corn snake

Corn Snakes – Important Stuff You Must Know

Corn Snakes. Owning your own pet snake is a responsibility you need to take seriously.  Before going to purchase a pet snake you will need to make sure you understand all the elements in looking after a snake.  Do not just purchase a snake without doing thorough research.  In this article, you will learn most of the things you might need, especially if you are looking for a new Corn Snake pet. – Corn Snakes

THE CORN SNAKE

corn snake

The corn snake is a constriction snake, that means that they will kill their food by wrapping their bodies around the rat and suffocating them and then they will eat them.  The snake is known as the Pantherophis Guttatus in the scientific circles but is known by us mortal as the Corn Snake.  The reason why they are known as the Corn Snake is that they normally hunt for rats or mice around grain stores.  Some people also say they are named the corn snake because their skin resembles corn. – Corn Snakes

SIZE OF THE CORN SNAKE

The snakes range from 3-7 feet long.  The males are normally a little shorter than the males with the length between 3-6 feet.  The female one is normally about 4-7 feet in length.  There have been records of a few Corn Snakes reaching 9 feet but this is not the norm. – Corn Snakes

HOW LONG DO CORN SNAKES LIVE IN CAPTIVITY

The average Corn Snake can live for up to 20 years.  So make sure that owning a pet snake is something you want to do for the long run.  The average Corn Snake lives for about 6-9 years in the wild and about 9-20 plus in captivity.

CORN SNAKE DIET

Corn Snakes eat a wide variety of food in the wild.  From rate, mice, small rabbits and have even found to enjoy the odd bird.  A Corn Snake in the wild can eat from each of these and will even eat other smaller creatures if they can get their jaws around them.  Obviously in captivity, all the above will not be available so best to go with one species like rats or mice. – Corn Snakes

CORN SNAKE HABITAT

corn snakes

You may be asking, why do I need to know this.  There are a number of very good reasons that you would need to know this.  Especially if you are just about to purchase a new corn snake.  When getting a Corn Snake you need to be able to mimic their habitat.  This helps to keep the snake comfortable in captivity and also adds to their comfort.

Corn Snakes come from the area that has lots of trees, bushes and little shrubs.  They love to hide behind something when they feeling threatened or when they are about to hunt.  – Corn Snakes

CORN SNAKES AS PETS

Corn Snakes are very easy snakes as they are easy to handle and will not bite unless they feel threatened.  They are also hardy snakes and will do well in most enclosures.  They do not require any set humidity or temperatures to survive.  – Corn Snakes

CHOOSING YOUR SNAKE

Before you purchase your snake from the pet store you must ask to handle the snake first.  Check that the snake is not too aggressive and also check that their scales are smooth.  They must also be alert and you will notice that their tongue will flicker.  These are all good signs of a healthy snake.

HOW TO HANDLE YOUR SNAKE

A Corn Snake will not enjoy being handled for too long.  The snake must not be handled for more than 10 minutes at a time.  They are very easy to handle as they do not move very quickly.  You must also be careful not to drop the snake while handling it. Because they move slowly they can easily be dropped and that will hurt your snake.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF ENCLOSURES

There is no perfect way to to do up a Corn Snake enclosure but you can do a lot that will keep your snake comfortable in captivity.

THE 3 MAIN TYPES OF ENCLOSURES

  1. Glass enclosure.
  2. Plastic enclosure.
  3. Wooden Enclosure.

GLASS ENCLOSURE:

Many people do not enjoy a glass enclosure but it is the one I use and I have had no issues using it at all.  The glass enclosure look much better than the plastic enclosure.  The glass enclosure is the best one to use if you are going to make their tank into a vivarium.  If you want to skip the whole building a vivarium you could purchase one on Amazon.  Glass enclosures do hold less humidity and heat.

