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Advice appreciated For Corn Snake

Discussion in 'All other pets' started by megara, Feb 18, 2005.

  1. megara

    megara New Member

    Hi, I just bought a yearling corn snake. this is the first snake that i have owned and though i have researched it so that i can properly take care of it, if anyone could give me some hints and pointers i would greatly appreciate it :y_the_best:
  2. seaecho

    seaecho New Member

    Hi! Aren't corn snakes the greatest? What kind did you get - Miami? Oketee? Candy Corn? There are all types. I have a Snow Corn, and I've had her about eight years now. Corn snakes are just as sweet as they can be. First of all, they must be kept warm, since they have no internal thermostats like we do, and have a roomy cage, so they can stretch out. My snake's cage is 6 feet long and 2 feet wide. I feel this is a good size - many people keep them in cages much too small. Corn snakes are an average of about 3 and a half feet long when mature. I used to have an Oketee too, but she escaped, and by the time I found her (two months later) she was dehydrated and died before I could get her to the vet. What a beautiful snake she was! Anyway, a Snow Corn looks very similar to an Albino corn.

    OK, I don't know how many basics you already know, but I'll try to cover the necessities. The reptile heat lamps (they don't emit any light - just warmth) are great. You have to be sure it doesn't make the cage too warm, though. Put a thermometer in the cage permanently so you'll know exactly how warm it is. I hang this over her hideaway (outside of the cage so she won't burn herself). You'll have to adjust the height until you get the temp right. You want it about 75F near the bottom of the cage. Also, baby snakes need to be a bit warmer than adults, who can be nearer to 70. Also, I use a heating pad under her astro turf (fake grass) set on low. I only use these warming devices in winter, since its warm here in summer. If it gets TOO warm (over about 85) I run the air conditioning in her room to make it about 78. Snakes are not that expensive to keep once you have all the basic items they need. The heat lamp is the most expensive item, but they last a long time - usually over a year! If you have a large cage like me, the snake is free to get away from the heat if its too warm for him, on the opposite side of the cage. I have two "hideways" for her too, one on the cooler side and the other on the warm side, plus some branches and things they sell at pet shops and Petsmart (if you have one near you). Some corn snakes like to climb - others don't care for it. I have a water bowl in there at all times, and I buy the frozen mice for her, since I won't feed live mice. I think its cruel, since they don't die right away sometimes.

    Let's see - if your snake is a yearling, its probably about how long? I can't remember, since I've had my snake for so long. I would think you could buy "fuzzy" size mice, or maybe even what they call "pinkies"(newborns) if your snake is still pretty small. Your snake will graduate to "hopper" size when its a bit older, and eventually to "small adult" size. The pet shops will give you the correct size if you use these terms. Corn snakes usually don't get big enough to eat anything over small adult size. The general rule is don't feed anything much bigger than your snake's head. Make sure the mouse is completely thawed for several hours before offering it. Put it very near the snake and leave the room so the snake will have privacy. Some will not eat in your presence. After two hours, if the snake hasn't eaten, remove the mouse and try again in a day or two. You can refreeze it if you don't wait too long. You may have to wiggle the mouse a bit to get the snake's attention. This is really all they need in their diet. A young snake can eat twice a week, once mature only once a week. Don't overfeed. And they will often slow down on their eating in the colder months. They can often go a month or so without eating. No need to worry - they pick up again when the weather warms up. Keep in mind that snakes have slow metabolisms (they aren't the most active animals in the world) and don't need to eat frequently like people and active animals do. Also always make sure the snake is warm before offering it food. They can't digest if they are cold. Feel its body. If it feels slightly warm, it can probably digest a meal.

    Always handle your snake gently and slowly, and it will quickly lose any fear of you. Don't ever let kids handle snakes unsupervised. They can be too rough, and frighten the snake. If the snake is very hungry when being fed, it might "strike." But remember, it wants the food, not you. Corn snakes are not the least bit aggressive, but they don't have good eyesite, so could mistake your hand for the food you are offering. You can always use tongs if your particular snake tends to strike, but this happens more often with king snakes, who are much quicker moving and aggressive about food. Their little teeth are like needles, but they only leave a very small hole that heals quickly, and is not painful after the initial bite.

    Your snake will shed every few months. You can help it along by running warm water over the snake and GENTLY helping to peel off the old skin. Don't stress the snake out though. If he gets upset, stop and let him do it naturally by rubbing against a rock (you should also have one in the cage for this purpose). By the way, don't buy a "hot rock" that some pet stores sell for reptiles. These can easily get TOO hot and burn your snake. Also, snakes are usually hungrier than normal right after shedding. I hope this helps. I know I've probably forgotten something, but you are welcome to email me any time with any other questions you might have. Oh, and remember to clean the water bowl at least every other day with soapy water, and vacuum out the cage (there will occasionally be poop that dries nicely for vacuuming, although not nearly as often as a dog or cat or hamster poops) about once a week. Good luck - I hate the fact that snakes have such a bad reputation when most of them are kind and gentle, and make the best of pets!

  3. megara

    megara New Member

    :eek: yay ^^ thank oyu so much ^^. my snake is an amenalistic one... but hes pretty much a run of the mill corn, but i still think he is beautiful ^_^. sorry to hear about your other snake. i actually just changed the lid on my snakes cage bc he did get out, but i found him the same day. :shock: . right now i am feeding him fuzzies. i'm not quite sure how long he is, but he's probably almost the same length as my arm (that probably doesnt help much :wink: )
    He spends most of his time under his hide rock, so i am always trying to peek in and see if he is still there, bc i have only had him for a week and a half.
    i actually got my mom to watch him eat today... he is not a shy eater at all. i think i may move him up to two mice per week though, as you had mentioned that younger snakes might eat more and he seems to gobble his food down before i even get it near him.
    thank you so much for all your help ^^
  4. venom

    venom New Member

    corns are not very aggressive. bites are not really painful. however the blood gets old. you dont really need tongs for a corn snake they arent the aggressive.

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