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How To Choose Corn Snakes: 7 Essential Steps You Must Know!

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If you’re seeking a mesmerizing reptile companion that is both docile and enchanting, then you’ve come to the right place. This comprehensive guide on “How to Choose Corn Snakes” will be your ultimate resource to find the perfect pet that perfectly fits your preferences and lifestyle.

Get ready to discover valuable tips and insights that will ensure a delightful and rewarding journey with your new scaly friend. Let’s dive in and uncover the secrets to selecting the ideal Corn Snake that will steal your heart!

do corn snake have fang

First, Ask Yourself: Are You Ready for a Corn Snake?

Owning a Corn Snake comes with responsibilities, and it’s essential to evaluate your readiness for this commitment. Consider factors such as space, time, and financial resources before making a decision.

Corn Snakes typically live for 15-20 years in captivity, so be prepared for a long-term relationship with your new scaled friend.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do You Have Enough Space? Ensure you have adequate room for a proper enclosure and that your living situation permits keeping reptiles as pets.
  2. Are You Willing to Dedicate Time? Corn Snakes are relatively low-maintenance, but they still require regular feeding, cleaning, and handling to build trust and strengthen your bond.
  3. Can You Afford It? Consider the initial setup costs for the enclosure, heating, and lighting, as well as the ongoing expenses for food and veterinary care.

Now, let’s dive into our best tips for choosing the perfect Corn Snake pet. Trust me; these steps are based on my valuable experience and can be applied when purchasing any reptile species.

How to Choose the Perfect Corn Snake Pet?

How To Choose Corn Snakes?

Step 1: Researching Corn Snakes

Before diving into Corn Snake ownership, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research about these fascinating creatures.

Familiarize yourself with their natural habitat, behavior, and basic care requirements. Look for reliable sources such as reptile books, reputable websites, and online forums to gain valuable insights.

Step 2: Assessing Your Readiness

Owning a Corn Snake is a long-term commitment that requires dedication, time, and resources. Assess your readiness for pet ownership by considering the following:

  • Space: Ensure you have enough room for an appropriate-sized enclosure. Corn Snakes generally require a 20-gallon tank for hatchlings and juveniles, and a 40-gallon tank for adults.
  • Time: Corn Snakes may not demand constant attention, but they still need regular feeding, cleaning, and handling. Make sure you have enough time to provide proper care.
  • Budget: Consider the initial setup costs, including the enclosure, heating, lighting, substrate, and ongoing expenses for food and potential veterinary care.

Step 3: Choosing the Right Age and Size

Deciding on the age and size of your Corn Snake is an important consideration. Each age group comes with its advantages and challenges:

  • Hatchlings: Adorable and small, hatchlings provide an opportunity to watch your pet grow. However, they may be more delicate and require more frequent feedings.
  • Juveniles: Juvenile Corn Snakes strike a balance between size and handling ease. They are still growing but are more robust than hatchlings.
  • Adults: Adult Corn Snakes are generally more independent and require less frequent feedings. They are ideal for those with busy lifestyles.

Step 4: Exploring Morph Options

One of the most exciting aspects of Corn Snake ownership is selecting a morph that appeals to you. Corn Snakes come in a variety of stunning colors and patterns, known as morphs. Some popular morphs include:

  • Amelanistic (Amel): This albino morph features a bright orange or pink body with red eyes.
  • Anerythristic (Anery): The Anery morph lacks red pigment, resulting in a black and white appearance.
  • Snow: A combination of albino and anerythristic genes, creating a beautiful white snake with pink or red eyes.

Step 5: Finding a Reputable Breeder

Once you’ve decided on the age, size, and morph, it’s crucial to find a reputable breeder to ensure you get a healthy and well-cared-for Corn Snake.

  • Research: Look for breeders with positive reviews and ethical breeding practices. Avoid purchasing from sources that offer wild-caught or illegally obtained snakes.
  • Visit the Breeder: If possible, visit the breeder in person to inspect the snake’s living conditions and health.
  • Ask Questions: Don’t hesitate to ask the breeder about the snake’s lineage, feeding history, and any potential health concerns.

Step 6: Examining Snake Health

Before bringing your Corn Snake home, examine its physical condition to ensure it is healthy and free from any signs of illness:

  • Weight and Muscle Tone: The snake should have a healthy body weight and firm muscle tone.
  • Eyes and Nostrils: Clear eyes and nostrils without any discharge are signs of a healthy snake.
  • Skin Condition: Healthy skin should be smooth, free of injuries, and without any stuck shed.

Step 7: Handling and Temperament

Corn Snakes are known for their docile and friendly nature, making them excellent pets for handling. When handling your Corn Snake, keep these tips in mind:

  • Start Slowly: Begin with short handling sessions to let your snake acclimate to your touch gradually.
  • Be Gentle: Handle your Corn Snake with care, as excessive force or sudden movements can cause stress.
  • Read Body Language: Learn to recognize signs of comfort or discomfort in your snake’s body language to ensure a positive experience for both of you.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Corn Snake

corn snake behavior

Assessing Your Readiness

Before bringing a corn snake into your home, it’s essential to evaluate your readiness as a reptile keeper.

Consider your experience level, the time and effort you can dedicate to care, the available space for the snake’s enclosure, and your willingness to commit to a long-term pet.

Corn snakes, like all reptiles, require proper care and attention, and it’s vital to be prepared for their specific needs. If you are new to snake ownership, don’t worry; corn snakes are known for their beginner-friendly nature, making them an ideal choice for first-time reptile keepers.

Just ensure you are willing to invest time in learning about their care requirements and are committed to providing a suitable environment for your new pet.

