How Do I Choose a Cornsnake?

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Answered by: Nghi, An Expert in the Pet Reptiles and Amphibians Category
Cornsnakes are docile snakes that only grow to a length that is between 3 and 5 feet long. They are snakes that are native to North America, and they are easy to care for. They are easily fed a diet of frozen mice, which makes them ideal pets for first-time snake owners. When you go to purchase a cornsnake, make sure that you choose a cornsnake that will be easy to tame.



Consider whether you want an adult or a hatchling. Adult cornsnakes are hardier than hatchlings, but it is sometimes difficult to convince an adult cornsnake to take frozen mice. Hatchlings may be trained to eat frozen mice very easily. Adult cornsnakes are also ready to breed immediately, while a hatching takes between one and three years before it is mature enough to breed.

Go to a reptile fair rather than a pet store. A reptile fair allows you to speak directly to the breeders, while a pet store prevents you from doing so. You will be able to question them directly regarding the snake’s care and history. Reptile fairs also allow you to see a wide variety of animals and you can choose from the specimens that you like best.



Check the snake for any signs of health problems. When the snake is placed in your hands, its body should feel smooth and firm with no soft spots. The anal vent, which is located just before the body narrows to the tail, should be clean with no sign of discharge. The snake’s nostrils should be clear with no moisture present and the snake’s mouth should close neatly. A healthy snake breathes easily, with no rasping or struggles for breath.

Ask the reptile breeder if the cornsnake has eaten. Do not purchase a cornsnake that has never eaten before. This is a problem with hatchlings, as some cornsnakes never eat and end up starving themselves to death. Also use the opportunity to ask what the snake is used to eating. Some breeders feed their snakes live mice, while other breeders start them on frozen mice right away.

Hold the snake for several minutes. While a cornsnake that is picked up is usually a little nervous at the beginning, it will start to calm down. Most cornsnakes are perfectly content to be held so long as shadows do not pass overhead and so long as you do not touch their heads. Hold the snake in both hands and allow it to coil around you. If the snake remains nervous and edgy, there is a chance that the snake was caught in the wild, which has several disadvantages.

Only choose a cornsnake that was bred in captivity. Wild-caught cornsnakes tend to have health problems and parasites, and they may have been removed from the wild illegally. Captive-bred cornsnakes are generally more docile and easier to handle.

Cornsnakes are hardy snakes that are simple to care for. By purchasing an animal that is already in peak health and which comes from a known background, you can be sure that the cornsnake will be with you for years to come.

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