Popular Exotic Pets – Corn SnakesPetmania Pet Care Advisor
Choosing a Exotic Pet: What You Need to Know About Corn Snakes
Corn Snakes are interesting pets, but there are many different things to consider when finding the newest member to your family, so how do you know that a Corn Snake is right for yours? Like any pet, a Corn Snake will require lots of love and care to help keep them healthy and well, so in this blog we are taking a look at Corn Snakes, and what you can expect if you were to have a one as a pet.
Corn snakes are relatively small (rarely exceeding five feet in length); active feeders, tolerate a wide variety of environmental conditions; come in a dazzling array of colours; and are a great choice as a pet snake.
These pets will generally have a lifespan of around 20-25 Years. This is achieved by feeding on disease-free rodents which have been bred for the purpose. In addition, having access to a constant clean water supply, and also loving care from its owners.
Company for Corn Snakes
Typically Corn Snakes are quite solitary and are quite content to live by themselves. Two females can generally be kept together; however they should be monitored to make sure that they don’t become defensive.
Where Corn Snakes Like to Live
Corn Snakes should be housed in a vivarium with a secure top, as they make excellent escape artists. Allow a minimum of 1 square foot to each foot long your snake is. A hide box should also be provided; a branch for climbing and resting on; and a rock or log for basking and lying around on. With corn snakes no special lighting is required; and they do not need a specific humidity level either. However, they may appreciate a light misting of their vivarium to aid them during the shedding process. A heat mat will be needed too.
Corn Snakes do not wrap snugly around your arm like other snakes; they tend to pick a direction and go for it. Although they are relatively small in body mass, they are quite strong. When handling, always support the body and give free rein to the head. If the head starts going somewhere you don’t want it to go, gently guide it into another direction. Many snakes can get nervous when introduced into a new situation with new people; so give them a couple of days to settle down before letting new people handle them.
Diet & Nutrition
Like all other snakes, they are strictly carnivorous; meaning they only eat meat. There are some other species of snakes that eat only birds eggs; but none eat vegetables at all. Corn Snakes prefer small rodents like mice and rats.
Baby Corn Snakes start on pink mice; one every 5-6 days and gradually build up to an adult mouse every 7-14 days as they get bigger. Very large snakes may require 2 adult mice per feed.
Frozen food is available from your local Petmania Store, but because of its sensitive nature, it is not displayed on the shop floor, so please ask for assistance.
A bowl of fresh water must be available at all times. It will be used for drinking and sometimes for bathing. If the snake defecates in it; the bowl must be cleaned and disinfected.
Health & Hygiene
Corn Snakes are a tough species, so are generally quiet resilient; and with a good diet and a routine will remain quite healthy.
As a reptile grows, its old skin becomes too tight and worn. A new skin awaits just below the old. As a snake gets ready to shed, its eyes will turn a milky blue over the course of several days, and the body color will start to dull and develop a whitish sheen. Once the eyes have cleared, the snake is ready to shed. To assure proper hydration, soak the snake in warmish water after the eyes clear; this should enable to snake to shed easily within the next 24 hours.
These are small black parasites that live on your Corn Snake and feed on their blood. If affected by mites, they will be visible around the eyes, mouth and under his scales. Symptoms will include lethargy and loss of appetite. If mites are discovered, bathe your Corn Snake immediately in warm water. Remove all the contents from the vivarium and fully disinfect it. Replace substrate with kitchen roll and keep furnishing to a minimum. You will need to use a mite treatment to rid the tank of all mites, and medical attention is recommended.
Bacterial infections are typically caused by poor cage conditions, low temperatures or too much humidity; but they can also transfer between snakes. Symptoms include a wheezy breathing sound; excessive saliva and nasal discharge. Mild infections will generally go away once living conditions are improved, but veterinary advise is recommended for serious infections. If you are concerned about your Corn Snake’s health, our Pet Care Advisors are on hand to help, although veterinary attention may be recommended.
This may occur if your Corn Snake is handled too soon after eating; or if their food is too large. However, it may also be a sign of digestive problems. If regurgitation occurs, monitor it closely for other symptoms. Also, if your Corn Snake repeatedly regurgitates it’s meal; shows signs of excessive weight loss or shows any other signs that are worrying, seek medical attention.
Cleaning the Habitat
Corn Snakes generally require little cleaning as they rarely go to the toilet. Remove feces and soiled bedding as necessary. If your snake defecates in its water bath, it should be disinfected straight away. A full deep clean every four weeks, with a mild disinfectant will ensure your Corn Snake remains healthy.
Hand washing is very important when owning any reptile. Washing your hands before and after handling your Corn Snake will help keep you and your pet healthy. If you wash your hands before handling you reduce the risk of passing anything on to your pet.
As with all reptiles, Corn Snakes have the potential to carry pathogens such as salmonella; so children under five should not handle them and hands should be thoroughly washed before and after.
Take Me Home Checklist
Before you take your Corn Snake home, it is important that you have a habitat set up for it to move straight into. This list will help you identify what you need, and if you have any questions, our Pet Care Advisors in-store will be only to happy to assist.
- Suitable vivarium with a secure lid
- Heat Mat
- Substrate & Bedding
- Water dish
- Decoration and hides
- Misting bottle
- Humidity gauge