Are Foxes Omnivores? (Complete Answer!)

  • Author: Carl
  • Time to read: 7 min.
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Found on every continent in the world except Antarctica, foxes are wild animals you can find in forests, villages, deserts, and even in urban surroundings and cities.

Some people are afraid of them and others think they’re adorable, and many people have wondered, are foxes omnivores?

Foxes are known for killing and eating a lot of meat, but the answer to that question is yes.

Foxes are omnivores and therefore eat meat. Although they are known to eat almost all types of meat – and a lot of it – foxes will also eat almost everything they can find, including fruits, grains, seeds, and nuts, among other things.

fox

What Are Foxes Like?

In fairy tales, foxes are usually portrayed as cunning, sly, and very greedy. In real life, foxes have been known to steal food and poultry from villagers.

When found in the wild, foxes only live from one to three years, although some have been known to live up to ten years.

Unbeknownst to many people, foxes are not always pack animals. In fact, some foxes, such as Arctic foxes, are actually solitary animals.

When they hunt animals, they use a pouncing technique. They start by crouching down so they are camouflaged in the terrain.

Then they use their hind legs to leap up and land on top of their prey. When they leap up, they do so with great force, so when they land on top of their prey they use a lot of strength to do so.

They use their very pronounced canine teeth to grip the neck of their prey until it is dead or until it can be disemboweled, then the prey is ready to be eaten.

Another interesting fact about foxes is that the gray fox is one of only two canine species that is known to climb trees regularly.

The only other canine species that can do this is the raccoon dog. Most people don’t realize that some foxes can climb trees, but they can!

Are Foxes Omnivores and What Do They Eat?

So we’ve determined that foxes are omnivores, which means they eat both animals and plant matter. The main reason many people believe they are carnivores is because they do love meat, and they eat a lot of it.

In fact, most of a fox’s diet is made up of invertebrates such as insects, reptiles, Rabbits and even birds. The average fox consumes about two pounds of food every day, and if they have excess food they will stash it away for later use, usually burying it under snow, leaves, or soil.

Foxes are known to eat a variety of foods, which includes eggs, vegetation, crabs, fruits, berries, and even carcasses of all types and sizes.

Foxes are also known to be opportunistic feeders, which means if the food is available, they will eat it. In addition to foxes, other omnivores include bears, birds, dogs, raccoons, and of course, humans.

Omnivores are, in fact, a very important part of the food chain, in part because they can be both the predator and the prey. Like other omnivores, foxes are also scavengers, which means they will eat the remains of other dead organisms, but mostly dead animals.

Omnivores can eat almost anything because they quickly digest fat, protein, carbs, and fiber and utilize all of these nutrients in one way or another.

Are Ferrets Carnivores?
Are Ferrets Carnivores?

The word “omnivore” is derived from the Latin word omnis, which means “all of everything,” and the word vore, which means “to devour or eat.”

Back to the Fox and its Personality

Foxes are mammals and belong to the family Canidae. These are usually dog-like animals, and there are more than 30 species of them.

All of these species are considered omnivores. The red fox is the most well-known and the most common fox, and this fox has around 47 subspecies. In some areas of the world, such as Australia, the red fox is considered to be one of the most invasive and harmful species to the mammal and bird populations.

fox hiding

There are only 12 species of “true” foxes, and many people believe that they are carnivores. In fact, every one of them is an omnivore.

Having said that, foxes do prefer to eat meat whenever they can. But the truth is that they don’t always have the chance to eat meat. When this occurs, foxes will eat nearly anything.

Foxes also tend to be very good at adapting to the environment they live in, which can directly affect what they end up eating.

This is especially true when it comes to hunting. Foxes are very adept hunters, despite their relatively small or average size, and they rely on their very accurate sense of smell and hearing to detect their prey.

Foxes tend to be very strong animals as well, which also helps them catch and kill their prey.

What Do Foxes Like to Eat?

If you’ve ever wondered why foxes are often portrayed as being very greedy and gluttonous in fairy tales and stories, there is a good reason for this.

When foxes are hungry, they will eat anything and everything that is accessible to them. They eat a wide variety of foods, including mice, other rodents, voles, snakes, frogs, fish, and small mammals.

They have also been known to hunt and eat birds, although the fact that birds can fly makes this a little more difficult than killing other prey.

A lot of what they eat will depend on how hungry they are. The hungrier they are, the more types of food they will eat.

When foxes live in the wilderness, they’ll eat a lot of plants, but if there is nothing else available, foxes will eat grains, seeds, nuts, berries, and even grass. Foxes are known to be thieves and to raid areas where they think they might find food, including in rural and urban areas.

They will steal food from humans and eggs from poultry, and they consider these items to be real treats!

Foxes will also not hesitate to eat a carcass if they come across one. If you happen to live near a fox habitat, be careful because they will not hesitate to visit you if they believe that you have food to share.

What About Baby Foxes?

Baby foxes are known as cubs, and they feed on their mother’s milk until they are old enough to hunt along. Even after they learn to hunt, they’ll supplement their diet by eating fruits, vegetables, grains, and plants, as well as fruits that fall from trees.

Mother foxes will also climb trees in order to find food sources for their cubs.

The truth is that even though they will eat something besides meat, meat is always their preference over plant-based foods.

But when they can’t get enough meat to eat, they will gladly eat other forms of food.

In fact, both cubs and adult foxes love red fruits, which includes cherries, apples, blueberries, blackberries, plums, and even grapes.

fox cubs with a rabbit
Fox cubs with a wild rabbit

While they will eat these things willingly, the truth is that plant-based foods do not usually completely satisfy their appetite, which is why they prefer meat.

You can think of plant-based foods as a supplement to foxes’ diets, including baby foxes or cubs.

How Big Is the Average Fox?

Foxes are beautiful animals and their size and other characteristics vary depending on where they live. On average, foxes get up to 8 to 16 pounds and usually grow to no longer than three feet in length.

Their tails make them look bigger and fiercer but in fact, they are usually about half the length of the foxes themselves.

Foxes usually have short ears and thick fur if they live in cold areas or large ears and sparse fur if they live in warm areas. Their fur also changes depending on the season, with it being short and rough in the summer and longer and smoother once fall or winter arrives.

Foxes are generally considered medium-sized animals, and thanks to the portrayal of these animals in movies, television programs, and books, a lot of people think that they are a lot meaner than they are.

The truth is that if you leave foxes alone, they’ll very likely leave you alone.

As a general rule, these are not aggressive or mean animals. And because they are nocturnal when it comes to eating, you likely won’t even notice that they’ve come into your yard to steal your food until the next day. For the most part, they are simply not animals that you need to fear.

Conclusion

Foxes are beautiful creatures that love to eat meat, causing a lot of people to believe that they are carnivores. But to the people who ask, are foxes omnivores, the answer is a resounding “yes.”

While foxes do love meat and prefer to eat meat whenever they can, they eat a lot of plant-based foods as well.

They will usually eat whatever they can find, and this can include fruits, vegetables, grass, nuts, seeds, and grains. Because of this, they have a very varied diet that keeps them healthy for as long as they live.

They are also opportunistic eaters, which means that if a certain food is available and they’re hungry, they will eat it!