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J Vet Res. 2019 Jun 12;63(2):299-302. doi: 10.2478/jvetres-2019-0031. eCollection 2019 Jun.

Breeding Profiles at the Periparturient Stage in Captive Red Foxes (Vulpes Vulpes) Mating Naturally or Subjected to Artificial Insemination in Japan.

Author information

Zao Fox Village Inc., Miyagi 989-0733 Shiroishi, Japan.
Schools of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Department of Farm Management, Miyagi University, Sendai, Miyagi 982-0215 Sendai, Japan.
Cooperative Department of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Agriculture, Iwate University, Morioka, Iwate 020-8550, Morioka, Japan.
Miyagi Prefectural Livestock Experiment Station, Miyagi, 989-6445, Shiroishi, Japan.



Breeding profiles at the periparturient stage in red foxes which mated naturally or were subjected to artificial insemination were retrospectively surveyed using 130 vixens during their reproductive seasons of 2012-2017 in Japan.

Material and Methods:

Natural mating vixens were encouraged a maximum of three times with the same male, while artificial insemination was conducted using frozen-thawed semen with the bovine semen extender as a diluent.


With natural mating, conception rates after one, two, and three copulations were 55.8%, 68.0%, and 85.7%, respectively, showing a significant difference between the rates for one and three copulations. Conception rates with artificial insemination were 82.4%. Mean gestation periods were between 52.1 and 53.3 days in all groups. Mean litter sizes were 3.7-4.3 cubs with natural mating, and 4.4 cubs with artificial insemination. Although some sporadic and inconsistent changes in litter sizes were noted between primiparous and multiparous groups, these were of doubtful clinical importance.


This is the first report from Japan concerning basic breeding events of red fox vixens in captivity.


artificial insemination; breeding profile; natural mating; red fox

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of Interest Conflict of Interests Statement: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interests regarding the publication of this article.

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