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Do Corn Snakes Hibernate? (And What Is Brumation?)

Do Corn Snakes Hibernate? (And What Is Brumation?)
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 sakes are pretty common sights in many areas. You might see corn snakes outside sometimes depending on where you live.

They’ve also become common pet snakes since they’re relatively docile. These are harmless snakes that are easy for humans to handle.

If you’re new to the world of pet snakes, you might not know much about them yet. Have you been wondering if corn snakes hibernate?

Do these snakes hibernate, and if so, how long do they do it? Continue reading to learn about corn snake hibernation.

Corn Snakes Go Through Brumation Periods

To properly answer this question, it’s important to know that reptiles don’t hibernate. So technically, corn snakes don’t hibernate.

However, they do go through a process that is similar to hibernation. Corn snakes go through brumation instead of hibernation.

A brumation cycle is a bit different from traditional hibernation periods that you might be familiar with. Corn snakes slow down and decrease activity levels drastically while brumating.

However, they can still be seen moving around during this time. During hibernation, animals just sleep the entire time, but that’s not how brumation works.

How Long Do Corn Snakes Hibernate?

A corn snake doesn’t go through hibernation, but it will go through brumation cycles. A brumation cycle usually lasts for several weeks.

You can expect corn snakes to do this when it gets cold. They slow down and stop being as active so they won’t need to eat much at all to survive.

It’s said that a brumation cycle for a corn snake should last between six and eight weeks. Before the snake enters this state, it’s not supposed to be fed for several weeks.

Wild corn snakes will go through brumation throughout the cold periods. They’re doing this so they can get by without having to seek out much food.

Note that brumation is something that wild corn snakes do. Under normal conditions, pet corn snakes aren’t going to go through brumation.

When Do Corn Snakes Hibernate?

Corn snakes go through brumation when it gets cold outside. When the temperatures start to dip during the autumn or winter, it’s normal for corn snakes to start brumation cycles.

This is a way for corn snakes to survive without having to eat a lot of food. When it’s cold outside, it’s tougher for corn snakes to get around and find prey that they can devour.

Corn snakes are constrictors that prey on various types of rodents. Since it’ll be harder to find rodents when it gets cold, it makes sense for corn snakes to go through brumation.

During the autumn and winter months, the corn snake will be in this brumation state. This refers to what wild corn snakes must do for the sake of survival.

Do Pet Corn Snakes Hibernate?

Pet corn snakes aren’t going to go through brumation cycles naturally. You see, the environment in your home is not going to get cool enough to induce a brumation state.

Under normal conditions, your pet corn snake is going to stay in a warm environment. You use heaters and lamps to keep your pets warm even when it’s cold outside.

Plus, the temperature in your home isn’t going to get too cool. Most people don’t let their homes get cooler than 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter.

It is possible to induce brumation in pet corn snakes, though. This isn’t something that you need to do, but you can if you want to.

Some people change the environment in the corn snake’s habitat to induce brumation states. One reason to do this is that going through brumation can coax corn snakes to breed.

If you’re interested in breeding these snakes, you might want to do this. Otherwise, it’s totally unnecessary.

Doing this for your pet corn snake will involve lowering the temperature to between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the habitat. You’ll need to stop feeding the snake two or three weeks before starting the brumation cycle.

Ensure that the snake has plenty of water, though. You want the snake to have access to water so it can stay healthy.

You might be wondering why brumation is positive for pet corn snakes. Well, it can help breeders to determine when the female snakes are ovulating.

Other than this, it doesn’t serve much of a purpose. So don’t worry about this at all if you simply want to keep corn snakes as pets.

Corn Snake Staying Hidden

Many new corn snake owners worry when their snakes hide all the time. Is it bad when your snake doesn’t want to come out very often?

Not necessarily. It’s pretty normal for corn snakes to stay hidden a lot.

Many types of snakes like to remain hidden during the day. Corn snakes are nocturnal snakes that hide during daylight hours.

They love having places where they can hide in their habitat. You should have hides in the cage that allow your snake to conceal itself.

Having hiding spots will make the snake feel much more at ease. It’ll reduce stress levels and keep your snake feeling good.

The hiding spots should help to keep things dark for your snake. So pick out the right things that will work for your snake.

Final Thoughts

Now you know that corn snakes don’t actually hibernate. Corn snakes go through brumation cycles instead.

Brumation is a lot different than hibernation, but many people use the term hibernation because they’re more familiar with the word. Regardless, you now know that brumation is a thing that wild corn snakes do during the autumn and winter.

They put themselves in a state where they’re less active than usual. It allows them to use up less energy so that they don’t need to eat as much to survive.

This is important for survival purposes when it’s cold outside. Food is scarce in the colder months of the year, and this is a way for corn snakes to get through those times.

Brumation isn’t something that you need to worry about for pet corn snakes. You can induce brumation by making the conditions right in your snake’s habitat.

The only reason to do so is if you’re trying to breed the snakes. It can help you to determine if female snakes are ovulating better.