What is a Silver Fox?
The black-brown foxes or the Black foxes or Siberian foxes or the silver foxes are a mutant form of the wild Canadian fox it looks like Fennec Foxes but more furrier, which refers to the species of foxes bred by humans to obtain beautiful fur. Animals raised in captivity differ from wild animals in their larger size, is the common fox morph. It is bred in livestock farms in order to obtain beautiful and warm fur, which is used to make clothes (silver fox coats, fur hats).and to be honest, I don’t like that at all, and we not support such things.
The Silver Foxes Origin
Silver Fox Names
The Black Fox, The Russian Silver Fox. The Black-Brown Foxes, Silver Red Fox, the Siberian Fox. The Silver Canadian fox. silver tailed fox, even if the names and the colors change it all comes from the silver fox species.
The Silver Foxex History
The silver fox began to spread throughout the northern regions of the United States and Canada in the early 19th century, appearing after the mutation of the Canadian wild fox. To this date, about 8% of the population of black foxes living in the wild has remained on the lands of Canada. Most of the animals with a unique color are bred on special fur farms. The valuable fur has become the reason for the almost complete extermination of the population of the silver fox, which is now listed in the Red List of Extinct animals.
From the second half of the 19th century and throughout the 20th century, the silver foxes were bred artificially by breeders. In 1971, this animal was recognized as a separate species. During the period of breeding work, fox fur changed significantly, its quality and variety of shades increased (Dakota, Bakurian, platinum, etc.). As a result of crossing red foxes and silver foxes, we got individuals with a red shade of wool, covered with a lot of black hair, especially noticeable on the tail. These foxes had black stripes on the outer thighs and black limbs.
The State Register of Breeding Achievements in Russia has registered 11 varieties of the silver foxes :
- Arctic marble
- Krasnaya Roshchinskaya
- Ognevka Vyatskaya
- Silver black
Description of the Silver Fox
The standard length of the fox’s body is 60-90 cm, the voluminous tail can grow up to 60 cm, the animal weighs about 22 kg. The color of the silver fox fur can be different. Some foxes are completely covered with black thick fur, only the end of the tail remains white. There are individuals with blue and brown shades of wool, having a gray-ash color on the sides.
In the summer, the fur of silver foxes becomes shorter and thinner. Molting begins by the end of February or early March and stops in mid-July. In the future, the fur becomes denser and thicker, so the body of the silver foxes will preparing for the cold. The silver fox, like other foxes, has large ears, very sensitive to the smallest sounds, which helps the predator in hunting.
Small species of animals serve as food for the silver fox. She knows how to hunt well, skillfully disguises herself, thanks to her endurance, is able to chase the victim for hours. As loners, foxes form pairs only in autumn and spring, at the time of mating. The silver fox cubs born are raised by their mother and for months she will teach them to hunt and supplying them with food.
The physical appearance of the Italian miniature greyhound
- Size: Between 60 to 90 cm
- Tail: 40 cm to 60 cm
- Weight: Between 20 and 25 lbs
- Canine category: graioid (greyhound type)
- Life expectancy: 12 to 14 years (and over)
- Coat Type: long, fine coat, silky to the touch and shiny like satin. the color black silver-black, black-brown, silver,gray-ash color.
Silver Foxes Habitat
As already mentioned, the initial natural range of the silver foxes was Canada and North America. and even some places in Russia, It was there that the silver foxes first met. In the nineteenth century, black-brown foxes began to explore the rocky regions of Pennsylvania, Madeleine, and even New York. On the territory of their natural range, these foxes were represented by large populations. But over time, the silver tailed fox was caught, killed, and today the silver fox is considered an endangered species.
For life and reproduction in the wild, Silver foxes choose quite secluded places for themselves. They evaluate the terrain primarily by the presence of prey. They prefer to settle in areas with a temperate climate, close to a water source, forest, or rocky mountains.
