Pets – dogs, cats, birds, rabbits – they all make splendid companions for anyone. In more recent years, snakes have been added to this list as people discover what awesome creatures they are.
Choosing any pet, however, shouldn’t be taken lightly. Low maintenance though some pets are, they still require basic care to ensure their ongoing wellbeing. A snake isn’t going to require exercise, but it will still need to have a good set-up enclosure with the correct temperature control to ensure its health.
Corn Snakes – Interesting Color Patterns
Corn snakes are non-venomous snakes, calm, medium-sized and easy to care for. These North American breed of snakes are one of the most docile of the rat snakes They are part of the Colubridae family, an enormous family of about 1,760 species.
They come in many sizes, colors, and characteristics. Their interesting color patterns are controlled by a different gene and herpes use information about the color genetics so as to breed varieties which are known as morphs.
There are about 45 different color morphs. Although the main color of the Corn snakes is red, orange, yellow and black, there are other Corn snakes missing some of the colors – snakes with genetic mutations/variations of the color gene. While there are all these different color morphs and names for Corn Snakes, they are essentially all just your regular Corn Snake.
What’s a snow corn snake
The Snow Corn Snake, known as the Complete Albino Corn Snake grows to the same size as a normal corn snake – between 3 and 5 feet. They’re also called amelanistic corn snakes because they lack melanin. The eyes are red, orange or pink against the pale pinkish-white skin.
The Snow Corn Snake is also a constrictor. The snake will wrap its body around prey and squeeze them to death before consumption. The diet of the snake in the wild will consist of mice, lizards, and birds. In captivity, you will need to feed mice once or twice a week, but you will learn to get to know the feeding habits of the snake.
Breeding in Captivity
If you want to go ahead with breeding, the breeding pair need to be healthy. Females usually reach sexual maturity at more or less 3 years of age while with males it is after 18 months of age. Corn snakes are fairly easy to breed, and the introduction of the female to the male is usually in Spring.
The generally accepted method of breeding Snow Corn snakes involves a period of cooling which is known as brumation – something similar to hibernation. It involves stopping feeding 2 weeks before the cooling period starts. Once the 2 weeks are over, decrease the temperature gradually and keep the snakes at a temperature of about 55 to 60°. Keep the snakes at this temperature for 2 or 3 months.
Don’t feed the snakes during this time. At the end of the cooling period, the snakes must be warmed up slowly to the regular maintenance temperatures and begin feeding. After her 1st or 2nd shed, the female will be ready to be introduced into the male’s cage. She produces pheromones to attract the male. Mating lasts 20 minutes to half an hour.
The female will require a nest box in a dark area to lay her eggs. She will settle down inside and lay her eggs – from 5 to 30. Some snake experts say that the eggs are best incubated in the damp moss in which they were laid.
There are plenty of details on the Internet with regards to the best way to incubate, and whether the eggs should be transferred to an incubator. After a couple of months, the baby Corns will hatch from the eggs.
When the eggs start to hatch, the baby snakes open the eggs, sometimes taking a day or two to emerge.
Do Research on Best Caring Methods for you and your Snake
Nothing is set in stone with regards to caring for a Snow Corn Snake. Always do research on caring for Corn Snakes to find out about the different methods of doing things and which way suits you and your snake best.
Snow Corn Snake Care
Don’t catch a wild Snow Corn Snake. Wild snakes don’t adjust well to captivity and actually, have a low survival rate. Captive bred Corns have been in captivity for many years and are far more domesticated. Rather find a good breeder.
Once you’ve acquired one, leave the snake for a few days to familiarize itself with the enclosure and to generally settle in. They become tame in a short space of time, becoming docile and even-tempered. The snake will get used to you handling it. They are hardy snakes and easy to maintain.
Handle your pet snake gently, but with confidence. Always pick your snake up by the middle of the body, supporting it with both hands. If your snake has eaten, don’t pet it for 48 hours.
Get the right sized tank for your snake. To save on costs, bear in mind that your Snow Corn can get to be 5 feet as an adult. Why not get a 20-gallon enclosure from word go? The awesome [amazon_textlink asin=’B01M9GGJFL’ text=’Exo Terra Species Specific Starters Kit’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’mdonline03-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ca4980d8-2d2f-4d78-aa6f-2bd4f30e766e’] includes all necessary care products to get started as well as a ‘care guide’.
