If you’ve ever owned a pet, you’ll know that poop monitoring can be disgusting at first, but it’s also an important part of the care process. Of course, our beloved pet snakes are no exception to the rule.
So, that makes you wonder: how much do corn snakes poop?
On average, corn snakes produce droppings once or twice a week, depending on their age. However, there are other factors to consider, from hydration levels to meal frequency.
Read on to figure out when to expect your pet reptile to defecate, what the poop should look (and smell!) like, and what to do if the poor fellow doesn’t follow the normal schedule.
Typically, a corn snake poops three to five days after the last meal.
Since adult corn snakes (around three years and above) can eat once per week, they’ll also poop once every week.
On the other hand, babies and juveniles eat anywhere from two to four times per week. Accordingly, they will poop twice each week on average.
Bear in mind that how often your snake poops will also depend on its hydration level, age, environment, and digestive health.
That’s why keeping your snake hydrated is a really important part of its care process. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be able to poop as often, which results in serious health repercussions.
Usually, snakes don’t go more than two weeks without pooping unless they’re in a state of brumation.
However, if they are brumating, they wouldn’t be moving or eating as well. So, if they’re functioning normally but still haven’t pooped in around 14 days, you should schedule an appointment with a vet for a quick examination.
So, what could be the underlying reasons and complications awaiting you here?
Constipation with corn snakes can happen for a few reasons. For one, the snake might have eaten a larger-than-average meal.
On the other hand, irregular enclosure temperatures or an unbalanced humidity level can also be the culprits. Thankfully, these factors can be remedied easily, and we’ll get to that in a minute!
An impaction can happen if your corn snake remains constipated for a long duration, and it’s an emergency that you have to deal with as soon as possible.
Otherwise, your snake can die after becoming septic.
To check for impaction, look for a bulge or swelling above the cloaca. If you find any, rush to the vet right away to see if your snake needs surgical intervention.
A lot of snakes will stop pooping for a few weeks before their shedding phase. If you’ve owned them long enough, you’ll be able to spot the signs.
If that’s the case, you won’t have to take any drastic measures at this point. Just focus on hydration, keep the enclosure humid, and let them soak in water.
Now that you know why your pet corn snake isn’t pooping as much as expected, you might want to take a look at some simple tips and tricks that can help.
You can try soaking your pet’s body in lukewarm water for a couple of minutes twice per week.
This soak can increase the snake’s temperature and help speed bowel movements. After all, reptiles usually have faster bodily functions when they’re exposed to heat.
On the other hand, they slow down when they’re in a cold environment. Sometimes so much that they brumate, as we’ve mentioned above.
Remember to change the water more often to encourage your pet to drink more. Try to do this at least twice per day to keep the water cool and clean constantly.
In some cases, room-temperature fluids might put your corn snake off.
If the constipation issue seems to persist and becomes chronic, you might want to look further into the humidity conditions, the temperature, and the meal schedule.
Make sure to keep their enclosure’s temperature and humidity within a comfortable range. You may even use a substrate to maintain constant air moisture levels.
According to RSPCA, the humidity in the corn snake’s enclosure should be around 40% to 50%. The basking zone’s temperature, on the other hand, should range between 68°F to 75°F on the cool side and 82°F to 86°F on the warm side.
Keep in mind that a dual hygrometer and thermometer can go a long way in helping you monitor and maintain the conditions.
A corn snake’s poop is usually large and pungent when it’s first excreted. When it dries, though, the odor should become very faint and might not even smell at all.
Still, to avoid any issues with unpleasant smells, make sure to clean the enclosure thoroughly each time your pet defecates.
Before your corn snakes poop, they’re going to secrete a small amount of pee (uric acid) to help push out the rest of the waste. This uric acid is typically a slimy lump of a yellowish or whitish color.
Both this urate and the poop are going to be quite large, but don’t let that scare you. Naturally, this is due to the corn snakes’ infrequent excretion habits and the fact that they defecate their entire meal all at once.
However, a healthy snake poop would have a very dark brown color. It might even have a blackish hue to it as well.
If the droppings seem to look abnormal or are too runny, it could be that there’s too much water in your corn snake’s diet. If that’s not the case, or if you’ve tried reducing the amount to no avail, check with a vet to ensure there are no underlying health problems.
Sometimes, when corn snakes aren’t very familiar with you or are feeling threatened in the setting, they might poop on you.
Don’t fret; it’s not a big deal and doesn’t mean you’re a bad corn snake parent. Just keep bonding with your pets, and they’ll eventually stop doing that.
That said, it’s crucial to clean your hands and anything that comes into contact with the snake’s droppings thoroughly. Otherwise, you might contract salmonella from the exposure!
Once you get familiar with your corn snake, understanding the pet’s bowel movements and habits will be easier from then on. After all, you’ll know how often they eat and how much they poop.
They might even feel comfortable enough to stop pooping on you at some point!
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.