Unlike other animals that nurture their young, adult corn snakes don’t care for their eggs. As a result, pet owners might find themselves wondering what to do with corn snake eggs.
So, you probably know that they need incubation to hatch, but what does that actually mean, and how can you do it right? Let’s find out!
A corn snake could lay around 10-20 eggs in a single clutch. You can get almost all eggs to hatch if you provide favorable conditions for growth and development.
Before your corn snake lays the eggs, you’ll need to prepare a box container. You can use any other plastic container with a tight lid as long as it fits your incubator.
Just make sure to clean the plastic tub and dry it well before putting an incubation medium like vermiculite.
Besides being affordable and effective, vermiculite retains moisture and increases humidity for long periods without going moldy.
After your pet snake lays the eggs, you can transfer them to the box. However, this part can be challenging since you must be extra careful with the handling.
For one, you need to make sure that the eggs are always upright to avoid disrupting the yolk that has settled at the bottom. Careless handling could affect the egg’s viability!
So, you might want to mark the top portion of the egg with a pencil to know which side is up when you transfer it.
Plus, you’ll need to hold each egg between your forefinger and thumb without pressing too hard. You can add support by placing your other palm below while gently putting the eggs in the box.
When your corn snake lays its clutch, you may notice that the eggs are in a clump. If this happens, there’s no need to separate them.
Instead, you can leave the eggs as is while moving them carefully to the box. Just make a depression in the substrate where you’ll put them to get them partially covered.
In other cases, corn snakes could lay eggs separately. So, you can easily transfer them, but you’ll need to work out the arrangement first.
Here’s how you can properly arrange the eggs:
- Make small indentations in the damp vermiculite bedding for each egg before transferring it.
- The indentations need to be an inch apart so the eggs don’t touch.
- Place one egg carefully in each depression.
- Partially cover the sides with the substrate to reduce rolling.
Once all the eggs are inside, cover the container with the lid and move to the next step.
To boost the survival chances, you’ll need artificial incubation. Ideally, you’ll want to maintain the temperature at around 82°F for optimal development.
Note that the temperature could affect the duration of the incubation period. The lower you set the temperature, the longer it’ll take for the eggs to develop.
The tricky part here is the follow-up; you’ll need to monitor the eggs’ health consistently at this stage. So, you can consider getting an incubator with easy viewing access to make the process easier.
However, you’ll want to avoid removing the lid often. Remember that you don’t want the conditions to fluctuate too much.
When you’re taking a sneak peek, try to note how the eggs look. All in all, healthy corn snake eggs shouldn’t be dry, wrinkly, or discolored.
If your corn snake eggs have dried or turned wrinkly, you can still save them. However, you’ll need to act quickly.
Here are some steps you can take to rehydrate the eggs:
- Add about an ounce of water to the substrate.
- Get a damp paper towel and cover the wrinkled eggs with it.
- Put the lid back on and return the container to the incubator.
- Monitor the eggs every 24 hours and dampen the towel if it gets dry.
Just keep in mind that the towel must be damp, not wet. Otherwise, the water could drip and drown the eggs.
The incubation period for corn snake eggs is around 60-65 days. Of course, that’s as long as you maintain a constant incubation temperature of 82°F.
If you don’t have an incubator, you can try to adjust the conditions in the box or the tank.
Alternatively, you can try setting up a DIY incubator for your corn snake eggs.
All you’ll need is an aquarium, a submersible aquarium heater, a thermometer, some cling film for insulation, and some free time on your hands. This way, you can mimic the environment inside an incubator.
That said, investing in a good incubator could be better. After all, it can help boost egg viability and cut the hassle out of the equation!
A corn snake may be a no-fuss, low-maintenance breed, but that doesn’t mean you should leave the eggs without proper care.
To increase the chances of survival, you need to know what to do with corn snake eggs, from how you carry them to the artificial incubation’s temperature.
The process might sound like too much effort now. However, once you get to see the corn snake hatchlings grow, it’ll all be worth it!
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.