- Pets and Animals»
- Reptiles & Amphibians»
Rat Snakes And Yes Corn Snakes are Rat Snakes
How About A Rat Snake As A Pet
The Red Rat Snake also known as a Corn Snake makes a great docile snake for someone wanting a snake as a pet. It is a beautiful species and easy to care for. You'll also find that the corn snake is a very docile snake.
In the wild corn snakes are common to the southeast and central United States. It got its name from the time when farmers stored their harvested corn in corn cribs and the red rat snakes would often show up to eat the rodents which would show up to eat the farmers corn. Before long people started calling the red rat snakes corn snakes and they have been called corn snakes ever since.
You will find that corn snakes are docile in nature, grow from three to six foot in length and are quite easy to take care of. In the wild they live six to eight years but in captivity they can live over twenty years so keep in mind that your snake is going to be around for quite a long time.
Corn Snakes and Rat Snakes live on a diet mostly of rodents and they kill their prey by constricting it. You really should try feeding your corn snake or rat snake on a diet of mice that will probably come frozen. You will need to thaw them to room temperature before you place the mouse into your snakes cage or enclosure. Keep a record of what you feed your snake and when. Occasionally you will find a snake that will feed on live prey only. But always offer it thawed prey first as it can be dangerous to feed your snake live prey. Live prey can bite your snake and could carry disease. Never feed your snake wild caught rodents.
Its important to keep in mind that rat snakes and corn snakes are very good climbers and you should make sure that the lid or top on your snakes cage or enclosure is secure so it can not get out. A three foot corn snake loose in your house could be very hard to find. So you want to make sure that your snake can not escape from its enclosure or cage.
So You Want To Keep A Rat Snake Or Corn Snake As A Pet
Rat snakes which include the sub species corn snakes are quite often kept as pets and the rat snake or corn snake is usually a quite docile species and are easy to care for. When you go to a pet store or snake seller be sure to ask questions about the snake you are buying. Find out what your snake has been feeding on and how often your snake has been feeding. You really should keep a journal where you write down what you feed to your snake, how often it eats, when it sheds, and other details you observe about your snake.
You will need a 20 gallon aquarium with a tight fitting reptile lid to keep your new rat or corn snake in. You can use shredded newspaper as a substrate in your snakes enclosure and it should be changed at least once weekly. Keep your snake in a box with a lid while you clean its cage or enclosure.
Your snake will need a large heavy water dish so the snake can not turn over the dish in case it decides to bathe or soak in it. You will want to be sure to clean your snakes water dish daily and make sure it stays full of clean water. I use bottled water for my snakes as the tap water contains chlorine and other chemicals. Your snake will also need a box with a couple of holes it can easily fit through so it can hide.
If you plan on keeping a snake or snakes be sure that you check around and find a local veterinarian that is knowledgeable about snakes. If your snake gets a bite from a rodent or you see another problem take your rat snake or corn snake to see the veterinarian. Its important to find a veterinarian that works with snakes before you need one.
Your corn snake or rat snake will like the temperature in its enclosure to be kept at around 82 - 84 degrees. The nighttime temperature can be allowed to drop to around 72 degrees. Do not place your snakes cage or enclosure to close to a window as it will over heat from direct sun and a cold draft in winter could kill your snake.
Your rat snake or corn snake will probably eat every 7 - 10 days and as I said above try to keep your snake on killed frozen mice that you have thawed to room temperature. This is why its important to ask the person selling you your snake what your snake has been feeding on and how often. All this information should be written down in your journal about your snake. If you have more than one snake keep a journal for each snake.
You can make your snakes cage or enclosure as natural as possible. Keep in mind your corn snake or rat snake will like a branch to climb on and its very important that your snake has a box with holes it can hide away in. You can use shredded newspaper as a substrate or you can use a commercial substrate sold for snakes. Your corn snake or rat snake will enjoy as natural a home as you can provide. Always keep in mind never to use pine or cedar as a substrate because both can be toxic to snakes.
If you have comments or questions about rat snakes or corn snakes please post them below in the comment section now.