The fox is a
mammal; most mammals live in the country. Some like foxes and hedgehogs
are often seen on the outskirts of towns. Foxes are shy and frightened of
people and that is why they are seen more at dawn and at dusk, when the
leave there homes in search of food. Farmers who have chickens hate them,
as they love to attack chicken pens. Roald Dahl wrote a lovely book about
this problem called “Mr. Fox”. The fox also caused a lot of damage to
game birds during the nesting season. Foxes are very difficult to watch,as
they often travel further and change their homes more often. The fox is a
beautiful animal and generally lives in wooded areas in the country.
In Ireland the mating season is in January or February and the young are born in late February or March. A litter of four or five is most common and is rarely more than seven. The cubs differ from the adults in having chocolate brown coats when born, and short muzzles. The young usually emerge into the open after about four weeks. The home of a fox is called an earth. They sometimes use the old home of a badger. They are very untidy animals, as they scatter food and old bones all around the entrance to their home. This mess as well as a very strong smell is a sure sign that foxes are about. The best time to see foxes is in May and June when the cubs are young and playful. The cubs are usually born in March or April. The cubs come out from the earth, when they are a few weeks old to play and have a run around. This happens usually in the evening time. If anyone or if another animal goes near the home, the mother will move her cubs somewhere else.
The mother fox is
called a vixen and she cares for her cubs without the help of the male or
dog fox. The male provides food for the mother fox and her cubs. Just
after the cubs are born is a very busy time for the male, as he has to go
off and get food for all his family. He sometimes might have to travel a
long distance before he gets anything. Food is often buried in the ground
to be collected at a later stage.A fox is not a fussy eater. He wil eat
anything he can get his hands on, sorry paws on.You willoften see him
upending dustbins in towns in search of food. In the countryside he
willeat young rabbits, rats, mice, and even young birds. Foxes are
widespread and found all over Ireland. The fox is said to be very clever.
If he is being chased by a pack of dogs he can often loose them by playing
all sorts of tricks on them, like doubling back on his trail or hiding in
strange places. Aesop wrote a very good story about the "fox
and the Crow", where the fox used his brain to get a piece of cheese
from a crow who was up in a tree. I like foxes.