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Hope to own a fox

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Dragua
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Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:56 pm

Hope to own a fox

Postby Dragua » Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:21 am

Hi, I'm Dragua, 34 female never been married. Right now I have a black Maltese terrier Poodle mix and my sister has a Jack Russell, a Jack Russell Shih Tzu mix and a Shih Tzu. I have had animals my whole life I also had a ferret took my moms ferret when she said she didn't want him. I had a mouse when I was younger I had a rat as well and I am looking to possibly on a fox right now.

I have read up a bit just like ferrets and cats foxes need more taurine. I have read some of the posts here but not all as I just started looking into this a couple days ago. What I did see is there are foxes that are particularly aggressive and looking for solutions. Here are some questions I have. What can I do to lead my fox into a less aggressive behavior? I know they can't be guaranteed to not be aggressive, but I would like to know if there are things I can do to ensure less aggressive behavior. Since I am going to be on disability I plan on spending the whole day with the Fox. How many hours a day does a fox required to be outside? What kind of things should I do to keep my fox mentally engaged? Can I make one of those puzzles that rely on interaction and a chain of events to have my fox get its food? About how smart are they? I want to keep it mentally stimulated so I don't end up with torn furniture, carpet, etc. Can a fox be trained to use a tredmill so he/she can gets walks? I don't want there to be problems with neighbors.
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Ash
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Re: Hope to own a fox

Postby Ash » Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:46 am

Hi, and welcome to the forum. :)

The below applies to red and arctic foxes:

Some foxes get aggressive during important moments in their lives--sometimes when they first leave the breeder and are placed in a new home. Other than this, generally foxes are only aggressive if there is a problem not being addressed. Some people say their foxes are aggressive during puberty, but I never experienced any change in mine, other than the fact that they became adults and stopped acting like baby animals.

The most common problem is their need for an enclosure. Too many people try to keep their foxes solely as indoor pets, and I only know of one person who has managed that (but to be honest, lol, I can't imagine what their house smells like :lol:). If you get a fox, plan on having an enclosure. Outside is ideal. But a garage or basement can be a good temporary solution (though you sure have to work hard to keep it smelling nice! I've done it for the past few years, but I can't WAIT until I get the outdoor enclosures up...).

But a fox needs its own space. All foxes are different, so some may need it more than others. Some foxes must be outside, others can do well in a garage enclosure. I'm lucky that my two are the type to be content with their garage enclosure for now. But I know they will be MUCH happier and get a LOT more stimulation from being outside. The scents and sights and changes in weather are very enriching for them.

Also make sure you get diet right. I made a huge mistake, and it is a mistake I will never make again. When they don't get all the essentials, it can throw off their mood. I experienced this dramatically with my social-bug, cuddly Fable last winter. Yikes. So always make sure to give them a proper diet--especially in late summer and fall when they start growing out their winter fur. I've heard of other peoples' foxes having this 180 change during the winter too, and I'll bet they encountered the exact same problem as I did for the same reasons--they were irresponsible and gave their foxes a poor diet during a really critical time.

There is also food aggression and possessiveness. I do not consider a fox that is aggressive over its food to be a "bad fox." They are naturally like that. If you can train it out of them, that's great. If not, no big deal--just leave them alone when they're eating. Also there are certain objects that foxes will just get super possessive over, and sometimes you wonder "why that?" lol You need to weigh the decision in your mind whether or not you should try to take it away (steal it from them), or let them keep it while you think of a way to distract them. Fable--for some weird reason--gets ultra possessive over screw drivers. If he gets a hold of one, I need to let him be and just find a way to distract him.

And like any animal, they may bite out of fear, or if they are in pain. But that is to be expected.

Other than those few things, a fox shouldn't be aggressive if it was properly raised and socialized. Most of the people here who talk about their foxes being aggressive are lacking in one of these areas of husbandry, and it most often comes down to not having a proper enclosure.

I do not excuse myself from the mistake I made with Fable regarding diet. That's 100% on me, completely my fault. I would never call Fable an "aggressive" fox--his new nickname is "cuddle bum," heehee. The poor guy was just completely imbalanced, so I take full responsibility for that error.

Maybe look into fennecs if you want an indoor fox. They're tiny and should be kept solely indoors. Super cute too. And if you stay at home a lot and don't work, it could be a good fit for you. :)

Anyways, I look forward to seeing you around!
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, 2 salamanders, 3 tarantulas
Dragua
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Re: Hope to own a fox

Postby Dragua » Mon Oct 27, 2014 4:34 am

What nutritional mistake did you make so I don't make the same one?
Dragua
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Re: Hope to own a fox

Postby Dragua » Mon Oct 27, 2014 4:43 am

Also now I'm confused. Ratatter said not to have reptiles. Did you have them our do you now? And what about the snakes outside? I know our property has snakes, I and my nieces picked them up. So will having the snakes on our property make my fox not trust me? And what about mice? We have one who (right now even) runs around the house. Will the fox get the mice?
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Re: Hope to own a fox

Postby Ash » Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:33 pm

I did not give him the proper amounts of taurine. Since then I have been feeding him Heartland Blend (fox feed from Tiny Tracks) to get him stabilized since I've been told it is packed full of taurine. Also meats and veggies too (veggies are occasional).

