Bones as enrichment for farmed blue foxes (Vulpes lagopus): interaction with the bones and preference for a cage with the bones

  • Published source details Koistinen T., Turunen A., Kiviniemi V., Ahola L. & Mononen J. (2009) Bones as enrichment for farmed blue foxes (Vulpes lagopus): interaction with the bones and preference for a cage with the bones. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 120, 108-116.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Carnivores: Provide bones, hides or partial carcasses

Action Link
Management of Captive Animals
  1. Carnivores: Provide bones, hides or partial carcasses

    A replicated, controlled study in 2009 of Arctic foxes Vulpes lagopus in a research facility in Finland found that when a cattle femur bone was provided as enrichment, foxes performed less oral stereotypies and engaged in more solitary play (mean values not reported). Foxes in the enrichment group interacted with bones for 50 minutes a day (3–4% of the observations). Sixteen fox families were used in this experiment. A frozen and defrosted cattle femur was placed into every second cage of a row. Foxes that were not provided with a bone could still see and smell the bones. All foxes were fed twice daily. Instantaneous focal sampling from video recordings were undertaken at five minute intervals for three 24-hour periods over four months.

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