Did you know that your corn snake can swallow prey that’s larger than its mouth or head? Given that fact, there are still limits to how large mice you can feed your snake.
This begs the question: what size mice to feed a corn snake?
We’ll answer the question in this article as well as other queries about feeding your pet corn snake.
Snakes don’t chew their food. Their jaws unhinge, allowing them to swallow prey that’s larger than their mouths.
A mouse that’s too large for your pet’s size can lead to serious health issues, injuries, and gut impaction.
To avoid these, it’s essential to consider mouse size when feeding your pet corn snakes.
Most often, snakes will feed on prey that’s relative to their size.
There’s a recommended method that applies to feeding prey to your pet snake. It suggests that prey size shouldn’t be larger than 1.5 times the size of your snake’s body at its mid-length.
If, for example, the girth size of your snake at its body mid-length is one inch, the size of mice to feed your pet snake shouldn’t exceed one and a half inches wide.
Corn snakes have a very slow digestion process. After feeding, they take days before needing to feed again.
To give us an idea of how many mice corn snakes eat in a month, we’ll use a feeding guideline based on the length of the snake:
- Hatchlings less than 18 inches long, should feed once every 5–7 days.
- Juveniles, which are around 18-36 inches long, should feed once every 7–10 days.
- Adults over 36 inches long, should feed once every 10–14 days.
From here we can conclude that:
- Hatchlings can eat 3–6 mice in a month.
- Juveniles can eat 3 mice in a month.
- Adults can eat 2–3 mice in a month.
You may be wondering why hatchling-size corn snakes can eat more mice than adult-size snakes. Remember the method of feeding your pet snake with the right size mice?
That method is applied here. Since hatchlings are tiny, the ideal prey to feed them would be baby mice or what’s known as “pinkies”. As with adult corn snakes, full-grown mice are suitable prey for their size.
Compared to full-grown adult mice, pinkies are easier to digest. So, it’s logical that hatchlings can eat more mice than adult corn snakes.
In general, feeding your corn snake two mice at once is okay. Still, it’ll mostly depend on the size of your corn snake and the mice.
For instance, a baby snake may start with one pinky mouse. When it grows bigger, one pinky mouse won’t be enough to appease its hunger.
At the same time, a larger mouse will still need to be suitable for the snake’s small size. Therefore, you’ll need to do the next best thing and give your corn snake two pinkies at once.
Be mindful, though, when feeding two mice to your pet snake. Make sure that your snake swallows one mouse at a time.
If you give the two mice in one go, your pet snake might get tempted to swallow both mice in one gulp. This won’t be good for the snake’s health and may cause digestive problems.
Frozen feeder mice are available in most pet stores. They come in packs and are often categorized by their size and weight in grams.
Check out this list to pick the right feeding mice for your pet snake:
- Day-Old Pinky Mice: 1–2 grams in weight
- Regular Pinky Mice: 1–3 grams in weight
- Peach Fuzzy Mice: 3–5 grams in weight
- Normal Fuzzy Mice: 5–7 grams in weight
- Hopper Mice: 7–12 grams in weight
- Small/Weaned Mice: 12–18 grams in weight
- Adult Mice: 18–30 grams in weight
- Ex-Breeder Mice: 30–50 grams in weight
You should avoid giving your pet snake live mice. There’s a high chance that live prey will defend itself and cause injury to your pet snake.
In addition, don’t give your snake mice caught in the wild as they may carry pathogens that can cause health problems to your pet.
Swallowing their prey whole is how snakes feed; bones, meat, fur, feathers, and all go in one guzzle. Yet, having too large a prey could result in digestion problems and serious health issues.
There’s a simple method to follow in determining the right size of prey to feed your snake. The rule is that prey size shouldn’t exceed 1.5 times the snake’s body size at its mid-length.
Knowing what size mice to feed your corn snake keeps it healthy and provides the proper nutrition that your pet needs.
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.