How do you care for a corn snake?


Quick Answer

Corn snakes should be housed in a 20 gallon or larger aquarium with a temperature gradient between its two halves. The warmest side should be kept at approximately 85 degrees Fahrenheit to facilitate the digestion of prey.

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Full Answer

Temperature control is important to housing corn snakes well. Ideally, the snake should be provided with a dark hide at each end of its enclosure. The warm hide should be kept at around 85 degrees Fahrenheit and the cool hide at approximately 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The warm hide is the most important of the two, as adequate warmth is necessary for the snake's digestion to work properly. A thermometer with a probe can be used inside the warm hide to monitor temperature.

Corn snakes are nocturnal and do not require a light source, so an under tank heating pad is an appropriate heat source. Heat rocks should not be used for snakes. While these devices are fine for many lizards, they may burn snakes. Corn snakes are agoraphobic and prefer hides small enough to allow their bodies to touch the inner surfaces while they use it. Aspen bedding or outdoor carpeting are excellent substrate choices for corn snakes, but cedar chips are toxic. If using aspen bedding, be sure to move the snake to a different container during feeding, or it may ingest its bedding.

If possible, feed captive corn snakes with pre-killed animals to avoid injury to the snake. Healthy corn snakes accept food once every week to ten days. As with any animal, you should always provide a bowl of fresh water. It's also important to make sure the bowl is large enough to accommodate the snake's body if it wishes to soak or bathe in the water.

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