Did your corn snake eggs hatch? Then, it’s time to take care of the tiny hatchlings.
For baby snakes to grow healthy and strong, they need to eat the right type of food. So, this poses an important question: what do baby corn snakes eat?
We’ll answer your question right away!
In the wild, baby corn snakes eat mice, frogs, birds, and other rodents. Similarly, you can feed your baby pet pinkie mice as long as you keep a few factors in mind.
Are you interested in finding out more? You’ve come to the right place.
In today’s article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about feeding your new baby corn snakes. Let’s dive in!
What Do Baby Corn Snakes Eat?
Like all snakes, baby corn snakes’ diet consists predominantly of rodents. Occasionally, your pet might eat eggs, insects, or other smaller reptiles like lizards.
1 – Pinkie Mice
If you have a newborn corn snake, also known as a hatchling, you need to stock up on pinkie mice. Pinkies are newborn mice that are the perfect size for your little guy.
Furthermore, pinkies don’t have any fur that might irritate the baby reptile. As your baby pet grows older, you could make the switch to larger mice with fur.
2 – Earthworms
Most types of baby reptiles love earthworms. That’s because they make easy-to-catch prey and are pretty simple to digest.
More importantly, they’re already in perfect portions. So, snakes love to eat them right away!
3 – Insects
While insects don’t make a filling meal for adult corn snakes, they can be perfect for babies. That’s because they’re small enough, so the little guys can swallow them.
Like earthworms, insects are easy to catch. So, your little friend can practice hunting without any risk of harm!
You can give your corn snake crickets or grasshoppers. Still, since these insects aren’t particularly full of nutrition, it might be better to try giving your growing pet a pinkie mouse every once in a while.
4 – Frogs
Frogs make a delicious meal for most types of snakes, including corn snakes. Just keep in mind that babies will often prefer tadpoles, as they’re smaller in size.
All in all, amphibians are highly nutritious and have high protein content.
Baby corn snakes love tadpoles and frogs so much. In some cases, when the hatchlings are mature enough to eat pinkie mice, they still prefer frogs over them!
5 – Lizards
Snakes love lizards, as they find them easy to catch. They’re also nutritious, and baby hatchlings could love them just as much as frogs.
Geckos, for example, make good meals.
How Many Pinkies to Feed Baby Corn Snake Hatchlings?
Since corn snakes don’t eat every day, you should make sure that the meal you provide for your hatchlings is filling enough.
For that reason, you should feed your baby corn snakes about two pinkies every three days.
As your pet grows older, you shouldn’t increase the feeding frequency. Instead, you can just opt to feed your snake larger, more mature mice, which are also known as fuzzies.
The best way to tell if the meal is enough for your baby snake is to check whether the hatchling is still hungry. Hungry snakes will move around the cage more frequently as if they’re hunting.
On the other hand, if your reptile friends are full and satisfied, they’ll relax more. As a result, you’ll find your snakes bathing in the water or just sleeping a bit more to aid digestion.
How Long Can a Baby Corn Snake Go Without Eating?
Snakes, in general, don’t eat much. In fact, mature corn snakes can survive for around two to three months without food.
However, babies can only survive for shorter periods, as they’re still weak and not fully developed.
Additionally, you don’t want to keep your corn snake hungry for long. After all, the hatchlings need all the nutrition they can get to grow strong and healthy.
Corn snakes can conserve a whole lot of their energy by simply decreasing their metabolic rate by up to 70%. That means they can survive for longer periods while still being able to grow a little, but it’s still not ideal.
Still, baby snakes need to eat more often than adult snakes. Ideally, the baby corn snakes need to eat every three or four days or twice a week on average.
Factors to Keep in Mind When You’re Feeding Baby Corn Snakes
Now you know the specific food your baby corn snake should eat, other aspects of the prey can keep the little hatchlings from eating it, leading to a loss of appetite.
There are some things you need to take into account when feeding your little friend, including:
Cater to Picky Preferences
Your pet reptile might be picky about the type of food they want to eat.
Some baby corn snakes love to eat frogs and lizards too much. They might not enjoy pinkie mice.
