What should be considered when keeping corn snakes? Are they suitable for beginners, how large should the terrarium be? What are the costs for the owner?
There are a lot of things to consider when keeping a corn snake. Everything about keeping a corn snake can be found here.
The corn snake is a medium-sized North American climbing snake, it is also non-poisonous
The average size is 80 to 130 cm, but adult animals can have a length of 180 cm. The corn snake has a life expectancy of 20 years
Usually, the corn snake has a white belly and a reddish to brownish spotted pattern on a brown to deep red ground. The coloration of the corn snake is very variable
In principle, the animals have a slender body and a relatively small head
The corn snake is crepuscular and nocturnal, feeding on small reptiles, amphibians and mammals. Birds are also on their menu
Keeping the corn snake – even for beginners?
The corn snake is the most common snake kept in terrariums. Due to its comparatively uncomplicated attitude, it is extremely popular, especially with beginners
Only the king snake enjoys a similar popularity. Of course there are many things to consider, but especially for terrarium beginners the corn snake can be absolutely recommended
In their nature corn snakes are extremely peaceful, balanced and easy to care for
Further information can be found in the text Buying a snake – what to consider. Further information can be found in the article Buying reptiles for beginners
Keeping corn snakes in pairs – is it possible? ?
It is possible to keep two male or female corn snakes in one terrarium
However, this does not correspond to the natural behavior of the corn snake, because it is a loner.
Experts therefore recommend keeping one corn snake
Requirements for the terrarium
There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to the terrarium for the corn snake. This concerns the size, equipment, light and temperature, humidity and substrate
Corn snake keeping – the size of the terrarium
Young animals can still be kept in a plastic container. A box with a base area of 30×20 cm would be sufficient. For a juvenile corn snake, the terrarium should already have a size of 60x40x40 cm
For adult corn snakes the recommended terrarium size depends on the length and number of animals. For one adult animal the terrarium should have at least the following dimensions: 100x50x50-80 cm
If two corn snakes are kept or one animal measures longer than 100 cm, then this should also be taken into account when choosing the terrarium. In this case a tank with the size 100-120x50x60-100 cm is recommended
Corn snake keeping – equipment of the terrarium
By the terrarium you should be able to keep a corn snake species-appropriate . Very important is the lighting of the terrarium, here should not be saved
The basic lighting can be done by fluorescent tubes. In addition, a heat spot, here a power of 100 W is recommended
The duration of the lighting can be controlled with a timer, so a natural adaptation to the seasons is no problem
It is very important that the animals have possibilities to climb in the terrarium. It is important that the branches are fixed so that the animals do not injure themselves by falling
Vines or cork oak branches, for example, are very popular. In addition a water container is needed and furthermore corn snakes need several possibilities for hiding
The hiding place should be dark, so that the animals do not feel observed. Recommended is one hiding place in the cool and another one in the warm
The warm hiding place should be near the basking area. A good possibility is bark
Keeping corn snakes: light and temperature in the terrarium
The daytime temperature in the terrarium should be 24-27°C. It is important that there is a temperature gradient in the terrarium. Outside the hibernation period the temperature should be 18-20°C at night
Sometimes corn snakes like to retreat to a cooler place. Primarily, temperatures should be achieved by spotlights, and the floor can be thermostatically warmed to 26°C by floor mats
Lighting should also simulate the day-night rhythm. In summer 14-16 h is recommended, in autumn and winter the lighting is turned down significantly
Humidity in the terrarium
Corn snakes prefer rather dry terrain. Therefore it is sufficient to spray the terrarium with water 2-3 times a week. The animals themselves should not be sprayed with water
Also the floor should be kept dry, because a permanently wet floor can cause skin problems for the corn snake.
