What do the fox eat in the winter? Should we leave food for the fox?

Lisa Fosco responds:

It is not recommended to feed foxes during a normal winter.  This species is active year round and should have no problem hunting and foraging on their own.  They are so well adapted for winter that they are one of the few Ohio species that have their babies when temperatures are still low (in Canada their whelping dens are commonly iced in).

Another reason that food supplementation is not in their best interest is that they tend to be opportunists.  If they are able to rely on a food source, they will adjust their natural feeding habits and will end up eating an unnatural (and therefore less healthy) diet.  They also commonly develop a habit of approaching people and tend to spend more time in yards and residential areas, which usually leads to trouble.

So, if the foxes looks healthy, PLEASE LEAVE THEM ALONE, and admire them from a distance.  As far as I have seen personally, we have several very healthy families in the ravine.

The exception would be if a fox shows any evidence of fur loss (they are prone to mange) or if they appear ‘slow’ or at all unhealthy.

Hope this helps!

Director of Animal Rehabilitation

Ohio Wildlife Center

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