Getting a baby corn snake is a very rewarding and exciting experience. They are scientifically known as Elaphe guttata and also famous for their manageable size, and striking colors. Baby corn snake makes an excellent pet, especially for beginners alike. However, like every other pet, it’s important to provide them with proper care and attention for a happy and healthy life. In this care sheet of how to care for a baby corn snake, we will look at different aspects of caring for a baby corn snake. You will learn about creating habitats, understanding dietary needs, and the proper environment for their growth. If you are a first-time snake owner or an experienced snake owner this blog will give you information about the optimal care of baby corn snakes.
Where To Get A Baby Corn Snake?
When you are looking to get a baby corn snake, there are different options available for reptile enthusiasts. Some of the most common sources are
- Reputable Reptile Breeders: Finding a reputable breeder is often considered one of the best options when want a baby corn snake. Those breeders who are specialized in the breeding of corn snakes are more knowledgeable about their health, genetics, and care. You can easily find reputable breeders online or get any recommendations from reptile enthusiasts.
- Pet Stores:There are many pet stores where you can get baby corn snakes but it's important to select the right store that is well known for its ethical sourcing of reptiles. Make sure that the pet store has maintained proper husbandry conditions for raising baby corn snakes.
- Reptile Rescues or Shelters: You can also find baby corn snakes at different adoption or rescue centers. These organizations often have surrendered, abandoned, or rescued reptiles and they provide them with good care until they find a proper home.
- Online Reptile Marketplaces:You will also find different online sellers of baby corn snakes. However, you need to research properly about the sellers and check the positive reviews, their breeding practice, handling, and shipping before making any purchase.
How To Take Care Of A Baby Corn Snake?
The natural habitat of corn snakes consists of forests, overgrown fields, disused buildings, burrows, farmhouses, etc. When you are raising them in your home you need to take care of the following things.
Corn snakes originate from a warm climate area so you need to provide them with proper snake habitat. In order to create a perfect environment we recommend getting a glass reptile tank for their housing because it provides proper insulation. For proper temperature regulation gets an enclosure will need at least a 40 gallon snake terrarium for Adult Corn snakes, with glass sliding doors and vents. These ventilation areas will help in maintaining humidity and heat throughout the enclosure. Don’t forget about their tendency for escape, always select an snake enclosure that has mesh covers and a securely fitting lid to prevent the corn snake from slipping through.
Heat mat to keep temperature maintenance
Naturally, baby corn snakes live in a temperature gradient of around 90°F when they are basking in the sun. To make the same environment, you should provide the same heat source for almost one-third of the enclosure and the temperature of the rest of the space should be around 70°F. This temperature can be achieved by attaching a basking lamp to the enclosure on one side. To regulate the temperature throughout the day thermostat must also be employed in it. Keeping the fact in mind that the baby corn snakes can reach every corner even the top of the enclosure without the help of any climbing structure, it’s better to surround the basking lamp with a safety guard.
The basking lamp should stay on for almost 10 to 12 hours a day. During the nighttime, turn off all the lights and make sure that the snake enclosure is in complete darkness. This process will help in establishing a day and night cycle for snake well-being.
In the evening time, different surfaces like paths, rocks, and roads can retain the heat accrued throughout the day and radiate at night. In order to stimulate these natural heat sources without any light we need to place a heat mat under the baking area. This mat radiates heat and warms the objects around it creating a patch for baby corn snake to enjoy at night.
To keep in check that the heat mat has maintained the proper temperature it is connected directly to a thermostat and the temperature is maintained at 80°F. The heat mat should be buried under an inch of bedding and the thermostat sensor is placed on top bedding so it can monitor the temperature of the whole area.
You should maintain a temperature of 88-92°F on the warm end and 75-82°F on the cool end and the optimal temperature should be 80°F. Baby corn snakes love to live in 40 to 50% relative humidity.
When you are choosing the right substrate for your baby corn snake there are many options available, and you have to select the best one. Among the many choices, the Aspen shaving is the top recommendation. It is not only affordable but lightweight and gives an ideal environment for baby corn snakes to burrow in their natural habitat. For aspen shaving a two to three inches depth is recommended.
If you are opting to make deep-layer bedding, then incorporate a basking lamp in the enclosure. This will help the baby snake to bask in the sunlight on the surface just like in the natural habitat.
Corn snakes should be fed a diet of frozen prey items. They are carnivorous and opportunistic eaters so a diet that includes mice is the most suitable food for your baby corn. As they grow older, adult corn snakes can be transitioned to small rats, but a rodent diet is not recommended for good health.
When corn snakes are babies, it's best to feed them defrosted pinky mice weekly, as they grow in age and size their prey size should be increased until the corn snake can consume large mice.
