Corn snakes are medium-sized, non-aggressive snakes that can make great pets. Diet substantially impacts a snake's health, so it's important to feed corn snakes an appropriate diet in addition to a diet that they like and are willing to eat. Corn snakes should not eat daily. Instead, most will eat every 10 days or so, though babies will need to eat more frequently -- usually every four to five days.
Pinkie and Fuzzy Mice
Hatchling snakes up to about 6 months old are incapable of eating large prey. These snakes should be fed a diet primarily consisting of pinkie and fuzzy mice. These terms refer to the appearance of the mouse. Pinkie mice are newborn mice that do not yet have fur, while fuzzies have begun to grow fur. Feed fuzzies to older hatchling snakes and pinkies to younger ones.
Lizards and Frogs
In the wild, corn snakes frequently eat small lizards and frogs. Feeding these animals in captivity can be prohibitively expensive, and it can be a challenge to find appropriate feeder reptiles. Though corn snakes do not need to eat other reptiles in order to be healthy, if you have the opportunity to feed your snake a small feeder lizard like a house gecko, your snake will appreciate the change in diet.
Rats and Mice
Both in the wild and in captivity, corn snakes subsist primarily on rodents. Very large corn snakes will eat small to medium-sized rats, but these should never be given to snakes that are not full-grown. White feeder mice are a perfectly acceptable prey item for these snakes, and if you're unsure about feeding your snake a rat, try giving it two feeder mice instead.
No matter what you're feeding your snake, it should be pre-killed. Live prey may attack and injure snakes, and when prey fights back snakes may choke or regurgitate their food. Conversely, if your snake does not kill the prey but only injures it, you may be stuck dealing with a sick and suffering rodent. Most snakes will readily eat pre-killed prey, and reputable pet stores offer frozen food. Frozen prey animals are killed in an instant and do not suffer, so this option is a humane one.