If you’re about to get your own corn snake, you might be curious about their eating habits. So, how do corn snakes kill their prey?
Well, they’re not venomous, so they rely on different techniques to survive. Keep reading to find out more about the corn snake’s hunting style and diet.
Corn snakes use their keen sense of smell to hunt their prey. Once they’ve found a target, they’ll bite it to immobilize it first.
Then, because corn snakes are constrictors, they’ll wrap their body around their prey to suffocate it. Once they’ve subdued their prey, they’ll eat it whole, sometimes even while it’s still alive!
These small creatures usually hunt on the ground, but they’re also known for sneaking into the burrows of other animals. They can also climb up trees to prey on eggs while the birds are away.
Corn snakes that live near farms can help with pest control because they prey on rodents that feed on crops. Some people even believe the snakes got their name because of how they frequented corn granaries.
Yes, corn snakes are carnivores.
In the wild, their diet mostly consists of animals like rodents, birds, eggs, and bats. Meanwhile, younger corn snakes usually go after smaller prey like lizards and frogs.
However, if you’re looking to take care of your own pet corn snake, you’ll be responsible for its diet since it can’t go out and hunt on its own.
Here are some of the eating habits to keep in mind:
Captive corn snakes are usually fed frozen mice. Just make sure to thaw the food for a couple of hours before giving it to them.
Keep in mind that you can feed your pets snakes different sizes of mice as they grow.
A good way to gauge how big their food should be is to check if it’s the same size as their belly or just a bit bigger. For instance, baby corn snakes are usually fed pinkie mice, which are small feeder mice.
Plus, you’ll need to make sure to only feed your pet snake commercial frozen mice.
Sure, they’re carnivorous and can kill their own prey. However, if they eat an animal roaming in your home or outside, they might contract diseases.
You can also give your corn snake quail eggs as an occasional treat, maybe once a month. While they eat eggs in the wild, they don’t do so as often as the other prey options.
If your corn snake is fed the appropriate amount, they only need to eat about once a week. The growing hatchlings may need to be fed twice a week.
On the other hand, water is a different story. You might need to replace the water every day because corn snakes sometimes defecate in it.
Corn snakes are predators and will retain the instinct even when bred in captivity, so feeding them can be tricky.
To mimic that sense of hunting, hold the warm prey with a pair of tongs and dangle it above your corn snake. It’s best not to hold the food with your hands because your snake will grab and bite it quickly!
Let go of the mouse as soon as your snake has a hold on it so that the little guy doesn’t have to pull hard. Then, you can expect the corn snakes to wrap their body around the prey, even if it’s already dead, before swallowing it whole.
All in all, they might not get the same thrill of hunting their prey in the wild, but they could live longer as pets.
Corn snakes are impressive predators but still make great pets for beginner snake owners.
When taking care of your own corn snakes, you’ll want to give them an environment as similar to their natural habitat as possible. This includes their eating and hunting habits, from the kind of food they eat to how you’ll serve it to them.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard. I also like photographing wild birds, especially birds of prey.