Corn snakes are a popular choice for pets among the reptile community. These snakes are known for their calm temperament and distinct appearance. Corn snakes are found in North America and are easy to tame. Many pet owners need clarification about what they should feed their corn snakes. This article will provide an in-depth nutrition guide on what baby corn snakes eat. We will provide you with a list of ideal food options and how to feed them.
Baby corn snakes generally feed on small prey items such as pink mice, newborn mice, and fuzzy mice. Corn snakes are carnivorous and rely on a diet rich in protein to survive. In the wild, these snakes prey on small mice, voles, and rats. It is important to feed them appropriate-sized prey to avoid digestive problems. As they grow, they can feed on bigger prey, transitioning from small pink pice to large rodents.
What Do Baby Corn Snakes Eat?
Baby corn snakes require a specific diet that helps them support their growth and development. These snakes are carnivorous and consume a diet that includes small rodents. It is crucial to understand and know about their dietary needs to provide proper care and nourishment.
Baby or hatchling corn snakes are typically 8-12 inches in length. During their early stage of life, their nutritional and dietary needs differ from their adult counterparts. You should keep in mind that baby corn snakes should be fed appropriately sized prey, as large prey can cause digestive issues.
Editor’s Note- The size of the prey should be appropriate for their small size and delicate jaws.
The primary diet for corn snakes includes small mice, also known as pinkies. Pinky mice are easy to digest as they are hairless and have undeveloped bone structures. These tiny rodents are of appropriate size for your pet snake and provide them with protein, minerals, and fats necessary for their rapid growth and development. You can feed your baby corn snake with one pinky mouse in 5-7 days, depending on their size and appetite.
As the baby corn snake gradually grows, it can feed on relatively larger rodents such as fuzzy mice. Fuzzy mice get their name due to their developing fur on their body and are older than pinky mice. The bigger prey size allows the growing hatchlings to meet their nutritional needs as they progress toward adolescence. The frequency of feeding also changes as the corn snake grows to the juvenile phase. A juvenile corn snake needs to be fed one fuzzy mouse in 7-10 days this is due to their relatively slow metabolism and energy requirements.
You should also not feed live prey to your baby corn snake, live prey can pose a threat to your pet and can cause some serious injuries. It is safer to serve pre-killed or frozen-thawed prey, to avoid such injuries from occurring. Frozen-thawed fuzzy and pinky mice are readily available at many pet stores and can be purchased easily. The frozen-thawed prey should also be warmed before serving to your pet snake as corn snakes rely on heat-sensing pits to locate their food.
|Age||Prey Size||Prey Type||Feeding Frequency|
|Hatching||Pinky Mice||Newborn mice, small tree frogs, etc.||Every 5-7 days|
|Juvenile||Fuzzy Mice||Young mice, small lizards, etc.||Every 7-10 days|
|Yearling||Small Adult Mice||Adult mice, small birds, etc.||Every 10-14 days|
|Adult||Medium-sized Mice||Adult mice, small rats, etc.||Every 14-21 days|
How To Feed a Baby Corn Snake?
Feeding a baby corn snake requires you to pay careful attention to its health and safety. Here are a few steps that you should follow to feed a baby corn snake safely.
#1 Preparing The Prey
If you are using frozen-thawed prey, thaw it using a small sealed bag and warm it using hot water. You should ensure that the prey is completely thawed and warmed to approximately the body temperature of your pet snake. Corn snakes use their heat-sensing pits to detect their food. Thawing is an important step that you must follow to ensure that your pet snake can locate its food easily.
#2 Create a Feeding Environment
You should create a feeding environment by placing your baby corn snake in a separate enclosure, such as a small feeding container or a feeding tank. Separate feeding tanks help your pet snake realize that it is time to eat and prevents accidental ingestion of substrate.
#3 Offering the Prey
You can use a pair of tweezers or tongs to offer prey to your corn snake. Gently shake the prey and move it around to mimic its natural movement, hence stimulating the snake’s feeding instinct. Offer the prey directly in front of the corn snake to increase the chance of a successful strike.
#4 Monitor the Feeding Process
Allow your baby corn snake to initiate the feeding process by striking, constricting, and consuming the prey at its own pace. It is natural for the corn snake to capture and swallow the prey, stay patient and monitor your pet in case it needs any help. You should also avoid rushing or disturbing your corn snake during the feeding process.
#5 Post-feeding Care
You should provide a calm and stress-free environment to your baby corn snake after every feeding session. Providing a warm and safe environment allows your pet snake to digest its food easily and rapidly. You should also avoid handling or agitating your pet snake for at least 24-48 hours after every feeding session to avoid regurgitation.
#6 Feeding Schedule
It is also important to keep a feeding schedule for your corn snake to ensure its rapid growth and overall health. You should follow a feeding frequency depending on your pet snake’s age, size, and appetite. Monitor your corn snake closely and provide an appropriate feeding schedule to maintain a healthy weight.
Editor’s Note- You should always wash your hands before and after each feeding session. Regular sanitization of the tank is also necessary to provide a clean and healthy environment for your corn snake.
What to Do if a Baby Corn Snake Is Not Eating?
A loss in appetite can be a stressful situation for many pet owners. This can be caused due to many factors, such as improper environment, stress, and improper diet. Ensure that the feeding enclosure or container is set up correctly. You should also check if the temperature gradient and humidity levels inside the tank are in ideal conditions. The feeding enclosure should also have enough hiding spots and mimic their natural environment.
Stress is another factor that can cause a lack of appetite in corn snakes. Stress can be caused due to many factors, such as improper handling, insufficient hiding spaces, loud music, sudden moments, and poor husbandry. You can also experiment with different prey options, such as the size of the prey. You can also use different scenting techniques to entice the corn snake to eat some food and boost its hunger. If none of these tips work out, you should seek the help of a trained vet immediately.
What other foods can baby corn snakes eat?
The primary food source for baby corn snakes is small-sized rodents. You can also serve them baby lizards and frogs from time to time to switch up their diet. Ensure the prey you feed to your pet snake is of appropriate size.
Can baby corn snakes bite during the feeding session?
Young corn snakes are known to be more aggressive than their adult counterparts. Baby snakes are new to the world and can get stressed or agitated easily. Avoid handling before and after feeding sessions and let them digest their food for 24-48 hours after the feeding session.
It can be a complicated task to keep a baby corn snake, especially for beginner owners. Baby corn snakes can be fed a diet compromising small rodents depending on their age, size, and appetite. Feed your pet snakes a diet that is rich in protein and follow proper feeding techniques for their health and safety. If your baby corn snake faces any loss in appetite make an appointment with a trained vet immediately. They will help you detect the underlying issue and treat it quickly.