PLASTIC ENCLOSURE:

The plastic enclosures are a lot more cheaper.  The average plastic tub will not have air holes, so you will need to drill some holes into the tub so that air can circulate.  Plastic enclosure do not look that good though.  It is also more difficult to build a vivarium inside a plastic enclosure as you cannot see through them.  The plastic enclosure will also hold more heat and humidity, so depending on where you from you can decide what you prefer.

WOODEN ENCLOSURE:

The wooden enclosure would be the most expensive and probably the best, especially if you making one.  – Corn Snakes

ENCLOSURE TEMPERATURE

The temperature in the enclosure is very important for Corn Snakes.  For Corn Snakes, this is not too hard to get it right.  The correct temperature should be at about 70-90 degrees F.  Corn Snakes do not use the heat from the sun but rather from the sand or ground.  The best thing that works is getting a heat matt that you will only use on a warmer area of the enclosure only.

The heating pads are good to use but can cause issues if you do not regulate the temperature.  You will also need to add a thermostat to the tank so you do not make the tank too hot.

WHAT IS A HOT SPOT AND COLD SPOT?

The hot spot in the tank is where you will add your heat matt, this is where the snake will go to warm up.  The temp on that side should be about 85 degrees F.  The other side can be at room temp.

ENCLOSURE HUMIDITY

The Corn Snake is one of the best beginner snakes as you do not need a specific humidity level to keep the snake happy.  But a humidity between 25%-50% should be good – this is the average humidity of most places.

IF YOU ARE FROM A VERY DRY PLACE

If you live in a desert or a very dry place you could place a bowl with water in it in the enclosure or you could spray some water on the substrate.  When spraying water on the substrate make sure not to overdo it as the snake will not enjoy it very wet. – Corn Snakes

ENCLOSURE SUBSTRATE

corn snake

Any substrate with Pine or Cedar must be avoided, Pine and Cedar let off strong fumes when kept in an enclosure that can harm your snakes.  The one I prefer is the Coconut Fiber Bedding Substrate, you can check this one out on Amazon.

ENCLOSURE LIGHTING

Each snake needs to have a clear day and night lighting.  This is very important as they need to know when it is day and night.  Corn snakes do not need any specific lighting, even the light from the window will do the trick.  You do not want to put them in a room without any lighting.

Corn Snakes are not nocturnal snakes and are active all day round.  Do not use any lights at night time as the snakes will not enjoy this sort of lighting. – Corn Snakes

CORN SNAKE DIET

A regular sized Corn Snake can eat mice all their life.  As a baby snake, you can start them off of Pinky mice and changing it up to Fuzzy, Hopper, adult and jumbo.  This diet will be more than sufficient all their life.   If the pet store or breeder was already feeding them frozen mice you will have to take it from there.

If you are feeding the snake frozen mice you might want to leave the frozen mouse out on the table until it has defrosted a little.  You can also take the frozen mice and defrost them in warm water and then feed the snake.

DO NOT COOK THE MOUSE

Please do not cook or microwave the mouse.  The snake will prefer the mouse raw and will digest it better.

WHAT SIZE MOUSE AND OFTEN TO FEED

Take the girth of the snake and feed it the same size mouse.  It is okay if the mouse is a little smaller.  Feeding the snake once a week this way will perfect.  The adult size snake can go up to ten days without eating.

Feed your snake in the enclosure and not outside.

USE KITCHEN TONGS

Take a pair of tongs and grab the mouse and wiggle it in front of the snake and the snake will bite it.  Do not pull away or tease the mouse while feeding it.

HANDLING THE SNAKE AFTER FEEDING

Give the snake up to 48 hours before handling them, this will vary from snake to snake.  If you do handle the snake just after feeding them it might cause the snake to regurgitate. – Corn Snakes

ENCLOSURE WATER

The water from the taps at home will have chlorine or other chemicals that might be harmful to the snake.  You will need to add Reptisafe that will treat the water before the snake will drink it. – Corn Snakes

CONCLUSION

Caring for your pet snake will be an awesome experience.  Hit me below if you have any comments.  Read more here about Milk Snakes.

 

 

 

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