Fox cubs enter the world deaf, blind and dependent on their mother’s milk, much like domestic dog puppies. The cubs start eating solid food at around four weeks old and are usually completely weaned by the time they are 12 weeks of age.
What can I feed foxes in my garden?
There is some controversy around feeding the foxes in your garden, but if you feed them in the right way, they can bring a huge amount of joy to your family.
- Trying to tame, touch or hand-feed foxes, especially in urban areas. As wild animals, they should be respected and deterred from becoming too bold. Many people are scared of urban foxes because they mistake their inquisitive behaviour for aggression.
- Putting out excessive amounts of food that could encourage foxes to become overconfident.
- Putting out food they can take away and cache. Offering something they can eat on the spot discourages them from digging up neighbours’ gardens!
- Leaving out food uneaten by foxes that could attract unwanted visitors like rats.
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.
Foxes can be fed all year round but should follow a set feeding routine. This encourages them to return to your garden at a certain time to wait for their meal. Food is less likely to be left standing, which in turn discourages rats.
Where do foxes live?
Foxes have been found to be in decline, with the population estimated at 357,000 in 2018. While the bulk of the UK’s fox population lives in the countryside, a 2017 study found that the UK’s urban fox population may be as high as 150,000.
Foxes are fantastic diggers and live underground in excavated burrows called dens or ‘earths’. Foxes can live above ground too, especially if they can find a sheltered spot.