Corn snakes make the friendliest snake pets among all serpent species. These snakes are non-venomous, and they are docile, making them easy for anyone to handle.
This guide will look deeper into corn snakes to help you understand everything about these serpent pets.
Also known as red rat snakes, corn snakes are slender snakes with a brownish-yellow or orange appearance. These snakes also have large patterns of red blotches and black patches down their backs.
Corn snakes have distinctive rows of alternating white and black marks along their bellies. These rows have an appearance that is similar to a checkerboard pattern. The name of these snakes comes from the checked pattern of the Indian corn.
Their appearance can also vary in pattern and color, depending on their geographical range and age. Young corn snakes, for instance, don’t have a brighter coloration present in their adult counterparts. Corn snakes measure between 24 to 72 inches long on average.
Corn snakes are nocturnal by nature. However, these snakes are highly active during the early evening hours. They are fond of climbing trees and entering deserted buildings to search for prey. Nonetheless, corn snakes are highly secretive.
They spend hours borrowing underground as they creep through rodent burrows. Corn snakes also like hiding under logs, loose bark, and rocks during the daytime.
Corn snakes can live in a wide array of habitats while living in the wild. However, these snakes tend to live in corn barns as they do with rodents. Unlike other snakes, corn snakes aren’t venomous. They rely on constriction for killing their prey.
Corn snakes are some of the longest-living snakes. These beautiful snakes can live for more than 23 years while in human care. However, the lifespan can be shorter for corn snakes living in the wild.
Corn snakes living in the wild, are exposed to multiple predators such as birds, jackals, and other snakes that feed on fellow snakes. Therefore the lifespan of wild corn snakes is reduced significantly.
General Care & Requirements
Corn snakes indeed make fantastic pets for both novice and experienced snake lovers. Their gentle nature makes it easy to care for these snakes. These snakes, however, need some general care like other pets. Here are some available care and requirements to observe while keeping corn snakes as pets.
Corn snakes are cold-blooded creatures, just like other snakes and reptiles. Thus, the temperature can affect the lives of these snakes. Wherever you opt to keep your corn snake, ensure the temperature is between 20 to 24 degrees Celsius.
The best way to regulate the temperature in your pet snake’s home is by placing a heat lamp on one side while leaving the other side open to allow cold to enter the enclosure.
Humidity also affects corn snakes, the snake the same way it affects other reptile pets. Ensure the enclosure, or wherever you are keeping your snake pet, has the right humidity levels.
Your corn snake will thrive well while living in spaces with humidity levels of between 65% to 75 percent. Such humidity levels are vital in ensuring that your corn snake remains well hydrated throughout.
Mist your snake’s enclosure to achieve and retain the correct humidity levels. It would help if you also misted the enclosure in the morning, especially during summer when the temperatures are high. Nonetheless, the best way to ensure stable humidity levels in your snake’s enclosure is by pouring cold water regularly.
You can also install live plants into the snake’s enclosure. Use a hygrometer to track the humidity levels. You won’t have to guess about the humidity levels while using a hygrometer.
This device will help ensure your snake’s home has the correct humidity levels, which is crucial for ensuring your corn snake has healthy skin and isn’t susceptible to breathing problems.
– Cage Size
The best way to determine the exact size of your snake’s cage is by considering your snake’s length, width, and height. Considering that adult corn snakes can grow up to 1.5 meters in length, the minimum size of your snake’s cage should measure at least 120x48x55 cm.
Also, don’t forget that corn snakes are avid climbers by nature. Hence, you should provide your pet snake with a taller cage where it can climb freely. However, it would be best to keep young corn snakes in smaller cages since juveniles and hatching tend to avoid potential predators.
Furthermore, they are vulnerable, and thus they avoid living in open spaces. Therefore, avoid keeping young snakes in larger cages since such cages are dangerous for young corn snakes.
Corn snakes don’t require a lot of light to survive. However, a decent amount of lighting will help improve your snake’s immune system. Make sure to provide sufficient lighting in your snake’s cage by placing a heat lamp.
With a heat lamp, the cage will have enough lighting and the warmth that your snake needs to thrive, especially during cold months.
Food & Nutrition
Corn snakes will feed on birds and smaller creatures such as rodents while living in wild habitats. But their food and nutritional needs can differ significantly while living in captivity. Here is an outline of the food and dietary requirements of pet corn snakes.
There is a wide range of foods you can feed your corn snake. Corn snakes primarily feed on rodents. However, it is challenging to provide your snake with a consistent rodent supply while living under your care.
You can, however, opt for frozen mice from the stores. Adult corn snakes best thrive on a diet that consists of bigger, thwarted mice. Bird eggs also make a good choice for pet snakes. Bird eggs are an excellent protein source for corn snakes.
Besides, bird eggs are ideal for small corn snakes that can’t eat larger prey, such as mice and other rodents. Fish is also an excellent diet option for corn snakes. You can purchase a variety of fish for your pet snake from the store.
Smaller corn snakes can thrive well while feeding on small minnows that are easy to chew and digest. On the other hand, larger corn snakes can be provided with large bass since their digestive systems are capable of digesting large fish.
– Supplements & Vitamins
It is unlikely for your corn snake to get all the nutritional requirements it needs from the foods you feed daily. Some corn snakes may experience deficiency from crucial nutrients such as vitamins and calcium, which can negatively affect their health in the long run.
Thus it helps to give your corn snake some supplements to care for its nutritional requirements.
There is a wide array of vitamin supplements that you can add to your corn snake’s diet. For instance, you should consider purchasing multivitamins for your snake pet, especially if you suspect it is experiencing any form of vitamin deficiency.
Adult corn snakes usually suffer most from calcium deficiency. Consider buying calcium powder and then add it to your snake’s food to help it get enough calcium as it grows.
Juveniles too suffer from calcium deficiency, especially during the early stage after hatching. Talk to a snake pet expert who will recommend the best calcium supplements for your young corn snake.
Remember, young corn flakes also need vitamins for proper growth. Therefore, consider buying multivitamins for your pet snake, mainly if it is at its early stages of development.
Hydration is essential for pet parents that keep corn snakes as pets. Corn snakes also shed off their skins just like other snakes. Thus, you need to provide ample hydration to your pet snake. Corn snakes like to soak themselves in water.
Soaking helps corn snakes to soften their skins. Place a water dish in your snake’s cage to provide it with proper hydration. Change the water in the water dish at least once a week to ensure no harmful components can affect your snake’s health.
Some snake lovers are enthusiastic about breeding corn snakes. You can consider breeding corn snakes, especially if you have several snakes in your home. Breeding corn snakes may sound like an easy and straightforward process.
However, thorough care and preparation are required to ensure the breeding process runs smoothly. The method of breeding corn snakes starts with introducing a female snake to a male snake. Place a female corn snake in an enclosure when it is ready for mating.
Make sure to mist the enclosure to help the female snake spread its hormones. Place a male corn snake into the enclosure, and it will immediately start mating with its female counterpart.
After mating is over, place the female corn snake in a separate enclosure to hatch its eggs. Choose a place to keep the newborn snakes once hatching is over. Ensure you provide plenty of food to the young baby corn snakes to help them grow. Also, keep the young snakes in a spate enclosure.
Corn snakes are lovely pets of all reptile pets. These snakes are excellent, and they don’t pose any danger to you and your family. Consider keeping a corn snake mainly if you are a snake enthusiast.