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Can Corn Snakes Live Together? (5 Things That Could Happen)

Can Corn Snakes Live Together? (5 Things That Could Happen)

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The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care. In addition, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Corn snakes might just be the very best choice for first-time reptile keepers. Their bright orange scales patterned with large crimson blotches make these guys a true sight for sore eyes.

Not to mention, they’re easy to tame and maintain! Whether you’re looking to get your first corn snake or add another to your collection, you probably wonder: can corn snakes live together?

If you want to find out, stick around and keep on reading!

Can You Keep Corn Snakes Together?

The short answer is: yes, you can in some cases. The better question, though, would be whether or not you should keep them together. And the answer to that would be a hard no.

To understand why, let’s go back to the fundamentals of snake behavior and lifestyle.

Reptiles, especially snakes, are solitary creatures. I mean, you don’t glance outside your window and find a herd of snakes just slithering across the field with one another, do you?

That’s because these guys prefer living alone, and the only time they’ll cross paths with one another or seek another individual is for breeding purposes.

I know what you’re thinking: what about the snake enclosures at the pet store or my snake owner friend Bobby who houses his corn snakes in one tank?

The only reason you’ll find snakes in the same enclosure at a pet store, for example, is because it’s simply a temporary housing situation for the snakes.

Also, you might have encountered a pair of corn snakes housed together, cuddled up next to each other in a charming.. cold-blooded way. While it would be nice to think they’re snuggling, they’re not! In actuality, they both just discovered the ideal spot in the tank for them to be in.

These sweet spots might be warm places, caverns, or just the least visible area of the tank. So it’s not that they’ve become best buddies, it’s more of an every-man-for-himself type of situation.

What Happens If You Keep Two Corn Snakes Together?

Onto the anticipated question: what would happen if you housed two corn snakes together? In the wild, snakes have an unlimited amount of space between each other.

So, when you combine solitary animals in the same enclosure, things can start going south. Let’s take a look at some examples.

1 – They’ll Become Stressed

When you place multiple corn snakes in the same tank, they will get highly stressed. However, as important as this is, I believe it’s the least of your concerns.

Not because a stressed snake is unimportant, but because there are considerably more serious consequences if you keep them together.

Although snakes don’t exhibit stress in the same manner as dogs, cats, or humans, they can show certain indicators.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that not all of these symptoms have to be present for your snake to be agitated. Furthermore, the more stressed a snake is, the more symptoms it’ll display, and the faster you need to act to remove the triggers.

When a snake is agitated for an extended length of time, its immune system starts to weaken. One aspect contributing to this weakening is that your snake does not consume anything while stressed.

All of these can result in premature death, which is important to look out for any of these stress symptoms:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Hissing
  • Rubbing nose against objects
  • Attempting to escape
  • Attacking
  • Regurgitation
  • Tail rattling
  • Heavy breathing
  • Flinching

2 – They’ll Fight Each Other

Corn snakes are the epitome of introverts. They’re shy and like to keep to themselves in their own little world. Add another snake into their space, and you’re asking for some serious trouble.

If there’s competition involved, these guys go from timid to violent in a matter of seconds. They’ll go berserk and start a fight that’ll end with one of them either out of the tank or out of the whole planet.

And boy oh boy, when it’s feeding time. Even if there’s plenty to go around, they’ll still be too busy attacking each other to enjoy a delicious meal.

3 – They’ll Eat Each Other

That’s right. Keeping two corn snakes together sometimes results in straight-up cannibalism. Although corn snakes are a gentle breed and are not cannibalistic by nature, there’s still the possibility of one devouring the other.

For example, if a corn snake is housed with a smaller corn snake and it needs to feed, it may consume the smaller snake to survive. Corn snakes prefer to feed solely on a smaller and weaker snake rather than going head-to-head with a comparable size.

This is because they want to kill the other snake without any risk of being harmed or killed. Although it’s uncommon to witness cannibalism in corn snakes, it can happen if two males are housed together.

4 – They’ll Get Sick

As I previously mentioned, when snakes are stressed, their immune system begins to deteriorate.

As a result, they’re more susceptible to digestive disorders, including infectious stomatitis, respiratory illnesses, and skin diseases.

They’re also more prone to internal parasites like coccidia and worms, as well as exterior parasites like ticks and mites. Because the two snakes live together, if one of them contracts one of these infectious illnesses, the other will catch it in no time.

Even if both snakes end up being sick or infested with mites, keeping them in separate enclosures will make it easier for you to deal with the condition and treat each snake more effectively.

5 – They’ll Mate

Wait, is that a bad thing? In some cases, it sure is.

Say you put a male and a female corn snake in the same enclosure during mating season. The male will surely try to mate with the female, who is smaller in size.

The problem is that if the female has not reached sexual maturity, she’s prone to major health risks. If, for example, the female snake is too young or too small to reproduce, having eggs will most likely result in dystocia, or egg binding.

This is a potentially fatal condition when an egg takes too long to exit the reproductive system.

When Is It Okay to Keep Two Corn Snakes Together?

While housing two corn snakes together isn’t recommended, I won’t claim it’s impossible without anything going wrong. In fact, many snake owners manage to do it.

But if you want to have two corn snakes in the same tank, you’re going to have to stick to the following guidelines:

1 – They Have to Be 2 Females

We’ve established that when a male is joined by a female, he will attempt to mate with her, which can be dangerous if she isn’t ready.

Furthermore, if a male is kept with another male, they will most likely fight and possibly eat each other. This leaves us with just one option: housing two female corn snakes in the same enclosure.

Keeping two females in the same tank is recommended because females can cohabit without fighting or mating (obviously).

2 – They Have to Be the Same Size

These snakes not only have to be the same sex, but they also must be the same size, age, and health.

This is because the more similarity there is between the two snakes, the less likely the larger snake would attack or eat the smaller one.

3 – They Need Plenty of Space

Corn snakes prioritize their personal space above anything else. That’s why it’s critical to give them lots of room, especially if you’re keeping multiple corn snakes in the same terrarium.

A corn snake needs things like branches, stones, rocks, and hiding places to stay happy and entertained.

Final Thoughts

Generally speaking, corn snakes should not be living together in the same terrarium. This is because it leads to several issues such as fighting, cannibalism, stress, diseases, and premature breeding.

You can, however, keep female corn snakes together as long as they’re the same age and size.

Overall, I would still recommend keeping them in different enclosures in case one of them becomes unwell or fights with the other. Or, at the very least, keep them apart when it’s time to feed.

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