When Red Fox kits are about three weeks old they are introduced to solid food. Their mother’s milk continues to provide them with sustenance for several weeks more but it is increasingly fortified by prey that their parents catch. At about five weeks of age, just a week or so after the kits are seen above ground, the process of weaning begins. The mother physically prevents them from having access to her teats by lying down on her stomach or snapping at her kits if they attempt to nurse too often.
The kits in this photograph, taken on April 26 several years ago, are approximately two months old, enjoying what may be one of the last warm milk meals they will ever have. Weaning is completed at about eight weeks or a little more, when the kits’ teeth have all come in.