All You Need to Know About Corn Snakes

For lots of people the sight of snake causes them to cringe at first. However those who get a little closer to the animals will soon be fascinated by them. The experts from Maxi Zoo will present the corn snakes in more detail. They can even help a “greenhorn” in owning a home terrarium.

Corn-snake features

Their orange-red back markings which are usually bordered with black, the typical chequered pattern on the underside of the stomach and the V-shaped sign on its head, make the corn snake a real eye-catcher. The name for the snake which comes from North America was given because they are frequently found in corn and maize fields. The relatively small snake, at an average of 90 to 130 cm, is not poisonous and can be kept as a pet without too much previous knowledge. For several young animals or two adult snakes, the terrarium should have a minimum capacity of 70 litres.

Decorating your terrarium

Finely grained bark, bark mulch, peat moss, round fine grained pebbles (no aquarium sand!) or terrarium soil are suitable as ground bases; the main thing is that it is unfertilised. Soils as such beech or smoked wood chips will be eaten together with the food and cannot be secreted! The snakes are active at twilight and at night and count as climbing snakes, therefore their home should be high and offer lots of climbing opportunities e.g. twisted pieces of bark. It is best to have a warm and a cool place. Corn snakes need a daytime temperature of 24-27 °C and at night the temperature should be dropped to 22 to 19 °C.


UV radiation is not necessary. The best option is to buy a spotlight, and to heat the air, a 40 to 60 watt light bulb with a reflector. A daylight fluorescent tube is additionally required for larger terrariums. Due to the fact that the warming sources of light also simulate a day-night rhythm, they should run 14-16 hours per day in summer and 8-10 hours at colder times of the year. Thermostatically controlled ground heating should only be used if the terrarium stands in a cooler place under 20 °C.

Keep your snake hydrated!

A container with water must be available as corn snakes like to drink some water, especially after eating. Spray the housing area with tepid water two to three times a week. Do not spray the animals directly because they can catch a cold. The ground should also be kept dry as moisture can quickly lead to fungal infections and other skin problems.

Feeding your snake

Your pet should get used to its new surroundings for two to three days before the first feeding. Due to the fact that corn snakes need vitamin D, they should be fed with prey which has had a vitamin enriched diet. Defrosted mice are usually no problem as food. Some young animals tend to refuse food at times; therefore as a starter, you should select an animal which has already been weaned onto mice as food. The animal must be fed again after or around seven to ten days. If well cared for, the snakes can live for 15 to 20 years.

Our tip

If a corn snake takes a bath, this can point to case of mites. You should visit a vet with your snake. The terrarium may also be too dry and the snake is therefore trying to replace lost moisture.
Call into your local store today to discuss your reptile’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts.