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linseylou
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hello everyone

Postby linseylou » Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:29 pm

Hi, I currently own a great pyrenees and a very mean tailless kitten. Soon I hope to add an arctic fox to my family:) I've done enough research to know that they are legal where I live as long as they have a health certificate and I've researched their behavior and their housing needs as well. I've found a vet near my house that will see an arctic fox as well. I know their is still lots for me to learn and I hope that I can learn some of it through y'all. icon-smile
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I share my life with 4 red foxes,2 raccoons, a couple human children, my hubby, dogs,and a snake
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Re: hello everyone

Postby Cindy23323 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:26 pm

Welcome to the forum
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Ash
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Re: hello everyone

Postby Ash » Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:21 pm

Hi, Linsey, and welcome to the forum. Arctics are very beautiful foxes. What type of arctic you want? I like the polar coloration. Those are the ones that are gray/brown/yellow in the summer and then big and poofy white in the winter.

Keep up researching, and ask as many questions as you want. Search through the forums and read as much as you can. The care required for arctics is the same for red foxes, so learning about reds is going to teach you almost everything you need to know about keeping arctics. ;)
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, salamander, 3 tarantulas
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Re: hello everyone

Postby linseylou » Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:24 pm

I think I want either the polar arctic like you talked about or the shadow arctic. I'm excited to learn all the care needed for them and a little more about their personality. I especially want to know what the "preferred" food for them and if there's a difference in getting a male or a female, like do males mark more or is one of the genders more personable? I've wanted a fox since I was five yrs old and have owned lots of different animals in the past, including rats, gerbils, ferrets, chinchillas, dogs, cats, rabbits, and chickens. so I have tons of experience with animals in general, but never a fox and I think it's time to take the challenge icon-smile
You are forever responsible for what you've tamed, responsible pet ownership starts with you.
I share my life with 4 red foxes,2 raccoons, a couple human children, my hubby, dogs,and a snake
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Re: hello everyone

Postby Ash » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:45 pm

Cool. A member who hasn't been active for a long time named Ragtatter has the best most-researched diet for foxes. Hers is a red fox, but it is amazing for arctics as well, and members here feed it to their arctics. Here it is: http://www.thepetfox.net/2010/08/fox-food-recipe-maintenance-diet.html

The foxes on this diet ("Gizmo Burgers") flourish and are extremely healthy with shiny coats. The only thing that might be better would be feeding whole mice, whole chicken (like including organs, bones, fur, etc) and then veggies they would find in the wild--but then you couldn't be as exact with portioning. When I get more freezer space once I move this winter I am switching over to Ragtatter's diet. I believe my fox has gained a little weight, though it may just be some winter fat, so it would be great to switch him soon.

Male or female, it will be the same. Either will make a fantastic pet. I own a male but worked with the most charming female fox prior to bringing my boy home. If I could have brought that female home and adopt her, I would have in a heartbeat.

However, I have also interacted with a male and females that weren't as friendly, but they weren't socialized nearly as well as my red and the female (mentioned above) I worked with.

Both genders will stink the same, and neutering/spaying isn't going to stop that behavior, no sir. :roll: It's the urine that smells though, not the fox. I keep hearing people who got foxes this year being like "my fox doesn't stink at all!" or "because of the color of my fox, it doesn't stink!" Well, foxes themselves don't stink, so what they're saying is true, but it's the URINE that stinks skunky and powerfully. So there isn't really a special color or anything that will cure that. Smell may be slightly less depending on color, but certainly not something to go by, and certainly not something one should advertise broadly because it will give people the wrong idea.

Be sure to get an outdoor enclosure for your fox. Reds, arctics, and grays cannot live indoors 24/7, and this is a fact that must be stressed. You must have an outdoor enclosure before you bring the fox home, because you will want to put it out there sooner than you think, and if you encounter behavior problems early on, putting them outside will almost always either get rid of the problems entirely, or drastically.

