Corn snake Care sheet

Corn snake
Pantherophis guttatus

Corn snakes have attractive pattern on their skin which makes them great pet snakes. The fact that they require simple care compared to other breeds of snake makes them a good fit for starting snake breeders.

Origin: South Eastern United States, from New Jersey up to Texas

Experience: Good for beginners

Corn snakes make great pets, they can very much be handled by everyone (from children to adults). Like most snakes, being in a new environment can make them uncomfortable. It is advisable to let them settle in before handling them but once regular handling is provided, they can be fairly tamed.

Captive Availability: High, year round

Captive Variety: 2 subspecies

Morphs: Over a hundred morph available (from amber to zig-zag)

Adult Size: 4-6 Feet

Life span: 15-20 years (with proper care)

Caging: New born corn snakes can be caged in cages the size of a shoebox for their first months. When they grow up and become adult, a cage about 20-gallon long should suffice (the bigger the better). It is advisable to have only one snake in the cage as they are not sociable animals. Corn snakes are good climbers and like all other snakes, they will try to escape so make sure that the cage cannot be breached by the snake. A tree branch is good for their exercise and it should be noted that they are shy therefore a hiding place should make them feel safe.

Substrate: Newspaper, aspen

Temperature: 85 degrees on the warm side and below 70 degrees should do good for the cool end.

Food: Mice, guinea, rabbit

Corn snakes are carnivores and do not eat often. In the wild, they only eat every few days. The way they kill their prey is by constriction, they may seem to be small but are very strong. They would also eat preys that are smaller than their size, even another corn snake. You can feed them mammal preys and even bird’s eggs. New born corn snakes should be fed new born mice as well, gradually increasing to the point where they can eat a big mouse.

Water: Clean water should be available and the dish doesn’t need to be large enough to soak in but heavy for it not to be taken down. It should be placed on the side of the cage to make it easier for the corn snake to find it when it makes its rounds at night.

Strike: After giving the corn snake ample time to settle in and you have fed it for about 3-4 times, and then you can start working on handling your corn snake. Make sure that 2-3 days have passed since they last had a meal, it is also important to know that they may still bite even if the way they kill their prey is through constriction. You need to show no hesitation in handling your snake then you can reach for the corn snake from the side (predators approach from the top) and gently hold it. You can use cotton gloves if you are not used to handling snakes but as you gain the trust of your corn snake (realize that you’re not an enemy), you can tame it quickly and it will be used to being handled.