Before molting, the terrarium can be sprayed more frequently. A wet box can also be used. This is a container adapted to the size of the animal with moist substrate and a loophole
Keeping corn snake – the substrate in the terrarium
The choice of the substrate is of great importance and is often neglected by beginners. The substrate should have the following properties:
- Low germ
- Free of fertilizer additives
- Good thermal conductivity
- The corn snake must be able to excrete the soil substrate
A substrate made from beech shavings is not recommended as it can cause intestinal obstruction if swallowed. The following concentrates can be recommended:
- Fine-grained bark litter
- Bark mulch
- Animal Welfare Super
- Moss and pressed terrarium soil
The care of the terrarium and the care of the corn snake
The terrarium should be cleaned daily with regard to droppings, food remains and molts. The water container should be cleaned daily and refilled with fresh water
It is also recommended that the health of the animals be checked daily. Is there any difficulty in molting or have feeding problems occurred?
Have there been any changes in feces or mucous membranes? If necessary, the animal should be examined by a veterinarian. A fecal examination for endoparasites should also be performed once a year
Corn snakes can transmit Salmonella to the owner. Therefore, hands should be washed thoroughly after cleaning
The hibernation of corn snakes
How does the hibernation of corn snakes look like? What is there to consider? The hibernation of corn snakes lasts about 3 months
In winter the illumination time is 6-8 h per day, the temperature in the terrarium should be between 7 and 12 °C. The animals should have fresh water available
Fresh water must be provided to the animals, but no feeding should be done during hibernation
Corn snake keeping – what are the costs?
The biggest cost in keeping the corn snake is the terrarium with the associated equipment. With the species-appropriate attitude also some accessories are needed
Here is an overview of the top 5 terrariums
The acquisition costs for the animal are approximately between 30 and 100 EUR. The costs for the terrarium with the associated equipment can quickly amount to between 500 and 1000 EUR
In addition, there are occasional visits to the vet, the monthly lighting and also the feeding. Here should be calculated with 20-40 EUR per month
The feeding of corn snakes
Young corn snakes should be fed weekly. For adult animals a feeding every 2 weeks is appropriate
Corn snakes feed primarily on small vertebrates (mice). Very popular are frost mice, which are still brought to the body temperature of 35-40°c before feeding
It is recommended to weigh the animals from time to time. This way it can be checked if the animals have received enough food
When keeping several animals, it is possible to feed single specimens in a box during feeding. After feeding, the animals need several days of rest and especially fresh water.
Corn snake keeping in rented apartments
Is the corn snake attitude in rented apartments allowed – yes or no? This point should be clarified in advance with the landlord to avoid legal consequences
A detailed discussion with the landlord is recommended. It should be ensured that keeping the snake will not have any impact on the housemates and the apartment
Adders do not pose any danger, nor do they cause any odor or noise nuisance. So, theoretically, keeping corn snakes in an apartment is not problematic
In the beginning, however, a clarifying conversation with the landlord and also the roommates is necessary
Kornnatter attitude – obligation to register in Austria and Germany?
The corn snake is not listed in current protection agreements. This means that it is not a protected species and is not threatened with extinction. Therefore, the keeping of this animal is not subject to registration
Who wants to acquire a corn snake, but should still think about the species-appropriate attitude. Even animals that are not under official protection deserve and need species-appropriate treatment
FAQ: Frequently asked questions
A healthy, adult corn snake is usually fed every 2 to 3 weeks; a 1-week interval is recommended for young animals.< /p>
She will be 6 to 8 years old.
Snakes can go up to a year without food.
The corn snake is not poisonous.
Between 30 and 100 euros.
A terrarium with at least the dimensions 100 X 50 X 50-80 cm should be provided for a single animal.
15 to 20 years.
radiant heaters with UV component for heating to approx. 25 to 30° C (10-12 hours during the day)
spots, local floor heating, heating plates or heatable stones for “sunbathing” (during the day)
If necessary, cooling systems for cooling to 20°C (at night) or for hibernation
Thermometer and hygrometer at at least two locations, as well as timers
Air humidifier or at least one spray bottle for manual humidification to approx. 50 – 60% humidity (Never spray the animals directly!)