An enclosure should be as big as you can afford with a top and a bottom. Foxes will climb out or dig out if you don't have the top or bottom. Many people put foxes on cement so that they can hose it down and also so they don't have to worry about the fox digging out. A minimum enclosure size is 10X10X6--with "6" being the height. Yes, foxes can survive and be happy in smaller (think of fur farms, and I've also seen foxes kept in 6X8s happily), but if you're going to buy a fox, get it the best. Don't try to meet the minimum--go above and beyond, or don't get a fox. My fox's enclosure is bigger than what I recommended as the minimum, but in my opinion, it is still too small. I will be building a bigger enclosure this spring once I have moved, and hopefully keep expanding it over time.

I like to stress the enclosure part because there have been people in the fox community who just got their first foxes this year who claim you don't need one as long as you're a "neat freak." Sure. That's like saying you can keep a horse in the house as long as you're a neat freak. By that logic you could keep a descented skunk too as long as you were "extra-diligent." It's a pet-peeve of mine, so sorry if I come across strongly on this subject. :P

Anyway! I hope this helps. :) I look forward to hearing more about the progress you make and following your adventure towards pursuing your dream of owning a fox. Keep asking questions if you have any.
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, salamander, 3 tarantulas
linseylou
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Re: hello everyone

Postby linseylou » Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:11 am

I plan on having an outside enclosure before I bring the fox home icon-smile . But with a baby, which is what I plan on getting, is a chainlink fence going to keep it in while it's young? I already have a very large dog crate for it when it's really small that belonged to my great pyrenees but she didn't like it. I've thought of using chicken wire on the bottom and top of the fence so that he/she can't escape that way, but should I put something on top of the chicken wire so that the fox isn't walking on it? Maybe like hay or cedar chips or gravel? Or is putting it on concrete the best way to go?
You are forever responsible for what you've tamed, responsible pet ownership starts with you.
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Re: hello everyone

Postby Trefoil » Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:44 pm

Concrete isn't good for them to be standing on, unless maybe covered by rubber mats. Chicken wire can't keep a fox out of the chicken yard so I wouldn't trust it to keep a fox in. Just like for a chicken run you can alternately either fence or use a rat wall around the perimeter of the fence. If you bury wire it must be deeper than a fox digs. Your run should be large enough to have play equipment to keep your fox occupied, 10 x 10 just don't cut it.
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Re: hello everyone

Postby Ash » Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:18 pm

Concrete is okay for their paws. It's actually a common misconception that it hurts them. People complain about big cats in zoos not having grass beneath their feet, but they really don't know the difference. People like the look of natural grass and dirt, but an animal doesn't know any better and doesn't really care. Fable has been fine for 2 years and 8 months on concrete. If anything, it keeps his nails duller--which is nice.

But be sure to put in some levels (like made out of wood) though and maybe some logs in case the concrete gets too cold in the winter. Plus, they like having things to jump up on and run across. You can also put straw down in the wintertime to keep their feet warmer. But remember, foxes walk through snow and sleep in it all the time in the wild and they are perfectly fine and healthy. An insulated den box is good though to keep them out of harsh weather.

When they're tiny, keep them indoors. That way they can't squeeze out through the diamonds or get their heads stuck. Once they're a little bit bigger and more dependent though it's okay to put them out there. Fable has been able to pull apart the chain link diamonds though, so I'm not sure how I feel about the chain link anymore. This isn't the first time he's pulled it out of place, and he chewed through the wires I used to fasten down the diamonds. If you go with chain link, get something durable and well put together. I bought my panels new at Home Depot though and he still pulled them apart.
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, salamander, 3 tarantulas
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Re: hello everyone

Postby linseylou » Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:34 pm

So, what would be the best material for the outside play area? and what should i put on top and at the bottom to keep the fox in? also, what kinds of entertainment do foxes prefer inside their outside house? I know they like to be up high sometimes like a cat, but what else should we put in to entertain it?
You are forever responsible for what you've tamed, responsible pet ownership starts with you.
I share my life with 4 red foxes,2 raccoons, a couple human children, my hubby, dogs,and a snake
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Re: hello everyone

Postby Ash » Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:43 am

Chain link is good, just be sure that it's good chain link. Home Depot's wasn't well put together, even the new panels. He got out on the first day, but that's because I installed a panel "upside down"--though that shouldn't have mattered but it did because it was poorly made. If you buy chain link make sure the diamonds are all tied down with the same type of metal wire, same gauge. Otherwise a fox will be able to chew through and then undo the diamonds with pulling.

