Here’s a tip: You can have more fox in your diet.
A new study by researchers at The Ohio State University suggests that fox fodder is the best food source to have in your home, according to a press release.
“Our research suggests that increasing the amount of grasses, weeds and other plants that foxes eat can help offset the effects of COVID-19,” says senior author and ecologist Sarah A. Hodge, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Agricultural and Life Sciences.
In addition to the grasses that fox consume, she adds, they also like the insects they eat, which are usually insects such as millipedes and millipede larvae.
“The fact that they can eat more grass and insects, which is the primary food source for many foxes, helps offset the health effects of the virus.”
The research was published online March 22 in the journal Ecology Letters.
The researchers studied the diet of a population of adult foxes in the western Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
They fed them grasses such as dandelion and white clover, which have been shown to reduce the severity of the disease and help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The study also looked at the diet and food habits of the group’s offspring.
This allowed researchers to measure how much time each fox spent in the home, and to see how much hay they were eating.
The data showed that the average time spent in a home with foxes was 2.3 hours, which was similar to the average for the entire population.
When the researchers looked at individual foxes and the average number of days spent outdoors each year, the average was 2,800.
In the absence of hay, the group was also more likely to eat more food than those without foxes.
Haney says that this is not to say that foxers are eating less hay.
Rather, it indicates that the amount they are eating is being offset by other factors.
“There are lots of ways to reduce COVID exposure and the hay you eat is one of the main ones,” she says.
“It’s one of many things that are likely contributing to your health.”
For the researchers, it was important to measure the amount the foxes consumed in their diet, not just how much.
“To do this, we had to look at both hay and food intake, and the amount that the fox ate was a very important factor in our analysis,” Haney explains.
“We could measure this indirectly with food consumption.
We used food frequency questionnaires to measure hay intake and food consumption to estimate food intake in the context of foxes’ hay intake.”
The researchers also looked to see whether foxes were getting enough vitamin D, which helps the body regulate the immune system.
“This is a very common and effective way to assess exposure to COVID,” says A.
“But we had a problem, because the vitamin D levels in foxes are not necessarily the same as those in humans.
The vitamin D level in humans is typically in the range of 50 to 100 nanograms per millilitre.
This means that fox hay has about twice the vitamin d levels as that of humans.”
The study looked at about 1,000 foxes throughout the park.
The animals were placed in cages that were separated by a fence, and were allowed to graze.
The research team tracked how much foxes used the hay for food.
They found that a fox spent about 12 minutes a day in a cage with hay, whereas the average littermate spent 3 minutes in the same cage.
“That was a lot of time for a fox to be spending with a hay littermate,” says Haney.
“If you’ve got a littermate who is not spending as much time in a hay cage, that means that you’ve also got an increased chance of getting COVID, and you’re also increasing the risk of infection.”
A.K. Houghton, a senior research scientist in the Ohio State lab, also points out that the research was limited by the size of the study.
The team did not attempt to control for foxes eating more hay.
Humbleton adds that the researchers did find that the number of hay pellets was related to the number and type of fox pellets that fox used to eat.
“By knowing what type of hay foxes use, and how many hay pellets they use, we can determine what types of hay they eat,” Houghson says.
She adds that fox feeding could also be considered a strategy to reduce transmission of the COVID virus.
“When you’re eating hay and you have a lot more food in your cage, you’re not getting any mosquitoes,” she explains.
Instead, you are getting mosquitoes that are attracted to hay.
But, because foxes feed mostly on hay, they could also potentially have an advantage over humans in this regard.
“In terms of the impact on mosquitoes, we don