The Corn Snake, a North American species of Rat Snake which subdues its small prey by constriction, is found throughout the Southeastern and Central United States. The Corn Snake is docile in nature, reluctant to bite, of moderate adult size, boasts and attractive pattern and comparatively simple to care for. Though superficially resembling the venomous copperhead and often killed as a result of its mistaken identity, corn snakes are harmless and beneficial to humans. Corn snakes lack venom and help control populations of wild rodent pests that damage crops and spread disease.
The reference to Corn Snake has been derived from that fact that this species is commonly found near grain stores, where it preys on mice and rats that eat the harvested corn. Farmers have apparently been using this technique since 1675 to help control rodent populations along their fields. Some sources maintain that the corn snake is so-named because the distinctive, nearly-checkers patter of the snake’s belly scales resembles the kernels of variegated corn. However, regardless of the name’s origin, the corn reference can be a useful mnemonic for identifying corn snakes.
Corn Snakes make for excellent pets. They are generally docile, easy to care for and do not get very large, therefore they make a great choice for beginner snake owners. However, they are also preferred with experienced keepers due to the vast array of gorgeous colors , patterns that selective breeding has produced. Corn snakes are also closely related to the rat snake and are also called Red Rat Snakes.
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Legalities: Be sure to check your local city ordinances , by laws, rules and laws regarding exotic pets, before getting one.
Cages: While a Corn Snake doesn’t need the equivalent of a five star hotel, it will require an escape proof cage so they don’t get lost or hurt. Keep in mind that most snakes are superior escape artists.
Feeding: Corn Snakes are carnivores which means owners must be prepared to feed them a diet of prey, usually mice, on occasion.
Cost: The snakes themselves are relatively inexpensive but there is a significant cost to invest in the proper equipment.
Life span: Corn snakes can live to be around 15-20 years old and sometimes even longer.
Size: Corn snakes reach a mature size of 3-5 feet but may occasionally be up to 6 feet long.
When choosing a snake, you want to generally pick the healthiest of the lot. Thankfully, picking out a healthy Corn Snake isn’t very difficult to find since they breed fairly readily in captivity. Look for a snake that doesn’t have any retained skin from a shed, has clear eyes, no signs of mites or ticks, no scrapes, a clean vent and is alert and flicking their tounge.
Here at Petware House, we carry a great variety of enclosures for many types of pet’s including perfect cages for your Rat Snake. We do suggest a twenty gallon long tank, which makes a perfect size cage for a Corn Snake. It is important to get a secure fitting lid that can be clamped down for this tank as well. Corn Snakes will push at the lid with their noses looking for some weaknesses and tiny openings so the fit of the lid is very important.
While some substrates are ideal for the Corn Snake, others have limited use or are generally not very pleasant to look at. For example, newspaper tends to be the utilitarian choice since it is very easy to clean up, however the appearance in the cage leaves a little to be desired. Indoor/outdoor carpeting, or AstroTurf can be used, and if you cut several pieces, you can then rotate them by swapping the clean one out for the dirty one. Pine bark chips are an excellent choice. The chips that are soiled with feces can simply be scooped out and a thorough cleaning done as needed. Aspen shavings can be used as well, although it is probably a good idea to move the name to a separate container for feeding so that the shavings are not inadvertently ingested. Sand, soil, corncob, pine shavings and cedar shavings are not good choices for corn snakes for various reasons.
Corn Snakes spend a lot of their time hiding under rocks, logs and in holes. They do this as a natural instinct to protect themselves from other predators. It’s a natural instinct in the wild and captive environments. Be kind to your snake and support this natural behavior by offering some hiding spots inside the snake cage.
Duplicating certain aspects of a snakes natural habitat is vital for it feel secure within it’s home. Hiding arrears are also extremely important for your pets long-term health and wellbeing. If you need some good advice or hide spots, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Petware House, or visit our showroom and we will be pleased to help you out.
