Corn Snakes

How To Feed A Corn Snake? – Tricks Of The Trade

How to feed a corn snake – Everything you need to know. The prey must be properly thawed. You must warm it up before feeding it to your corn snake. No this does not mean putting it in the microwaves for 2 minutes. There’s nothing you want to do less than clean up the inside of your microwave with explode prey. You can only imagine the carnage it leaves behind. It’s as simple as getting some hot water from a tap, (not boiling water from a kettle) and leaving said prey in the water for a few minutes to warm up and tender up. Some corn snakes don’t always take too well to wet food, so instead a hair dryer would be used to dry the prey, as lengthy as this process may seem.

The feeding process can be done with some metal tongs, holding the prey between the two prongs, with the prongs horizontal, not vertically, so your corn snake can gets its teeth into the prey, and not the metal. This method also makes it easier to release the prey for your snake to feast on.

(Please scroll down to the bottom of the page to find ‘Other related articles you might like’, once you are done reading).

How To Feed A Baby Corn Snake?

How to feed a baby corn snake, or hatchlings? Firstly you will need to know that your hatchlings will feed on new born mice. Baby corn snakes should learn to eat previously frozen newborn mice, that have been fully thawed. This is one of the most common and best starter meals for your new pet corn snake. The tiny mice make for a great meal as they as easy to digest because of their size and lack of strong bones.

There is a trick that you can use to get your baby corn snake to eat for the first time, however it is kind of gruesome and not for the faint hearted. Basically you have to chop the pinkie in half. Some people even say to open up the skull, but this is completely up to you. Cutting the prey in half means that your baby corn snake will have much smaller portions to swallow, which they should easily be able to do. The taste and smell of the now cut in half prey, will start to stimulate your corn snakes senses. As your corn snake starts to flicker their touch at the prey, they are actually tasting them, therefore will start to eat pretty quickly.

This is mainly for a breeder though, as breeders shouldn’t be selling corn snakes until they are eating well and completely healthy to be able to eat by them selves, at least a whole pinky. So if you have bought a baby corn snake, then they should already be able to eat a pinky, without any problems.

How Often Do Corn Snakes Eat?

Healthy hatchling and baby corn snakes need to be fed every 5 – 7 days, starting with frozen prey that have been fully thawed before the feed. After a few months and still within the first couple of years whilst your corn snake is still growing, you should feed your corn snake once every 7 days, up until it becomes an adult. After 2 years you can increase a feed to every 7-10 days.

Baby corn snakes should eat only 1 pinky mouse every 5 days, for at least the first 6 months. Some say twice a week, but this averages at nearly 3 every 2 weeks, which is significant for a baby corn snake.

After 6 months your corn snake will enter its juvenile age. From here you can start to feed them slightly bigger prey. A medium sized mouse (not quite fun sized) should be plenty. Any prey any bigger than this ay look a little too big for your corn snake to try and digest.

After 2 years, then you may move up to bigger prey. A full sized mouse, rat, toads, chicks, quail eggs etc. These are all suitable sized food for your adult corn snake.

You don’t have to stick to 10 days exactly for feeding times, as in the wild they would just eat when they are hungry and have an opportunity to eat. So feel free to differ in between 7 and 10 days as you wish. Sometimes in your corn snake isn’t hungry, they won’t take the prey anyway, so that an obvious sign that the snake is not ready to eat yet.

What Do Corn Snakes Eat?

Corn snakes diet consists mainly of rodents. This is purely down to the fact that in wild, rodents are a corn snakes primary natural food. Baby corn snakes are known to also eat little lizards and frogs. Of course if these are appropriately sized. An adult corn snake may eat a wider variety of prey than adolescent corn snakes. Fully grown corn snakes can eat prey of a larger size, so rats, birds and bird eggs are now on the menu too, and sometimes even fish. 

Fish is probably the most uncommon, but in the wild corn snakes have be known to eat fish, although it wouldn’t be their first choice. 

Pinkies, (baby mice) are the best food for your baby corn snake. You’ll be able to purchase these at any reptile store, and they will more than likely come frozen. As long as they have been properly thawed, then you should have no problem getting your baby corn snake to feed. These will be find, at least for the first couple of years. After this you may begin to try feeding your snake bigger prey.

The Feeding Process

You want to make the feed as natural as possible, so dangling the rodent infant of your corn snake will give the illusion that it is alive and moving. You want your corn snake to strike. They are a constricting snake, so you will probably see this process too which is great. This resembles exactly the process which they would use in the wild, so one your corn snake had the rodent in its grip, just sit back and enjoy your snakes feed as it would in the wild.

As a treat you make want to feed your corn snake a quails egg. But only every few weeks. Remember that eggs aren’t a corn snakes primary food. However they do occasionally eat eggs in the wild, so replicating this over a few weeks will ensure to keep your corn snake happy with mixed meals and a balanced diet.

