At AllThingsNature, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

How Do I Care for Corn Snake Babies?

Drue Tibbits
Drue Tibbits

Corn snakes are one of the most common types kept in captivity. Their popularity is due in part to their adaptability to captivity, their ease of care, and their wide range of colorations. Baby corn snakes, like their adult counterparts, have specific care requirements that should be met in order for them to thrive. They need appropriate size housing with varied temperature zones and hiding places. Proper nutrition and clean water need to be provided as well.

Newly hatched corn snakes range from 9 to 14 inches (22 to 36 cm) long. They can be kept temporarily in something as small as a shoe box, but they need a larger enclosure for long-term care. Corn snake babies should be kept in at least a 10-gallon (40-liter) container. The container should have plenty of ventilation, and access points or lids must be secure to prevent the young snakes from escaping.

Baby corn snakes may refuse food until they get accustomed to their surroundings.
Baby corn snakes may refuse food until they get accustomed to their surroundings.

Corn snake babies, whether newly hatched or just acquired, may be skittish when first exposed to people. Their enclosure should contain at least one hiding place where they can retreat and feel less vulnerable. The hiding place can be as simple as an empty paper towel roll or an upside down box with an opening cut into the side. The bottom of the enclosure should be covered in a disposable substrate. Reptile bark or paper towels both serve to absorb waste matter and are easily removed when soiled and replaced.

Corn snakes feed on mice.
Corn snakes feed on mice.

The enclosure needs temperature zones where the corn snake babies can move to either warm themselves or cool down. A heat lamp positioned outside an end of the enclosure will work as a heat source as will under-tank heating pads. Reptile “hot rocks” are not recommended as they can cause thermal burns to the young snake's skin. The other end of the enclosure should be left at room temperature so the young snakes can move to the cooler side if needed. Finally, a low, sturdy container should be placed into the enclosure and filled with water.

It may take several days for corn snake babies to become acclimated to their new enclosure. During this time, the young snakes may refuse to eat. Once they relax, most young corn snakes will begin readily accepting food. Baby corn snakes should be fed one or two pinky mice a week. Frozen pinky mice should be thawed and heated to room temperature before being offered to the snakes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ideal habitat setup for baby corn snakes?

To create a comfortable habitat for baby corn snakes, use a 10-gallon terrarium with a secure lid to prevent escapes. Provide a temperature gradient of 75-85°F with a basking spot of about 90°F, and maintain humidity levels around 40-50%. Include hiding spots, a water dish, and a substrate like aspen shavings for burrowing.

How often should I feed a baby corn snake?

Baby corn snakes should be fed once every 5 to 7 days. Offer them appropriately sized prey, such as pinky mice, which should not be wider than the snake's widest body part. As they grow, gradually increase the prey size to match the snake's girth, ensuring healthy growth and development.

What are the signs of a healthy baby corn snake?

A healthy baby corn snake should have clear, bright eyes, a body free of mites and sores, and smooth, shiny scales. They should show regular feeding behavior and consistent growth. Additionally, their movements should be fluid, and they should exhibit a natural curiosity when not stressed.

How do I handle a baby corn snake properly?

When handling baby corn snakes, be gentle and support their body fully, allowing them to move through your fingers without squeezing. Limit handling sessions to 5-10 minutes, especially in the beginning, to reduce stress. Always wash your hands before and after to prevent the spread of bacteria.

Can baby corn snakes be kept together?

It's generally recommended to house baby corn snakes individually to prevent stress, competition for food, and potential cannibalism. Solitary housing also makes it easier to monitor each snake's health and feeding habits, ensuring they are thriving in their environment.

What common health issues should I watch for in baby corn snakes?

Keep an eye out for respiratory infections, indicated by wheezing or mucus around the nostrils, and signs of digestive issues, such as regurgitation. Parasitic infestations, like mites, can be spotted as tiny black dots moving on the snake's skin. Promptly consult a veterinarian experienced with reptiles if you notice any of these symptoms.

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Baby corn snakes may refuse food until they get accustomed to their surroundings.
      By: KJ Lodrigue, Jr.
      Baby corn snakes may refuse food until they get accustomed to their surroundings.
    • Corn snakes feed on mice.
      By: Rafal Kucharek
      Corn snakes feed on mice.