Your Corn Snake will require a proper water dish, several inches in diameter which should be kept meticulously clean. Snakes often defecate in their water and when this happens it should be cleaned immediately. It’s common to find your snake soaking in the dish, particularly before a shed. Here at Petware House you will find all the accessories you need for your Corn Snake, so don’t hesitate to drop by our showroom and we will be pleased to assist you.
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Corn Snakes don’t really play in terms that a puppy or kitten might play. However, you will have to ensure that your pet’s environment is made more interesting by using branches, rocks and plastic shelters that he can roam around, explore and hide in. Be sure to clean your snake’s items on regular basis as it will defecate on them. Make your snakes environment interesting and change it frequently to keep you pet entertained. We have everything you will need, right here at Petware House, so don’t hesitate to visit us or contact us at your convenience.
According to reliable sources, corn snakes more commonly found in the longleaf pine forests and flat woods of the Southeastern United States. The area range includes New Jersey to the South Florida Keys and west to the Mississippi River. We can also find a number of sub-species , known as the Great Plains rat snake which can be found from the Mississippi River to eastern Utah.
Corn Snakes are typically nocturnal snakes but can be found active both day and night. While Corn Snakes enjoy the grasslands, forests and other habitats. In colder climates, Rat Snakes seek shelter in stump holes, mammal burros or other subterranean refuges. In warmer weather climate, you can find corn snakes slithering into old, abandoned buildings, invade rodents’ burros in search of prey, and sometimes even climb trees.
Corn Snakes love manmade habitats. Too, such as woodlots, barns and abandoned buildings. We can also commonly find corn snakes seeking refuge under sheltering objects such as logs, boards and sheet metal.
Corn snakes love to eat rodents. When provided with a live rodent as feed and considering the fact that Corn Snakes are not venomous, they will constrict it’s prey while biting them to get a firm grip. While adults eat mostly mammals and birds, juveniles feed mostly on lizards and frogs (particularly tree frogs). Corn snakes will swallow their dinner whole, head first and in many cases, will swallow small prey alive.
Just like all other pets, snakes can become ill and require a visit to a veterinarian. Many of their illnesses can be avoided with good care and common sense so do a little homework and be informed of any potential health concerns. Below, we have listed some of the most common diseases and infections but there are more which are not listed here.
Mouth Rot is a bacterial infection of the oral lining. If you notice an increase in salivation or saliva bubbles, be sure to inspect the oral cavity for pinpoint areas of bleeding. If you notice an inflamed oral lining or pus accumulation, take your pet to the local veterinarian.
This infection needs to be identified early as it is often an external manifestation of more serious internal problems. Supportive care will likely follow with medication, daily cleansing of the mouth and administration of fluids to help combat dehydration. You must be alert at the early stages of the disease and periodically inspect your pet for signs of mouth rot.
Fungal infections are more likely to occur under conditions of dampness or contained environments. As a result, it’s important to house your snake in a scrupulously clean and dry enclosure.
Enclosure flooring should be easy to clean and should not be a material that may encourage mold growth. A veterinarian must examine Snakes which display any sort of skin or eye issues as soon as possible. In some cases, a skin biopsy may be necessary to obtain a diagnosis. Treatment of fungal diseases involves use of topical and systemic (oral and/or injectable) antifungal agents. Prevention of fungal disease involves correcting underlying problems with husbandry.
Respiratory infections are common in snakes. They may be associated with body-wide illness, viral infections and mouth rot. Some respiratory illness may be the result of stress from poor or inadequate husbandry. Be aware of discharge or bubbling from the nostrils/mouth, coughing and open-mouth breathing.
Blister disease is more common and often associated with poor maintenance of these pets such as filthy and damp environments. One of the early signs is usually a pink to red appearance at the bottom of most scales. Soon after, these scales become swollen and infected by bacteria and fungi. Moving forward, you must seek vets help for treatment which involves use of topical and injectable antibiotics and address any sanitation or hygiene problems as soon as possible.
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