Ejbirt asked in PetsReptiles · 9 years ago

How to care for a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake?

I recently caught a baby rattle snake in my backyard. its maybe a little over a foot long. i have in it an old fish 20" x 10" aquarium right now. whats the best way to care for it? including feeding, temp, size of container, the whole 9 because ive never cared for a snake before.

7 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I have two Corn snakes although I don't have a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake I do know a little...


    Western Diamondbacks feed well and easily, but care should be taken not to overfeed them. Like most rattlesnakes, Western Diamondbacks have a fondness for small rodents, so can be sustained on a diet of rats and mice. Babies should be fed once every 7 days, slowly moving to once every two weeks for yearlings, and ending on once a month for adults.Feeding frozen/thawed rats and mice is best as live prey may injure the animal. Take care to thaw the animals properly, as half frozen meals are bad for a snake’s digestive system.


    Watering is a marginal requirement for most rattlesnake species from drier habitats. Some keepers opt to leave the water bowl in for a day or two, whilst others mist the food and occasionally the snake to ensure hydration. Too humid conditions may stress the snake out, as well as promote bacterial infections. Keep a close eye on the snake and its relationship with the water bowl. If it tends to soak a lot, you may be better off removing the water bowl and opting for spraying the snake and its food.


    A body temperature of around 81 degrees F is ideal but they need to warm up slightly beyond this point for at least a few hours to become active. One corner of the cage should be kept cool while the other corner should be heated to around 92 degrees F. Two or more hides should be placed in the cage to allow the snake a place of safety should it require one. Some snakes never use them whilst other snakes never leave them, but all snakes should have the option of using them.


    Western Diamondbacks reach sexual maturity in about three years. Whilst some keepers cool their animals down before breeding, it isn’t necessary. Many captive specimens mate at anytime of the year, whenever a receptive female presents herself. Females give birth to between 12 and 24 brightly coloured babies after around 120 days.

    Venom and envenomation:

    Rattlesnakes are ambush predators, meaning that the snake is designed to explode from an “in rest” position into a lightning fast strike. The heat sensitive pits ensure that prey or a potential threat is highlighted, making for a fast and accurate strike at its intended victim. The large fangs ensure a deep penetration of a large quantity of a cocktail venom (haemotoxins, cytotoxins and myotoxins), causing tissue destruction, red blood cell destruction and persistent bleeding, as well as paralysis and muscle destruction. A bite is an immediate medical emergency and you should go to hospital immediately. A detailed history of the snake, the situation and a proper bite protocol should be given to emergency medical staff. Be forewarned that a bite can result in thousands of dollars in medical expenses, and a loss of digits and limbs is a distinct possibility. Symptoms will include pain and swelling and excessive bleeding. Large amounts of antivenom may be required to counteract the developing symptoms.


    Small Western Diamondbacks can easily be handled with one hook, lifted midbody and placed in a bin or container for cage maintenance. Large Western Diamondbacks should be handled using two hooksticks to ensure that the snake does not injure itself hanging on a small part of its body. Like with most adders and vipers, tailing Western Diamondbacks is not an ideal practice.

    Pinning should be avoided. Western Diamondbacks have thin necks and can easily injure themselves if not pinned correctly. Ideally, tubes should be used to restrain the snake safely for procedures like forcefeeding or removing eyecaps.

    Trap boxes ensure that hands on the snake are kept to a minimum.

    Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes are hardy species that do well in captivity, being a rewarding and interesting captive to observe. They are certainly not ideal captives, but with proper care and forethought, they can be very easy snakes to keep and breed. Be careful and concentrate

    and you might want to look at this - http://devenomized.com/libraries/crotalids/Western...

    Hope this helps?

  • 4 years ago

    Baby Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Baby Diamondback Rattlesnake

  • 9 years ago

    LET THE DAMNED THING GO YOU MORON! You say you've never owned a snake before and yet you go out into your backyard and capture the largest venomous snake in the country. What the hell is wrong with you? However in actual answer to your question no matter how moronic and misguided here's a website with a care sheet. http://www.razedahell.com/?p=313 Hopefully you survive this.

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  • 6 years ago

    Let it go. One with no venomous snake handelinf experience you are begging to be bit. 2. It's wild so let it go. 3. Only experts should keep Venemous snakes.

  • 9 years ago

    Your best bet is to let the little guy go. It is in his best interest and in yours too because if you get bit by it you can be in serious danger.

    Source(s): common sense
  • 5 years ago

    Did you know that cutting back on calories and specific meals literally destroys any fat burning capacity our bodies?

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