How Long Can A Corn Snake Go Without Eating?

Are you concerned because your corn snake isn’t eating? Do you want to ensure that your corn snake is eating the right amount?

Taking care of a corn snake involves paying attention to what they eat. However, sometimes corn snakes stop eating, which can be stressful for caring owners like you.

You might be wondering: How long can a corn snake go without eating?

A corn snake can go without eating for 2-3 months during a period called brumation. However, adult corn snakes usually go up to 2 weeks without eating, while baby corn snakes should only go without eating for one week.

For more details and things to watch out for, keep reading!

how long can a corn snake go without eating

How Long Can A Corn Snake Go Without Food?

Corn snakes don’t need to eat too often.

Adults only need to be fed every 7-10 days.

But if they are near their next eating time and start to shed, they may wait until as late as 14 days.

If your corn snake hasn’t eaten for 14 days, you may begin to wonder if everything is alright.

The next big question is brumation (see later section for signs of brumation).

If the corn snake is in brumation, it can go without food for 2-3 months.

This may seem like a long time to you, but brumation is about surviving in cold and saving energy. 

How Long Can A Baby Corn Snake Go Without Eating?

Baby corn snakes aren’t like their adult counterparts.

An adult corn snake can go for two weeks without eating or up to 3 months if, in brumation, but baby snakes can’t do this.

Baby corn snakes don’t need to be fed every day, but they will need to eat every 5-7 days.

If they go longer than a week, it’s a sign of concern.

These growing creatures need more nutrition to fully develop and get to a good size.

So they can’t last as long as adults can.

Also, baby corn snakes don’t go into brumation, so you won’t have to consider this until they’re adults and grow.

Corn snakes are considered adults at one year and 3′ feet in length. 

Why Won’t My Corn Snake Eat?

There are several reasons your corn snake isn’t eating.

It is alarming, but it’s most likely nothing to panic over.

corn snake not eating 1

Some of these reasons include:

  • Ate only 24 hours ago
  • Full from its meal within the last week
  • Too little heat for digestion
  • Beginning or the middle of shedding
  • Brumation/hibernation
  • Killed mice and not live mice
  • Frozen mice thawed in water and lost its scent
  • Food is too large
  • Illness

One of these reasons is indeed an illness.

Your first tactic should be to check if any other options are a more likely cause.

Look for other signs of illness.

A sick corn snake won’t just stop eating; some of these other signs usually accompany it:

  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wrinkled skin
  • Abnormal droppings
  • Regurgitation/vomiting or weight loss
  • Lumps or swelling
  • Swelling or discharge

If you do see these signs along with a lack of appetite, you may need to take your snake to its exotic vet.

Note: While our information is backed with research and experience, you should not confuse our advice with a vet.

Take your pet to the vet for specific medical advice when in doubt.

Quick Tricks For Getting Corn Snakes To Eat

corn snake eating mouse

As your corn snake reaches its time limit for eating, you may want to attempt some of these tricks to get them to eat.

These tricks are geared towards activating the hunting instincts of the corn snake.

Here are some of my personal favorites:

  • Dropping the mouse in front of the snake
  • Cutting the mouse to let blood into the air
  • Putting the mouse in a plastic container with holes to make it harder to get
  • Teasing the snake by tapping its nose with the mouse (watch your fingers)
  • Dragging the mouse (thawed and prevailed) around by its tail on the floor of the tank

Corn snakes will eat when they’re hungry.

But if they aren’t eating, it’s because they don’t recognize the mouse as food.

So think of ways to make the mouse seem alive if you use frozen ones.

Just watch your fingers (but don’t worry, corn snakes can’t seriously hurt you).

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

How Can I Tell If My Corn Snake Is In Brumation?

Brumation is one of the leading causes of lack of eating, but it is alarming when the corn snake stops eating for months if you don’t know what to look for. 

Not all corn snakes go through brumation regularly; it’s usually connected with colder weather, and some of their natural habitats stay pretty warm. 

However, it is normal for the corn snake to go into brumation even if the weather is warm.

This happens as part of their life cycle, but it is hard to predict when this happens.

Here are some elements to look for to tell if your snake is in brumation:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Lack of motion
  • Constant hiding or burying
  • It’s been around one year since its last brumation
  • It still moves on occasion to drink or soak in water
  • The tank temperature has dropped

If you’ve noticed these signs, your corn snake is probably in brumation.

corn snake hiding

When this is the case, you don’t need to feed your corn snake but continue to offer it good to see if it’s interesting.

Make sure the water dish stays filled with clean water.

Call or take your pet to the exotic vet if you’re concerned.

Let's ask the Veterinarian!

Chat with an on-call Veterinarian in minutes!

  • Have trouble with not eating, drinking, or more?
  • Review symptoms and behaviors to keep your pet healthy.
  • Unlimited chats
Chat with a Veterinarian Now

Feeding Your corn snake: A Guide to healthy eating

We hope you found this info about how long a corn snake can go without eating useful.

Even though 2-3 months might seem like a long time, it’s a normal part of their life when they’re in brumation.

Usually, baby corn snakes should eat every 5-7 days, and adult corn snakes can wait 7-10 days between meals. Babies shouldn’t go more than a week without eating, but grown-up snakes can go up to 14 days without food, especially if they’re shedding.

Leave a Comment