Corn Snakes, Leeds
This page has been moved to : Corn Snakes Caresheet
Caring for your Corn Snakes
Please read the following information below very carefully as a basic guide to caring for your Corn Snake. Any new owner would be wise to purchase a more in depth book.
Corn snakes are probably the most popular pet snake due to their moderate size and good temperament. They have also been bred to have a huge variation in colour and pattern morphs!
Corn snakes typically grow to around 4-5 feet long, though some females corn snakes can grow as long as 6 feet long. This may sound large, but they are a relatively slender snake, and so they are much smaller than say a common boa of the same length, and so are easily handlable. To give you an idea of scale, the amel corn snake in the photo above is around 4 feet long.
Corn snakes are a moderately sized North American ratsnake. They can be found across most of south eastern USA and thrive in a variety of habitats from hot dry plains to cool damp forests and abodoned buildings, which is indicative of how hardy corn snakes are. Although they are very hardy, we still want our corn snakes to have the ideal habitat in captivity so please read the following care sheet carefully so you can provide for their needs.
2 - 4 foot Vivarium or larger
Beech Chips/Repti Maize
Shallow, Heavy Dishes
Pinkies/Fluffs/Mice (Depending on age)
Calcium D3 and multivitamin supplements
Heat Mat, Thermostat Highly Recommended
Corn Snakes are agoraphobic and so it is recommended that a smaller vivarium is used for young corns so that they feel secure with their surroundings.
For the first year, your corn snake will be quite happy in an 18" vivarium and then later moved to a 36" vivarium when it gets over 2 - 2.5 feet long.
Be sure there are plenty of hiding places thoughout the vivarium in the form of logs, rocks or artifical plants. Keep one of those hiding places moist by placing slightly dampened sphagnum peat moss inside to help your corn snake shed properly. Water must always be available in a heavy shallow dish. The temperature during the day should be maintained between 85 on the hot side and 75 at the cool end. Locate the tank out of direct sunlight to avoid overheating.
A Heat Mat should provide ample heating for a corn snake enclosure, though if you find temperatures are not right, then you could use a low wattage red bulb controlled by a thermostat. This will give you much more control over the temperatures in the vivarium and is a more natural source of heat since corn snakes would normally burrow in the wild to escape the heat.
There are a variety of substrates that can be used, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Beech chips are the most popular substrate, though may cause problems if your snake accidently ingests it. Herbi Veg or Repti Maize are a safer alternative since they can be "passed through" if ingestion occurs.
Some people prefer to use Reptile Carpet, which is a coarse, felt-like, material which eliminates any ingestion problems though is not a very natural substrate and makes it impossbile for your corn snake to burrow into the substrate.
Of course, any ingestion problems can be avoided if you feed your cornsnake in a seperate, substrate-free, tub or enclosure.
Water must be provided at all times.
Your Corn Snake should thrive on a diet of mice (of appropriate size). When young it is best to feed them pinkies but as they get older you can then move on to fluffs, then small mice and eventually large mice. You will need to dust the mice with a mineral supplement to make sure your Corn Snake gets all the nutrition it needs. We recommend Nutrobal as it contains both Calcium and D3 which aids in the use of the calcium supplement. This is more important for young snakes as the rodents they eat are also very young and do not have the same nutriional content of adult rodents. The best way to apply the dust would be to dip the head of the mouse into the powder so it has a dusted cap. This ensures you do not use too much of the supplement.
Corn snakes are known for their non-aggresive nature and rarely, if ever, bite. Young corn snakes tend to be more nervous and flighty but with regular handling will calm down after a couple of weeks. Do not handle your corn snake in the first week of bringing it home. The move tends to be stressful for it so leave it alone in the first week and then try feeding it the following week. If it feeds normally in the first week, leave it alone for another couple of days to allow it to digest its meal and then you can begin to handle it.
Try to avoid handling your corn snake in a area it can easily escape if you lose control over it. Snakes are notorious escape artists and will disappear down the most impossible places if given the opportunity!
Check the tank daily for faeces and remove them immediately. Wash out the water dishes daily. Place the Corn Snake in an escape proof container while cleaning the tank. Both the tank and any washable floor coverings should be washed monthly in hot water and mild detergent. Use a Reptile Safe disinfectant to sterilise the tank such as BEA Reptile Disinfectant. Rinse well with hot water and dry thoroughly.
Snakes are notorious escape artists so the vivarium MUST BE SECURE!
Corn Snake Starter Kit
Paws for Thought's Corn Snake Starter Kit is the ideal setup for young corn snakes.
The Corn snake Starter Kit has all the essentials you need to care for your snake including Substrate, Heat Mat, Thermostat, Mineral Supplements, two hides (so the corn snake will feel secure on both the warm side and cool side). This setup should be big enough for your snake until it reaches approximatly 2 foot in length ( between 6 months and a year old ) at which point it is time to upgrade to a larger vivarium.
And at only £59.99 it has to be one of the most affordable COMPLETE setups available, suitable for anybody's budget!