How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Anna Your Own Question
Anna
Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11280
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
6012901
Type Your Reptile Question Here...
Anna is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

What is a cow snake?

This answer was rated:


The cow snake is a harmless snake. It will bite if attacked or cornered, but if there's an escape route, it will certainly take it. It got its name, not because it eats cows (it's not capable of that), but because farmers encouraged them to live in cow barns. The snake's preferred prey is small rodents, such as rats and mice and a few in the cow barn kept it vermin-free. It does have other names, including black snake and black rat snake, among others. These snakes can grow to be quite large, but they pose no real danger to your children or pets. Here's a site where you can read more:

http://somerset-kentucky.com/local/x681547490/Giant-cow-snake-killed-near-Sinking-Creek

If you want to discourage the snakes from being near your buildings, remove brush and rock piles from those areas. Teach your children a healthy respect for all wild animals, that is to leave them alone. Beyond that, no precautions are needed. Most dogs and cats naturally give snakes plenty of room, although they will catch and kill baby snakes. Raccoons and feral cats pose a greater danger to your children and pets than do any snakes. 

Read full interaction below »

Resolved Question:

What is a cow snake?  We have a dog, cat and 3 children; what safety precautions to take.  Could it be another kind of black snake, garter snake.  Our property is built on farm land.

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Reptile

The cow snake is a harmless snake. It will bite if attacked or cornered, but if there's an escape route, it will certainly take it. It got its name, not because it eats cows (it's not capable of that), but because farmers encouraged them to live in cow barns. The snake's preferred prey is small rodents, such as rats and mice and a few in the cow barn kept it vermin-free. It does have other names, including black snake and black rat snake, among others. These snakes can grow to be quite large, but they pose no real danger to your children or pets. Here's a site where you can read more:

http://somerset-kentucky.com/local/x681547490/Giant-cow-snake-killed-near-Sinking-Creek

If you want to discourage the snakes from being near your buildings, remove brush and rock piles from those areas. Teach your children a healthy respect for all wild animals, that is to leave them alone. Beyond that, no precautions are needed. Most dogs and cats naturally give snakes plenty of room, although they will catch and kill baby snakes. Raccoons and feral cats pose a greater danger to your children and pets than do any snakes. If you'd like to know what venomous snakes may live in your area, give me your state, and I can tell you that. Just click on REPLY.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Yes, what venomous snakes live in Louisville, Kentucky and surrounding areas?

There are only four venomous species in your area. They are the Northern copperhead, Western cottonmouth (water moccasin), timber rattlesnake, and pygmy rattlesnake.

If you'll wait a few minutes, I'll provide photos of them for you.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Awesome. Thanks for the good info!

Thank you for waiting. First of all, here is a great site on snakes that was written at the University of Kentucky to address homeowners' concerns about snakes. I'm sure you'll want to read it:

http://www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/for/for46/for46.htm

Here is a copperhead:

graphic
a cottonmouth:

graphic
timber rattlesnake:

graphic

and pygmy rattlesnake:

graphic

I hope this helps.

Anna

Please remember to click one time on ACCEPT. Thank you very much/
Anna and 3 other Reptile Specialists are ready to help you