What Do Corn Snakes Eat?
One question that often comes up when considering what does Corn Snakes eat? What do they like to eat, what are their feeding habits, and what are the common diseases that afflict them? First of all, Corn Snakes belong to the families of snakes, and like all snakes, they are omnivorous. They will eat almost anything, but their preferred foods tend to be insects, snails, and worms.
Corn snakes in the wild can generally feed on birds, lizards, mammals, and frogs. In captivity, however, this is simply not a viable diet. Rather, most keepers feed their corns mainly mice, a 100% rodent diet is always healthy for both the snake and the keeper. However, sometimes a corn snake may react to a different diet, and in such instances, they may need to be fed on a somewhat bigger basis than normal. How might you respond if that happened to you?
Many people believe that Corn Snakes should not be fed any type of live food. However, I would still recommend that you feed them mice, as they are generally safe animals, although I wouldn’t recommend worms. Personally, I would start by offering a couple of mice per cage per week, no matter how large or small the case may be.
I’d then gradually increase the number of corns that I provide per week. You’ll find that over time, the size of your cage will naturally increase, which means that you can start to feed more corns.
Corn snakes do require a fairly steady diet, and you should never try and feed them any type of meal that will quickly be digested, as they may become ill. It’s important to maintain a slow-moving, constant feeding regime, with freshly prepared prey or frozen mice as the main staple of their diet.
If you introduce a new worm or other prey to a corn snake that is under this type of feeding regime, you’ll find that they will quickly begin to take interest in the new food. However, I would still recommend that you maintain a constant weight range for your snake throughout the year.
In the winter, your Corn Snakes will generally go without food for about two weeks, during which time they will hibernate. This can actually be beneficial because during this period they can recover from any type of illness that they might have contracted whilst hibernating.
I personally don’t like to hibernate mine, because they still tend to feed constantly, and they get sick afterward. I do, however, offer them freeze-dried foods during this time. I also monitor their temperature closely, as they can rapidly drop below freezing, and will need to be monitored closely until they are back to healthy levels again.
During springtime, your corn snakes will generally be fed live prey. They will also, in some cases, feed on their own body heat. You should monitor their temperatures closely during this time because they can easily freeze. They will usually start to feed once they have recovered from the hibernation process. The only downside to feeding your snake at this time is that they won’t have eaten for two weeks. To encourage them to eat, it’s recommended that you offer them fresh prey.
Once they have been fed their normal food source, you can try feeding your snake frozen mice. The reason why you want to feed frozen mice is that a snake will naturally not want to eat live prey.
They also won’t consume as much weight in this way, due to not being able to move as much. Although, if you attempt to defrost frozen mice on your own, it’s highly recommended that you hire a professional to do so. Corn snakes feed off of dead tissue and using a defrosted mouse will allow them to consume more, while at the same time preventing damage to their insides.
It’s important to understand that, just like any other animal, corn snakes will also need to go through a growth phase. Although these snakes’ shells will generally remain intact during this time, they will begin to exhibit signs of maturation. As they do, you will need to feed your hatchlings.
As they mature, you may begin to feed them larger, more oily mice, but you must be very careful if you do so. Remember, these are not wild animals; they will attack if provoked, and if they take excess human food, they can die as a result.