated like domesticated dogs. However, there was only one breed known as the Russian red fox, that was particularly bred for domestication. This creature isn’t normally domesticated although they require a lot of attention and care as well as need to have adequate nutrition and a balanced diet to survive and remain healthy. A diet combining all fruits, vegetables and raw meat is essential for optimal health and overall wellbeing.

Furthermore, the proper diet for a pet fox also includes an adequate balance of minerals, fats, vitamins, proteins and carbohydrates. Moreover, a pet fox can also consume high-quality dog food. Nevertheless, it is important to adjust and maintain the right proportion according to their individual nutritional requirements and needs. In addition, you may also obtain specially formulated fox treats prepared to keep in mind their certain needs and requirements that contain a high amount of taurine, minerals and protein. Moreover, you may also include a small and balanced amount of vegetables and fruits in their diet. A few of the foods that a fox might like to consume include:

  • Eggs
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Raw meat
  • Mushrooms
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries

In addition, a pet fox that you have recently domesticated should also get a fairly enough supply of insects if you let them outside of the home. Moreover, alternatively, you may also include live insects in their treat including crickets, grubs, beetles, grasshoppers, caterpillars, lizards and more. Nevertheless, the fox isn’t an animal that is supposed to consume each fruit, vegetation and food. Certain kinds of foods are toxic to their health and evident to harm them including:

  • Garlic
  • Grains
  • Onions
  • Caffeine
  • Avocados
  • Chocolate
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Pits and seeds from the fruit

Baby Fox Diet: What Do Foxes Eat?

Kits or baby foxes are born blind and rely solely on their elders or parents for food. Baby foxes for the first three weeks consume only the regurgitated meat that their parents feed them. However, once they are able to consume whole food, their mother is likely to bring them small live prey such as insects and mice depending on what they will like to eat. In addition, in order to eat prey food, constantly trying to kill live prey teaches them skills that they will need to survive in the wild. Juvenile foxes, by the time they would go hunting with their parents, will have most of the abilities they require to target and kill the small prey for food consumption.

Do you have a baby pet fox that’s in the weaning phase? Are you wondering what you should feed it? You may try feeding it a puppy milk formula. It will help provide your fox baby with complete nutrition that is required for their good health and survival in the early stage of their life.

However, when around 1 month old, you can start feeding your pet fox solid treats and foods as well. Make sure that you can start with an all-meat diet as it would be best for them to gain an adequate amount of nutrition including protein, minerals and more. You may feed your fox raw rabbit, rodents, chicken and more depending on what it likes to eat easily. Furthermore, you may also supplement live insects in its diet as well as a combination of fruits and vegetables. Over time you may also add more food as your baby fox transition into adulthood.

What do you know about the eating habits of foxes? It’s obvious that these exceptional animals have unique behavioral and visual characteristics. In fact, foxes are different from other animals in their unique hunting and eating habits. But have you ever wondered what do foxes eat?

Those small mammals manage to adapt to new environments pretty quickly, and their eating habits are mainly changed according to their adjustments. Their habits help them to be exceptionally good hunters. Follow the article and let’s find out together more about what do foxes eat. 

READ MORE:  Fennec Fox - Fun Facts, Eating Habits & Habitat

Behavioral Characteristics of Foxes

Foxes come from the Canidae family. However, unlike the other canids, they have a bushy tails, slender legs, pointy noses, and triangle-like ears. Those amazing creatures’ sight, smell, and hearing senses are highly developed. In most cases, a typical fox is described as being sly, quick, and tricky. Well, those descriptions are not without a reason. The fox has all those traits, and each of them helps in being a smart predator. 

Some may assume that they are carnivores. But the truth is that they are considered to be omnivorous animals. Their opportunistic nature allows them to eat anything that comes in their way and is easy to get.

Hunting Habits Of Foxes

To explore what do foxes eat, first, it is important to observe their hunting habits. They are nocturnal animals, meaning that they mainly come out to hunt in the evening or at night. However, it’s not uncommon to see a fox out and about at twilight and in daylight. Foxes are very quiet hunters. They would rather sneak up on their prey and catch them off guard.

However, if they need to, they do not have a problem running and catching prey if necessary. Red foxes, for example, can sprint up to 30 miles per hour, whereas gray foxes may run up to 40 miles. 

Foxes tend to pounce on pincer prey, break the neck or back, and then slit the throat with their sharp teeth. If the prey is so large that the fox cannot eat it in one go, they have a habit of storing the leftovers and coming back later to them. 

The hearing, smelling, and sight senses are so developed in foxes that they can freely hunt at night. They can move their ears independently, and this gives them the possibility to turn them in the direction of the sound.

The sense of smell helps to find the exact location of the animals, even if they are under the ground. Once they smell something under the ground, they start digging. They are exceptionally proficient diggers and can burrow in rocks, dirt, and even ice. In there, they mostly find insects, worms, and rodents. 

The vision allows them to see the prey at night. Their vision field is 260 degrees. It is concentrated on movement detection. The vision of foxes is somewhat similar to that of cats and dogs. 

Foxes Eating?

They eat carrion left by bigger predators. When living in urban areas and around humans, they will sneak into the trash cans and eat the leftover food from there.

