Corn snakes are great options for those who want to keep snakes while not having a lot of experience. They’re relatively easy to handle and you can find corn snakes being sold at various pet stores that sell snakes.
Even so, you need to take care of the snakes the right way to keep them in good health. When buying a corn snake, it’s important to learn how to handle it properly and also how to feed it.
You might not be sure how often to feed your corn snake. Do these corn snakes only need to eat once a month or do you need to feed them several times per month?
Does the amount of food they need to be fed change based on the time of the year? Read on to learn everything that you need to know about feeding pet corn snakes.
How Often to Feed Pet Corn Snakes
How often you need to feed pet corn snakes depends on the age of the snake in question. Are you caring for an adult corn snake, or are you caring for a juvenile snake?
Juvenile snakes need to be fed slightly more often than adult snakes. To keep a juvenile corn snake in good health, you’ll want to feed it once every five to seven days.
An adult corn snake still needs to be fed fairly often. For optimal health, it’s best to feed adult corn snakes every seven to ten days.
Try to stick to a consistent schedule so your corn snakes can stay in good health. Feeding your snakes erratically might not be good for them.
What Do Corn Snakes Eat in the Wild?
Corn snakes are carnivorous snakes that eat meat. In the wild, they’re going to seek out small rodents and birds as prey.
It’s also common for these snakes to seek out birds in their nests. They look for baby birds as well as bird eggs that they can snack on.
Juvenile corn snakes will seek out smaller prey. You’ll often find juvenile corn snakes feeding on small lizards, frogs, and tiny rodents.
It’s even possible that you’ll find corn snakes eating other small types of snakes. They pretty much eat whatever they can to survive in the wild that meets their dietary needs.
What Should You Feed Corn Snakes?
Feeding your corn snakes the right type of food is important. You’ll typically be feeding the corn snakes feeder mice.
Feeder mice can be purchased at pet stores, or you can order them online and have them sent to your home. You can buy live mice to feed to your snakes, but some people only feed their pet snakes frozen mice.
Before feeding the corn snakes, it’s important to make sure that the mouse is thoroughly defrosted. Otherwise, it’d be very bad for the snake to eat it.
You have to make sure that the mouse isn’t too large for the snake to eat it, too. The width of the mouse can’t be greater than one and a half times the size of the widest part of the snake.
So you need to buy fairly small mice when you’re feeding hatchlings. No matter what type of food you go with, it’s imperative to keep the size of the prey in mind.
Mice aren’t the only food that corn snakes can eat. You can also feed them birds and other types of rodents.
Some people feed pet corn snakes quail. You simply need to be careful to choose quail that are the right size.
It’s likely easier to just stick to feeding your corn snakes mice. Simply know that there are other options if you choose to seek them out.
How Much Do Corn Snakes Eat?
How much corn snakes will eat depends on their age. An adult corn snake should eat one or two prey animals every one to two weeks.
Juvenile corn snakes need to eat one prey animal every five to seven days to stay healthy. So you’ll be giving the smaller snakes one pinkie mouse per week.
What Happens if a Corn Snake Eats Too Much?
Feeding corn snakes too much can cause them to experience health issues. There are a few things you should know about this.
First, you must know that it’s never wise to feed a corn snake more than one prey animal in a day. It takes corn snakes around one day to digest their prey, and you don’t want to disrupt this process.
Doing so could cause the corn snake to choke, and then it’ll need to regurgitate. This is a very stressful thing for a snake to have to do, and it’s best to avoid it.
Continuing to feed your corn snake too much can make it gain too much weight. Your snake might start vomiting often because it’s being given excessive amounts of food.
This will eventually lead to the pet corn snake becoming unhealthy. It’s something you want to remedy right away.
Never feed corn snakes more than you’re meant to. It’s unhealthy for corn snakes to gain too much weight, and it just leads to excessive vomiting issues that cause the snakes stress.
How Long Can Corn Snakes Survive Without Eating?
Now you’re likely wondering what happens when you don’t feed your corn snake for a while. You know that a healthy adult corn snake is supposed to be fed once every seven days or so.
How long can a snake go without food? If you don’t feed your corn snake for a few weeks, is it going to die?
Corn snakes can survive for quite some time without food if they have to. Most types of reptiles are good at surviving without food because food can be scarce in the wild.
In the winter, it’s common for corn snakes to go for many weeks and even months without proper meals. Corn snakes can enter a sort of hibernation state to make it through the winter.
When snakes are in this state, they can go two or three months without eating and survive. So a corn snake can certainly survive for sixty days or even ninety days without being fed.
This doesn’t mean that you should starve your corn snake, though. If you want to emulate a hibernation period for the snake, you can avoid feeding it for some time, but many snake owners don’t do this.
You don’t need to allow your snakes to go into a hibernation or brumation period. This is just something that people do when they want to emulate the experience of wild corn snakes while keeping them in captivity.
What Does it Mean When Corn Snakes Stop Eating?
What if you’re trying to feed your corn snake, and it doesn’t seem interested in food? Does this mean that the corn snake is sick?
There are a few things that could be happening in this situation. The corn snake might already be full, and you’re trying to feed it again too soon.
If a corn snake ate just one day ago, it’s not going to be hungry. Remember that corn snakes aren’t meant to be overfed since it can be detrimental to their health.
Another possibility is that the heat in the tank isn’t sufficient. The heat needs to be high enough to aid the snake with digestion.
If the temperature is too cold, it might decide not to eat. You might need to check the habitat to see if something is wrong.
When snakes are shedding or when they’re about to shed, they might decide not to eat. You need to let your snake finish shedding and feed it only once it has finished.
Shedding is a bit of a stressful time for snakes. Be sure to watch the snake to ensure that it sheds properly.
Some snakes are known to prefer killing their own prey. Corn snakes should eat frozen mice just fine, but perhaps mixing it up and giving the snake live mice sometimes might be beneficial.
If the food is too large, a snake will likely not try to eat it. The snake might realize that the food is too big to eat, so it won’t bother attempting to do so.
Finally, the snake could indeed be sick if none of the reasons above appear to be to blame. In this case, you’ll want to reach out to an exotic veterinarian to get help.
An exotic vet can diagnose the snake and help you to figure out what’s going on. Do your best to treat the snake and get it back to normal.
Now you know much more about feeding corn snakes. You’ve learned that adult corn snakes need to be fed every seven to ten days.
Juvenile corn snakes need to eat slightly more often. Feed them every five to seven days.
Always make sure to feed the snakes food that is the right size. The prey animals can’t be too big, or the snakes won’t be able to eat them.
Avoid overfeeding the snakes because it can be bad for their health. So long as you make good choices, it’ll be easy to keep the corn snakes happy and healthy in your home.
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.