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Should you breed your fox?

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

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TamanduaGirl
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Should you breed your fox?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:19 pm

If you are thinking about breeding you should stop and think about why you want to breed first!

Do you want some cute kits to raise? Just like with dogs this is NOT a good reason. I'm sure it's part of every breeders motivation but it can not be the main or sole reason.

Do you think selling kits is a good way to make money? As with dogs this is not true. Many breeders are finding they have kits that didn't sell and they now have to care for forever or get rid of(sell for fur). It costs more to care for the parents for a year than you will make from a litter. If you sell surplus and culls for fur this is something you should be willing to admit and not lie about. If you care for all who don't sell or are returned for life this can become expensive quickly.

Do you and your foxes have something special to offer?
Will you health test and monitor your foxes and offspring for common genetic ailments like hip and heart issues?
Will you take all kits back for a partial refund for life?
Will you have a detailed breeder contract? This should include informing buyers they must be returned (unless buyer is USDA) since it's not legal for pet owners to sell their foxes.
Will you give your buyers support for life? (IE answer questions in time of need as well as offering guidance in advance)
Will your foxes produce hard to find colors?
Will you cull from breeding any parents who produce offspring with a genetic fault?
Have you studied and have foxes for many years so you can answer any questions buyers may have and you and your vet prepared for issues that will arise?
Have you bred and raised other species before and have experience bottle feeding?
Do you enjoy dealing with the public and answering the same questions over and over?
Will you ensure the buyer is legal in state, county AND City?
Will you do your best to ensure buyers are prepared and will make a good long lasting home for a fox?
- If you fit most or all of those then maybe you should consider breeding. But if not then please don't.

Are you USDA licensed? You MUST be USDA licensed to breed and sell foxes. This can be expensive if you have to do things to bring your facility up to code, such as build perimeter fences. It also takes many months to get licensed after applying so needs to be done well in advance of breeding. Only listed this separately as it's not something special to offer but the law, though most of the above should be standard and not special as well most still aren't.

*Should go without saying but, do you know the parental history of your foxes to ensure they are not related?

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Ash
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Re: Should you breed your fox?

Postby Ash » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:23 pm

Well said. Too many people are breeding vulpes vulpes right now. I've seen several large scale breeders STILL offering red kits for sale when they really should have all been spoken for by now. Arctic season is coming up, so it will be interesting (and probably sad) to see how many kits are left without homes or in need of rehoming from inexperienced/ill-prepared owners. I don't want to be negative, but that's the reality of things. Fox rescues are popping up left and right it seems.

In the fennec community, too many foxes are related. Huge problem is that people don't know the ancestry of their breeders but breed anyway.

On a similar note, a rescue fox I took in has just recently been diagnosed with kidney failure. The vet says the only explanation for his kidney failure is genetic issues. Since he's a rescue, I can't contact his original breeder to inform them. This just creates more problems. If the breeder had stayed in contact with the original owner, then the parents could have been spayed/neutered to prevent more future foxes from developing kidney failure.

Also just so future breeders know...

You CAN'T offer foxes for stud or look for stud foxes. Foxes are monogamous, meaning they have one mate. So there's no such thing as lending foxes out for breeding. You have to own the pair yourself.
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, salamander, 3 tarantulas
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Re: Should you breed your fox?

Postby Vata Raven » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:20 pm

A question that I'm not sure can be answered, but

For breeders like Tiny Tack (or anyone else that's been around for a while), how long do you think they bred until they knew the kits wouldn't have a genetic defect and safe for the pet market?

Or can a defect happen even if the kit came from two healthily parents?
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Re: Should you breed your fox?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:28 am

I don't think any current breeder has kits proven free of any genetic issues through tests. Some have a decent track record of healthy kits and happy customers but would love to see breeders get more serious about this issue. It's on the list as someone doing tests and keeping track of offspring's issues and culling breeders who throw young with issues or who test to have issues would be a very valuable addition and not just another breeder helping to produce an over abundance of kits. At the very least if they traced back the lineage of their foxes before breeding to check for any issues that would be a start. But many just get two foxes and breed them and not even know what colors they will get much less if they carry any genetic issues.

Yes two healthy parents can throw a kit or kits with genetic issues. If each parent carries one copy of a detrimental recessive gene they will both not have the issue but some of the young will get both copies and so have the issue. If it's a dominant issue then only one copy will cause the issue but those are less common and more obvious since pretty much all kits from the breeding of a parent with the issue will also have the issue and it will be seen in the parent. It's those recessive genetic issues that are the bigger problem because those genes can get spread around without seeing the issue till a pair get together who both have the gene, it can potentially be in a large segment of the population by then.

Hip issues are common, and genetic, and can be tested for, especially common in arctics but is cropping up some in reds too.

Seizures are getting very common and many times leads to death. Seizure can be either inherited or for other reasons and can't test for specific genes yet but with it getting more common, some even from the same breeder different years having the issue it would seem to likely be genetic. If a breeder kept track they could cull from breeding any who throw kits with seizures, especially if it happens to more than one kit from their lines.

There are various other issues cropping up as well like genetic kidney issues which effect them when still young.

People need to start taking breeding foxes as seriously as dogs and keep track of young and test for issues where tests are available.

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