Here is a list of what do foxes eat and enjoy in general: 

  • Bird eggs
  • Birds
  • Fruit
  • Vegetable
  • Berries 
  • Insects
  • Rodents
  • Worms
  • Raccoons
  • Rabbits
  • Fungi
  • Reptiles
  • Frogs
  • Carrion

Foxes drink water and get hydrated from the streams, puddles, and rivers that are in the area. Those animals can go a long time without water. If they live in harsher conditions, they consume the needed liquid from the prey or the vegetation.

What Do Foxes Eat In A Cold Climate?

Foxes are found in different biomes and environments. They live in the cities, suburbs, forests, Iceland, and even the deserts. So, what do foxes eat is mainly dependent on the area they live in. For example, the foxes that live closer to the north pole and are exposed to the cold and strict climate have different food preferences. 

Arctic foxes are known to be residents of the northern, cold climate. Their visual characteristics and habits have adapted to the coldness of the tundra. However, it is interesting to see what do foxes eat in such a strict living environment. Well, their eating preferences include:

  • Lemmings
  • Voles
  • Mice
  • Birds
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Carrion
  • Snowshoe hare

Lemmings are the most important part of the fox’s diet in the north. It is so significant that the number of lemmings in the area determines the reproduction rate of the foxes. 

What Do Foxes Eat In A Warm Climate?

In the warmer climate, the fox’s eating preferences are a little different. Here, they eat everything they find, starting with the small mammals and ending with the vegetation. 

For example, one of the most widespread fox species, the red fox, mainly feeds on this diet: 

READ MORE:  Fox Personality - Unique Traits Of Mysterious Animals

Also, in the warmer climate, where the vegetation is denser, the foxes also enjoy eating vegetables, berries, and fruit such as acorns, apples, pears, and plums. If you have a farm, you will need to watch out for foxes. They are often seen sneaking into the farms and kidnapping poultry.

The Fennec fox is mainly seen in the Sahara desert and other areas where temperatures can get pretty high. Mostly, they feed on the insects and lizards that are hidden beneath the sand. They also enjoy eating birds, rodents, eggs, and rabbits. 

What Do Foxes Eat as Babies?

Fox babies are usually born deaf and blind. So, they are absolutely dependent on their parents. Newborns are fed the mother’s milk for nourishment. In the first weeks of their lives, the kits are fed regurgitated meat that their mothers provide. Then the slow transition moves them to the whole meal. After two weeks from birth, parents bring them small live prey such as insects and mice. 

Babies start to practice killing the live prey in the den. After the slow transition from the den to the wild, they get more and more adapted to their hunting habits and live food. 

What Do Foxes Eat in Captivity?

Even captive-raised foxes have wild instincts and should not be handled like dogs or other domestic animals. However, many people have them as pets. Pet foxes require a great deal of care and special treatment, including feeding. Pet foxes need special food in addition to plenty of exercise and space to run in order to be healthy.     

No matter if the fox is held in the home as a pet, in the zoo, or in another facility, they require a balanced diet and nutritious food. Food needs to provide proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Pet foxes can be fed high-quality dog food too. However, it needs to be grain-free. When they are outside, they can also hunt insects. Other than what do foxes eat in captivity, the following treats and additions must be included in the diet: 

  • Berries
  • Eggs
  • Apples 
  • Meat
  • Vegetable 
  • Fruit
  • Crickets
  • Beetles
  • Grasshoppers
  • Grubs
  • Caterpillars

Some foods can be toxic to the foxes, so you will need to avoid feeding them. For example, the foods that need to be avoided are avocados, grains, grapes, chocolate, garlic, and sweets.

Do Foxes Eat Cats?

The question of foxes eating cats has been the subject of debate for a long time now. Many people believe that foxes eat cats. However, it is not entirely true. Foxes and cats have many similarities. One of those similarities is that they hunt around the same time of the day and prey on the same animals. So, the chance of them encountering each other is pretty high. 

Normally, when foxes see large cats, they just sneak off and run away. They are so smart to know that the cat can be deadly to them. However, foxes are opportunistic predators. In rare cases, if the fox finds a cat that is small in size, too old, or hurt, the fox will attack it and possibly eat it. 

Interesting Facts about what do foxes eat

  • Some Fennec foxes are seen climbing the palm tree to reach its fruit. 
  • Lemmings are the main part of the diet for foxes who live in the north. 
  • Foxes will eat tomatoes and cactus fruit to survive and stay hydrated in the harsh season.
  • If water is limited in the environment, foxes choose prey that is more “liquidy” and absorb the needed amount from them. 
  • Foxes can hear the mouth squick as far as 100 meters away
  • Foxes have the ability to move their ears independently. 

Bottom Line

It is hard to say exactly what do foxes eat. They are opportunistic eaters, so they can consume anything that becomes available to them. Foxes can modify their meal preferences depending on the living environment, season, and other factors. They enjoy eating meat the most. However, in summer, fruits and vegetables also become a significant part of their diet.

Foxes are unique animals, and therefore, their eating habits are no less interesting. They are incredibly gifted hunters and can survive even in unimaginably harsh environments.

Summing It Up

It is one of the popular misconceptions that foxes only eat rabbits, mice, trash and vegetables. However, the reality is different as this wildlife creature eats a wide array of food including fruits, insects and more as well.

Foxes, in a nutshell, being omnivores eat eggs, fish, worms, crabs, seeds, berries fungi, carrion and more. However, their diet preferences vary in accordance with their dietary preferences, availability of food the species, habitat and more.

Leave a Comment