This Disappears When Logged In

Adult Corn Snake - How Often Does He Need to Feed?

Discussion in 'Snakes - General' started by zetec7, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. zetec7

    zetec7 Active Member

    In November 2010, I acquired an adult (about 4.5 feet long) day-glo orange corn snake (he's a rescue - found at-large in someone's kitchen in BC, Canada in winter - not a great environment for a warm-climate snake!). I took him to a herp vet, who pronounced him hale, hearty & healthy.

    Cornelius (the snake, not the vet...) is very sociable, seems to really enjoy being handled, looks longingly at the Lovebirds when they cruise by, and happily eats the frozen/thawed rats I've been purchasing for him. I go through the various boxes at the pet store to find ones that are the same as his girth or slightly larger, and he takes them with gusto. I don't know if it's necessary, but I always warm the rat to body temperature in warm water (about 20 minutes) before giving it to him. He has never regurgitated a meal since I've had him (if I dangle it, holding it still, he eats it immediately...if I wiggle it, he constricts it for a minute or two, then eats it. So, so far, taking food is not a problem.

    My question is this (aimed at those who have adult corn snakes): how often should I feed him? I've read countless care sheets, and they range from recommending feeding every 5-6 days, to once ever 12-14 days. That's a BIG range! I don't want to starve him, but I don't want to overfeed him, either.

    So - is there a general rule-of-thumb, or are there some behavioral clues that he needs to feed again, or...? Since I got him, I've been feeding him one (fairly large) rat every two weeks. I note that he still actively searches around his enclosure after dark (like he's hunting), but he even does this almost immediately after a large feed.

    He usually defecates 2-5 days later (we have removable reptile substrate mats, so when he defecates, we immediately remove the mat, replace it with a clean one, and clean & sterilize the other one in preparation for next time). He has a large water bowl (he drinks from it, and occasionally bathes in it), a daylight herp lamp for during the day, a basking lamp (infra-red, on all the time to keep him at a good temperature), a coarse rock for shedding duty, and a hide that he seems to enjoy.

    He sheds more often than I thought usual - since November he has shed twice, although both sheds seemed to be normal, and mostly intact.

    Anyway, I just want to keep him happy and healthy, so...any advice from the pros would be appreciated.

    Attached Files:

  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Good looking corn. I keep my adults on a once a week feeding schedule.
  3. zetec7

    zetec7 Active Member

    Further to the above, I think I'm going to change his feeding to once every 10 days, and see how that goes.

    Strangely (to me), he looks like he's about to shed again. It's only been about 2 weeks since his last shed. Seems odd.

    Is this normal?
  4. purplemuffin

    purplemuffin Elite Member

    Snakes shed when they need to shed, maybe he's growing fast right now. Maybe he's growing again since he now is getting well fed since his rescue? They generally slow down on shedding when they get bigger, but honestly there isn't really a 'schedule'

    I think your feeding schedule should depend on the size of your food. If you are consistently giving him food on the larger side, wait a little longer like ten days, if it is consistently at an average size, a week... You should be able to tell if he is being fed too often or too little.

    Both a week schedule or 10 day schedule seem to work for most people!
  5. zetec7

    zetec7 Active Member

    Thanks, everyone! I guess I'm a "nervous nellie" when it comes to my animals. I want them to be absolutely as happy & healthy as I can make them.

    I have a busy household, pets-wise, (our friends call it "GrandmaZoo"), with: one snake, one large Chinese water dragon, one 13-year-old Grandis Day gecko, a couple of other smaller geckos, two large dogs, 4 lovebirds (one 4 months old, one one-month-old, and their parents) and an Amazon parrot. All are rescues (except the Grandis Day gecko, whom we've had for over 12 years), and all had "interesting" lives before they adopted us.

    Of course, arriving home after being out for a while means that all the critters want attention, all at the same time. As Jeff Foxworthy says, it's "Pandalerium!!"
  6. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    Congratulations on adopting your new family member. I myself feed about every 10-15 days. If they are younger than a year old, I go every 7-10 days. If they are hatchlings, I feed every 5-7 days.
  7. zetec7

    zetec7 Active Member

    Thanks, David! I'm glad to know I'm on the right track. "Cornelius" seems to be a happy & healthy corn so far!

    - Mike

Share This Page