Corn snake pet makes excellent choices for the pet lovers as they are generally docile, relatively easy to care for, and do not get very large therefore they make a great choice for beginner snake owners. They are native to the south-eastern United States, mostly land-dwelling, and active mainly at night or dusk and dawn.
In this article, you will get to know about all the things if someone is thinking to get a corn snake as a pet. You will get to know the following things:
- Background information about corn snakes
- What do they look like?
- Proper diet for all ages
- How to properly set up a corn snake enclosure
- Health concerns to be aware of and how to prevent them
- Handling and bonding tips and tricks
- FAQ about corn snakes
Summary: Before heading out to purchase your first corn snake, or a unique color morph to add to your collection, keep reading this in-depth corn snake article to help your reptile friend live their best life and for you to enjoy it as well.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT CORN SNAKES
The corn wind (Pantherophis guttatus) is a North American small snake species found all through the southeastern and central United States, from southern Unused Shirt south through Florida and west into Louisiana and parts of Kentucky.
The species has moreover been presented on a few islands of the Caribbean, with a few built-up populations presently found in Grand Cayman, the US Virgin Islands, and within the Bahamas.
The corn snake past classification was put it within the class Elaphe, it was as of late changed to Pantherophis. A few consider having appeared that they are more closely related to king snakes (genus Lampropeltis) than the Old-World rat snakes with which they were already classified. It was considered to have 2 subspecies until 2002 when the Great Plains rat snake was split off as its species.
They are generally a semi-fossorial species found in a wide assortment of the dryer to more muggy living spaces. The corn snake is found in environments such as lush forests, rough slopes, overgrown fields, pine forest, meadowlands, grasslands, forest openings, grass Flatwoods, palmetto Flatwoods, tropical hammocks.
They are also found near human-modified environments in barns and abandoned or seldom-used buildings. These snakes prefer lower altitudes but can be found anywhere from sea level up to 6,000 feet (1800 m).
Summary: These buddies are also known as red rat snakes. , areThese are brownish-yellow & orange in color. They have a very slender body which never gets heavy & fatty.
WHAT DO CORN SNAKES LOOK LIKE?
There are 2 speculations to clarify the species common title, corn snake. In one is expressed that the title infers from the closeness of their stomach markings to the checkered design of kernels of corn.
The other depends on the snake’s normal presence near grain stores, chasing mice, and rats that ate the collected corn. Like a few other snake species found, the corn snake is some of the time alluded to as the chicken snake.
These are slim non-venomous snakes with a length extending from 24 to 72 inches (60 to 180 cm), with males being bigger than females. Their base color is usually a brown to red-orange, dotted with numerous huge red blotches with dark edges down their backs. Their colors shift from locale to locale and can moreover incorporate gray and yellow. They have a dark and white checkered belly.
In confinement, breeders have been making a wide assortment of color designs, called morphs, extending in color from white to dark, and designs that incorporate spots, stripes, or strong coloring.
They have indeed been bred in captivity with other small snake species just like the California kingsnake to deliver crossovers known within the pet industry as “Jungle corn snakes”. In an unordinary design, these crossovers are fertile.
They have exceptionally few normal predators that comprise generally of bigger snakes, birds of prey, and sometimes carnivorous warm-blooded creatures. The larger snake species, just like the eastern kingsnake and black racers, will eat corn snakes. Their life expectancy is up to 23 years in captivity but is impressively less within the wild, around 6 to 8 years.
PROPER DIET FOR ALL AGES
Corn snakes eat 1 frozen/thawed mouse every 7-14 days, from pinkies to large mouse depending on the size of the corn snake. A large bowl of tap water should be present in their enclosure and will need to be replaced every day. Corn snakes are very easy to feed and rarely refuse a meal. Firstly, the easiest way to gauge what size mouse is needed is by comparing the girth of the mouse to the girth of your snake’s belly. The mouse should be about the same size around, or a touch larger.
If you feed them a mouse equivalent to this size, feeding once a week is ideal. Because corn snakes vary in size, there is no exact food size to follow. A hatchling Corn Snake is best eating pinky mice, while adult corn snakes usually need an adult or large mice. All mice should be “naturally” de-frosted by leaving them for a few hours (do NOT place in a microwave or in boiling water to speed up the thawing process).
Here is a rough idea of how much to feed your corn snake based on age
- Hatchling to 2 months: 1 pinkie
- 4 months: 2 pinkies
- 6 months: 3 pinkies
- 8 months: 1 fuzzy
- 10 months: 2 fuzzies
- 12 months: 3 fuzzies
- 14 months: 1 small mouse
- 16 months: 2 small mice
- 18 months: 1 adult or jumbo mouse
Hatchlings should be fed once every 7 days, juveniles should be fed once every 7 to 14 days, and adults should be fed once every 14 to 21 days.
Simply hold the mouse with snake tongs to avoid your hands being mistaken for food and shake the mouse around the head of your snake until it strikes and grabs the rodent. Avoid sudden jerks with the food after it’s been bitten.
Pulling the mouse too hard could result in your snake losing a tooth, which is not only a waste of a mouse but very demanding on your snake’s body to vomit up. Wait 24 hours before handling and because Corn Snakes are crepuscular, feed your corn snake in the last part of the day.
A water dish is also necessary, and the water should be kept meticulously clean. Snakes often defecate in their water, and when this happens, the waste should be cleaned immediately. A heavy dish several inches in diameter makes a good water source. you may find your snake soaking in the dish, particularly before a shed.
Summary: Whether it’s a corn snake or any other species, proper feed is a must for these reptiles. You should provide feed according to their age & size. An adequate supply of water also plays a vital role in the breeding of a happy corn snake.
