So, you’re trying to put together a nutritious meal for your corn snake but…
…What do corn snakes eat?
Corn snakes eat mainly rodents like mice and rats. They also eat bird eggs, amphibians, and lizards.
Feeding your corn snakes is pretty easy, but you may still wonder how frequently should they be eating and how much.
Coming up next, we’ll be going into detail about corn snake food quantities and frequencies. We’ll even list some of the food they definitely shouldn’t eat.
You won’t want to miss it!
Table of Contents
What Do Corn Snakes Eat?
Do you have a pet corn snake at home? Or, are you fascinated by wild corn snakes?
Whatever the case, you’ll find it interesting to know what kind of food is on their menu. Corn snakes are carnivorous and like to eat every few days.
The males will eat the same food as female corn snakes.
But, what kind of meat do they like tucking into?
Take a look at the following list of a corn snake’s favorite meals. Amongst the menus, you’ll also find a feeding schedule to ensure your pets are fed when they need to be.
A corn snake’s number one meal comprises rodents like mice. In fact, you are most likely to find a corn snake in places where there are high concentrations of mice, such as in grain stores.
Do you want to feed corn snakes mice?
Then here’s a size guide that will help you get the best feeding response.
- Baby corn snakes eat small pinky mice every 5 to 7 days
- Adult corn snakes eat larger, adult mice every 7 to 10 days
- Juvenile corn snakes (6 months old) eat medium size mice every 7 to 10 days
- Corn snakes might refuse food that is too big to swallow. The size of the rodents you feed your corn snakes must coincide with the snake’s body, that is, 1.5 times smaller than the snake’s mid-body girth
So, we’ve covered how often you must feed your snake.
But how must you prepare his scrumptious rodent meal?
To prepare their frozen prey for eating, leave it out of the freezer for a few hours. Do not defrost frozen mice by putting them in the microwave or in a large bowl of boiling water.
How must you give your corn snake his mouse?
Here is the best method for you to feed him.
- Hold the mouse with tongs to prevent accidents
- Wave the prey around his head
- Allow the corn snake to constrict around or bite the mouse, do not jerk on it afterward. If you do so, the snake could lose a tooth. If he feels threatened by you, he might strike at you.
For the best feeding response, ensure your corn snake is in the right environment. Its basking zone must be at 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and its cool zone must be in the mid-70s.
What time of the day should you feed your pets?
Corn snakes are crepuscular. So, feeding your pets at the end of the day matches best with their eating habits in the wild.
Where can you get the rodents?
Online retailers often sell pinky mice and larger mice in bags. You will also find mice for sale at large pet stores.
Keep the mice frozen and defrost them before feeding them to your snake.
The top dish on your corn snake’s menu contains rodents like rats. Most humans wouldn’t want one of those sitting on our dinner plates, but corn snakes love them!
Do you want to feed your corn snake a rat?
Then here’s the best feeding schedule for corn snakes of various ages.
- Young corn snakes eat a small rat every 5 to 7 days
- An adult corn snake will eat a larger rat every 7 to 10 days
- Your corn snake might refuse food, such as rats, if they are too big for him to swallow. The size of the rat you feed your corn snake must coincide with the size of the snake’s belly. The rat must be 1.5 times smaller than the snake’s mid-body girth.
How should you prepare the rodents?
Allow the frozen rat to defrost naturally. Do not speed up the defrosting process by using a microwave or hot water.
How can you give a corn snake his food?
Here is the best method.
- Hold onto the rat with tongs
- Shake the prey item around the snake’s head until he launches toward it
- After he begins to constrict around or bite his prey, surrender the rodent to him
What time of the day should he eat?
Deliver corn snake food at night. Corn snakes like it when you leave them alone to digest food.
Most corn snakes do not like confrontation. In the wild, they take advantage of prey that is easy to get hold of by eating animals they know will not fight back.
When corn snakes cannot get hold of rodents, they turn to other easy food sources. They climb trees and prey on unguarded quail eggs and eggs laid by other types of birds.
Are you thinking about giving your pet snakes an egg to feed on?
Then here’s what you need to know.