Look for something that is at the very minimum 14 or 12 gauge. For gauge, the smaller the better.

Maybe others can post pics of the kennels they are using. There are some other really durable cages that aren't woven diamonds like chain link, but instead the wire is all welded together. Welded is best.

Cement on the bottom and chain link on top of the enclosure (regardless of what it's made out of) are pretty safe to go with. Even burying the chain link is good, just make sure it is fastened to the bottom of the enclosure so they can't dig out/squeeze through.

Horse panels that are welded wire are typically a strong gauge, and can be cheaper than chain link. That's what I'm going to go with from now on whenever building anything that's going to be outdoor. It's a solid piece, nothing woven. Here's a picture of a panel: http://www.tractorsupply.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?urlRequestType=Base&catalogId=10051&storeId=10151&productId=12994&langId=-1&errorViewName=ProductDisplayErrorView&categoryId=&parent_category_rn=&top_category=&urlLangId=&cm_vc=-10005

As you can see, the one from Tractor Supply is cheaper than most chain link panels, and it's much longer. You could do two of these on top of each other, and have the dimensions be 16X16X10 (height). That would be a nice size, very roomy, and tall. You could put in a lot of different levels and tall things for the fox to climb up on, and you would have plenty of head space when you went into the enclosure.

My new enclosure plan that I'm going to start in the spring for Fable is going to be 32X16X10 (height) made out of the horse panels. I would like to pour concrete and then put some gravel over the top, maybe dirt (though that could make the concrete crack faster, I think). I haven't quite decided what I'm going to use on the top--maybe just a 5' panel sloping inward at the top at 45 degrees so he can't climb out.

A great thing you can do for enrichment is move things in his enclosure periodically, or add things, or take things out.
Foxes love to re-explore. Hang things from the ceiling of the enclosure--like toys or treats from strings that they can jump up and get. Foxes love toys, so those are always good to put out there; just be sure that they are very durable or are made out of a material that foxes can ingest. For this reason, I love using cardboard boxes and putting little treats inside for him to find. Also, scattering their food around the entire enclosure is good enrichment as well because then they forage around and they can't eat it all in one sitting. Another thing to get would be bones for them to chew on, or antlers from deer. I've heard from people here that the antlers last a long time and that dogs (and I assume foxes) would love them too. Another good thing would be a sandbox so that he could have something to dig in and bury things in. Sandboxes are easy to sift through and clean.

But foxes are very independent and they do a lot of sleeping during the daytime. Foxes can be content sitting and watching cars go by, or leaves blow around, or grooming. Despite having lots of energy, they do have their calmer moments, especially when they aren't excited by their people. They are hyper animals, but they will need their rest too. They like laying out in the sun, or curled up in a dark, safe place.

You're right about foxes liking to sit up high. Fable went through a phase where he wanted to sleep on the highest things he could climb up onto. He likes to sit up on his bench (which is on top of a table) and stare out the window and watch the neighborhood kids play and cars pulling in and out of driveways. He is absolutely fascinated by lawn mowers. :roll: :lol:
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, salamander, 3 tarantulas
linseylou
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Re: hello everyone

Postby linseylou » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:41 pm

if i were to go with the horse panels from tractor supply, what kind of gate should i use? I'm debating about putting the cage up against my house around the back so i could let the fox in through the back door, but I think I'd still like to have a gate outside so I could enter that way to clean or whatever else...
You are forever responsible for what you've tamed, responsible pet ownership starts with you.
I share my life with 4 red foxes,2 raccoons, a couple human children, my hubby, dogs,and a snake
Trefoil
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Re: hello everyone

Postby Trefoil » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:42 am

That is a great idea. Its the set up I have for my dog and allows him to go in and out without having to worry about getting on the road,yet is as simple as opening the door for me. Because you will need support for the panels, you will end up with a post of some kind on either side of where your gate will be so it will be easy to make a gate, either of panels cut down, set vertically, or just make a gate. I would have the gate wide & tall enough to get stuff through (i.e. lawnmower, wheelbarrow, or whatever you might want to have access to the enclosure).

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