In that case, you can simply rub a frog or a lizard into the pinkie mice. This way, the mice will smell like frogs and lizards.
Keep the Anxiety Away
Second, your baby hatchlings might just be nervous or anxious. You might need to adjust to the environment they’re living in to help them out.
For example, you can transfer the enclosure to a quiet place away from foot traffic.
Adjust the Portions
The size of the food matters when it comes to baby hatchlings because snakes can’t chew their food. So, instead, they swallow their prey whole!
This means the food should be small enough, so your baby snake can eat it. Typically, the size of the prey shouldn’t be more than one and a half the width of your little friend.
You might think to cut your snake’s food into smaller, manageable pieces, but you should definitely avoid that. The reason is that they prefer their food alive!
So, while you might offer your pet killed rodents, you should make sure to keep them whole to camouflage them adequately. That’s why pinkies are great for your reptile friend.
If the food is too big for the baby corn snake, it might lead to vomiting or regurgitating. Naturally, this can be quite an unpleasant experience for your pet, and it might lose its appetite completely.
Monitor the Tank Temperature
Keeping the tank on the warm side is crucial for your reptile’s digestion process, especially with young and tender corn hatchlings. Ideally, you’ll want the baby snake’s tank to be about 80 to 85°F.
You can achieve this by using a heating lamb or a heated rock. Additionally, you can have a warmer area of about 88 to 90°F within the tank itself.
The food’s temperature matters as well. As mentioned before, you want your reptile pets to think they’re eating live prey, or they could lose interest in the meal.
That’s why you need to ensure the pinkie is warm before offering it to the snakes.
Nail the Right Meal Frequency
Before you feed your little friends, you need to make sure that they’re ready to eat. Typically, snakes don’t eat very frequently.
In other words, your reptile may have recently eaten. In this case, it means that your friend won’t crave any type of food.
Generally, the reptiles’ digestion takes around two to three days, and they’ll feel full for long periods. So, you can opt for a large meal every couple of days instead of offering your corn hatchling food daily.
How Can You Feed a Baby Corn Snake?
First and foremost, if you caught your pet reptile in the wild, chances are they won’t love thawed food. Instead, they’ll want to eat live prey, just like they’re used to.
Second, you always need to wear gloves, and you’ll need to handle the snake food only with forceps or tweezers. The last thing you want is for your hands to smell like fresh prey.
Otherwise, you’ll risk getting bit by your pet snake. Sure, they might be young, but it’s not a pleasant experience.
So, using tweezers or tongs, dangle the mouse or the prey about five inches away from your snake’s head.
Once your hatchling grabs the food, don’t hold on to it. Finally, let your baby reptile enjoy the warm meal in peace without hovering over the tank since young snakes can be particularly prone to anxiety.
Feeding Frozen Pinky Mice to Your Baby Corn Snake
Pinkie mice are one of the most popular corn snake foods out there. That said, they usually come frozen, so you’ll probably need to thaw them first.
The best way to do that is by placing the pinkie in warm water for around 10 to 15 minutes. On the other hand, it’s not the best idea to put the pinkie in a microwave or boiling water.
It might be a faster method, but it can alter the pinkie’s smell, taste, and texture. Therefore, your snake might not eat it.
Additionally, if your little buddy loves them, you can buy a big stock and deep freeze them. Pinkie mice can last for around six months on average in a freezer.
Do Baby Corn Snakes Need Supplements in Their Food?
It’s not necessary to add vitamins or supplements to the food you give to your baby corn snakes.
However, if you notice any growth stunts or signs of illness, you might want to talk to the vet about adding supplements for your hatchlings. In some cases, baby reptile pets can benefit from Vitamin D3 and calcium to grow strong bones.
So, what do baby corn snakes eat?
Just like their parents, the hatchlings can eat pinkie mice, insects, and other small rodents. However, the best meal option for a baby corn snake pet would have to be the tiny pinkies.
When your baby snake matures, you can gradually shift to using larger mice and other meals of bigger sizes.
While your baby corn snake can go for months without eating, you should avoid feeding them less often.
So, keep in mind that the corn hatchlings should eat every three to four days and that food should be warm and small enough for their still-growing bodies!
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.