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How to Feed a Pet Corn Snake

Updated on July 25, 2013
In this photo is a photo of a beautiful corn snake. He is about 39 inches long and is a very friendly and gentle snake.
In this photo is a photo of a beautiful corn snake. He is about 39 inches long and is a very friendly and gentle snake.

How To Feed A Corn Snake

If you buy a very young corn snake from a pet shop or snake dealer they should make sure the small corn snake is eating before they sell it to you. Some young snakes can be very hard to get to eat. I would really try to find a young corn snake that is already eating. You can get into trouble quickly if you end up with a young corn snake that will not eat.

Most Baby Corn Snakes Can Eat Pinky Mice

You'll find that even the smallest newborn corn snakes can usually handle a baby pinky mouse. I know people will tell you not to feed live mice of any kind to a snake but sometimes this just isn't realistic. Some young corn snakes will only feed on live pinky mice. In case you don't know a pinky mouse is a new born mouse. I can almost always get baby corn snakes to eat baby pinky mice. This is the reason I keep and raise mice. It gives me a ready supply of pinky mice for my baby corn snakes.

There are several really great things about choosing a corn snake for a pet. They are docile, easy to care for and are really beautiful snakes. Corn snakes also come in lots of beautiful colors. Corn snakes are native to Mexico and the USA and they can be cared for by people of all ages. Another plus is that corn snakes except for rare color phases are usually rather inexpensive. If you order a corn snake off the internet be sure that you check out the company you are doing business with. If they won't give you a phone number that a real person answers move on to another company.

Raise Your Own Mice For Your Snake Or Snakes

.One thing I would suggest is that if your going to be keeping corn snakes you should consider setting up a breeding colony of mice to supply you with pinky mice and later adult mice to feed your snake or snakes. I have several large colonies of mice and rats and I enjoy raising them. This way I know exactly what my snakes are eating and I have some very expensive snakes.

More Feeding Tips For How To Feed A Corn Snake

The first thing you should do is to make sure your snake is being kept at 77 - 84 degrees. If they are too cold or too hot they may not heat at all so keep this in mind. The humidity must be kept between 30 - 70 percent. You must have a thermometer and a humidity gauge in the snake enclosure and you must keep an eye on the thermometer and humidity gauge to make sure you have the right temperature and humidity levels. You must do this to have a happy and healthy snake. If it gets to cold your snake will die. And cold snakes will not eat.

It may sound disgusting but sometimes I've had to cut a pinky mouse in half to get a really small corn snake to eat. But almost always with in the next meal or two the snake took a whole pinky mouse. I usually feed my corn snakes live pinky mice and live mice. I know some people feed their corn snakes killed mice but I've never had real success with it. If you have to buy frozen mice from the pet store you may have trouble getting the corn snake to eat them. But the really great thing is that once they do start eating thawed frozen mice you'll have it made because from then on they will eat the thawed frozen mice.

Be Sure To Keep A Journal About Your Snake Or Snakes

Be sure that your keeping your corn snake warm enough and resist the urge to handle your new snake until it is eating on a regular basis. Never handle especially small corn snakes after they eat because the snake may be bothered and throw up it's prey. Leave any snake along for 24 hours after it eats. I have lots of corn snakes and other types of snakes and I keep a journal on all my snakes and I make detailed notes. I put a different eight to ten digit number on each snake enclosure and I use that number when I make notes about that particular snake. Those notes will be very important to you later. I've learned a lot about some snakes by going back and reading the notes about a particular snake.

You should know that how you feed your baby corn snake will set it's eating patterns for the rest of it's life. So if you want it to eat thawed frozen mice later in it's life you need to feed it thawed frozen pinky mice when it's young. You aren't going to be able to switch it from live prey to thawed frozen prey later in its life.

Tease Feeding

If you need to you can use a pair of tongs like in the video above to tease the snake with it's prey and get it to eat. Hold a pinky mouse or thawed frozen mouse by a leg and tease the snake with it until the snake takes the mouse and eats it. I've only had to do this with corn snakes a few times but it almost always works.

Tip On Getting A Young Corn Snake To Take A Pinky Mouse

If your having particular trouble in getting a young king snake to take a pinky mouse either alive or thawed frozen pierce it's head with the blade of a knife to spread the smell of the pinky mouse all over the snake enclosure. This will often get the snake interested.

Housing Your Corn Snake

You will need a 10 gallon tank with a secure lid for one corn snake or a 20 gallon tank for a pair of corn snakes. The tank must have a wire lid with thin wire mesh and the tank lid must have clips to hold it on securely so the snake especially as it gets older can not push it up and open and escape. I bet you would be surprised at how hard it would be to find a two foot corn snake loose in a three bedroom house. Sometimes it can be almost impossible.

You need a reptile heat mat that covers one third of the bottom of your tank. You do not want to use a heat rock because many times younger snakes will wrap themselves around heat rocks and burn themselves badly. Corn snakes are nocturnal and they are used to using the heat from the ground. Below are several wonderful products that you can choose from to use with your corn snake.

