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To those thinking of taking on a fox this year....

Red, Silver, Marble,Fennec, grey, corsac, Artic Etc.

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Katalyst
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To those thinking of taking on a fox this year....

Postby Katalyst » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:03 pm

THINKING OF FOXES THIS YEAR?
So fox cub season is nearly upon us and the "Talk to me about fox keeping!" and "Fox breeders wanted!" posts are coming in thick and fast.
A pet fox might sound like a dream come true but they really are not for everyone and it's not as simple to keep them as you might think.
There are several factors to take into account and there is nothing more soul destroying for dedicated animal enthusiasts and keepers than seeing animals purchased on a whim and later sold on by people who did no research and bit off more than they could chew.

Silver foxes (as the semi-domestic ex-fur farm descendants are know to differentiate between captive stock and wild red foxes) are stunningly beautiful, elegant and fascinating creatures so its little wonder that they are on so many peoples bucket lists. But what are they really like to keep?

Lets get the cons out of the way first shall we?
* Foxes smell really bad. Foxes have BO and pee that smells quite a lot like weed... And when I say they smell, I'm not talking about the sort of smell that disappears so long as the enclosure is kept free of urine and faeces. I'm talking about a smell that is on par with ferrets in its ability to linger and transfer to every surface they touch and that it is the animal themselves that stink.

* Temperament can be anywhere on a sliding scale of "soft and fluffy like kittens" to "HOLY-SHIT-GET-IT-OFF-MY-FACE!!!"

* Foxes are noisy. They usually like to pick the exact moment you get into bed or someone walks past your garden or the bloke comes to read your electricity metre to decide to have a screaming session. They generally time their screaming for maximum embarrassment. Some foxes are noisier than others but most will scream in excitement, when they're angry, when they're hungry or just when the mood takes them to be a noisy bastard.

* They are seriously destructive. If its not nailed down, they'll try to eat it. If it isn't made of granite, they'll chew it. They don't care how expensive or hard-wearing your carpet is, they'll dig it up. This and the next bullet point are the main reasons they don't make suitable house pets at all.

* They really don't litter train. Foxes are not animals that naturally pick a latrine area and stick to defecating there alone. Instead they pee and poo wherever they happen to be standing when they feel the urge to go. They pee and poo when they're excited, when they're annoyed and when they just need to evacuate. Which is often.

* They go through what fox keepers refer to as the 'Autumn/October Crazies'. This is caused by a huge spike in hormones and can make even usually placid and friendly foxes unsociable, extremely noisy, snappy and even downright aggressive. Most calm back down once their hormones settle but some never completely revert back to what was previously normal temperament. Some foxes will experience a hormonal spike every year but their first autumn is usually the worst.

* They need a lot of space. Remember me saying that they don't make suitable house pets? Because of this, they need a large outdoor enclosure that is a bare minimum of 100sq feet in size. It needs to have a solid or completely wired base to prevent them from digging out. It needs to have a roof to prevent them climbing out. It needs to have suitable enrichment and climbing opportunities. Don't be tempted to cut corners and use chicken wire because they're entirely capable of breaking through it. Use heavy gauge mesh of good quality.

* Their bites SUCK. Cubs play bite just like puppies and kittens. They also resource guard. Expect this and deal with it as positively as possible. A bite from an adult is no laughing matter.

* Not all vets will so much as look at a pet fox so be organised and find a willing vet BEFORE you take the plunge.

* People are often judgemental twats and are highly like to be horrified to find out that you keep these animals. DON'T glorify fox keeping. DON'T.

So are there any pros to keeping them? Well, yeah, if you can get passed all of the above.
They can bond really tightly with their owner. They can be extremely affectionate and they are incredibly fun to sit and watch. With effort and dedication, they can be engaging, rewarding and fun animals to work with.

The TL:DR of keeping red foxes....
* They stink
* They can be noisy
* They need a very secure outdoor enclosure
* They are NOT house pets
* They need a good, varied diet consisting primarily of raw meats (including offal and bone), fruits and vegs. Small amounts of dog and cat food are OK. Not not exclusively.
* They need a diet containing taurine just like cats do. Raw heart and rabbit are good sources
* They rarely litter train.
* People WILL judge you. Expect this. And understand why public opinion isn't on your side. Be honest when discussing fox care. Don't glorify it.
* They need a secure enclosure. They climb like cats and dig like dogs.
* Temperament can be variable.
Red foxes, skunks, tanuki and domestic dogs.
Diet geek.

https://kaiswayridgefoxes.com
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Nìmwey
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Re: To those thinking of taking on a fox this year....

