Posted on: 24 February 2017
If you're a beginner when it comes to raising snakes and other reptiles, corn snakes are a great place to start. They are beautiful snakes that aren't too complicated to care for, and they can become quite tame when they're handled regularly. When you decide to adopt a corn snake as a pet, the first thing that you need to do is prepare the place where your snake will be living. Take a look at some tips that will help you prepare the perfect habitat for your corn snake.
Get the Temperature Right
You've probably heard before that snakes and other reptiles are cold-blooded. That doesn't literally mean that they have cold blood, of course. What it means is that snakes are ectothermic, which means that they need heat sources from outside of their bodies to stay warm. Humans and other mammals are endothermic – that means that humans warm themselves internally. That's why your body temperature stays about the same whether the temperature in your house is set to 85 degrees or 65 degrees. But because snakes rely on external heat sources, their body temperature will change with the temperature of the environment. For that reason, the snake needs an environment that is warm enough for them to maintain a healthy body temperature.
For a corn snake, the correct temperature is between 75 and 85 degrees. The temperature in the snake's tank should be a gradient, which means that it should be warmer on one end of the tank and cooler on the other. That way, your snake can move between the cooler and warmer areas to regulate their temperature, just like they'd move between sunny and shady areas in the wild. You can use reptile heating bulbs, ceramic heat emitters, or heating pads to warm the tank. Just be sure that the temperature is between 75 and 85 degrees, with one cooler and one warmer side of the tank, before you bring your new snake home.
Provide Hiding Places
In order for your snake to feel comfortable, it needs to have places to hide inside its habitat. This is especially true for baby corn snakes or corn snakes that are being moved to a new place. An adult corn snake that's been in the same place for a while will feel safe in their environment, and may only need one good hiding place. However, a baby corn snake, or a snake that's just been moved, will need some time to acclimate to their new home. During that time, it's helpful to provide several options for hiding places. This will help your snake feel secure.
Hiding places for baby corn snakes are easy to make. A cardboard tube from a roll of paper towels can do in a pinch, though you'll need to replace the cardboard when it becomes soiled. You can also use plastic boxes, as long as they aren't transparent. Try giving your corn snake one hiding place on the warm side of their tank, one hiding place on the cool side, and maybe one somewhere in the middle as well.
Your corn snake will need some time to settle into their new home, so you may want to wait a few days before handling or feeding it. But if you've given your corn snake a warm, comfortable tank with good hiding places, they'll soon feel comfortable in their new home.Share