I'm going to make my own diet though in the next few weeks based on whole prey. I need to research nutrition stuff first though just so I know what I'm doing.

I have never had any problems whatsoever with my reptiles and my foxes. In Dave's experience (Tiny Tracks) he says that they do not mix well and that foxes don't like the smell of snake musk. I have never had any issues, and I know quite a few other reptile owners who keep lots of snakes and then also have their pet fox. Ragtatter breeds corn snakes--or, she did for a while.

Sometimes if a fox smells a prey item on your hands, it could get aggressive. I've only heard of that happening once, and it happened to someone with an arctic who then later got a pet bunny. If they didn't wash their hands in between, they said their arctic fox would bite them. But that's probably because their hands smelled like prey.

So the safest solution would be just to wash your hands in between handling different species if that is something your fox is sensitive to. Would also be good practice just in general to do that anyway.

A fox will kill and eat mice for sure. If you have any where a fox could get access to it, the fox will not stop until it kills it. Mice is what they eat in the wild. It's really funny, because they are VERY sensitive to scritchy-scratchy noises. So if you scratch the side of your jeans, a piece of cardboard, rustle your hand under a blanket, they go into "mouse-pounce mode," haha. Very cute.
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, 2 salamanders, 3 tarantulas
Dragua
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Re: Hope to own a fox

Postby Dragua » Tue Oct 28, 2014 11:33 pm

SIs that mostly in meat? Red or white?

Anyone willing to share their recipes?

My nieces have a guinea pig and I don't want my fox going psycho. But we have mice and the cats don't do a thing to them inside. Outside however, kitties leave presents of mousie parts outside.
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Re: Hope to own a fox

Postby Ragtatter » Wed Oct 29, 2014 1:03 am

I never said not to have reptiles:

Ragtatter wrote:I have also kept foxes and snakes simultaneously, and never had a single problem related to it, but I always washed my hands after handling the snakes so that may have removed a lot of their scent.


I also breed angora rabbits now, and have never had an instance of Gizmo acting aggressively towards me after handling them. And I don't make a point of washing my hands between rabbit and fox, so I know it's not a lack of their scent.
Dragua
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Re: Hope to own a fox

Postby Dragua » Wed Oct 29, 2014 1:17 am

It was either you or Tiny Tracks.

Ok yep Tiny Tracks.

http://www.tinytracksexoticanimals.com/fox.html
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Ash
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Re: Hope to own a fox

Postby Ash » Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:04 pm

Taurine is found in red meats. Check out the link in Ragtatter's signature for the "Gizmo Burgers" diet.

Most people feed a high quality, high-protein dog food and then supplement with organ meat, meat, and veggies.

I do not have my diet figured out yet. But it will be based on whole prey. I want to get all the nutrient values figured out first though.
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, 2 salamanders, 3 tarantulas
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Re: Hope to own a fox

Postby Ragtatter » Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:46 pm

I've done some tinkering with trying to make a whole-prey diet based on mouse, rat, rabbit, and quail, but unfortunately the nutritional data on them is woefully incomplete. I'm not sure whether to just make one based on the data that I do have, or to have a "burger" to go along with the whole prey items that covers the nutrients that I don't have the whole prey values for. Of course, with that you run the risk of the fox getting too much of something.
Dragua
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Re: Hope to own a fox

Postby Dragua » Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:08 pm

Have you watched fox documentaries? You might be able to get info from that. And educational articles.
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Re: Hope to own a fox

Postby Ragtatter » Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:14 pm

I really doubt that a documentary about foxes is going to tell me how much manganese is in a 120g rat, or how much copper is in a 2-week-old quail. :P

The problem isn't that I don't know the nutritional requirements of foxes--I know those extremely well.

The problem is that the research simply hasn't been done on the nutritional content of whole prey items. There is SOME information out there, but not a great deal.
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Ash
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Re: Hope to own a fox

Postby Ash » Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:34 pm

I've been looking at USDA's nutritional content breakdown for the rats, if that helps. But I'm sure you've seen that already.
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, 2 salamanders, 3 tarantulas
Dragua
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Re: Hope to own a fox

Postby Dragua » Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:40 pm

Gotcha. Why not just feed the prey themselves? Get a male and female rat mate them then when te female has her babies and they are weaned separate the genders. Then mate them long enough to produce food.
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Re: Hope to own a fox

Postby Ash » Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:49 pm

Dragua wrote:Gotcha. Why not just feed the prey themselves? Get a male and female rat mate them then when te female has her babies and they are weaned separate the genders. Then mate them long enough to produce food.


That's what I'd be doing. ;) I have an 18-tub rodent rack, and I'm going to start breeding ratties soon for the foxies and the snakes. I'd feed them the entire rat ("whole prey").

The problem is, if you don't know the exact amounts of nutrients in the rats, then you can't know for sure if they're getting everything they require nutritionally. It would seem like a safe bet since the bulk of their diet in the wild consists of rodents like rats and mice. But since we don't know for sure, you can't just rely on that being their only source of nutrients.
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, 2 salamanders, 3 tarantulas

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