What Do Rattlesnakes Eat?


What Do Rattlesnakes Eat?

Rattlesnakes are dreadful animals. The rattling at the end of their tails is their most distinguishing characteristic. They make noise with this rattle to let others know they are there and to scare away intruders that make them feel threatened.

There are about 65 species of rattlesnakes that have been recognized, and they are venomous predatory snakes that belong to the Crotaline family.

Because they are so venomous and, more significantly, because many people take rattles from them to sell on the black market, rattlesnakes are frequently hunted by humans. Their populations are now seriously threatened in many areas.

Understanding these natural predators better will make it unnecessary for you to kill them, so it is crucial to learn more about them. When provoked or threatened, they will only lash out and bite, and they rarely do so fatally.

What Do Rattlesnakes Eat?

What Do Rattlesnakes Eat?

Here is a brief overview of the most popular foods that these snakes enjoy eating.

Small Mammals

Small mammals are a favorite prey item for rattlesnakes to hunt. In addition to mice and rats, they also like to devour rabbits, kittens, hamsters, moles, mongooses, and squirrels. Rattlesnakes typically remain hidden and wait for their victim to approach before striking. They seek for prey by keeping their rattlers silent and camouflaging their bodies.

Snakes may go in search of their prey. These little mammals’ burrows will be visited by them, and they will assault their prey there.

Birds And Eggs

Birds can be eaten by and hunted by rattlesnakes. Usually, they wait for a bird to fly by before lunging at it and biting it. Any little bird species that comes into their path will be eaten by these snakes. They like to go to bird nests and consume the eggs there as well. Although they don’t often do so, rattlesnakes can scale trees if they are in a desperate situation for food.


Various other reptiles will also be caught and eaten by these snakes. They consume several lizard species and occasionally other snakes as well. Small crocodiles have been known to be caught and eaten by rattlesnakes.


Rattlesnakes that reside near water sources or that go to water sources to drink are also good candidates for eating amphibians like frogs, toads, salamanders, newts, and caecilians.


These snakes may also eat other kinds of insects. Rattlesnakes that are young or small concentrate their attention on insects. They will consume any crawling or hopping insects they come across, including grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, ants, wasps, cockroaches, termites, and many more.


To survive, these snakes don’t require a lot of water. But in order to be hydrated, they do need to drink at least their body weight in water each year. They dunk their heads in the water and open their jaws to consume the liquid. They can suck in water when their jaws are open.

Diet Variations

There aren’t many different diets for these snakes. They typically concentrate on eating insects and smaller animals. However, on occasion, they might devour and attack other snakes.

How to Feed Rattlesnakes

How to Feed Rattlesnakes

What Do Rattlesnakes Eat In The Wild?

Rattlesnakes seek for a variety of prey in the wild, including insects and tiny animals that they find living there. Additionally, they go food hunting and visit the burrows of small animals in search of food.

What Do Rattlesnakes Eat in Captivity?

Rattlesnakes are typically fed mice, baby rabbits, and insects in zoos. Although they are taught to fed frozen foods or pre-killed rodents, they prefer live prey. Visitors can feel safe because there is less thrashing around in the cages because these snakes are fed pre-killed food.

What do Baby Rattlesnakes Eat?

Because they are far more unpredictable and do not yet have rattlers on the ends of their tails to alert you to their existence, baby rattlesnakes are highly deadly. These snakes primarily eat insects and reptiles like grasshoppers and tiny lizards. Compared to adults, baby rattlers’ venom contains more neurotoxins, which helps them locate prey more quickly.

How Much Do Rattlesnakes Eat?

Compared to larger snakes, smaller rattlesnakes consume less food, but they also need to eat more frequently. Most adult rattlesnake species can survive on a large mouse for two weeks. Two to three mice can be needed to feed larger snakes, depending on their size.

How Often Do Rattlesnakes Eat?

A rattlesnake adult can go two weeks without eating. They metabolize food slowly because of their poor metabolism. However, younger rattlesnakes eat more frequently. Once per week, they need to eat. At dusk, they prefer to begin their hunt. When the temperature is higher than 32 degrees C, they prefer to sleep throughout the day.

Do Rattlesnakes Drink Water?

Rattlesnakes do indeed consume water. Although they don’t need much water, they do consume their own body weight in water each year. Although they can continue for extended periods without any water, they eventually need to hydrate themselves by drinking.

Are Rattlesnakes Dangerous?

Rattlesnakes are indeed quite hazardous. Both humans and animals that are bitten by them risk dying. If a rattlesnake bites you, you should seek medical help right away. The tissues in your body can be harmed by a poisonous bite. Internal hemorrhages are caused by its impact on your circulatory system, which damages skin tissues and blood cells.

Do Rattlesnakes Eat Pets?

When threatened, rattlesnakes will attack animals, but they are unlikely to devour large animals. However, they will capture and consume household pets like rabbits, birds, or young puppies and kittens.

Do Rattlesnakes Eat Rabbits?

Small bunnies are indeed eaten by rattlesnakes. They frequently go out hunting and killing wild rabbits to feed on in their natural habitat.


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Sarah Green

Wildlife and Nature Fan & Author