Corn Snake Diet


The corn snake diet consists of properly sized rodents in relation to their mouths and the thickest part of their body.  Rodents should be previously frozen and thawed. As long as you follow this rule, you will be able to appropriately choose the proper rodent size for your corn snake.

What Do Corn Snakes Eat?

Baby corn snakes, also known as hatchlings, will eat newborn mice. A newborn mouse is called a ‘newborn pinky’. The next size up is called a ‘small pinky’ and then the ‘large pinky’. Pinkies are the color pink like the name suggests and have no fur. The large pinky may have some starting to grow, appearing whiter in color with pink undertones. A newborn pinky is the size of a small penny. Always feed your corn snake relative to the size of the thickest part of its body. If the rodent will fit snug within the thickest part of your corn snake’s body and only make it bulge slightly, you have picked the correct rodent size.

As your corn snake gets older, it will advance to what’s called a ‘peach fuzzy’. This mouse is white in color and has only the slightest light pink undertone. The next ones are called ‘fuzzy’, ‘hopper’, ‘weanling’, and ‘adult’. Your adult corn snake will be eating adult mice. I recommend previously frozen and thawed mice. There are cons to keeping and feeding live mice. Live mice can injure your corn snake because of their razor-sharp claws and teeth. Live mice are also more work to keep. For the squeamish, it would be very difficult to feed a cute live mouse to your corn snake. At the end of the day, it is a natural thing, but it is safer for your corn snake to feed on thawed mice to prevent unnecessary injury.

Don’t be alarmed by how your corn snake’s mouth stretches while it is eating. You may be wondering if your corn snake can breathe. You might be worried about the possibility of your corn snake choking on its food. No need to be alarmed. A corn snake unhinges its jaws in order to pass food. They will likely refuse food that is too big for it. Some corn snakes might try to eat it anyway. In the case that the food is too large for it, it will regurgitate it. In the event of a regurgitation, don’t try to feed your corn snake again. Waiting at least a week is necessary since regurgitation causes corn snakes stress.

Where Should I Store My Corn Snake’s Food?

I recommend keeping your corn snake in a mini freezer to separate them from your human food. I personally don’t like keeping my snake food on my own. Mini fridges can work, but the storage space might not be big enough to store the frozen snake food. You will only be using the freezer compartment for the purpose of storing your corn snake’s frozen food.

If you don’t mind the idea of having dozens of dead mice next to your ice cream, go ahead and stick them in your freezer. My advice is for those who may live with other family members or housemates that might mind.

How Often Do Corn Snakes Eat?

Baby corn snakes should be fed every once every 5-7 days. Adults corn snakes should be fed once every 7-10 days.

Snakes are super easy to care for. You can plan a trip away and not have to worry about your pet snake getting hungry. If you like to travel, a corn snake may be the pet for you!

What Is Regurgitation?

Regurgitation is when a corn snake reverses the process of ingestion and forces the food back out through its mouth. This can happen due to a variety of reasons, mainly stress. The most common reason is that a corn snake is handled too soon after eating. It is recommended that you wait at least 48 hours after your corn snake has its meal before handling it. Snakes very are sensitive creatures and need to digest their food in privacy. You will notice that your corn snake will seek the warmth of its under-the-tank heating pad after meals. This is because heat helps them digest their food.

Regurgitation is a stressful process for corn snakes. It is recommended that you wait at least 7-10 days before feeding your corn snake again.

How To Properly Feed Corn Snakes?

There are three ways in which you may choose to feed your corn snake. Some may take practice, consistency, and a little common sense.

  1. In-tank Feeding: If you choose to feed your corn snake in its tank, you can use plastic tongs to dangle the fully thawed feeder rodent. Shake it a little bit to entice your corn snake. Some argue that this feeding method is not a good idea because your corn snake might mistake your fingers for food the next time you reach into its tank. Others argue that this method is fine. It is ultimately up to you if you want to strictly condition your corn snake to separate thoughts of feeding away from its home.If you feel uncomfortable feeding your corn snake with short plastic tongs, try getting a long plastic tong. I recommend getting plastic tongs so that the snake does not accidentally injure itself by biting on the sharp edges of metal tongs.
  2. Enclosed Container Feeding: You can purchase a plastic feeding container that comes with a lid. It important that the plastic container has holes (holes for air to pass efficiently, but small enough so that your corn snake cannot slip through them). The enclosed container feeding method lets you place or dangles the thawed feeder rodent for your corn snake to grab. You can close the lid and let your corn snake focus on eating without being stressed out.
  3. Open Container Feeding: You can use a plastic feeding container without the lid if you prefer to watch your corn snake gobble up its food. Just make sure that you are alert and watch closely. Corn snakes are great escape artists and can slither out of your line of sight in a blink of an eye!
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