How Often Should Corn Snakes Eat

How Often Should Corn Snakes Eat
Edward R. Forte January 15, 2022

Corn

How Often Should Corn Snakes Eat

And In their natural habitat of southern and central United States, they would readily consume a multitude of prey.Can corn snakes eat roaches, vegetables, eggs, fish, beef or pork?Adults: For fully grown snakes (those that are two years +) I wait a little longer feeding every 14 to 21 days.Corn snakes would probably eat everyday if you provided them the food.They are pretty quick metabolically, but health wise this would only lead to obesity and major weight related issues, and possibly premature death.Finally, when you buy your corn snake always ask what their feeding regime has been.This can be fully dependant on your own schedule regarding time of the day that you choose to feed.The only common side-effect is the fact feeding a chick often causes more loose faecal waste from your snake.Your snakes food will stay fresh for six to nine months if stored correctly.Due to the variety of morphs available that can have an effect on natural body build, as well as breeding genetics, it’s hard to define an ideal weight.The idea is for the snake to have as much surface area for traction on their stomach as possible.An overweight snake will be much more rounded, leaving the sides of the belly not touching the ground with movement.An underweight snake will look almost triangle in shape, with the sides pretty straight leading up to the spine.It's best to consult your exotics vet, and discuss a relevant feeding regime.Unless is a medical issue like parasites, both can be rectified by following a strict dietary regime.Bacteria associated with disease and decay can begin to reproduce in these wet conditions over a period of a few hours.That's lot of dangerous bacteria to be feeding your corn snake.Once you have properly thawed that prey, you must warm it up before feeding to your corn snake.Some will place the prey in hot water (not boiling) and leave it for five minutes and then offer to the snake.I'll submerge the top half of the prey in very hot water for about 30 seconds (again, not boiling water) and then offer to the snake via some large metal tongs (forceps).I have had some snakes that wouldn't take wet prey, so I'd resort to heating the head with a hair-dryer for about five mins.There are disaster stories of exploding mice and rats and that is something I'd not want to be cleaning up.As long as the method you choose allows that prey to be fully thawed no issues will arise.Why would you remove the snake from its established territory, a place where it feels safe, confident and stress free into a tub with none of these?Regurgitation in itself is a huge stress burden for your snake and could lead to possible illness.Winter months: Reptiles are very sensitive to air pressure changes, and you'll even find some act differently during a storm.Brumation can also occur, which is linked to seasonal changes, and this can lead to a reduced appetite.Fussy eaters: Often a change of feeder prey will break a stubborn corn snake's food strike.It’s a good idea to rotate food anyway, as you’re then less likely to have a fussy eater on your hands.I provide a large bowl deep enough for the snake to drink from, soak in, to aid shedding or to cool down.If this is the case, while obviously you'll be annoyed you've wasted a feeder, just try the feed again in five to seven days and keep an eye on that snakes weight.This in turn can cause digestive issues and the snake will not want to eat.So it’s vital you have a good heat gradient in that setup with a basking zone of around 30c.A little higher or lower won't be much of an issue providing there is ample coverage and options to self-regulate.Again, check out my article on the correct corn snake setup, written for ExoticDirect.Any significant weight loss, or over long extended time of not eating, please consult your exotic vet as there could well be some underlying issues present.This is due to the stretched skin trying to compensate for the food bulge in the digestive system.And finally, just in case you're not sure - here's a recap of the terminology for the different food types....They have no fur and are high in protein, with a pretty low fat content.They often have the benefit of a belly full of the mothers milk, making them a bundle of calcium (often seen as a white blob through the pinky skin around the stomach area). .

Corn Snake Care Sheet

Their extremely variable and gorgeous colors and patterns, ease of care and breeding, and generally docile dispositions have earned corn snakes their rightful, premier place in herpetoculture.The size of mature corn snakes is just right: big and hardy enough to accept regular handling, yet not large enough to intimidate a novice or child.Easy to breed and care for with an endless array of genetic traits, corn snakes offer something for the newest snakekeeper, yet they also challenge those with years of experience.Corn snakes hatch at 8 to 12 inches long, and most eventually reach 4 to 5.5 feet in length.Adult corn snakes need a cage at least the size of a 20-gallon long reptile terrarium, but bigger is even better.Most breeders use aspen shavings as bedding because it is absorbent, soft and holds its shape when snakes burrow.Most corn snakes learn to eat previously frozen, but fully thawed out, mice.Be prepared to offer a live newborn mouse to baby corn snakes stressed by a new home or not used to thawed mice yet.Be sure the lid is on tightly, and don’t put it near a heat source, or you risk overheating the snake.Fearless babies were eaten quickly long ago and never passed their genes onto future generations.Although it is normal for baby corn snakes to flee, hide or defend themselves, it is also true that they have no real ability to harm you.A white mouse or a cat that plays too roughly with its owner can do far more damage than even the largest corn snake.It is important to give a new corn snake a few weeks to settle into its new home and into a regular feeding routine before stressing it with unnecessary handling.Once the corn snake begins to realize that you are not going to eat it, and also that it needs to calm down to regain the security of its quiet cage, it will usually tame quickly and become very used to handling. .

All About Corn Snakes

A large bowl of tap water should be present in their enclosure and will need to be replaced every day.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).A heavy dish several inches in diameter makes a good water source. .

