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Feeding Garden Foxes
Updated: 25th May 2009

We're often asked if it's a good idea to attract foxes into your garden by feeding them. If you've got a garden full of prize blooms it's probably not a good idea. They will flatten plants when they're playing, and they will dig big holes in your flower beds. Oh, and if you keep keep ducks or chickens it's probably best not to encourage them.

It's worth remembering that if you start feeding foxes regularly they'll become dependant on you just like a pet cat or dog. That means if you go away on holiday they could possibly starve, unless you can persuade a neighbour to keep the restaurant open. In any case you will need understanding neighbours because they can make a lot of noise at night, and leave behind some smelly deposits and musky scent markings. Something which you doesn't always come across in the charming images portrayed in wildlife documentaries.

Something to avoid is hand feeding. While it does seem like a great way to impress your friends, the foxes will start to associate people with food - any people. This can lead to them running up to every human they see, expecting to be fed. Some people find this quite frightening, and might assume the animal is being aggressive. Foxes already have a poor public image, so this won't do them any favours.

Another consideration is that the more food you supply, the more foxes will come. Fox numbers and densities are regulated by their food supply. If you start putting too much food out then you run the risk of distorting natural fox territories and changing their natural behaviour. It's like taking the 'wild' out of the wildlife!

Just putting a little food, like raisins or honey sandwiches for the foxes to eat on their nightly rounds is fine, but we should always be careful that wild animals don't become dependant on us. In short, the best advice is give a little, on an infrequent basis, and from a distance.

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Book of Urban Foxes

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