EQUIPMENT REQUIRED FOR A CORN SNAKE
Vivarium: Viv-Exotic 36inch VX36. Available in Beech, Oak, Walnut and Black as a special offer.
Lighting: is for viewing so a PT-2110 Sun Glo Neodymium Lamp A19/60Watt. Spot lamp Guard 210 x 110 x110mm. The bulb needs a ceramic lamp holder such as the Komodo Ceramic Lamp Fixture.
Heating: Use a Royce Heat Mat 16 x 12 inch. Use a Komodo Habitat Thermostat for the heat mat, to ensure that the heat mat does not overheat. This should be set at 75 deg F during the night time and during the day when the lights are on the temp should be 80-85 deg F.
Substrate: For baby snakes we recommend kitchen paper, wallpaper backing paper or newspaper for the first six months. This is due to the fact that they can get compaction of the gut by ingesting substrates, like Aspen, corn cob, and beach chippings etc. After the Corn Snake has reached six months the best substrates are Aspen or beach chippings.
Décor: Water dish Choose a PT-2803 Exo Terra Water Dish Large, for adults and PT-2801 Exo Terra Water Dish small, for hatchlings. The water bowl should be kept at the cool end to avoid excessive humidity and the water changed daily as they often defecate in their water. Hides/Caves use a PT-2845 for hatchlings and a PT-2847 for adults. Branches (Bog wood etc.), Branches need to be strong and sturdy. Fruit tree branches are good but not cherry as it is poisonous as are conifer branches. Scrub them clean with hot soapy water, rinse and allow to dry. Bog wood and drift wood are good additions Along with PT-3080-3082 vines. Artificial plants. PT-3000-3052 these are just for decoration and to give the vivarium a more natural look so two or three plants should give the desired effect. You will need two thermometers PT-2465 place one at each end to show the cool temperature and hot end temperatures to indicate that there is a heat gradient.
Corn Snakes are found throughout the south-eastern and central United States. Their docile nature, reluctance to bite, moderate adult size (1.2—1.8 meters or 4–6 ft), attractive pattern, and comparatively simple care make them excellent and popular pet snakes. In the wild, they usually live around 10-15 years, but may live as long as 23 years in captivity. When choosing your first snake you will have to decide as to whether you would like to start with a hatchling or a yearling. Breeders normally sell on hatchling snakes as soon as they have shed their skin and taken their first food. This can be anything from 3 to 10 days, so hatchlings can be very young.
Housing: A 36" x 15" x 15" vivarium should be big enough to house up 1 corn snake. As a general rule you should not keep more than one snake in a vivarium as most snakes can be cannibalistic, and should never be fed together, you could end up with one larger snake. Corns are active early morning late evening and mostly nocturnal so do not need special lighting A heat gradient from 70–75 °F (21–24 °C) on one end of the vivarium to 80–85 °F (26–29 °C) on the other is thought optimal to allow the snake to regulate its body temperature by moving from one part of the vivarium to the other, as necessary. Insufficient heat available in an enclosure at any point may lead to poor digestion, respiratory infections, and death, while excessive heat which the animal cannot escape, can cause neurological damage. You will need to be able to regulate the heat by using a dimmer thermostat. A thermometer placed inside the tank is essential to make sure the temperature is maintained. Corns like to hide up during the day so make sure that you put enough dark hides cave areas in the vivarium. Use rocks, logs, artificial caves, hides and artificial plants, these are ideal. Make sure to put a rock or stone underneath the basking area as the heat will be absorbed by the stone and will make a nice warm place for the snake when it is active during the night. Make sure to keep a fresh supply of water in a sturdy drinking bowl for the snake. You might find that some snakes use the water to defecate in so it is advisable to change it on a daily basis. Provide several areas for the snake to climb on, Branches or vines.
Feeding: It is advisable to feed snakes mice that have been frozen and thawed. Never feed live rodents to your snake as it is illegal hear in the UK and classed as cruelty. If substrates such as aspen or Beech chips are used, the snake should be fed in a separate empty container, to prevent ingestion of chunks of substrate, which may lead to internal injury. Snakes do not require live prey (which may injure the snake, and which is considered animal cruelty in the UK) and many corn snakes feed readily on pre-killed rodents which can be purchased as frozen from specialist pet shops, then completely thawed in warm water, prior to feeding. The food is not required to be warm (above room temperature) for the snake to eat it, but it must be thawed, and usually dry. Hatchlings should have a pinkie (day old mice) about every 5 days. As the snake grows older you should increase the size of the mouse and extend the feeding period so that eventually as an adult they will be feeding weekly. Corn snakes can be overfed. To judge the size of the mouse as a general rule, a snake can eat a mouse/rat that is twice as wide as the snake’s widest part of its body. Whilst young, corn snakes shed their skin quite often. You will notice that they will be due to shed by the blue cast over their eyes and the skin becomes duller and darker; once this has cleared they will shed within a few days. You may also find that they will go off their food before a shed as well. Once they have completed their shedding they will return to eating properly.
General Information: After many generations of selective breeding, domesticated Corn Snakes are found in a wide variety of different colours and patterns. These result from recombining the dominant and recessive genes that code for proteins involved in chromatophore development, maintenance, or function. New variations, or morphs, become available every year as breeders gain a better understanding of the genetics involved.