What do Corn Snakes Eat?

What do Corn Snakes Eat?

Corn snakes are one of the most popular pet reptiles and their feeding habits are very interesting. In this article, we ask: what do corn snakes eat? We will also talk about some of the more interesting aspects of snake feeding and how you can make the feeding time special.

What do Corn Snakes Eat?

Corn snakes are predators in the wild. Typically they will feed on rodents in the wild, including mice and rats. Though there are also reports of them eating small eggs as a very occasional treat, small reptiles, and sometimes other snakes. Sometimes this is done for reptile enrichment.

However, in captivity, they can be kept on a diet of rodents, particularly mice. However, you can mix it up by offering proportionally sized rats.

How do Corn Snakes Eat?

Corn snakes are ambush predators. In the wild, they will hunt or wait for prey and then strike at them when they are in range.

As soon as they’ve latched onto the prey item, they will tend to wrap themselves around the prey item. Many people think this is an effort to suffocate their prey, but this is wrong. Trying to suffocate a prey item would place the snake at risk as it could take 3-6 minutes to sufficiently subdue their prey, during which the prey can scratch and bite in defence.

Instead, the corn snake will cause the heart of the prey item to stop. This is quicker to kill the prey item, often taking just a minute and prevents the prey item from fighting back.

What Size of Rodent Should My Corn Snake Eat?

Corn snakes, like all other snakes, cannot chew their food. Instead, they have to swallow their food whole. Therefore, it is limited how large the prey item the snake can take is. The largest prey item is often 1.5 times the girth of the snake, which is pretty sizable.

Many young snakes will take pinkies or crawler mice. As they get older, the corn snake will move onto large mice, sometimes up to large mice or small weaner rats.

It is important to understand and know what size of prey item your corn snake can eat. Those snakes which take bigger prey can regurgitate the prey item. This can cause damage to the food pipe of the snake and they can’t eat for two to three weeks afterwards for safety.

How to Feed Your Corn Snake

It is really simple to feed a corn snake. It is best to get frozen mice. Take the prey item out of the freezer and then leave it to defrost to room temperature. Then you can use some snake-feeding tongs to hold the prey item and present the item to the corn snake. Most corn snakes will take immediately.

Some snakes will prefer to have their prey item heated up further which can be done by placing the rodent in warm water for a minute or two to bring the rodent to about 35-36 degrees centigrade.

Once the snake has taken the prey item, you should leave them alone. They should not be handled for about 24-48 hours (closer to 48 is preferred).

Final Word: What do Corn Snakes Eat?

Corn snakes eat rodents in captivity. They’re an easy species to feed, rarely missing a feed, which makes them great for beginners who don’t want the worry. Above are the instructions on what and how to feed your corn snake.

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