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How Much Does a Corn Snake Actually Cost to Own?

How Much Does a Corn Snake Actually Cost to Own?

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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.

Are you looking to buy a new pet snake? Then, corn snakes are the way to go.

They’re friendly and cuddly, and their skin is so colorful and bright! Yet, now you’re probably wondering, “That sounds great! But how much does a corn snake cost to own and care for?”

The good news is that they come in an affordable price range. Yet, you have to keep in mind is that buying a snake is a serious commitment.

So, if you’re interested in owning one of these docile and adorable pets, scroll down to learn about the cost of owning one.

How Much Does a Corn Snake Cost?

A standard adult corn snake costs around $30, which is pretty cheap compared to many other pet types.

One reason they’re so affordable is that they’re prolific breeders. Most corn snakes lay around 15 eggs per clutch each year.

It’s true that sometimes not all eggs hatch into baby snakes. Yet, even if you lose an egg or two out of the 15, that’s still a lot of babies slighering around!

Another incentive that gets their price down is that they come in a wide range of gorgeous morphs. However, it’s worth mentioning that the more complex the morph, the higher the price tag.

For example, an Anery Corn Snake morph costs nearly $80, whereas an Amber Stripe scaleless morph can sell for around $700 or more!

Here are five popular corn snake morphs available for sale:

  • Avalanche Corn Snake: $250
  • Candy Cane Corn Snake: $70–$100
  • Lavender Corn Snake: $200–$300
  • Okeetee Corn Snake: $100–$200 (scaleless Okeetees may cost as much as $500)
  • Sunkissed Ultramel Corn Snake $100–$200

Pet Shops vs. Breeders

Corn snakes are available for sale at pet shops or breeders, either online or locally.

It may be tempting to pay your local pet shop a visit and pick up the cutest corn snake you can find. It’s more convenient and even slightly more affordable than breeders.

Expert snake owners, however, recommend that you make the effort to support breeders.

One reason is that breeders tend to be more knowledgeable because they often only have a few species in their care.

On the other hand, generic pet shops typically offer a wide variety of pets rather than focusing on one specific type.

A second reason snake owners prefer breeders is that they usually use more ethical breeding practices.

How Much Does a Baby Corn Snake Cost?

Baby corn snakes can cost between $20 and $200, depending on the reptile’s color pattern and the time of year.

Snakes born in the summer or fall cost more because they’re in more demand. So, if you’re looking for a bargain, buy your baby corn snakes in the spring.

It also depends on whether the snake is wild-caught or captive-bred.

Wild-caught corn snakes are more expensive because they’re not as common. Plus, they’re not easy to care for because they’re not used to being around humans.

How Much Does an Albino Corn Snake Cost?

Albino snakes are less common, so they’re more difficult to locate. This is why they fall into a higher price range than their non-albino counterparts.

That said, their prices can range from $40 to over $100.

How Much Does Corn Snake Food and Water Cost?

Take a look at how much it can cost to feed your corn snake.


Baby snakes need to eat average-sized prey, such as rats or mice, once or twice a week. These prey items sell for about a dollar each.

Once your baby starts growing, it’ll need more sustenance to keep up with its energy levels. Larger prey costs between $2–$3 per large mouse or rat.

So, you can feed your snake anywhere between $10 and $20 per month.

You can also buy frozen mice or rats in bulk. Not only will it save you money, but it’ll also ensure that you always have food on hand for your pets.


Your corn snake needs a continuous supply of fresh water in their tanks. Make sure you buy a heavy-bottomed water bowl to ensure it doesn’t tip over.

It also needs to be non-porous, so it doesn’t interfere with the humidity levels inside the enclosure.

Also, when snakes shed, they like taking cooling baths before and during to make the process easier. So, you may also need to buy a second larger water dish big enough for them to comfortably fit in.

These water dishes cost an average of $10 to $30, depending on the size and material.

How Much Does it Cost to Care for a Corn Snake?

Snake lovers seek out corn snakes because they grow to a decent size of about 2–3 feet as adults. They’re also easy-going and love being around people.

Another great feature is that they have simple needs. They’re also pretty low-maintenance compared to other pets, which brings down the cost of owning one.

