How Many Pinkies To Feed Baby Corn Snakes

Do you worry about feeding your baby corn snake?

Are you unsure how many pinkies you should be feeding your baby corn snake?

Pinkies are mice that have not yet grown fur and are the best thing to feed your baby corn snake.

They are usually accessible frozen at your local pet store.

So how many pinkies do I feed a baby corn snake?

Baby corn snakes, or hatchlings, should be fed one to two pinkies per week, depending on their size. Do not feed your corn snake anything larger than one and a half times its midsection. Switch to fuzzies as your hatchling grows.

Continue reading for everything you need to know about feeding your baby corn snake.

how many pinkies to feed baby corn snake

How Many Pinkies Do I Feed A Baby Corn Snake?

Your baby corn snake will do best if you feed it one to two pinkies per week.

The number will depend on the age and size of your hatchling.

At first, it might only eat one pinky but can increase as your snake grows.

With older hatchlings, you will be able to feed them to snakes one after the other, but when they are very young, it is best only to give one at a time.

The number of pinkies you feed your baby corn snake will also depend on the size of the pinky.

What is a Pinky?

Baby corn snakes should be fed pinkies, small mice not yet mature enough to have fur.

Without fur, they appear to be pink in color and, therefore, are given the title “pinky.”

These mice are a day or two old and usually weigh about two grams.

Frozen pinkies are readily available at local pet stores to be used as food for pet snakes.

They are typically flash-frozen and sold for your convenience in stores.

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Defrosting Those Pinkies

Snakes are not going to want to eat their prey when it is frozen.

Instead, they prefer to be at room temperature.

The best way to defrost those frozen pinkies you bought at the store is to dip them in a baggie in heated water for around an hour.

Be sure the water is not boiling.

This will bring the pinky to room temperature without cooking it.

Do not use a microwave to defrost, as this will cook the meat, and your snake will not and should not eat cooked meat.

thaw mouse in water bowl

How To Choose The Right Size Prey

It is challenging to pick the right size prey for your snake to eat safely.

If the prey is too large for your snake to consume, there are some pretty severe health consequences for your pet.

It would be best to feed your snake prey about the same size as the widest point of its body.

Do not feed your snake any prey more than one and a half times the midsection measurement.

As your snake grows, the size of the prey will have to be adjusted.

Your hatchling will be started on pinkies and eventually move up to fuzzies, hoppers, and weanlings.

Eventually, in adulthood, you will be feeding your snake large or even extra-large mice and, in some cases, rats.

How Often Should I Feed My Baby Corn Snake?

baby corn snake eating pinky

Your baby corn snake will need to be fed every five to seven days.

The time between feedings will also change in adulthood.

When your snake is fully grown, feeding times will change to every seven to ten days.

Handling Your Snake Before And After Feeding

Besides some of the do’s and don’ts we have already discussed, there are other vital things to remember when feeding your pet.

Corn snakes are among the most good-tempered snakes available, making them excellent pets for first-time snake owners.

Too much handling before a meal is stressful and causes agitation, making them avoid their food.

Also, after feeding, remember snakes should not be handled for a day or two.

Handling them too soon after a feeding can cause a painful regurgitation.

Frozen vs. Live Prey

Thawed frozen prey is a better option for feeding your snake than live prey.

While some might argue live prey is more natural for the animal, they can introduce parasites or diseases to your snake, resulting in death.

Feeding your snake live prey could result in an injury when the prey begins to fight for its life, scratching or biting your pet.

For economic reasons, frozen prey is less expensive than the live prey option, and sometimes it is a challenge to find live rodents at stores to feed your pet.

The live versus frozen choice is one you will have to make for your pet.

Some snakes will only eat live prey, primarily if they were raised on them or raised in the wild.

It is a good idea to find out if your baby corn snake has been raised on pinkies before you have ownership.

How Often Should You Feed your corn Snake depending on age

  • Hatchlings (Less than 1 year): Up to 12″ long — every 5-7 days
  • Juveniles (1 to 2 years old): 12-24″ long — every 7-10 days
  • Subadults (2 to 3 years old): 24-36″ long — every 7-10 days
  • Adults (3+ years):  36 to 48″ long — every 10-14 days
  • Senior adults (18+ years): More than 48″ long — every 10-14 days
  • Overweight adult: Every 14-21 days or less if neccessary
  • Underweight adult: Every 7-10 days or more if neccessary

Why Isn’t My Corn Snake Eating?

There are many reasons your baby corn snake might not be interested in eating, ranging from simple ones like they aren’t hungry to digestive problems.

If your snake is entering or in the middle of a shedding cycle, it will not want to eat.

Your snake may also avoid food if it is stressed, their environment has changed, leaving them nervous, or they are too cold.

The environmental issues are easy fixes for you to make to calm your snake.

If you have made some of those environmental changes and you’re still having problems getting your snake to eat, it is a good idea to get an opinion from a vet.

They will determine if your snake has a health issue preventing your snake from taking in food.

corn snake not eating
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Feeding your corn snake is not a complicated process, but the task can seem daunting at first with so many questions.

Feeding your baby corn snake one to two pinkies every five to seven days will guarantee a happy and healthy pet.

We hope reading this article has taken some guesswork out of making sure your hatchling is appropriately fed.

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