Sometimes, your baby corn snake refused to eat any other food and only like to eat conventional option like hamsters, gerbils, or chicks. You need to keep in mind that these alternatives are not as nutritious and balanced as mice. Furthermore, arranging these food sources in the required size is also a challenge as they are not always available.
To keep your baby snake happy you should include a water bowl or medium to large size in their enclosure. Usually, corn snakes use this water bowl for bathing and it is very common among them especially because it facilitates their shedding of skin. It is recommended to place the food and water bowl on the cooler side of the enclosure. This also helps in preventing the humidity level inside the enclosure.
A hiding box is a necessary thing to provide in the enclosure as it creates a stress-free and secure environment for your baby corn snake. If you don’t provide the hide box the baby snake will experience a lot of anxiety and sometime refuse to eat. There are different options available for making a hide box like a coconut half cave, a resin cave, or a margarine tube with a hole. Your baby corn snake will spend a lot of time inside the hide box, and this is instinctive and normal.
To make sure that the baby snake is comfortable place the box on the warm side of the enclosure. It is noted that baby snakes sometimes love to hide rather than bask openly, so a warm hiding spot is important. This will make them feel secure and reduce any kind of stress.
You can also enhance the visual appearance of the enclosure by the inclusion of logs and plastic plants that offers many benefits to your baby snake. These decorations not only creates additional hiding place but also give more option for hiding and feeling secure. The presence of these objects also creates a sense of enrichment and stimulation in the snake environment and encourages them to climb and explore.
Just like other pets baby corn snakes also need a clean and well-maintained environment for their well-being. Spot cleaning is usually recommended daily, additionally, remove any kind of waste or soil bedding in the enclosure. Furthermore, thorough cleaning after every four weeks is recommended. If your baby corn snake is living in a bioactive enclosure then spot cleaning is enough and changing the bedding a few times a year will maintain freshness and hygiene. If you keep the enclosure environment clean it will promote a healthier and more comfortable living space for your baby corn snake.
Read: How To Clean A Bearded Dragon Tank?
Handling Of Baby Corn Snake
Handling a baby corn snake needs careful technique and gentleness to decrease stress. You need to follow the following steps o handle the baby corn snake.
- You need to wash your hands before touching your snake. Wash hands thoroughly with warm water and soap as this will help in removing any kind of residues and scent on your hand which can confuse your baby snake.
- Select an appropriate time like when your baby snake is active, awake, and playing especially during the morning and evening. Don’t handle your baby corn during feeding time and shedding season as in these periods snakes are sensitive and prone to stress.
- When approaching your snake go slowly and confidently as the snakes also have a sense of security. Make slow moves and don’t put them under stress.
- Make a cup with one hand and slide your hand under the body of a snake, use the other hand to support the snake. Use your hands to make your baby corn safe and supported.
- Baby corn snakes are very sensitive so avoid excessive handling, and limit the handling sessions to short durations. However, you should go for a 5 to 10 minutes handling session to prevent stress and promote well-being.
- Keep under observation the behavior of snakes and pay attention to their body language. If your baby corn snake starts exhibiting a sign of stress like coiling, hissing, or striking then should put them back in the enclosure and try another time.
- Choose a calm and quiet area when handling your baby corn snake. It’s important to reduce sudden movement, loud noises, and any disturbance in the environment.
Are baby corn snakes easy to take Care of?
Yes, baby corn snakes are very easy to take care of as long as you meet their basic needs like temperature, housing, feeding, humidity, and handling. Baby corn snakes are a popular choice for beginners because of their adaptability, manageable size, and easy care requirements.
Are Baby Corn Snakes Aggressive?
Baby corn is generally aggressive and they are specifically known for their non-aggressive and docile nature. However the temperament of each corn snake varies and some baby corn snakes show more defensive, stressed, and threatened behavior. Some people report about baby corn snake biting but this is not common. Corn snakes only try to bite you if they feel threatened or they think of you as something to eat. If a corn snake tries to bite you don’t latch your hand back as it will break their teeth and hurt your hand. If they bite they bite after some time they will lose their grip when they realize that you are not something to eat.
If you handle baby corn snakes from a young age, they will get used to human interaction and grow into tolerant, well-socialized adult snakes. It’s important to handle them gently so they feel that handling is a secure thing.
Raising a baby corn snake is a very easy process and requires a patient and gentle approach to promote their good health. If you follow proper handling techniques like choosing the right time, washing your hand, and being aware of their behavior then you can create a strong bond and positive interaction with your baby corn snake. Remember that by limiting the handling duration and prioritizing the snake's comfort you can promote their overall health and happiness.