Do Foxes Eat Sheep? (Explained)

do foxes eat sheep
do foxes eat sheep

The predator-prey relationship has always been of interest to human beings. As a student of ecology, you should know who is a predator to who. It is necessary because only in this way you will be able to protect prey from its predator.

Moreover, if you are doing a livestock business then negligence in knowing about the predators can be a potential threat to your livestock. It can be a potential threat to your business too. Many people reached us with the question “do foxes eat sheep?”. If you are also among those people then go through the following details. We have prepared a detailed guide for you.

Do Foxes Eat Sheep?

If we refer to history, it is occasional to find incidents when a fox has attacked sheep, but whenever it has, most of them were not in good health. This shows that foxes attack mostly on weak animals. In most cases, they attack younger ones like lambs.

To attack, they mostly target the throats of their prey. Therefore, if your livestock includes weak sheep and lambs then you should protect them. On the other hand, a healthy sheep can protect itself from the attack of a fox.

It is very rare to find incidents of a fox attacking mature sheep. It is because healthy and mature sheep have the power to defend themselves. They can fight with the foxes and can even injure them.

Therefore, it is recommended to use such sheep for the defense of young and weak lambs. If you are sending, your livestock out for grazing then position weak and young ones in between the healthy sheep. This will reduce the risk of your lambs being attacked by foxes.

During our research, it was observed that there are different kinds of foxes. Each one of them has different predation habits. Out of all, red foxes have proved to be quite dangerous because of their wild nature. They can prove to be a big threat even for healthy sheep.

It is because they are quite powerful and easily control their prey when they are attacked.  Therefore, owners of the livestock business even make sure that there are no foxes near their animals. If you are also in this business then you should take preventive measures to keep your livestock safe from such threats.

Another finding of our research was that a sheep does not prefer to fight with its predator. It is because it is born with the nature of being preyed on. In most cases, it was found that sheep prefer to flee away than fight whenever they came across some kind of danger.

This finding can be quite helpful if you are a livestock business owner because whenever you observe some kind of chaos among your livestock make sure to check the surrounding. This can be a signal towards a threat to your lambs and other animals.


It can be concluded from studies mentioned in the above paragraphs that sheep are rarely targeted by foxes. Among the list of prey of foxes, most of them were lambs or newly born. This shows that foxes are used to target weak animals because they can easily control them.

On the other hand, it was found that foxes were unable to attack healthy and grown-up sheep because they could not be easily controlled. Older sheep have the power to free themselves from a fox attack and run away.

As we have discussed above, that only one kind of fox has the power to attack a grown-up sheep. These foxes are called red foxes. They are famous for their wild nature and strength. Though they are very few, you must take preventive measures against such types of foxes. There can be many preventive strategies but the following ones can prove to be quite effective:

  • You should use a fence around the living area of your livestock. This will keep the foxes away from your sheep.
  • Always position your sheep in such a way that the healthy ones protect the weak and younger ones.
  • Do not send weak and younger ones for a graze on their own.

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