- One or two quail eggs (or one other larger bird egg) per day is enough for your corn snake
- To remain healthy, you must make corn snake’s diet mainly of meat, but he can have the occasional bird egg to supplement his meals
- Ensure every egg he’s fed is fresh
In the wild, when a corn snake cannot find a mouse to eat, he might turn his attention to amphibians like frogs. While corn snakes can eat frogs, don’t give them just any old garden frog to eat, as you would need to check it for parasites first.
Like other snakes, the corn snake subdues its prey by constriction.
Unlike adults, some juvenile corn snakes might prefer frogs to rodents. But these small snakes need to feed on rodents to grow into healthy adults.
What can you do to get your baby corn snake more keen on the taste of a rodent?
Here’s a great method.
- Rub a frog onto a hairless rodent before offering it to your baby snake
- Keep scent transferring for a couple of weeks until your snake gets a taste for rodents
- After a few weeks, your baby snake should accept rodent food without you having to scent transfer
Why does this work?
Because corn snakes normally recognize their prey by smell rather than sight. Transferring the smell of a frog to a rodent might be all the snake needs to start craving more nutritious food.
Corn snakes are normally happy to eat mice, frogs, and other prey animals they are used to in their natural habitat. If your snake continues to shy away from eating, take it to the vet, as it might be suffering from an illness like mouth rot.
Corn snakes will also eat smaller prey items and reptiles if they get the opportunity. When mice are scarce, they’ll happily make a meal out of a lizard or two.
In some rare cases, a baby corn snake might prefer the taste of a lizard to the taste of a rodent. Your snake might reject a rodent dinner, but feeding on these animals is essential to his healthy growth.
How can you get your baby corn snake to begin feeding on mice?
Here’s what you must do.
- Rub a lizard against a small, hairless rodent and then offer it to your baby corn snake. To make the prey more attractive, wiggle it around his head (hold onto the rodent with tongs). Do not wiggle the rodent so fast that your snake becomes scared.
- Keep transferring the scent of the lizard onto the mice for a couple of weeks until your snake gets a taste for them and the scent transfer is no longer necessary
Why is this method effective?
Because odor cues are of primary importance to a corn snake when it comes to looking for prey. So, the scent of a lizard on a rodent might be enough to get your corn snake to eat a rodent.
Visual cues are normally of secondary importance to a corn snake when it comes to looking for prey.
Corn Snake Food FAQs
A corn snake will refuse food if you do not feed him the right things.
What will he and won’t he eat?
Let’s find out.
Can Corn Snakes Eat Crickets?
Corn snakes do not eat crickets in the wild. Crickets have a low body temperature because they are small animals, and corn snakes do not view them as prey.
Do not feed your snake crickets. Feeding him rodents is best for his health.
Can Corn Snakes Eat Eggs?
Corn snakes mainly eat rodents, but they will also eat birds’ eggs. One or two eggs might be enough for your corn snake, depending on his size.
It must mainly be fed on rodents.
Can Corn Snakes Eat Mealworms?
Corn snakes are carnivorous and can eat mealworms, but they do not tend to eat them in the wild. Mealworms simply do not provide fully grown corn snakes with the nutrition they need.
You may supplement your pet snake’s diet with a few mealworms, but it should mainly eat rodents for it to grow healthily.
Can Corn Snakes Eat Vegetables?
Corn snakes should not be fed vegetables. Corn snakes will not recognize vegetables as a food source and will not be able to digest them.
Vegetables, as well as fruits, will not improve a snake’s health, and they will likely reject them. Feed your snake rodents as part of their main diet.
Do Corn Snakes Eat Human Food?
Corn snakes cannot eat the same food humans eat. Corn snakes will eat rodents, amphibians, and lizards.
Except for bird eggs, do not feed your corn snake any food humans eat.
What Your Pet Corn Snake Must Eat
A corn snake is not your average pet, so it is a little tricky to work out what to feed such an animal.
Thankfully, in this article, we’ve answered the burning question…what do corn snakes eat? And made feeding corn snakes a stress-free task.
Corn snakes are unlikely to refuse food if you give them the right grub to eat in a size that is appropriate to the snake’s weight and size.
Corn snakes like a diet made up mostly of rodents like mice and rats. Other common food items outside of rodents are bird eggs, amphibians, and lizards.
Did you find the information in this article interesting?
At Oddly Cute Pets, we are always striving to provide you with the best guides about snakes and other reptiles. For more details about how to look after your corn snake or any other animal, check out our website.
Thanks for reading!