Interesting fact: The largest number of silver fox animal living in the wild is recorded in Canada. At the moment, this species makes up more than eight percent of the population of the common fox family in the state.
Hunting for silver foxes in the wild is strictly prohibited. Today, these animals are bred on special zoological farms for hunting. Such farms are located in almost every major state because the fur of the black-brown fox is in great demand in the market. The farms have all the conditions for breeding animals.
Features of Silver Fox Character and Lifestyle
The Silver fox animal is a lonely beast. These foxes prefer to live separately. They pair up only during the mating season. Even after birth, the foxes with their upbringing, feeding is most often done by one female. For life, these predators choose places with a rich population of small rodents. Burrows are built on slopes, small embankments. They can occupy the abandoned burrows of other animals if they fit them in size.
Fox burrows usually have multiple entrances and exits. They are a whole system of tunnels leading to the nest. The animal carefully masks the exits, it is not so easy to detect their holes. Black-brown foxes are not strongly attached to one place of residence. They can change their home if there is no food in the previous territory. An acute attachment to the habitat is manifested only during the feeding period of the foxes.
During the day, foxes prefer to spend their time in the shelter, only occasionally appearing on the street. Predators are most active at night. It is at night time that all their senses become more acute, their eyes see much better. During the day, the fox may not distinguish colors. Foxes are quite calm, unhurried, friendly. They don’t get into fights unnecessarily. In case of danger, these animals prefer to flee. They carefully obfuscate the tracks leading to their own hideout.
Silver Fox Behavior
Although the silver fox animal is normally a solitary animal, it won’t completely isolate itself from other foxes. the silver foxes do not hunt in packs like wolves or some wild animals do but will form a pair (a mated male and female) that can last for life. This pair will travel, hunt, and feed on their own, but will occasionally meet to play or groom each other.
In more urban areas, it is common for other foxes to join the dominant, mated pair. These additions, usually known as “helpers”, are generally the offspring of the dominant pair who remained with their parents for certain reasons, such as the difficulty of them having difficulty finding and establishing their own territory. even inside the house if you own a silver fox as a pet you will see the same behavior.
the silver Foxes are known to be territorial animals because they will establish and defend an area where they live (a “territory”) against other foxes.
silver foxes will use “scent marking” (using urine, feces, or their own scent from the multiple scent glands on their body, such as on their tail, face, or feet) to communicate with other foxes and let them know where the borders of their territory are situated. If silver foxes do happen to meet each other in a marked off territory, it is unusual for fights to occur. silver foxes will usually only attack strangers instead of neighboring foxes.
If a silver fox leaves its territory for a period of time, another fox is likely to move in and establish its own territory in that area.
Notable Defense Mechanisms:
The silver fox utilizes multiple defense mechanisms such as their sharp teeth, musky odor (which is comparable to a skunk’s), small size (which allows it to hide or flee from larger predators), speed, and intelligence.
Enemies and threats of the Silver Fox
Silver fox is not easy prey. Like all foxes, the animal knows how to confuse tracks, moves quickly, is quite hardy, and can even climb trees.
The natural enemies of the silver fox include:
Humans: It was all time the human who threatens all kinds of animals and the fact is the silver fox is now on the verge of extinction.because the hunting, Hunters shot silver foxes in large numbers because of their fur. Also, some of the foxes were shot because of the threat of the formation of a rabies focus. It is wild foxes that are the main carriers of this deadly disease;
Wild predators: the foxes or the silver foxes die in large numbers from the clutches of predators. They are often attacked by wolves, jackals, stray dogs, large lynxes, bears. Any predator larger than the silver fox can be considered its natural enemy;
Ferrets, ermines. These small animals can also kill foxes;
Birds of prey. Silver foxes often die at a young age. Small foxes can go far from their parents, where large predators overtake them. the silver Foxes are usually attacked by eagles, hawks, falcons, eagles.
