Are you worried about feeding your corn snake too much or too little?
Do you want a simple guideline for feeding your corn snake?
A healthy diet is essential for a long and healthy corn snake life, and as a good owner, you want to give them the best life they can have.
So knowing about what size mice to feed a corn snake is essential.
Corn snakes are fed any feeder mice as long as they fit within the golden rule of snake feeding: the size of the mouse should be no more than 1.5 times the size of the snake’s girth (or body width) at mid-length. Feeding more than this could result in choking or regurgitation.
Look ahead for more details and a quick reference chart for your use throughout the corn snake’s life.
Golden Rule Of Corn Snake Feeding
As with all snakes, there is a general “golden rule” for feeding them.
This idea was mentioned above, but in this section, we’ll go into more detail on what this entails.
Feeder mice are purchased in many different sizes, but you need to take care of you get the right size to prevent regurgitation but still fill your pet up.
The golden rule is, as we mentioned, no mice should be more than 1.5 times the size of the snake’s body at mid-length.
Even this might seem large to you, especially as snakes will swallow their prey whole.
The body bulges out for a day or more as the snake digest the meal over time.
For those not familiar with snake physiology, this is alarming.
But it’s a regular part of their eating process.
For this reason, you mustn’t overfeed or feed mice too large.
Snakes aren’t getting nutrients from the mouse until it has been digested.
If the mouse is too large, the corn snake may regurgitate the meal (throw it up or vomit).
Then, the snake is at risk of injuring itself, and it didn’t get the nutrients from the prey.
If you feed the corn snake within a day of feeding previously, the snake will also be too full and may throw up everything from both days.
Stick with the size guidelines, and your snake should be just fine.
While the best way to pick a mouse size is dependent on the snake’s size, this may not help you when it comes to buying feeder mice.
They are often marketed by age or overall size of the mouse.
You should still check all sizes, but here are the steps up for feeding corn snakes.
|1 pinkie mouse|
|2 pinkie mice|
|1 fuzzy mouse|
|1 small hopper mouse|
|1 medium but weaned mouse|
|1 adult mouse|
|1 jumbo adult mouse/weaned rat*|
*This is only for corn snakes who reach a larger than average length at fully grown.
When your snake is equal to the size of the meal on the list, upgrade to the next step.
How Do I Get My Corn Snake To Eat?
Before getting your corn snake to eat, make sure it has been at least 5 days since its last meal.
Read more on how to feed a corn snake.
Place the mouse on the bottom of the tank in front of your corn snake.
Take note of whether or not it seems interested.
For live mice, their motion and scurrying will activate the corn snake’s hunting instincts.
Then, the snake will hunt it down with no problem usually.
But if the mouse was frozen, you may need to do a little more to get the snake’s hunting instincts to activate.
Cutting or “braining” the mouse to let the blood and smell into the air may help.
Sometimes this is all it takes.
Along the same lines, you may want to put the mouse in a small plastic container with holes in it in the snake’s tank.
As the mouse smell increases, the corn snake will eventually show interest but be frustrated; it can’t get in there.
At this point, you’re ramping up its instincts.
This is when you (carefully) remove the lid and let the corn snake at it.
The snake will eat it usually pretty quickly at this point.
Why Do Corn Snakes Not Eat?
What if the corn snake isn’t eating?
Should you be alarmed?
Most likely, no.
Reasons a corn snake doesn’t eat includes:
- Ate only 24 hours ago
- Full from its meal within the last week
- Too little heat for digestion
- Beginning or the middle of shedding
- Killed mice and not live
- Frozen mice thawed in water and lost its scent
- Food is too large
Corn snakes can up to 3 months without food when in brumation (like hibernation).
Even not in this state, expect to feed corn snakes every 7-10 days.
But of these reasons, one is an illness.
However, illness is almost always accompanied by other signs.
Look for some of these other signs of illness:
- Difficulty breathing
- Wrinkled skin
- Abnormal droppings
- Regurgitation/vomiting or weight loss
- Lumps or swelling
- Swelling or discharge
Seeing these signs, along with a lack of appetite, may mean a trip to the exotic vet is in order.
While our information is backed with research and experience, you should confuse our advice with a vet.
When in doubt, take your pet to the vet for specific medical advice.
We hope you enjoyed learning what size mice you should feed a corn snake.
This information is helpful for you throughout their life spans, so bookmark the page if you need to for quick reference.
Always check for the size of the mouse to be no more than 1.5 times the size of the snake at mid-length.
Don’t push it!
Corn snakes don’t need to eat too much; they can survive on a little.
Feeding corn snakes is quite easy when you get down to it.
So relax and enjoy your pet!