What Do Foxes Eat? They Spend Their Day Foraging for Food

Posted by Christy Caplan
Red Fox

Foxes are extremely opportunistic and will eat anything (like my chickens) they can find. Foxes can eat a large variety of different foods.

These food types range from mushrooms, berries, fruit and, of course, small animals. What they eat varies during the seasons.

They also wade into shallow water to feed on fish!

General diet: they're omnivorous

Each season brings a different menu for foxes. In spring, they enjoy birds' eggs and earthworms. They will also wade into shallow water for fish and crabs. In the summer, they eat insects like crickets, beetles and caterpillars, as well as frogs and mice. In the fall, it's fruit and berries like blackberries, apples and persimmons, plus acorns, sedges and tubers. 

What's their favorite fruit, though? Foxes seem to particularly enjoy eating wild apples.

Foxes are mainly carnivorous, so most of their diet consists of small animals. Foxes feed on things like mice, birds, voles, eggs and amphibians.

Three of the most searched questions about what foxes eat are:

  • Do foxes eat rabbits? Yes!
  • Do foxes eat deer? Rarely but will sometimes kill fawns.
  • Do foxes eat owls? Yes, but they must be stealthy.

How do they hunt?

They hunt alone and are more closely related to cats than wolves who hunt in packs.

Foxes will scavenge meat, including scraps of meat left behind by larger predators. They will even scavenge any food that humans leave lying around, so put your garbage away. 

What about foxes that are pets?

Foxes need a diet that closely resembles what they'll eat in the wild. Since foxes are omnivores, a balanced diet for a "pet fox" includes vitamins, minerals, meat, vegetables and other foods.

Pet foxes should be offered a formulated fox food (that contains taurine and grain-free dog food is ok) along with pre-killed mice and small rats, depending on the size of the fox. Some owners feed their adult fox raw meat, but this should be researched.

These carnivores need meat (remember they eat small mammals), though, so check on the formulated fox food you're planning to feed them and look at the ingredients.

A fox's diet should also have insects (grasshoppers) since this is a major food source for them in the wild. A few teaspoons of veggies should also be given to your pet fox every day. Fruit should be considered a treat!

Wild foxes don't eat grain, so you shouldn't feed them wheat, rice or oats.

Generally, most foxes like fox cubs, arctic foxes, fennec foxes and red foxes all have similar diets as wild animals.

Do you know anyone that shares their home with a pet fox? We'd love to hear more! Please leave a comment below!

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What Do Foxes Eat? They Spend Their Day Foraging for Food