The black fox or the silver fox can pursue the victim for several hours, showing courage and prudence in the hunt. Excellent hearing and a keen sense of smell help the animal to track down rodents at considerable distances. The fox easily finds the trail of the victim but does not try to attack. She drives the rodent until it is exhausted. Sharp fangs and teeth can instantly tear the victim apart.
Silver Fox Diet
In natural conditions, The Silver foxes usually hunt mice and rabbits, sometimes they can attack a lizard or bird. The beast can eat more than 300 species of animals and several dozen different plants. But three-quarters of the fox’s diet is occupied by small rodents (voles and mice). She hunts hares much less often. Under favorable conditions, a fox can attack even a roe deer cub. Catching birds is not as popular with these animals as hunting for rodents, but they are ready to feast on the birds that find themselves on the ground, as well as their eggs and chicks.
In southern Europe, silver foxes often hunt reptiles, in the Far East they eat salmon that died during spawning, catch fish, and crayfish in shallow water, and on the coast, they pick up mollusks and mammals brought ashore. In summer, their diet also includes all kinds of beetles, earthworms, and other types of insects. Silver foxes do not disdain and eat carrion, and in the absence of food, they can feed on various garbage.
Plant food also makes up a significant part of the diet of animals, which includes the following components:
Mating and Reproduction of Silver Foxes
The Silver fox becomes sexually mature at the age of 9-11 months. From this time on, every year, males go in search of a female suitable for mating. The gestation period of the silver foxes lasts about 49-58 days, one litter can consist of 4-13 cubs.
The beginning of the mating season is influenced by the availability of food and suitable weather; under unfavorable conditions, offspring may not appear. At this time, fights often occur between males. After mating, the male takes care of the fox throughout pregnancy.
Little foxes look very similar to wolf cubs with white markings on the tips of their tails. The grown offspring begins to take part in the hunt on an equal basis with their parents. By the beginning of autumn, young animals become independent, individuals begin to lead a solitary lifestyle. Young females can bring offspring next year.
Keeping a Silver Fox as a Pet
Before you start thinking about owning a silver fox, or fennec fox as a pet or any Species of Foxes as a pet you need to familiarize yourself with the features of caring for this animal and the rules of caution. Legislation in a number of countries prohibits keeping foxes at home, so you should clarify this issue before buying a silver fox as a pet. It is also necessary to find a professional veterinarian for pet examinations, examinations, and vaccinations.
The next step is to prepare a fence or a cage of a suitable size where the fox will live. The place should be accessible and convenient for cleaning and maintenance. In the animal’s dwelling, you need to provide a den that serves as a burrow and also put a box with filler or sand, where the fox will go to the toilet. The animal gets used to the tray quite easily.
Silver foxes can perfectly jump, climb and dig, so the dwelling should be equipped in such a way that the animal cannot leave it on its own. Foxes lend themselves well to training, communication, and games with them do not differ much from similar fun with cats and dogs. The animal can also be leash-trained.
Foxes are omnivores and can consume almost any food. The pet’s usual diet includes the following components:
- high-quality dog food
- thawed vegetables
you can read about owning a Silver Fox as a Pet here :
The appearance of the silver fox in culture
The coat of arms of Prince Edward Island depicts two silver foxes as support. Foxes in heraldic motives represent the embodiment of intelligence, integrity, and wisdom. As part of the coat of arms, they symbolize ingenuity, inspiration, and tenacity.
The Russian fox or the silver fox is also depicted on the coats of arms of the city of Totma in the Vologda region, and the city of Surgut in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug. American writer and author of “Stories about Animals”, Ernest Seton-Thompson made one of the heroes of the book, the black fox Domino. In 1973, Igor Negrescu made the film “Domino” based on this work.
Black foxes, thanks to their fine fur, are popular in animal husbandry. These cute, curious, playful, and intelligent animals make great family pets, just like traditional cats and dogs.
