Reptiles, and particularly snakes, are gaining popularity as pets. It is estimated that 4.5 million households in the US keep reptiles as pets. The rising popularity is due to the low maintenance costs and independence they exhibit as pets. As a pet enthusiast, you get to enjoy owning a pet snake that requires less maintenance.
When it comes to keeping snakes as pets, corn snakes are among the most preferred. This is because of a myriad of reasons, the top one being that they are docile and easy to take care of compared to other snakes. Corn snakes also make for good pets due to their size, making it easy to handle them.
Why is a corn snake a good pet?
There are many qualities that make a corn snake the perfect pet. One reason is that they are placid in comparison to other species of snakes. This makes them easy to handle and care for. For this reason, they are a good choice for a snake owner who is a beginner.
Corn snakes also make great pets because of their size. A young snake usually measures a few inches. An adult corn snake, however, grows to be between 3 to 5 feet long, with some getting to a maximum of 6 feet. Their size makes them easy to handle; you can easily pick them up and pet them. Another advantage of this is that they don’t need a larger terrarium like other breeds.
Corn snakes typically have a life expectancy of between 15-20 years. You get to enjoy a long companionship with your pet, without fear that their life will be cut short just as you begin to get used to them.
If you love vibrant colors and patterns, then a corn snake is the pet for you. Corn snakes come in a range of beautiful morphs that are a result of selective breeding. One can choose from three morph types, that is pattern variation, color variation, and compound variation. Color morphs feature corn snakes with diverse colors that include red, orange, grey, and white. Pattern morphs feature various colors and include variations of the natural pattern of a corn snake. Such variations include stripes, motley, and diffusion. Compound morphs include a mixture of pattern and color morphs that gives rise to many different variations.
Are corn snakes dangerous pets?
Because of their docile temperament, corn snakes are safe to keep as pets. Most are placid and rarely bite unless they are provoked. Corn snakes are also not venomous, so you don’t have to worry about that in case one bites you. They have tiny teeth, and their bite hurts as much as a cat’s scratch.
Corn snakes tolerate being held. However, they tend to be feisty when they are introduced to a new environment. This only happens because they are not used to their new owner. As a new owner, it is important to give your corn snake time to get used to the new environment and you before you can hold it. You can do this by spending time in the same room as your snake so that they can get acclimated to your scent. It is important to note that snakes recognize you by scent rather than sight or sound.
Another thing you should take note of is how to hold your snake because it influences their temperament. You should be very careful about how you hold it so that you do not agitate it. When holding your corn snake, ensure that you support its whole body and avoid leaving some parts hanging. This reassures your pet, making it feel secure in your arms.
Corn snakes can stand human attention for relatively long periods compared to other snakes. They do not mind being held once they are familiarized with their owners. To do this, you need to handle your snake for a couple of minutes a few times a week while taking care to ensure that you do not overwhelm them.
Bear in mind that getting a corn snake that has been raised in the wild is not a good idea. Such snakes are not used to being in captivity and are easily aggravated. As a result, they tend to be aggressive. These snakes take longer to adjust to being in captivity and to get used to the owner. It is, therefore, recommended to adopt hatchlings, and especially for beginners who are new to raising snakes as pets. This is because hatchlings are usually born into captivity and used to comfort and can therefore adjust faster.
Another important thing to note is that corn snakes have a high risk of flight. Despite their small form, they are quite strong and can push the lid up with their heads as they look for a way out. Corn snakes that have left their enclosures can easily get lost or scare unsuspecting visitors. To prevent this, you should ensure that you have a secure lid covering the terrarium.
Are corn snakes easy pets?
If you love low maintenance pets, then a corn snake is the pet for you. Corn snakes are generally peaceful and easy to tame. They do not require constant petting or touching, although they can tolerate being handled a few times a week. Some like to be held more frequently, depending on their personality.
Corn snakes do not require much. All you need to house one is a 20-gallon glass tank, and you’re good to go. You will need to put some substrate at the bottom of the glass tank. The substrate can either be made of ink-less newspaper or either indoor or outdoor carpeting. You can then put Aspen shavings on top of the substrate. Avoid using cedar or pine shavings as these contain aromatic oils that can cause your corn snake respiratory problems.
Additionally, you will need to put a hide box within the enclosure space. It does not have to be fancy; a simple closed container large enough for your pet to curl up in is sufficient. Hide spaces are a must-have for corn snakes as they sometimes need to hide to feel secure. Corn snakes also love to climb. It is, therefore, a good idea to add a few branches into the enclosure.
The glass tank needs to be cleaned at least once a week. In case you are using carpeting for the enclosure, you should ensure that the carpet has been cleaned and thoroughly dried before you return it to the terrarium.
In terms of feeding, corn snakes do not require daily feeding, unlike other pets. Young ones can be fed at least once a week, while adults should be fed every 10 to 14 days. However, the frequency should be reduced when the corn snake is about to shed its skin. You may wonder, “What do corn snakes feed on?” Corn snakes feed on mice. But that’s not all. The mice have to be pre-killed, and if they were frozen, you have to thaw them before you can feed them t your pet.
So, exactly how much should you feed your corn snake? The size of the feed depends on the size of the snake. Typically, hatchlings and small corn snakes are fed pinkie mice. However, the portions are gradually increased as they grow. In the later stages, the size of the prey can be between one to one and a half times the size of your pet’s head.
Corn snakes need water as well. You should change the drinking water daily. It may be interesting to note that snakes use water for more than just quenching their thirst. They also use water to help with passing stool. In case this happens, you should discard the water and provide fresh water. Corn snakes also soak themselves in water before they shed their skin, as this helps with shedding. For this same reason, you should ensure that the enclosure is humid enough at all times to ease the shedding process.
Is a corn snake a good pet for a child?
Because corn snakes are not aggressive, they are among the best snakes to have as pets if you have children. Their temperament makes it easy for them to be handled even by small children with the assurance that they will not be bitten. However, it’s best to remember that even the most peaceful pets can turn aggressive when provoked or mishandled. Therefore, it is essential that children are taught how to handle the corn snake before they are allowed to play with it. Remember that you need first to ensure that your pet snake is comfortable being held before you engage.
Corn snakes, like children, are curious creatures and, when handled correctly, can develop a wonderful relationship with your children. As stated earlier, corn snakes don’t mind being held. Thus, your children will enjoy holding and petting the corn snake without suffering from the fatigue involved with keeping up with a very active pet.
With the above traits and tendencies, it is evident that corn snakes are great pets for both children and beginners. Their calm temperance and minimal husbandry needs make them ideal for busy pet owners who still want to enjoy owning a wonderful pet.