Feeding Freddy and Friends

     Everyone has reported seeing fox on the Gunflint Trail this year.  The fox population appears to be quite large and it seems as though the fox are being treated quite well by the locals.  I have heard of a number of people who are feeding their furry friends.  But what happens when some of these same people leave for vacation or head south for the better part of the winter?

     According to an article found on the web a fox who has been fed by people will probably not starve to death if it quits receiving food.  It may however get hungry and it could get aggressive in approaching other people in search of food.  The writer, T. Susman, recommends the following information if you must feed your friend the fox.

<%image(20061209-frostyfoxdianebrown.jpg|200|159|Freddy Fox by Diane Brown)%>
  • Feed them from a distance. Either leave food out for them or throw it from a porch.
  • Don’t feed them regularly. Chances are they won’t come around regularly anyway, but it’s best if they don’t get used to having food in the same place all the time.
  • Make sure you feed them the right foods. In general, the best things to feed them are things they could find in nature, for example:
    • Raw meat (cooked is okay)
    • Fresh fruit or berries
    • Vegetables
    • Eggs
    • Earthworms (foxes eat earthworms and other insects, sometimes as a large part of their diet)

    Things you should NOT feed them are:

    • Chocolate: this tasty treat for humans is poisonous to canids. They can’t digest it. It can make them very sick and even kill them (though if you have been feeding chocolate to foxes, don’t feel guilty. I’ve heard stories of dogs and foxes that could eat chocolate quite happily. But you can’t tell until you feed it to them.).
    • Highly processed foods like candy, potato chips, and other snacks
    • Dry pet food