Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pet Fox Enclosures: Fencing

As a small forward, sorry for this post being so late. We're in the middle of a major move, and I haven't had time to update.

After you have the location and flooring decided, the next major component of a fox enclosure are the walls. Any material that is safe and strong enough to keep the fox in (and curious or malicious strangers out) will do, though some work better than others. The enclosure should also be tall enough for you to enter and exit easily.

One of the best enclosure wall designs are large, bolted-together panels. They're strong, made of fox-safe material, weather-resistant, and very easy for one person to take apart and re-assemble. Due to their modular design, it's very easy to move or alter your enclosure if you need to. The same panels can be used for flooring under a layer of mulch, and for an escape-proof roof. This is what I made both Gizmo's indoor play-pen and outdoor play-yard out of, and I have never had an escape or injury.

One such kennel set can be purchased here. Please note that if you do go this route, you will need to buy several of the sets to make an enclosure big enough. Also keep in mind that the roof that comes with the kennel set is not sufficient to keep a fox enclosed. To create a minimum 10' by 10' enclosure for one fox, using panels for both flooring and roofing, you will need to purchase 3 sets.

Another alternative is to use chain link fencing for an enclosure perimeter. This is a cheaper option, though they are generally less portable and more difficult to construct, so keep that in mind. They do manufacture chain link 'dog kennel' sets similar to the metal panels I described above, but buyer beware. Some sets come with rounded doors on them as opposed to squared-off ones. Your fox may try to escape through this "corner" and get caught--I know of at least one dog who suffocated this way. If you do go with chain link, find a set with a door that closes flush with it's frame.

I would advise against using wood to build fox enclosure walls. To be safe for the fox (they chew everything), the wood would have to be untreated, and untreated wood for an outdoor enclosure would have a relatively short lifespan. Once it starts to weaken and rot, it becomes both and escape and a splinter hazard.