HOW TO PROPERLY SET UP A CORN SNAKE ENCLOSURE
A vital component to your snake’s overall health, maintaining and establishing an appropriate habitat can mean the difference between life and death!
As such, be sure to appropriately plan out every detail before adopting your pet. Or, if you already have them, immediately adjust your current tank setup as needed.
At a minimum, your adult corn snake should be housed in a 30-gallon aquarium, but the more room, the better.
As they age, these snakes become more curious and active, thriving with vertical space to exercise their climbing abilities. They also enjoy burrowing, so a tall enclosure with a thick substrate layer and climbing space is essential.
Corn snakes are not highly active and do not need huge enclosures. A medium-sized enclosure (3 or 4 feet in length) will house an adult corn snake nicely. Viv or Terrarium are both fine. Hatchlings up to 18 months old need to be kept in an appropriately sized enclosure as they can become stressed in a large environment and stop feeding.
Corn Snakes are also excellent escape artists, so care must be taken when planning their housing. It is advised to place at least two hides in your vivarium so that your Corn Snake will have a place to hide in both the warm and cool end of the enclosure. If proper captivity conditions are provided, these corn snakes can live longer as expected.
It is also advisable to place branches, rocks, stones, and plastic plants in their enclosure, as these provide a place for climbing and resting, they also aid the snake when shedding its skin.
Summary: Besides the good feed, a vital component to your snake’s overall health is, maintaining and establishing an appropriate habitat can mean the difference between life and death!
HEALTH CONCERNS AND HOW TO PREVENT THEM
The good news when it comes to corn snakes is that they are relatively hardy. This is because they’re pretty easy to care for and don’t have as finicky of a husbandry setup as other reptiles.
However, as with all reptiles, they are prone to specific health concerns. And this is especially common when their husbandry is poor.
Below are 2 of the MOST common ailments they can fall victim to.
Dysecdysis is a fancy word for a “poor shed”.
Retained shed and eye caps can be caused by low humidity, inadequate water for soaking, handling during the blue phase of shedding, and low temperatures.
The stuck shed should always be addressed immediately, as it can harden and restrict blood flow to the area, sometimes causing permanent injury.
Never pull stuck shed off without soaking beforehand.
Pustular dermatitis goes by many names, including blister disease and scale rot.
Named for the numerous small, blister-like lesions that pop up on the underside of snakes, these blisters can become infected and may progress to skin damage, septicemia, and death.
Snakes who are kept in environments that are too moist and/or dirty are most at risk for scale rot, but conditions without adequate humidity can lead to retained shed and bacterial infection development from debris building up under the retained skin pieces.
Summary: You should keep an eye on your pet’s routine. If he is dull & inactive as compared to the normal routine, better visit Vet. Another symptom of an ill snake is less flicking of the tongue.
HANDLING AND BONDING
You will need to wait a little while after bringing your new pet home to let them settle in. This usually takes about 2 weeks, but you shouldn’t start handling until your corn snake is eating regularly.
Corn Snakes are quite active snakes and will appreciate time outside the vivarium to exercise. Care should be taken to avoid dropping your Corn Snake whilst handling, so support your Corn Snake at all times. Approximately 10-15 minutes 3-4 times a week is a suitable amount of time for handling your Corn Snake, but this may vary depending on the particular snake.
Some Corn Snakes will appreciate more time outside of the vivarium while others may shy away from regular handling. It is important for hygiene reasons to wash your hands with an anti-bacterial wash before and after handling your Corn Snake.
Before you pick up your corn snake, make sure they’re awake by gently tapping it with a paper towel roll. This will help it realize that it’s handling time, not food time.
Once its tongue starts flicking, you’ll know that the snake is awake.
Use your hands to approach your snake from the side—approaching from above may trigger a defensive instinct.
As you pick your pet up, hold as much of the body as you can, and avoid grabbing the tailor restraining the head.
Corn snakes like to explore, so expect your pet to start climbing up your arms. Many like to drape themselves around their owner’s neck. Avoid handling your snake within 48 hours of eating or during shedding.
Summary: Handling for a long is the main issue for a corn snake. Pet snakes don’t like to be held for long Hardy 10.15 minutes maximum is the limit. If you will hold them for long, these buddies will not like it & start behaving irrationally.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Below are few commonly asked questions about corn snakes that might be of some interest to you.
Is a corn snake a good pet?
Taking its name from the corn granaries, which attracted mice and then these mouse predators, the corn snake makes an excellent pet snake. It is generally docile, relatively easy to care for, and does not get very large; it’s a great choice especially for beginner snake owners.
Do corn snakes bite at all?
Corn snakes rarely bite, even if frightened or hurt. If they do bite, the bite from a hatchling usually causes no pain at all, and may not even be noticed due to the small size of the teeth. A bite from an adult may perhaps be enough to draw a little blood, like tiny pinpricks
Do pet snakes recognize their owners?
You may think your snake prefers your presence over the presence of another person, but it is highly unlikely that snakes can differentiate two people. Unlike dogs, cats, rats, and birds, snakes simply do not have the right type of intelligence to recognize one specific human from another.
Can a corn snake kill a human?
A corn snake cannot kill you.
They are a very calmly mannered animal that is a great first pet snake because it is so harmless. These snakes also contain no venom, as I stated earlier.
The friendliest breeds are corn snake to till date/ These fellows are non-venomous. Pet lovers can easily handle corn snake pet because of their friendly nature. Even kids are safe around them. As the teeth of a baby snake are so small their bite doesn’t have any impact. Still, it is advisable not to hold them for long, as snakes don’t have any affection feelings towards the owner, it will make them disturbed & put them in unrest.