Silver Fox Farming History
The black-brown fox or the silver fox is a rare animal that is difficult to meet in the wild nature of Russia but is rarely found in the Kuril Islands. Animals sometimes run away from fur farms, and then they can be bumped into in the forest. They are not afraid of people, so they are easy to catch. “The eyes of a bead, thick fur with a characteristic tricolor pile, careful tread …” – this is how the writers described the silver fox, admiring this amazing animal. She has the same habits as an ordinary fox – cunning, intelligent, large. Back in the 18th century, attempts were made to breed foxes in captivity on the northern islands of Russia and America. The first experiments were unsuccessful but still crowned with success. Charles Dalton at the end of the 90s of the XIX century, by crossing, bred a new species – silver-black foxes. At an auction in London, the first skin was sold for a whopping $ 2,718. The new business promised fantastic profits.
The number of fur farms in Canada and the United States began to grow rapidly. The dividends of new joint-stock companies reached 500%. The demand and prices for live animals increased rapidly. For the period 1909-1914. the cost of a pair of breeding silver-black foxes increased from $ 3,000 to $ 35,000. Almost all the animals went for breeding, those rare skins that fell on the market were sold for a lot of money.
During the years of World War I, the demand for luxury goods, primarily for silver fox furs, decreased significantly. The situation improved only in the 20s of the XX century after fur farms began to be created in many countries of the world, purchasing breeding foxes in America and Canada. Silver foxes were bred in England, Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Norway, Finland, Sweden, even in Japan. Although the prices for skins were no longer hitting the record highs of the early farming period, fox breeding was very profitable. The silver-black fox remained the queen of furs.
For 10 years the world fox market has increased 20 times and reached 200,000 skins by 1930. At the same time, the price of this product was falling. It became possible to make jackets and coats from fox fur, which were completely unthinkable before due to the astronomical cost. But the price of foxes was declining not only because of the increased supply but because of the competition from other furs that ascended to the fashion Olympus. A fierce struggle for markets has broken out between large companies that breed silver foxes on the one hand and grow minks on the other.
For the period 1929-1933. there was a global crisis, common problems temporarily reconciled all furs. The laws of life made a new type of woman popular: tougher, more decisive, more rational. Integration into the global economy forced them to rethink their clothing priorities. Even wealthy ladies who did not have to earn their daily bread in the sweat of their brows preferred to look modern and wore a practical mink. The glamorous beauty of the fox was needed only by the heroines of the “dream factory”: refined, timid, luxurious, and seductive. Hollywood movie divas knew perfectly well that the exciting swaying of fur, in contrast to the marble face, enhances the impression of the image of the fatal, unapproachable goddess. In 1934, a platinum fox was bred in Norway.
In 1937, at an auction in Oslo, the first 9 skins of such a fox were sold for an average of $ 300, at that time the silver fox cost $ 40.
The novelty made a splash in the fur market. The next year, at the same auction, the next 11 skins were sold for $ 1,400, four of them were quickly resold in New York for $ 5,000.
In 1940, at an auction in New York, the maximum price for a platinum fox hide was $ 11,000. The fantastic success of the Norwegian platinum fox made the breeders turn their efforts to breeding even newer species of fur-bearing animals. World War II completely cut off European breeders from the American fox market. Problems with feed and marketing of finished products have severely reduced the number of fur farms in Europe.
After the war, the price of silver fox furs to $ 7-10 per skin, which could not even compensate for the costs of growing. Small farms went bankrupt, large ones reoriented to mink. In Europe, fox farms remained only in Norway and Finland, which made it possible to preserve specialists and the results of unique breeding work. Compared to the pre-war amount of 400-500 thousand skins, the market for the silver tailed fox has decreased tenfold. Similar concerns worried about the economies of America and Canada. The Fur Breeders Association forced the government to pass a law to restrict fur imports.
American fox breeders took advantage of the successful experience of their Norwegian colleagues and tried to increase the demand for fox fur and silver fox furs by developing new species. In the period 1954-1959. new shades with “loud” names were obtained: Golden Glory, Golden Amber, Opal, Onyx, Palladium, Bright Silver, Angel, Crystal. At the same time, large funds were invested in promoting a new product. The Fromm Bros Farm alone, which specializes in the breeding of colored foxes, spent $ 100,000 in advertising in 1959. But all attempts gave a temporary result, demand did not increase and the number of fox animal farms steadily decreased.
