[NAFEX] off topic: foxes

Road's End Farm organic87 at frontiernet.net
Mon May 23 21:56:47 EDT 2011

On May 23, 2011, at 6:34 PM, Ginda Fisher wrote:

> Foxes eat rabbits, and help protect my plants, right?  So foxes  
> aren't completely off-topic.  But does anyone know how likely they  
> are to eat (or kill) house cats?  We seem to have a rather bold fox  
> in the neighborhood.  I just saw him trot by, and I let in a rather  
> nervous-looking cat.  The cat is critical for controlling birds and  
> chipmunks around my currants, (and she eats young rabbits) but she's  
> also a pet, and I'm wondering how risky it is out there.
> On the plus side, I suppose if we have a fox this year, we probably  
> don't have coyotes this year. . .
> Weird looking fox, for what it's worth.  I think it's a red fox (the  
> species, that is), but his back is mostly brown.  Sort of a mottled  
> fox.  I have seen a gray fox in the area, but I think those are  
> larger than this one.
> Ginda
> Eastern MA, zone 6

A fox hanging around in broad daylight may have something wrong with  
it. Rabies is a possibility, but so is mange.  Red fox are susceptible  
to it, and it can be a serious problem. This site


says that foxes with mange may come close to human habitations in the  
hope of finding food, as they're ill and having trouble hunting. (I  
have no idea whether their prescription for leaving ivermectin bait  
out is a good idea. I'd consult with both a local vet. and local  
wildlife control before doing anything like that.)

The site also says that such foxes aren't dangerous to cats; but the  
cat might know better than the site does. I keep my cats in at night  
-- but we have coyote. I really don't think that fox will keep coyote  
off; if anything, it might work the other way around.

-- Rivka; Finger Lakes NY, Zone 5 mostly
Fresh-market organic produce, small scale

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