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Need to Know Basics for Red Fox Breeding

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Need to Know Basics for Red Fox Breeding

Postby isaao12 » Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:14 pm

Hello! I've recently come to the possibility of becoming a fox breeder after college!

Before even getting close to deciding to go down that path, i've got a lot of info i need to learn, and so i thought i'd ask those with experience.

1. Who to contact before buying land and setting up the operation. I know i need to contact

USDA[Breeding Liscense]
IDNR[Illinois Breeding/ownership Permit]
Illinois[State permission to breed]
County/City Officials [Local permission to breed]
Nearby Vets [To make sure someone can care for the foxes]

wondered if theres anyone else you would suggest contacting.

2. Any suggestions or websites you would link for general care of foxes as pairs.

3. Specific Breeding Questions

How big of enclosures does each pair need.
How far apart should enclosures be.
Will loud noises like farm equipment overstress the foxes

4. Anything else at all i need to know or do more research on.

Please suggest ANYTHING i should know. I don't want to go into this not being at least 90% prepared, and resulting in the death/loss/poor care of my foxes.
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Re: Need to Know Basics for Red Fox Breeding

Postby Ash » Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:50 pm

Hi! :)

First and foremost, before jumping into breeding, you need to work with foxes for several years first. (I'm sure you're planning on that anyway, lol.) I've considered breeding reds for quite a few years, but there is no way I would have been ready until I was about 2.5 years into ownership. Just looking back, sure I was a good fox owner, but there were so many little things that I had yet to grasp. Fox behaviors... the bad side of breeding... the political impact breeding could have.... Breeding any animal requires years of preparation--unfortunately most people do NOT see it that way... I've known tons of people who have leapt into breeding a year after ownership. And I can tell you, for most of them, it did not work out and they wound up doing it illegally under the radar since they were not prepared or not willing to prepare themselves.

But you've got a ways to go, so I'm sure you'll be able to have a fox before then for several years and be able to ask yourself all these important questions over the next few years anyway. :)

One of the biggest issues is the number of foxes on the market right now. At the moment, the market is flooded, and as a result, fewer foxes are going to good homes that are prepared and knowledgeable about the species. Red foxes have become the new "cool" exotic pet, especially among teenagers. And in almost every situation where I have seen a teenager get an exotic pet while still in high school, it just winds up with the fox being rehomed.

While there is a huge surplus, I'm not planning on breeding unless I can breed "rare" colors and ensure that they would go to legal homes. Breeding common colors (like red, cross, silver--heck, even marbles) seems like it would bring more harm than good at the moment. I've really thought about this very concern a lot (for several years actually), and that's why I've made the decision that I did not to breed yet.

I would like to see red foxes die down a little in popularity, but still be widely kept as a pet. There are people I know who have only researched foxes for like a week and have decided to put down a deposit for this coming spring! I'd think you'd need at the very LEAST four months to make a decision that big. I waited over a year and was able to intern with several foxes before I finally truly made my decision.

Answer 1)
In Illinois, you would only need to live in a legal area and hold a "Fur-bearer breeder's permit" and a USDA license. If you have a USDA license, you'll be already have had to get all the vet's info and a ton of other stuff. So USDA kind of encompasses some of the other things you mentioned.

Breed in a rural area. You will receive few, if any, complaints about your project. If you live in a populated area, or in a city, it will make it very hard, and a law could get passed to prevent you from pursuing breeding if enough people found out and complained. Foxes are stinky, and during breeding season especially are NOISY. Plus, people have an irrational fear of foxes because of rabies, and they don't know anything about them.

Answer 2)
Honestly, the best website is this one, lol, and I'm not kidding when I say that. This site has the best info on red foxes and is the number one site I'd recommend. I'm not saying this because I'm an admin (haven't been an admin for that long), but because it's true. Prior to getting a fox, I read EVERY SINGLE POST on here about them to learn.

Another good place is a fur farm. Or from another breeder, in person. For example, Dave from Tiny Tracks has helped answer many of my questions and has really helped me out. By keeping in touch with someone who has bred red foxes for DECADES, I know without a doubt he is a great resource.

So finding experienced breeders like that. I'm not talking about a breeder who has been breeding for several years and selling their foxes off to illegal homes--there's plenty of those. I'm talking about people who have been doing this for a long time.

EDIT: Actually, I do know of a great fur farming website that goes into great specifics about breeding. Will post a link to it for you in a bit.

Answer 3)
Gotta run to work, so can't answer this now.

Answer 4)
And this one too, lol.

Hope this works for now and gives you some stuff to think on. :)
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