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The corn snake is one of the most commonly owned snakes around the world, along with the ball python, the corn is also very easy to care for, a perfect snake for both beginner and experienced reptile owners.
The corn snake is a good tempered and easy to handle reptile, although they can reach a length of 6ft they are easy to house and care for, they also come in a lovely variety of morphs (morph refers to the different colours and patterns of a reptile) and depending on which morph you are looking for the price of a corn can range from £15-£100+. A corn snake that is properly cared for can live up to 20 years and maybe more, they are definitely a long lived friend.
A sturdy wooden vivarium would be more then suitable for a corn to be housed in when adult size, however as it takes a hatchling corn a couple years to reach adult size they can be safely kept in hatchling tubs that are available at most reptile stores. Once your snake is ready to be upgraded (around 18 months) you can start to prepare its new home, an important thing to remember is to add a decent sized hide on both the warm side and the cool side of the vivarium, if a snake doesn't have a place to hide they can become very stressed because they feel exposed to predators. For an adult a 120x60x60cm vivarium or a 70ltr tub is perfect.
A heat mat is a good heat source to use, by placing the heat mat at one end of the vivarium you are giving your snake a warm side and a cool side which allow them to go to either side to warm up or cool down. The warm side of the viv should be a temperature of around 26c-30c max and the cool side should be around 23c-25c I would always recommend the use of a thermostat with either a heat lamp or a mat to reduce the risk of overheating. During the summer, went temps are high always keep an eye on how your animals temps, if you’re hot from the weather so is your animal.
A corn snake doesn't really need a day or night lamp as they do well with natural lighting, however if you are going to keep them in a place where no natural light is accessible then it could be a good idea to provide them with a uv light.
In the wild a corn snake comes from areas with relatively low humidity so dry substrate such as aspen bedding will help to recreate their wild habitat. You will however need some humidity in order to keep your snake hydrated and to help with their shedding, in order to provide this you can provide them with a humidity box, to make this you can simply purchase a snake hide and fill it will moss whenever your snake is close to shed or get a sandwich box of appropriate size, cut out a hole and fill with moss, misting your snakes enclosure once a week or so will also help maintain a good humidity level.
Corn snakes are very easy to feed they will feed of mice and even small rats throughout their lives. As a hatchling you will want to feed your snake a pinkie mouse once or twice a week and as they grow slowly move on to fuzzies, once your snake is around 14 months you will want to move your snake onto small mice which should be fed to them once a week, as your snake grows you can move them onto bigger mice (as long as it is appropriately sized) and make it a longer time between feeds. For water you dont need to do much more then provide a water dish for your snake, the dish should be big enough that your snake can soak in, they do this to help aid shedding their skin, the water you provide should be changed once a day however it will not harm the snake if you leave it a few days.
Spot cleaning your snakes enclosure is important, removing poo, wet substrate and removing any dirty spots, you should do this daily its a quick and easy process, once a month however you will want to do a full enclosure clean this involves removing all substrate and replacing it, taking out all decor, hides and water dishes, cleaning and disinfecting the whole enclosure and all decor.
Decorating your corns enclosure is not just to make it look pretty, decor provides a feeling of safety and security for your snake, having plants (either fake or safe live plants), logs,rocks and hides around your enclosure provides a more naturalistic environment and provides a source of stimulation for your snake.