You should also note that corn snakes grow quickly over a short period. This means you’ll need to buy a number of items to ensure your reptile is happy and healthy.

The good news is that most of these things are a one-time buy. After making that initial investment, you’ll discover that owning a corn snake can be fairly inexpensive.

Nevertheless, besides the price of the snake itself, there are a few additional purchases to keep in mind.


A 20-gallon enclosure is ideal for a baby or juvenile snake. That usually ranges in price from $70 to $150.

Alternatively, adult corn snakes need 40–50 gallons to move around and find suitable hiding places. These large-sized enclosures tend to be more expensive and can cost between $150 and $300 depending on the material.

Also, do you plan on housing several corn snakes together? In that case, you’ll need to get an enclosure that’s bigger than the minimum size by at least 10 gallons per snake.

You can find 40 or 50-gallon enclosures in local pet shops or online. Anything larger than that needs to be custom-built.


The substrate is the layer you place on the bottom of the enclosure. This layer needs to be deeper than average since corn snakes often make a habit of burrowing.

So, be prepared to buy around 6 gallons of bedding to provide your snake with about 2–3 inches of substrate. This can cost around $13, and you’ll still have plenty left over.

Depending on the type of substrate you choose, you’ll need to change it every 4–8 weeks.

You can stretch it out even longer if you’re diligent about cleaning up your reptile’s waste.


Corn snakes love having decorations and clutter around their enclosures. Yet, it’s not just for show.

These accessories play an instrumental role in your snake’s safety and well-being.

Snakes are instinctively curious creatures. Providing them with their own playground to explore and discover will keep them mentally and physically stimulated.

Plus, just like most reptiles, snakes need privacy, which you can provide in the form of these decorative pieces.

For example, having things like coconut shells, logs, foliage, and other hiding spots helps it feel secure.

Luckily, you can make many of these decorations at home from upcycled pieces.

Another idea is to forage through your backyard to find some large leaves, branches, and rocks to add to the enclosure. It’ll cost you nothing and it’ll give the space a more authentic ambiance to make your reptile feel right at home.

You’ll need to boil them first or bake them in the oven to remove any harmful organisms or chemicals. Then, lay them out to dry completely before placing them in the enclosure to prevent mold growth.

However, if you prefer to buy them, you’ll find an extensive line of decorations and accessories made specifically for snake enclosures.

Fake leaves can cost as little as $7, while hides can cost around $12. Other more complex accessories will be slightly higher depending on the material and design.


Corn snakes are cold-blooded. So, they’re dependent on their environment to help maintain their body temperature and metabolism.

It’s up to you to provide them with a constant heat source. You can do that in one of the following three ways:

  • An under-tank heating pad controls the tank’s thermal gradient and costs $15–$30
  • Heating lamps with fixtures that cost about $7–$40 and bulbs that cost around $10–$15
  • Heat emitters cost an average of about $15
  • Digital thermometer to track the temperature inside the enclosure: around $10
  • Space heater only if you live in a cold climate: $20–$80


Corn snakes need a basic light source to regulate their photocycle.

You can use a visible heat source like a basking bulb. Just make sure you turn it off at night because snakes can see red light. So, it’ll likely interfere with their natural photocycle.

Another idea is to place the tank near a window that gets an adequate amount of natural light. Yet, don’t leave their enclosures sitting for too long in direct sunlight.

Even though snakes enjoy being out in the sun, but too much of it may cause temperatures inside the enclosure to rise to deadly levels within a couple of hours.


Humidity is another factor you have to control. The most effective way to do that is to use a hygrometer, which usually sells for about $10 to $20.

The general rule is that snakes thrive in habitats with a humidity range between 65% and 75%. You can maintain these humidity levels in two ways:

  • Install a misting or fogging system, which can cost you anywhere between $60 and $150
  • Manually mist the tank daily with a continuous spray or mist bottle that costs less than $10

Final Thoughts

So, how much does a corn snake cost to own? The initial price range can fall between $350 and $1200 for the first year. After that, maintenance costs can be anywhere between $150 and $350.

The good news is that most of these are one-time purchases. So, while they may be an expensive investment in the beginning, corn snakes are pretty inexpensive to maintain and care for in the long run.

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