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How to Take Care of a Corn Snake

Learn how to take care of a corn snake in this Howcast video about pet snakes.


How do we take care of a corn snake? Now to start off with, this little fellow that I have in my hand is actually a king snake, but they are very similar. They are of the same class. They're constrictors. Corn snakes and rat snakes are almost one and the same, and as you can see from the pictures, they have more of a marbled appearance, instead of the colors as the king snake, the California king snake. They come in quite a few different morphs nowadays and you'll get very, very interesting patterns and colors with your corn snakes.

Be careful, the colors come from breeding and inbreeding, genetics, and unfortunately what we're finding is, is the more unique coloring's and morphs have more health problems, so it's very important to talk to the breeder about the quality of the snakes. You want to make sure that your corn snake is active, shiny, round. They should not be concave, nice and clear scales. The eyes, the mouth, the tongue should be moving. The snake should be as inquisitive as this little guy here.

Corn snakes, when they hatch are about 10 to 14 inches long. As adults they could be up to anywhere from 3 to 5 feet, so when you buy your corn snake, be aware number one, they're wonderful snakes, they're docile snakes, but they are going to grow. You want to make sure that the terrarium that you have for your corn snake, most of the time 20 or 30 gallons does it, but an easy way of doing it is measure the length of your snake, and the length and width of your terrarium should be a little bit longer than the length of your snake. So there's a good basic rule on the size of the terrarium.

Snakes are ectothermic, they're cold-blooded. So they need to heat themselves in the warmer area of the terrarium for their immune system to work, for their digestive system to work, and you'll notice that they'll move from the warm area to the cooler area. It's important that for your corn snake, you have either, they have heating ribbons now that you can put underneath of your terrarium, that gives kind of an even heat, and then a heat light that is screened and away from your snake, because they will get close to them and burn themselves.

It's very important to control humidity. Corn snakes require about 50 to 60% humidity. It's very easily controlled. They need to have a basking area, so putting a tub of water in the terrarium, so they can get into the water, they can drink from it. It keeps them moist, helps with the humidity, helps with them going to the bathroom.

The other thing for our corn snakes is they are shy, so they always need a hiding spot or a hiding box. An easy thing to do is use a plant pot, turn it upside down, cardboard box, but it needs to be about the size of the snake so it can ball up and be very comfortable in there. You can have a hole in the top or the side, so that they go in to hide away. They are nervous snakes and if they do not have a hiding spot it can be stressful and cause illness. There's a few tips for taking care of your corn snakes.

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