A substrate is a material used in the enclosure. Most snake experts recommend [amazon_textlink asin=’B00SN1AR60′ text=’naturalistic aspen’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’mdonline03-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’abaa8ab5-6973-41e6-8e1d-e6fbf5a9f8c7′] which can be found at a pet store or online. These substrates work superbly and are easy to keep clean. If you’re trying not to spend too much for set-up, the newspaper makes a good, convenient and acceptable substrate.
When your Snow Corn Snake defecates
When your Snow Corn Snake defecates, remove the feces as well as the soiled substrate and replace with fresh substrate. Your snake may also defecate in its water bowl and this should be cleaned immediately.
Spreading salmonella is part of keeping a reptile. This means particular care will be required for cleaning all their gear. Keep the cleaning of their accessories separate from washing your own stuff. Simply use liquid soap and household bleach or commercial terrarium cleaner from a reputable pet supply store.
Remove all old food and feces from items and wash each item in a solution of hot, soapy water. You can use a sponge to work away stubborn debris. Rinse exceedingly well. Allow drying thoroughly, preferably out in the sun, before allowing the snake to use the items again. An important point to remember is that hot water on its own won’t disinfect reptile gear. It needs to be washed in hot water and then disinfected.
It is important to clean the terrarium regularly too at the same time. Dip a cloth in the water and soap solution and wring it out. Wipe the entire terrarium out, making sure to remove all waste and old food. Sometimes an old toothbrush can be useful for removing tough dirt on a glass surface or in corners. Always allow airing and dry. More importantly, clean cage and accessories with cleaning products that won’t be toxic and harmful to your pet.
Provide your Snow Corn Snake with enough heat
Provide your Snow Corn with enough heat. Corn snakes are nocturnal and like using heat from the ground. Provide the enclosure with a [amazon_textlink asin=’B0002AQCKA’ text=’heat mat’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’mdonline03-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’4d7dce21-1ae9-40aa-8aa6-a0afbfd2ffd2′] that covers about 1/3 of the floor to ensure a proper heat gradient. The heat mat will need to be thermostatically controlled.
Because the Snow Cornsnake comes from North America, which has a temperate climate, high temperatures aren’t required. The cool end of the enclosure can be room temperature, with a hot spot of 85°F. You’ll see your snake using it to regulate body temperature. In the enclosure, temperatures should be about 75-85° F during the day and 65° to 72° F at night. Bear in mind too that this is a Snow Corn, an albino, and they won’t do well in bright light.
Give your snake a snake cave or [amazon_textlink asin=’B008YDHDSC’ text=’hide’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’mdonline03-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’2b7932c9-5b36-4506-8db3-e0499cb804a6′] to retreat to where it can feel secure. These hides can be anything from natural, hollow barks or shop-bought hides. The idea is to ensure the enclosure with all accessories is as natural as possible and never toxic for your serpent.
Feed your Snow Corn Snake on appropriately sized [amazon_textlink asin=’B01I5ZFG7I’ text=’frozen mice ‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’mdonline03-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’e5db73ce-c56f-4b6b-8380-6f5efcacfaf0′]which have been thawed. True, there are some snakes that prefer live prey. A captive snake must be watched though, lest live rodents become ferocious out of fear and injure the snake. Never handle your Snow Corn after a meal as it can cause it to regurgitate its meal. Wait 48 hours before handling your snake again.
Snake Mites on your Corn Snake
Mites can live on your Snow Corn Snake and feed off the snake’s blood. You’ll likely notice these mites around the eyes and mouth and also under the scales. A snake with mites won’t want to eat and it will be lethargic. You’ll need to bathe your snake in warm water and also disinfect the vivarium to get rid of all mites. Medical attention may well be recommended.
Respiratory Infections can also occur because of poor snake enclosure conditions and the wrong temperatures. Your snake with have a nasal discharge and have a raspy, wheezing breathing sound. Veterinary intervention will be required.
Know when your snake is going to shed. You’ll notice the reptile’s eyes glassing-over. Don’t handle your snake during the shedding process.
Corn snakes are a popular pet snake for beginners- as well as seasoned pet snake owners. There are unlimited different morphs – beautiful whites, pinks, greens, purples, and other shades.
The Snow Corn is a favorite. With the right care, this beautiful serpent will give you plenty of good reasons to recommend it to others who want to allow an undemanding, but fascinating pet into their heart and home.
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