How to Feed Young Corn Snakes

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Corn snakes offer a great alternative to the larger boa and pythons while still allowing the owner to observe the carnivorous animals in their natural predatory habits. The feeding of a young corn snake is particularly important because it will set the pattern for the corn snake's eating habits as the snake grows into adult hood.

Baby corn snakes eat baby "pinky" mice, that is newborn mice that haven't yet developed any fur. A general rule of thumb for picking the size of the mice is that the pinkie you feed your snake is that your pinkie should be no larger than your snake is round at its fattest width.

You may feed your young corn snake either pre-killed and frozen or live bait. As a young corn snake, whether you chose a live or frozen corn snake will not matter. However, as snakes age, they will require larger mice and those mice will fight back as the snake attempts to eat it if it is given as live bait. Corn snakes are perfectly capable of fighting back and are adept predators, but if this worries you, then you should feed them frozen bait from the beginning, as most snakes will not enjoy going to frozen bait once they are used to live bait.

You can buy the pinkies live from the pet store and simply place them in your freezer to kill them. It's recommended you do not leave them in your freezer longer than 24 hours.

Simply place the frozen or live bait in the tank with the snake and allow the snake to eat it. Do not handle or otherwise bother the snake for 24 hours after the snake has been fed.

If you are feeding your young corn snake frozen bait, it may help to warm the bait up before feeding the snake. Simply place the pinky in a small bowl of hot water for 3 to 4 minutes.

If using frozen bait and having difficulty getting the snake to eat, you may also puncture the head of the pinky mouse with a knife in order to spread the smell over the cage.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are having trouble getting your young corn snake to eat frozen bait, try placing the corn snake and the frozen bait in a small Styrofoam cup together. Sometimes when they young corn snake is closer to the bait, the snake will be more willing to eat the pinky.
  • Do not feed crickets to your young corn snake. They are mice eaters, not insect eaters.

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