U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Rural and Small Town Living
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 06-13-2010, 05:37 PM
 
Location: CasaMo
15,584 posts, read 7,661,523 times
Reputation: 17149

Advertisements

I've often wondered how the two interact and have tried to research and have not found much information. I've encountered rattlesnakes on numerous occasions here on my place especially in a rocky south facing slope. I also have cattle grazing my property and never had one bitten to the best of my knowledge. Being that they graze and have their faces to the ground eating day and night that they would eventually encounter a rattlesnake. Do the rattlesnakes seek cover when the herd gets near or do the cattle steer clear of the rattlesnakes by instinct?

Does anybody know or have experience with this? I've wondered that for some time..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-13-2010, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
9,618 posts, read 11,510,372 times
Reputation: 3744
Default Diamonds in the Rough!

Some basic offhand comments: I worked, while doing research for one of my grad biology degrees, on a very large cattle ranch. I spent a lot of time riding around on a very mature, experienced horse. He would, on rare occasions, rear up when he either heard or perhaps smelled a rattler, and he would back away.

Pretty hard-wired response I'd say. Not in either the snake's, horses or cattle's best interests to "have a go" with each other, though I have heard cowboy stories of horses stomping rattlers to bits. Ditto for deer. That's even been video-taped, in fact!

What I do continue to unsettling and primitive is the typical cowboy response to rattlers, coyotes, in fact anything out there except cattle. Those cowboys will happily drop anything perceived as a threat (even if it's not...) in a heartbeat, and did not give a wit about rattler's important role in managing the population growth of the local rodent population. Rattlers are more than beneficial, and they pretty much go out of their simple-minded way to avoid contact with anything that might get them into trouble.

Pit vipers' (i.e: rattlers & their allies) eyesight is so short-focused that they certainly can't recognize or even optically define a human, especially when that human is, let's say, ≥ 10 yards away. Even if they are coiled at our feet, they still can't make out our heads! Too far away. They apparently can only clearly out to about 2- 3 yards, max. Instead, they "see" with infrared sensors on their snouts, as well as chemical sensory pits in the roof of their mouths. They "taste" the molecules in the air with that flickering tongue, and then re-insert those tongue tips back into their mouth pits, which tells them what might be out there.

Diamonds on the beach on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/garanger1403/3442118288/ - broken link)

While a big southern desert rattler will certainly make you very sick or "dead", the more northern ones, like up here in central WA ST. will likely only make you quite sick. If you get the antivenin ASAP,

Antivenom - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

...you'll be fine, though you may also suffer a bit of tissue sloughing where bitten. But in general, just watch your step, and if you have a walking stick, tamp the ground briskly with it (vibrations, get it?) as you walk through rocky, typical snake habitat. They will always retreat before you even see them, but they may give you the thrill of hearing their warning rattle!

If you will be walking in snake country a lot, you can also buy and wear snake-proof boots or get snake-proof guards that Velcroâ„¢ onto your boots.

"Take A Rattler to Dinner!"
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-13-2010, 06:47 PM
 
731 posts, read 1,397,567 times
Reputation: 682
That was a good question. We also had livestock for about 25 years and I never knew that any had ever had a rattlesnake bite. Makes me wonder if what we sometimes called lumpjaw, that eventually drained , might have been a bite. Our dogs were bitten by probably a rattlesnake or copperhead, and the area would swell terribly. I always took them to a vet and got some medicine.

Once an older fella told me that pigmy rattlers would grasp a cows tail and stay for a while. Don't know about that....never saw it anyway.

I went to a website and read a little about rattlesnakes and cattle. The information was that cattle and horses do get bit while grazing they also sometimes get their head close to investigate the snake and get bit. The site also said that rattlesnakes are not that advantageous in getting rid of the rodent population either. Sheep often huddle together during the day and can get bitten if pushed toward snakes.
Rattlesnake Damage Assessment - eXtension

There is not much reason to allow rattlesnakes to live, they are not on any endangered list. I hate them.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-14-2010, 11:31 AM
 
4,925 posts, read 9,901,561 times
Reputation: 3279
Just repeating what the other 2 said...growing up the last 10 years I was home on my dad's ranch we never had a cow snakebit that I ever knew of. We had western rattlesnakes where we lived (quite common) and they seemed a little calmer than their eastern cousins I've gotten to know...

I can only remember one time seeing any cattle/rattler interaction and it was simply a snake moving slowly, coiling and rattling occasionally, and the cattle giving it a wide berth. Any horse I've been with shied away...

Now, we had dogs bit a couple of times, but no livestock that we ever knew of. My dad just said the horses were smarter than the dogs and the cattle luckier...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-14-2010, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Stuck in NE GA right now
4,585 posts, read 10,996,828 times
Reputation: 6618
Many farmers have taken to putting burros or mules with their stock. They will stomp the ground to run off the snakes, goats will also do the same thing.

I used to have horses and I had a pony mule with them and never had a problem. I have heard of horses getting bit and dying if not treated.

Since cows run in a heard and their stomping of the ground as they graze could easily keep the snakes at bay.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-14-2010, 02:31 PM
 
9,807 posts, read 13,681,328 times
Reputation: 8170
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReturningWest View Post
Many farmers have taken to putting burros or mules with their stock. They will stomp the ground to run off the snakes, goats will also do the same thing.

I used to have horses and I had a pony mule with them and never had a problem. I have heard of horses getting bit and dying if not treated.

Since cows run in a heard and their stomping of the ground as they graze could easily keep the snakes at bay.

?????????????

cows running and stomping would be a stampede.

What pastures/cattle have you been observing.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-14-2010, 06:48 PM
 
Location: CasaMo
15,584 posts, read 7,661,523 times
Reputation: 17149
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinynot View Post
There is not much reason to allow rattlesnakes to live, they are not on any endangered list. I hate them.
I agree. Garter Snakes, Kingsnakes, Blacksnakes, or any other non-venonmous snakes are welcome on my place.

Rattlesnakes and Copperheads, forget it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-15-2010, 05:34 AM
 
Location: Stuck in NE GA right now
4,585 posts, read 10,996,828 times
Reputation: 6618
Quote:
Originally Posted by marmac View Post
?????????????

cows running and stomping would be a stampede.

What pastures/cattle have you been observing.
You mis-read my information, I didn't say cows running as in stampede I said cows "run" in a herd meaning they are not single enities, they are "herd" animals, hence "run" in a herd or "move around" in a herd. If you watch cattle they are not "twinkle toes" they swat flys, stomp to shake them off etc. "Run in a heard" is a term I hear constantly and it doesn't mean stampede. For example, "I run 250 head of cattle", they are not stampeding their herd.

I've got cattle herds all around me, I live rural NE GA and I grew up in Oregon so I've seen and watch cattle most of my life. Two of the biggest Black Angus Breeders in the SE are my neighbors and friends and they concure with me.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Rural and Small Town Living
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top