Choosing a Reputable Source

Once you’re certain that you’re ready to welcome a corn snake into your home, the next step is to choose a reputable source to obtain your new companion.

There are various options, such as breeders, pet stores, and reptile expos, but it’s crucial to do your research and select a reliable and responsible seller.

Look for sellers who prioritize the health and well-being of their snakes and can provide information about the snake’s origin and captive-bred status.

Avoid purchasing wild-caught snakes, as this can contribute to negative impacts on wild populations. Reputable breeders and sellers will often offer health records or guarantees, ensuring that you are acquiring a healthy and well-cared-for snake.

Ways To Help Your Corn Snake Live Longer

Evaluating the Snake’s Health

Before finalizing your decision, take the time to assess the health of the corn snake you are interested in. A healthy snake will exhibit clear, bright eyes, vibrant scales, and a well-defined body shape. Here are Common Diseases That Affect Corn Snakes Health.

Observe the snake’s behavior; it should be alert, responsive, and active. Check for any signs of respiratory issues, such as wheezing or open-mouth breathing, which may indicate an underlying health problem.

Additionally, inspect the snake’s mouth for signs of mouth rot, characterized by swollen or inflamed gums and drooling. A healthy snake should have no visible signs of these conditions.

If possible, handle the snake to gauge its temperament and see if it is comfortable being touched. A well-socialized snake will be more relaxed and easier to handle, which can be beneficial for your interaction with your new pet.

Considering Morphs and Color Variations

Corn snakes come in a wide array of morphs and color patterns, offering a visually stunning variety for potential owners. While it’s tempting to choose a snake based solely on its aesthetics, it’s essential to prioritize the snake’s health and well-being over appearance.

Take the time to learn about the different morphs available and understand that some morphs may come with specific care requirements or genetic predispositions. Select a morph that appeals to you visually but ensure that you are equipped to provide the necessary care for that particular morph.

Remember that the most important factor is a healthy and happy snake, regardless of its coloration or pattern.

Age Considerations

The age of the corn snake can influence its adaptability to handling and its care requirements. Younger snakes, such as hatchlings or juveniles, may be more delicate and require additional attention and care. They may need more frequent feedings, closer monitoring of humidity levels, and a well-balanced diet to support their growth and development.

On the other hand, adult snakes may be more settled in their temperament and have established feeding and shedding routines. An adult snake can be an excellent choice for those who prefer a more independent pet and are comfortable handling a larger snake.

Conservation Status and Threats

Preparing the Enclosure

Before bringing your new corn snake home, it’s essential to have a proper enclosure set up and ready. Corn snakes require a suitable tank or terrarium with adequate heating, lighting, hiding spots, and appropriate substrate. The enclosure should mimic the snake’s natural habitat and provide a comfortable and stress-free environment.

Depending on the snake’s age and size, the enclosure’s dimensions and setup may vary. Ensure you research the specific care requirements for your snake’s age and consult reliable sources for enclosure guidelines.

Feeding Demonstrations and History

When selecting a corn snake, inquire about its feeding history and ensure that it has been consistently eating well. Feeding demonstrations offered by reputable sellers can be beneficial to see the snake’s willingness to eat in its current environment.

However, keep in mind that snakes may experience stress when transitioning to a new home, which can temporarily affect their appetite.

Discuss the snake’s feeding habits with the seller and inquire about the type of prey it has been consuming. Ideally, choose a snake that has been feeding regularly on appropriate prey items to ensure a smooth transition to its new environment.

Receiving Necessary Paperwork

Before finalizing the purchase, make sure to obtain any necessary paperwork from the seller. This may include a purchase contract or receipt, providing details about the transaction and confirming the snake’s lineage and age. Some sellers may also offer health guarantees or warranties, which can provide peace of mind regarding the snake’s initial well-being.

Additionally, ask for care sheets or guidelines to support proper care for your new pet. These documents can be valuable resources, especially if you are a first-time snake owner or have limited experience with corn snakes.

Final Word

In conclusion, selecting the ideal Corn Snake as your pet demands thoughtful deliberation and thorough research. By adhering to the 7 essential tips outlined in this guide, you will be fully equipped to choose the perfect reptile companion that aligns with your preferences and lifestyle.

To further enrich your understanding of snakes and reptile care, we invite you to explore more valuable insights on the VenomousSnake blog. Deepen your knowledge, embark on a rewarding journey of pet ownership, and cultivate a strong and lasting bond with your captivating Corn Snake.


Where should I get a corn snake?

Corn snakes can be obtained from reputable breeders, pet stores, or reptile expos. It is essential to choose a healthy and well-cared-for snake from a reliable source.

How do I know if a corn snake is healthy?

A healthy corn snake will have clear, bright eyes, smooth and vibrant scales, and a well-defined body shape. It should be alert, responsive, and show no signs of respiratory issues or mouth rot. It’s also crucial to ask for any available health records or guarantees from the seller.

Can I handle the corn snake before purchasing it?

If possible, try to handle the corn snake before making a decision. This allows you to gauge its temperament and see if it is comfortable being handled.

What morph or color variation should I choose?

Corn snakes come in various morphs and color patterns, offering a wide range of choices. Select a morph that you find visually appealing, but always prioritize the snake’s health and well-being over aesthetics.

How do I ensure the corn snake is captive-bred and not wild-caught?

Purchasing from reputable breeders or pet stores with a focus on ethical and responsible sourcing ensures that your corn snake is captive-bred. Avoid buying from sellers who cannot provide information about the snake’s origin.

What kind of setup do I need before bringing the corn snake home?

Have a proper enclosure set up and ready before bringing the corn snake home. This includes a suitable tank or terrarium with appropriate heating, lighting, hiding spots, and substrate. You can read them here: Ball Python Tank Setup.