I found what looks like a black rat snake in my yard. Does any one know if it is likely to hurt a rabbit that i have caged outside? The cage is about 3 ft. off the ground and up against the back of my house. Thanks.
Amanda from Yulee, FL
Well I googled "diet of rat snakes" and it said a full adult (maybe 6 feet long) can eat moles, squirrels, birds and mice. It can also climb trees. So if your rabbit is missing you will know where it is hiding.
I won't say that they "can't" hurt a rabbit, but I can offer personal reassurance that over 25 years of keeping rabbits, I have never had one killed (or even harmed) by a snake of any kind. And rat snakes as well as many other species are prolific in our area. They do eat our eggs and baby chicks/poults/ducklings/guinea keets. But never have they harmed a rabbit!
I think that a grown or even half grown rabbit would not only be FAR too large for a rat snake, but would also put up quite a fuss if the snake even approached. With all that stomping going on, the snake would most likely go elsewhere.
I hope this reassures you.
I am not sure what a "Rat Snake" is, but we have Black Snakes here in Arkansas, and when we were raising rabbits for meat years ago, I was checking my nest boxes with babies in them one morning. These were built on the side of the cage, and had a lid on the top. They were just at eye level for me, and I opened one lid and peered in. What a scare I had! Inside was a Black Snake among my babies. I dropped the lid down and called my husband to remove the snake. Turned out the snake was 5 1/2 feet long and had already devoured one of the month old babies which was evident by the lump in the snake. So make sure that your cage is "snake-proof".
Harlean from Arkansas