How can animals (e.g foxes) eat raw poultry without suffering from salmonella?

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How can animals (e.g foxes) eat raw poultry without suffering from salmonella?

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5 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

They do suffer from all sorts parasites and diseases, that’s why they live less than pets, and meat of wild animals is a huge health hazard unless cooked extremely thoroughly.

Then there’s adaptation. If all you can eat contains salmonella, the species will adapt to surviving it. However it wastes resources that could be put into more advantageous perks, like an advanced simian brain that can only thrive with safe and plentiful food.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Carnivores (although foxes aren’t obligate carnivores, their gut is more like a carnivore) are built to handle things like that.

Low stomach pH (acidic) to break down a wider range of bacteria and toxins.

A shorter gut overall, relative to body mass, so food moves through faster, providing less time and fewer opportunities for infection.

Specialized microbiome that prevents foreign entities from taking hold.

And of course, eating raw meat right away is much safer than eating raw meat that has been handled repeatedly and stored for a period. By the time you get your chicken, from the store or even a butcher, it’s had some time to sit, it’s been around other meats, and even in the best conditions that can mean increased contamination.

That said, the prevalence of Salmonella in intensive farming has meant that a larger percentage of foxes will be infected. It will depend on their feeding habits, more exposure to infected birds will mean a higher chance of transmission.

They aren’t immune, they’re just set up to minimize.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I believe it’s come down to digestion tract length. Carnivores have short tracts (6-9 hours in and out), herbivores are long (3-4 days), and humans bring omnivores are usually 24-36 hours.

Bacteria goes through parthenogenesis (splitting into two) every 20 mins or so. So one bacterium will multiply into 262 THOUSAND bacteria whereas in a human, it can multiply to 68 BILLION.


Exponential growth of bacteria in carnivores vs omnivores digestive tracts

Anonymous 0 Comments


Anonymous 0 Comments

They do actually.

It’s an interesting question so I decided to look it up and put some numbers to it – according to [this paper](, just shy of 20% of the (farmed) foxes they studied were carrying Salmonella. In the discussion they cite several other papers that found incidences of ~5% or less in wild foxes.

There are lots and LOTS of different subspecies and serovars of Salmonella. Certain strains are [specially adapted]( to survive the low pH of carnivores guts.

Animals, birds and reptiles especially, are significant reservoirs of all kinds of Salmonella strains. The only kind of Salmonella animals (other than non-human primates) *can’t* suffer from is Typhoid, as that’s human and primate specific.