A Veterinarian For Your Snake

If your going to be keeping a snake or snakes you should find a veterinarian for your snake or snakes before you need one. Some veterinarians will work with snakes and some won't. So be sure that you check ahead of time. Don't wait until you need a veterinarian for a snake before you locate one.

Your Snake Needs Clean Fresh Water All The Time

You'll want to provide a big bowl of water for your corn snake. I use a bowl that is heavy enough that the snake can not easily turn it over. Snakes can and do like to lay in their water bowl so you need to keep this in mind also. I use only chlorine free bottled water for my snakes and other reptiles. This really helps to keep your snakes healthy. Don't let the water get dirty. If it does change the water. I buy bottled water but you can use a filter to make sure that your spigot water is correct for your snake. If I had only one or two snakes I would buy bottled water for them. It really is the best thing for them.

Substrate For Your Snake

I use newspaper to line the cages and tanks of almost all my snakes. It makes cleaning up the cage or tank easier as you just change the newspaper and your snakes tank or enclosure is clean. Purchase a cheaper paper shredder and keep all your newspapers to shred for your snakes cage or enclosure.

Hiding Place For Your Snake

Your snake needs a hiding place in its tank or enclosure and you really need to leave the snake along when it retreats to it's hiding place.

Shedding Snakes

When your Corn Snake sheds leave it alone. It may take it a week to ten days to shed completely and no in most cases it doesn't need your help. Just leave it alone and before you know it the snake will complete the shedding process on its own. If for some reason after a period of time it doesn't appear to be able to shed properly take the snake to a veterinarian who is familiar with snakes.

Corn Snakes Prefer To Live By Themselves

You can keep a pair of corn snakes together but corn snakes prefer to live along and a snake by it's self will be much happier. If you want to breed corn snakes keep the pair together until you know the female is carrying eggs and then move her to a tank or enclosure by herself.

No Crickets Only Rodents

You should not try to feed crickets to your young corn snakes or any corn snake for that matter. The prey of corn snakes is rodents. Most corn snakes will eat only mice though some large adult corn snakes can eat a small rat. I've seen people try to feed small corn snakes crickets but please don't do it. They need rodents.

In This Video A Baby Pinky Mouse Is Fed To A Baby Corn Snake

Collection Of Corn Snake Photos. Here Is A Beautiful Collection Of Corn Snake Photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Corn Snake Eggs
Corn Snake Eggs
Corn Snake Eggs

More Corn Snake Tips, And Information

Corn Snakes are one of the most desirable snakes to have. They are really docile and are one of the easiest snakes there are to take care of. For anyone wanting a first snake I would really suggest purchasing a docile adult Corn Snake. And you want to ask to handle the snake so you know it's temperament. If it tries to bite you or strikes at you move on to a different snake.

Captive bred corn snakes will do much better than ones captured from the wild. I would always suggest purchasing an adult corn snake for a person wanting a first snake. Always ask if you can hold the adult corn snake and see how it acts when you touch and hold it. If it strikes at you move on to a different snake.

The corn snake or red rat snake is a North American species of snake that feeds primarily on rats and mice. The corn snake got it's name in the American south because the farmers saw it in their corn cribs and started calling it a corn snake. Adult corn snakes can be between 3 and six foot with most snakes being between 3 - 4 foot long. There are some color phases of corn snake that are some of the most beautiful snakes you will ever see.

I think corn snakes are probably the best snake for a person who has never kept a snake before and wants a first snake. Corn Snakes are docile. It's really rare to get struck at by a corn snake. If you buy an adult corn snake bring it home and leave it alone until you have fed it at least twice. Then try picking it up being sure to support the snakes body with your hands while you hold it.

I think corn snakes are the easiest to take care of and I've never had a real problem with a corn snake. Just be sure to read the above information and do everything suggested and you'll have a wonderful experience with your corn snake.

Thanks For Reading My Hub Page On, How To Feed A Corn Snake

If you ever have questions or need more information feel free to ask your questions below. Thanks for reading my Hub Page. It is appreciated.

Please Post Your Comments About How To Feed A Pet Corn Snake. And Thanks For Reading.

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      ty red2 3 years ago

      I rescued a Snow Corn and have had her for just over a year. "She" is healthy now but has become anti-social. One of your hubs says to never interrupt them while they are hiding/resting place, but after she eats she goes back there and didn't come back out except to get a drink or feeding time again (at least that I've seen). Is it ok to disturb her under these circumstances? I really don't want her to get totally untouchable. She used to come out of hiding, be active and visible all the time.

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      Samanthalk18 3 years ago

      I have a corn snake and hes not even a year old i don't think and he shedded about 2 times since i bought him and i was wondering when to move him up to bigger mice right now hes on pinkies and i feed him every monday

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      Michael 4 years ago

      Ive had my corn snake from about 2-3 weeks old it's now roughly 21 weeks and 2 and a half feet long how much should I be feeding it per week

    • crazyhorsesghost profile image

      Thomas Byers 4 years ago from East Coast , United States

      Thanks for your comment. Missed it when you posted it. They are great snakes.

    • leon01 profile image

      leon01 5 years ago

      Enjoyed your hub - I've had a blood red corn for just over a year, very easy to look after.