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 9:00:17 AM (CST) Thursday, February 21, 2019

Corn Snake Facts

You will find some of the most commonly asked questions about Corn Snakes below.

Whether you are researching the Corn Snake for a pet, or you already own one, find facts about Corn Snakes you may be asking yourself from the pros at

Q: What do Corn Snakes eat? Is it better to feed your Corn Snake live or pre-killed feeder rodents?

A: It is known by herpetologists that raising snakes in captivity is not a natural state, so it can be said that feeding a snake live prey in captivity can be considered unnatural as well. Snakes in captivity have all of their habitat needs met, therefore the snakes have no reason to act natural and kill their own prey. Feeding your snake pre-killed feeder rats or other rodents is also safer for the reptile. If left alone long enough with a snake that is not hungry, a mouse or rat will begin to eat whatever is around, i.e., your snake or lizard (no need to worry about that with pinkies, fuzzies or other feeder mice). Even crickets and mealworms have been known to gnaw at the skin and seek moisture from the eyes of snakes. Since we are responsible for our pet's health we should keep them safe from this type of harm.

Ask your reptile dealer about pre-killed, frozen snake food. Once you have the pre-killed food, do not feed it frozen. What you'll want to do is microwave a bowl of water (2 minutes or so) until it's hot, not boiling. Put the frozen pinky mouse in a waterproof baggy and place the baggy in the hot water for ten minutes. Your mouse will thaw out and should stay dry. You can also let the pinky mouse thaw out in room temperature, but be careful not to let it deteriorate!

If you haven’t tried frozen reptile food yet, you should have an experienced pet dealer or herpetologist shows which demonstrate how to quickly kill live prey by breaking the neck. Without the proper technique, you may cause injury and pain rather than death to the prey, so please do not experiment. We recommend buying the pre-killed feeder mice instead since they are cheaper when bought in bulk and can last up to six months.

Q: My Corn Snake is not eating, what should I do?

A: There are some basic things you may want to try if your snake is not eating. To start off, you may want to make sure your snake's cage is at the right temperature, between 75 and 80 F. If the cage is too cold your snake may not have enough energy to eat. Also if your snake is about to shed it may not be in the mood to eat, but if your snake is hungry it will eat, even if it's ready to shed. Also if your snake doesn't eat a live mouse, try a pre-killed one or vice/versa.

Some trouble feeders may only eat if they're placed in an enclosed container (with air holes) with their intended meal. This will allow your snake to be in close contact with the prey, ultimately resulting in the snake to eat the food, but only if it's hungry! Another important thing to do is to keep food small enough so your snake can eat it. If the food is too big, the snake may only kill it and later reject it because of its size.

Other things you may want to try include; washing the pinky mouse with soap and water to remove any deterring scent which your snake may not like. You may also rub the scent of a lizard such as an Anole on the mouse, or even try the Anole as food. Another thing to try is to hold the food in front of the snake until it force-strikes it. Eventually your snake will constrict the food and begin eating it. If all else fails you may have to force feed the food to your snake. This is a risky procedure and it could be harmful if done incorrectly. Prying apart the jaws of your snake and forcing the food may be the only solution to your snake's resistance to eating.

Q: Should I hibernate my Corn Snake?

A: Our opinion is this; if you don't plan on breeding your Corn Snake, then you shouldn't worry about hibernating it. Just treat your snake as you normally would during other months, with the same heating and lighting. If you do plan on breeding your snakes, your snakes should be allowed to hibernate at reduced temperatures of 41 to 59 degrees F (5-15 degrees C) for about 2 or 3 of the winter months. During this time, make sure your snakes have plenty of fresh water and do not disturb or handle your snake. In late February begin raising the temperature of your snake’s cage. Feed your snake after its first post-hibernation shed.



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