At this time, a new leader in fur production emerged in the world. The USSR government understood the importance of furs for the country’s economy. Almost immediately after the revolution, the organization of the first fur farms began. In 1931, a fur auction was organized in Leningrad, at which all Russian furs were sold. The fur farming, interrupted by the war, continued to develop at such a pace that by 1966 the production of the silver-black fox in the USSR accounted for 90% of the world market, and the blue fox – 60%. The planned economy made it possible not to take into account the fashion trends of the season, and the huge unspoiled domestic market sold all the goods that were not in demand abroad. Despite the worldwide unpopularity of the silver fox, a collar, boa or a hat made of this fur remained the eternal dream of several generations of Soviet women.
At the end of the 19th century, many fur breeds of foxes were artificially bred on fur farms: silver foxes, platinum, Bakurian, Dakota, and others. Thanks to the selection, the quality of the fur have been improved in comparison with wild foxes. In Russia in the period from 1940-1990. The following varieties of foxes were obtained: silver-black, silver-black white-faced, platinum, platinum white-faced, golden-platinum, snow, “moth”, “cross”, “sivodushka”, “northern dawn”, “arctic marble”. To date, only the silver-black fox is grown in industrial quantities, and the “fire” and “cross” in insignificant quantities.
The silver fox furs are called the “queen” of fur animals, for their very beautiful fur, which is highly valued in world markets. The classic silver tailed fox has a black color. A long and fluffy pile gives the fur a magnificent look. Silver fox fur comes in several shades: from the lightest with dark “strands” of fur to darker tones with a grayish base and almost black “strands”. The villi of the silver fox fur are tricolor: the base is gray, the middle is white, and the ends are black.
Since the breeding work in each country was carried out independently, by now four types of adjustable silver-black foxes have formed in the world: Russian, American, Norwegian and Finnish.
The Russian fox type is closest in hair structure to the wild fox the awn is low, soft; the average size of the skin is small. In the American type, the awn is stiffer and longer, the skin is larger in size, but in the area of the shoulder blades of the “cross”, there is a pronounced failure. The Finnish and Norwegian types are very similar: large skins, thick pile, high, beautiful awn. The Norwegian type is characterized by a high dense undercoat that perfectly supports a long guard hair, because of this specificity, Norwegian foxes are indispensable for edges and trimmings. The Finnish fox has the highest guard hair it calls ” silver haired fox”, which gives the impression of exotic feathers, a great effect for luxurious, sensual clothing.
In America and Russia, colored mutational foxes are grown on individual farms in very small numbers, and Finland and Norway are the undisputed leaders in this direction. There is a Scandinavian sorting system adopted at the Finnish Fur Auction in Helsinki, which is the exclusive seller of Finnish and Norwegian foxes.
The best skins in Helsinki are labeled SAGA ROYAL. At the American Legend auction in Seattle, the best quality fox was marked – American Legend Fox, at the Canadian NAFA auction in Toronto – NAFA Fox, at the Danish auction in Copenhagen – Kopenhagen Fur Purple.
Foxes are divided into several types:
* Fox has a pronounced hard and high guard pile.
* The silver-black fox or silver tailed fox has the highest pile among all foxes and special tricolor hairs: dark gray at the base, white in the middle, black at the end.
In a silver haired fox, the value of the skin is the higher, the more white it has – silver. This look is a favorite material of designers for further painting in bright colors. As a result, it gives an incomparable amazing color transition: from intense, in place of the white part of the hair, through muted with dark underfur to radical black at the ends. This fox is also good in that its pure gray hair does not give unnecessary color distortions when painting.