Corn snakes will also eat reptilinks. This is a specially made food for reptiles, for those who choose not to feed their animals live or frozen prey.

How Often Do Corn Snakes Eat?

Hatchling Corn Snakes

Healthy hatchling and baby corn snakes need to be fed every 5 – 7 days, starting with frozen live that have been fully thawed before the feed. After a few months and still within the first couple of years whilst your corn snake is still growing, you should feed your corn snake once every 7 days, up until it becomes an adult. After 2 years you can increase a feed to every 7-10 days.

Baby Corn Snakes

Baby corn snakes should eat only 1 pinky mouse every 5 days, for at least the first 6 months. Some say twice a week, but this averages at nearly 3 every 2 weeks, which is significant for a baby corn snake.

Juvenile Corn Snakes

After 6 months your corn snake will enter its juvenile age. From here you can start to feed them slightly bigger prey. A medium sized mouse (not quite fun sized) should be plenty. Any prey any bigger than this ay look a little too big for your corn snake to try and digest.

Adult Corn Snakes

After 2 years, then you may move up to bigger prey. A full sized mouse, rat, toads, chicks, quail eggs etc. These are all suitable sized food for your adult corn snake.

You don’t have to stick to 10 days exactly for feeding times, as in the wild they would just eat when they are hungry and have an opportunity to eat. So feel free to differ in between 7 and 10 days as you wish. Sometimes in your corn snake isn’t hungry, they won’t take the prey anyway, so that an obvious sign that the snake is not ready to eat yet.

Can Corn Snakes Eat Chicks?

Many people just assume that mice are a snakes main source of diet. However this isn’t true. There are many other food which corn snakes can eat. An adult corn snakes can eat chicks. Where as adolescent corn snakes shouldn’t eat chicks as they are too big for them to digest and can cause constipation. 

Young corn snakes would usually eat frogs, lizards and small rodents in the wild, so it is always good to give them a balance in their diets. Adult corn snakes can also be fed chicks and rodents, which is their main diet in the wild. However many snake owners like to keep too small rodents as these are easiest for corn snakes to consume.

A good substitute is to feed your corn snake slices of chicken breast. This means they still get all the goodness from the raw meat, but don’t have the trouble with the bones, which are known to cause some irritation in corn snakes digestive system.

Can Corn Snakes Eat Fish?

Although not common for housed corn snake to eat fish, they are known in the wild to eat a variety of fish from tiny little minnows, to larger sea bass. Being carnivorous, they will eat most meats in the wild, or at least anything reasonably sized, they can digest easily. Of course being a species that enjoys bathing in water, it is not uncommon for corn snakes to feed on fish from time to time.

However, their diet should never consist strictly of fish, as they like high proteins, hence why rodents are a snake owners first choice of food. But feeding your corn snake fish from time to time is not going to do them any harm.

Can Corn Snakes Eat Crickets?

If you think buying crickets for your pet corn snake is a good idea, then please re-think. Crickets are far too small for corn snakes. Even baby corn snakes won’t even look at a cricket as meal. Corn snakes won’t look at at anything smaller than a rodent as a meal. And for a baby corn snake, the smallest meal they eat would be a little frog and small eggs.

Corn snakes tend to only eat one meal, and don’t really enjoy the effort it takes to catch their prey, so you could imagine why they wouldn’t want to spend their time chasing after crickets, for the a little reward.

Crickets can actually turn the tables on snakes, as they are commonly known to feed on their skin for the moisture it provides, and even their eyes. So having crickets in an enclosure with your corn snake is really not a good idea at all, so its recommenced NOT to release any into a corn snakes enclosure with them.

Can Corn Snake Eat Mealworms?

Just like crickets, corn snakes do not eat mealworms in their diet. For the same reasons. They are just too small. The amount they would have to eat and catch would be a lot of effort, and they would probably use more energy catching them, then it would get from actually eating it. There are some snakes such as the Garter snake, that would actually eat mealworms, because they are a much smaller snake. But corn snakes are just too big to warrant catching tiny little critters for a meal.

Will Corn Snakes Eat Other Snakes?

So, will your corn snake eat other snakes? The simple answer is yes, it could. Realistically, a corn snake will often eat anything that is smaller than itself and can be known to be cannibalistic at time (Although not common). 

Other snakes aren’t really a typical food a corn snake, although it has been know for species of snake in the wild to eat smaller baby snakes. Snakes are opportunistic, they never really know when their next meal will be. So if they’re hungry and an opportunity arises for a meal, then they will take it. After all, they need to eat to survive, so they feed whenever they get the chance too.

So yes this is a possibility. This is one of the reasons you shouldn’t house snakes together.

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