Feeding Your Corn Snake

In the wild, they are known to eat mice, rats, birds, and bats (The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles & Amphibians, 1979, p.605).In caring for a carnivorous pet, you must be prepared to feed a variety of whole animal prey to help the corn snake receive balanced nutrition.Depending on the size of the feeder and the age of your snake, you may offer two prey items in one feeding session.Weighing your snake weekly with a kitchen scale will help you determine what works best, as well as track trends in growth or weight loss.The generally accepted practice for corn snake food is to use captive bred prey items that have been humanely euthanized and frozen rather than live.This is because live feeders will use teeth and claws to fight for their life against the snake — sometimes causing injury.Also, “stunning” a live feeder by slamming its head against a hard object will discourage fighting back, but it’s also incredibly inhumane.Corn snakes generally have a fairly enthusiastic feeding response, so they don’t have much of a problem taking frozen/thawed prey.Prepare a frozen rodent 1 day in advance by sticking it in the refrigerator to thaw slowly.Then, directly before feeding, place the feeder in a BPA-free plastic bag submerged warm, almost hot, water for 15-30 minutes.The live rodent should not be left in your corn snake’s enclosure for more than 1 hour.Whichever you choose to offer, refer to ReptiFiles’ list of trusted rodent distributors to find the best feeder breeders on the market.Some studies suggest that commercially-bred feeder rodents are deficient in crucial nutrients like vitamin D, which in turn negatively affects the health of the snakes that eat them.Wild-caught prey can transmit disease or parasites to your snake, which means more vet bills for you down the road. .

What Do Corn Snakes Eat & How to Care for Them

Once fully grown, corn snakes usually range from 2.5 to 5 feet in length, and have a lifespan of 5 to 10 years.When you're ready to choose your corn snake, look for one with no cuts or abrasions, and with bright, alert eyes and a flicking tongue.Remember that reptiles, like other creatures, will grow to their proper size, regardless of whether you have a big or small space for them.As no one (particularly your snake) enjoys cramped quarters, a roomy home is of utmost importance.Corn snakes need to be kept in a temperature of 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, which is pretty easy to achieve with a warming lamp set over the tank.Heat rocks, meanwhile, are generally not recommended because snakes have sensitive skin that is prone to burns.To keep your corn snake happy and stress free, it’s a great idea to fill the tank with plants, branches for curling around on, and boxes to hide in.Quail eggs make great treats for your snake, but only occasionally -- about one every few weeks.When the time comes for your corn snake to shed, you will notice that its eyes will turn milky blue a few days before, its skin will go dull and it will take on a whitish sheen.You can give your snake a shallow dish of tepid water to soak itself in as it goes through the shedding process. .

Tips for Corn Snake Feeding

Offer rodents (rats or mice) that are about the size of the snake’s midsection, or slightly larger.Be sure your corn snake has proper cage temperatures to help it digest its meal (and for general health reasons).Stress and improper cage temperatures are two of the most common reasons that corn snakes refuse to eat in captivity.If your snake refuses meals consistently, and you’ve checked everything listed above, it’s probably time to call a vet for help.I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide to the corn snake feeding process.If you have questions about any of the tips presented in this article, feel free to use the “comments” feature below. .

How Many Pinkies To Feed Baby Corn Snakes?

Pinkies are mice that have not yet grown fur and are the best thing to feed your baby corn snake.Baby corn snakes, or hatchlings, should be fed one to two pinkies per week, depending on their size.Baby corn snakes should be fed pinkies, small mice not yet mature enough to have fur.The best way to defrost those frozen pinkies you bought at the store is to dip them in a baggie in heated water for around an hour.If the prey is too large for your snake to consume, there are some pretty severe health consequences for your pet.When your snake is fully grown, feeding times will change to every seven to ten days.While some might argue live prey is more natural for the animal, they can introduce parasites or diseases to your snake, resulting in death.It is a good idea to find out if your baby corn snake has been raised on pinkies before you have ownership.There are many reasons your baby corn snake might not be interested in eating, ranging from simple ones like they aren’t hungry to digestive problems.Your snake may also avoid food if it is stressed, their environment has changed, leaving them nervous, or they are too cold.If you have made some of those environmental changes and you’re still having problems getting your snake to eat, it is a good idea to get an opinion from a vet.Feeding your corn snake is not a complicated process, but the task can seem daunting at first with so many questions.Feeding your baby corn snake one to two pinkies every five to seven days will guarantee a happy and healthy pet. .

9 Amazing Facts About The Corn Snake

Corn snakes, as well as copperheads, are actually beneficial predators of rodents and in turn are important food items for many other animals.>> The corn snake is mainly nocturnal and hides during the day under cover of loose tree bark, in animal burrows, or in old abandoned buildings.>> Predators of the corn snake include foxes, opossums, skunks, bobcats, weasels, and hawks. .

Feeding Pet Snakes

The most popular pet snakes usually eat prey such as mice, rats, gerbils, and hamsters.Since snakes eat entire prey whole, it is easier for their owners to feed them nutritionally complete diets and certainly prevents many of the dietary-related diseases commonly seen in other reptiles.Snakes can be offered either thawed, previously frozen prey, or freshly killed ones.Female snakes approaching breeding season can be fed more frequently.Your veterinarian can give you more specific advice about feeding based on your snake's individual requirements.There are many causes for a pet snake not wanting to eat, from benign causes such as the stress of being in a new or disrupted environment, noise, lack of privacy, improper environmental temperature, hibernation, shedding, pregnancy, or breeding season anorexia, to more serious causes, including cancer, kidney failure, parasites, or other health issues.Your veterinarian can help determine the cause of your snake's decreased appetite by performing a thorough physical examination and appropriate laboratory testing.A large, heavy ceramic crock or bowl (that cannot be spilled easily) filled with fresh clean water should be provided at all times. .

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