Recently, the discoloration “gilding” of silver-black foxes has become a fashionable trend. In this case, gray fluff acquires a color, depending on the concentration and time of the process, from dark yellow to milky white, black tips – from chestnut to light brown, the white part remains unchanged or slightly yellows. Of the latest know-how, the partial discoloration can be noted, when they are limited only to underfur, or leave the central part of the hide unchanged. There is a small amount of natural brown type silver fox, in which the black color has been replaced by light chocolate, but these skins are uninteresting and are mainly used for discoloration.
- The “red” or “golden fox” Gold fox is the most expensive. The best specimens have a delightful dark red color, uniform over the entire area of the skin with dark gray down in the depth of the pile. The light shades of the red fox are very unusual, when a white part appears on the guard hair (like that of a silver fox), forming a pink moire effect on the skin.
- “Krestovka” Gold Cross fox – a hybrid of a silver-black and red fox, has an unusual look and is also very highly valued. This fox got its name because of the dark cross formed by the ridge and the transverse strip in the area of the shoulder blades. The most expensive skins have a dark red color and a clear dark cross. But even the dark tones, which are black skin with red sides, are very original.
- The Golden Island fox has a very beautiful cold, light yellow fur, turning into white to the belly, smoky gray in the depth of the underfur and the same ridge.
- Fox Shadow Golden Island fox – a variation of Golden Island fox with white sides and collar.
- “Snow” fox White fox has a snow-white color, sometimes with a light cream shade. In Russia, it is also known under the name “Georgian” or “Bakurian” fox, from the state farm, wherein 1943 it was possible to breed such a species.
- Platinum has a very original color due to its unusual guard hair: white with gray tips. Towards the middle of the back, the hairs darken and turn into a bright ridge, and towards the neck, they turn into a white-collar.
- “Platinum-gold” Platinum Gold is a red fox, the color of the pattern changes from gray-black to red-gold.
- CK hairs form a blurred ridge and dark saddle, sometimes forming chaotic spots.
- “Arctic Marble Gold” Arctic Marble Gold is a red fox, in the color of which the color of the pattern changes from gray-black to red-gold. – The Burgundy fox is similar to the silver fox, but the black color in it is replaced with wine brown.
- “Seychelles” Seychelles fox – a fox with a cinnamon awn and yellow underfur.
- Fawn Light fox has a yellow-pink color with a light brown ridge. – Fire Gold is similar to a light gold fox, but more contrasting, with a pronounced white color.
- Fox Sun Glo fox – white with a light red thin ridge and chaotic spots.
Arctic Fox Silver Breed
Protection of Silver Foxes
Today the silver foxes are an animal that is listed in the Red Book and Endergaged animal species. It is classified as a conservation mammal; the status of the species of this fox raises serious concerns. In the wild, very few representatives of the silver foxes remained.
This is due to a variety of factors:
- Hunters: Despite the prohibition, such cases take place even in our time;
- Poor ecology, lack of food. In natural habitats, animals do not have enough food, soil and water around the planet are polluted;
- Attack by natural enemies, disease. Silver foxes become victims of large predators, while foxes die from the paws of birds. Also, some of the animals die from certain diseases.
- Also, the silver fox population is rapidly declining due to the relatively low survival rate of the animal in the wild. Foxes live no more than three years in freedom. The remains of the silver foxes population have so far been preserved in the United States and Canada. It is extremely rare that representatives of this species can be found in Russia in the wild.
Saving the wild silver foxes
To stop extinction, preserve the silver foxes species, many states provide for fines and other punishments for killing these animals. They also began to actively breed and protect them in the territories of various reserves, parks located around the world.
The silver foxes are a beautiful, fluffy animal with valuable fur. This species of foxes are endangered, its population in its natural habitat is rapidly declining every year. From the complete disappearance of these animals, only their active breeding on various zoological farms saves.
the Silver foxes are a very smart, cunning, interesting predator. Today absolutely everyone can become the owner of such an animal. Silver foxes puppies are sold in specialized stores, are easily tamed, and kept at home.