Postby Nìmwey » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:49 pm

Can I post this on my pro-exotic animal blog? I'll credit you and link back here, if this post can be read by guests (or just to the forum, if it can't).
My main interest is in parrots, dogs, toothed whales and snakes.
Future animals I want to have when we have land are camels, wolfdogs/wolves, coyotes or jackals, striped hyena or aardwolf. Also poultry, rabbits water buffalo and/or yak for livestock.
Katalyst
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Re: To those thinking of taking on a fox this year....

Postby Katalyst » Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:12 pm

Nìmwey wrote:Can I post this on my pro-exotic animal blog? I'll credit you and link back here, if this post can be read by guests (or just to the forum, if it can't).

Please do!
All I ask is a credit to KaisWayRidge Silver Foxes :)
Red foxes, skunks, tanuki and domestic dogs.
Diet geek.

https://kaiswayridgefoxes.com
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Ash
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Re: To those thinking of taking on a fox this year....

Postby Ash » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:11 am

Very great post! And I totally agree. Any prospective fox owner should read this!
3 red fox, 4 iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, 2 salamanders, tarantula
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pat
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Re: To those thinking of taking on a fox this year....

Postby pat » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:34 am

excellent post. when I get a chance, I would also like to put this on my care sheet with credit to you.

thank you for posting that. I agree about the enclosure, it is a MUST. the bigger the better, and lots of places for a fox to hide and nap.
my foxes like to be up high. but, at times, on the bottom. ( they have a high 3 floor tower they love)

once in a while (not often) I will let my foxes in the house for awhile. I watch them to make sure they don't mark, when they do, I yell at them.
they are in the enclosure more.

I will give an idea what a indoor fox is like. my first fox years ago, I left her in the house more than I should have.
she marked every where. on the carpets, table, lamps. I had to remove my carpets they smelled so bad. now I just keep tile floor in house because of that. with the carpets, it stunk so bad, stunk up the whole house, and I have a big house.
I lost track of how many shoes, cloths my first fox stole and destroyed them.

again, I agree with Katalyst. PLEASE new fox owners make 100% sure you understand a fox'es behavior. their behavior is NOT like a dog.

another thing I would like to mention, when doing a pen, make it a good size. not a 10x10. I bought a heavy dog 10x10 dog kennel and put it against the house it is a 10x20 size. of course a roof. I put slanted corragated roof. this helps keep rain and snow out of the enclosure.
I have 4 large litter pans for them. they do use, but, still mark and poop outside in the enclosure.

honestly, I get tired of seeing so many people buying foxes thinking they are OK to keep as house pets. needless to say, they too try to re-home their fox re-homed foxes don't do as good as a kit would. another important thing is, MAKE SURE A FOX IS LEGAL IN YOUR STATE, COUNTY AND TOWNSHIP. tired of seeing people buying illegal foxes. then when they are caught with an illegal fox, the fox is put down.

new owners and people thinking of a fox, please research. lots of good info on on this fox forum about about foxes.

then you get people posting on FB or other places trying to glorify keeping a fox. DON'T BELIEVE THESE TYPE OF POSTS.
the fox members here, are honest with years of experience.
Pat (Sybil and Benny's Mom)

http://sybilsden.com Sybils Den
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TamanduaGirl
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Re: To those thinking of taking on a fox this year....

Postby TamanduaGirl » Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:30 pm

I've also seen enough people get them then later say they have to move for work or are military and being deployed or moved to another base. Don't get one unless you are fairly settled. You know if you are in the military you will probably have to move or be deployed at some point so don't get one yet. You may not foresee an issue arising with a regular job but if it's just a matter of transfer or promotion etc that will cause you to move you normally can turn that down or if you're in a line of work where you know that might come up maybe rethink a fox and get one later. There is little excuse for getting a fox and then rehoming it a few months latter because you were deployed/transfered etc. because you knew that would be coming eventually.
Katalyst
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Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2016 11:24 am

Re: To those thinking of taking on a fox this year....

Postby Katalyst » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:09 pm

Thanks for your input guys.
They're such wonderful animals to keep if you aren't biting off more than you can chew but seeing them pushed from pillar to post is upsetting.

Anyone is welcome to use it, it makes the time spent writing it more worthwhile. I have a slightly better worded version that is a bit less... blunt lol. All I ask is that a credit to KaisWayRidge Silver Foxes is plopped somewhere on it.

Thanks.
Red foxes, skunks, tanuki and domestic dogs.
Diet geek.

https://kaiswayridgefoxes.com

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