Last updated on September 3rd, 2022
When I took my fourth graders to visit a farm nearby, they were excited to see the farm animals. But they were even more curious to learn about the animals that farmers consider pests.
For example, when I told them that foxes are known to carry off chicken and destroy crops, they were surprised because, brought up in suburban regions, they had never encountered foxes and considered them wild animals.
The farmer even told us they are dangerous for mushroom farming, which intrigued me, do foxes eat mushrooms?
Foxes do eat mushrooms and they can be an excellent source of energy, however, a fox’s diet doesn’t include mushrooms due to the fungi’s growth not occurring year-round in the wild. When food is scarce in the wild and the fox can’t find fruits, insects, or small rodents, they’ll turn to mushrooms.
Why do foxes eat mushrooms?
Foxes are resourceful creatures, and you will find that they quickly find suitable food to survive harsh conditions.
If there is a lack of food in the wild and the fox cannot find fruits or small rodents to survive, it will turn to mushrooms to sustain itself.
In many cases, mushrooms growing in Fall or at the beginning of winter become one the hearty food that helps foxes survive the harsh conditions brought about by the changing weather conditions.
Can a fox eat cooked mushrooms?
When you think of urban foxes that often feed on raw meat, tinned food, or dog food, it won’t be a long shot to think they can consume cooked mushrooms.
However, you would be mistaken because foxes are not scavengers like raccoons or rats.
Instead, they will look for edible and easily digestible food. But if you have made the mushrooms spicy, the fox will avoid it.
However, foxes are known to consume cooked mushroom provided it is not spicy, and the fungi have not lost moisture despite being cooked.
Do foxes eat poisonous mushrooms?
Several mushrooms that grow in the wild are inedible for us but can be consumed by animals.
These mushrooms are not always psychedelic but are poisonous and hence, inedible for humans.
But foxes can quickly identify and avoid the poisonous mushrooms.
Hence, the mushrooms inedible to us can be non-poisonous and safe for foxes.
However, some mushrooms are poisonous to animals and humans, which the creature usually avoids.
If a fox consumes such a mushroom by mistake, it will result in vomiting, and diarrhea, and in severe cases, prove fatal to the creature.
Do foxes eat psychedelic mushrooms?
According to www.animalcognition.org, certain animals often look for psychedelics to become intoxicated. However, there is no such record of foxes actively pursuing this tendency.
Instead, foxes have a natural tendency to avoid mushrooms that can be dangerous or can get them intoxicated.
On rare occasions, it is usually due to the lack of suitable food or mushrooms nearby if they consume a psychedelic mushroom.
In addition, foxes can differentiate between poisonous and non-poisonous mushrooms and tend to avoid the poisonous ones.
Can mushrooms be given to foxes bred in captivity?
In the wild, foxes need to forage for food; hence, they need to be resourceful and sometimes even settle for food that they wouldn’t normally eat.
But when it comes to mushrooms, there is no record of the fungi being fed to foxes bred in captivity.
The foxes you see in zoos are given a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, rodents, and insects.
Therefore, mushrooms are not given to the animal as it is not an essential part of a fox’s diet.
Do mushrooms come under the typical food consumed by foxes?
Foxes are omnivorous and have a diverse diet. They are expert hunters and can easily catch rodents, rabbits, and birds that live in fields. But, if necessary, they can survive on berries, fruits, and mushrooms.
They are quite cunning and have an excellent sense of smell. A fox can easily smell edible mushrooms and consume these.
Mushrooms will not form a regular part of a fox’s diet because, in the wild, mushrooms do not grow throughout the year.
In most cases, these are found mainly in Spring. Hence, you will find foxes eating these only during these months of the year.
Can mushrooms be used as bait while hunting foxes?
You can use almost anything as bait to hunt foxes. To attract foxes, you can use scraps of meat, tinned food, and even mushrooms.
However, mushrooms are usually not at the top of the list as they are not a fox’s preferred food. If you want a fox to come out of its burrow, it is best to use something as bait, natural food.
This will attract the creature and draw it out quickly. Mushrooms are consumed by foxes only when there is a lack of food.
Can foxes be used for mushroom hunting?
The most expensive mushrooms, truffles, are found in the wild. Sometimes dogs and female pigs are used when hunting for truffles.
Pigs can find the truffles’ location with their exceptional sense of smell and foxes, too, can find the location of edible mushrooms, but there is no record of foxes being used to locate mushrooms.
The primary reason is that the creature cannot be domesticated or trained; hence, you can use it like a truffle hog.
Are foxes dangerous for mushroom farmers?
Foxes love to eat mushrooms. But when it comes to growing mushrooms commercially, foxes can be pests because they can enter the farm attracted by the mushrooms.
On entering the farm, the fox will often avoid the mushrooms and head for the hen coop and other suitable food.
Thus, foxes might not be dangerous for mushroom farming but can prove to be a pest for the other animals and crops on your farm.
What is the nutritional value that mushrooms add to a fox’s diet?
Mushrooms do not fall under the food consumed by foxes. But it has the capability of meeting the nutritional requirement of the animal.
Wild foxes get an excellent supply of proteins, minerals, and vitamins when they consume mushrooms.
Mushrooms are rich in vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, and choline.
These are present in several other plants and fruits as well. But the easy digestibility of mushrooms makes these an attractive food source for a fox.