How Long Can a Corn Snake Go Without Eating? Explained

Do you have a pet corn snake? Snakes are often misunderstood creatures, but they can make great pets. They don’t require as much attention as other animals and they’re easy to care for. But what happens if your snake goes without eating for too long and how long can it go without eating?

An adult corn snake can survive for three months without eating anything. However, baby corn snakes don’t have this capacity. They can survive for only two to three days without eating.

If your corn snake has gone without food for more than two weeks, it may be time to take them in to the vet. It’s important that snakes eat at least once every two weeks or their health could deteriorate quickly. Here are some signs of an unhealthy corn snake:

  • Lethargy
  • Lack of energy
  • Weight loss
  • Poor skin condition (flaky, dry)
  • Lack of muscle development (loss of muscle mass)

If your corn snake is suffering from any of these symptoms, take them to the vet. It’s important for you to stay truthful with your vet and tell him or her everything you know about their behavior leading up to the visit too.

The reason why adult cornsnakes can go without food so long is that snakes are cold-blooded animals, and their bodies do not require energy to keep the body warm.

In addition, snakes can decrease the body’s metabolism up to 70%, leading to the least expenditure of the body’s energy.

Furthermore, corn snakes are not active reptiles. They spend most of their time relaxing without any motion. These are all the physiological reasons that make it possible for corn snakes to survive without eating for a maximum of three months.

Can Corn Snakes Eat Crickets?

Yes. Corn snakes are largely carnivorous, and crickets make an excellent meal for them due to their sizable protein content. While reptiles in general do not have much of a sweet tooth, many still need to eat sugar as bait so they can lick the cricket’s head off and then eat it whole while the victim is still alive.

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Crickets also happen to be one of the most common types of food sold as pets for reptile owners because they’re inexpensive, easy to reproduce (as well as get rid of) and often remarkably unappetizing-looking when chopped up into bits. This makes them perfect for a snake patient who prefers dead meat with no blood or scent on it.

While corn snakes don’t necessarily require chopping up their prey, they still prefer that their food is dead before they get to it. Many other common pets for reptile owners, such as bearded dragons and leopard geckos, enjoy live insects or worms in addition to chopped up animal meat.

Corn snakes are not picky eaters. They are very enthusiastic eaters, and anything that comes in their way that is not bigger than their mouth is a potential meal. However, not all corn snakes eat crickets. Because of their small size, they do not emit much heat that corn snakes can sense.

Generally, in the wild, corn snakes prefer to eat rodents, including rats and mice. However, corn snakes are not limited to rodents for their nutrition. They eat various other foods. Corn snakes can also eat lizards if you give them a chance. Lizards don’t smell, and corn snakes find it difficult to sense a lizard and attack it.

Because of this, corn snakes rarely eat lizards. Moving on to birds. Birds are very active animals and hard to attack for a corn snake. Therefore, birds are also not a food of choice for snakes.

That said, corn snakes can eat eggs if available. In the wild, eggs are not common, but if a corn snake happens to find fresh eggs, it will eat them.

Can Corn Snakes Eat Eggs?

Yes, Corn snakes can eat eggs. They are one of the reptiles that do not require cutting their prey. Corn snakes mostly eat rodents so they usually will not try to attack a lizard or bird while in captivity.

Eggs are not common in the wild. however, if a corn snake luckily comes across eggs, it will probably eat them. Eggs are juicy and can provide corn snake with much needed protein.

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The benefit of eating eggs are that they are a highly nutritious food. For many pet owners, eggs are usually the first choice for feeding snakes and lizards that do not require pre-treatment of their meals.

However, the most preferred diet of corn snakes is the rodent. Rodents that corn snakes eat are rats and mice.

Corn snakes can be very beneficial for the human population because they can control the population of rodents. Rodents destroy crops and other human foods and can spread diseases. Therefore, corn snakes living near the human population greatly help eliminate rodents and their harmful effects on human society.

Besides eating rodents, corn snakes can eat a variety of other animals. Their other prey can be birds, bats, moles, other reptiles and amphibians. However, they seldom eat the members of their own family. But it has happened that corn snakes eat other snakes. Corn snakes are very enthusiastic carnivores.

They are very sensitives to identify the target and very aggressive to attack it. Therefore, it can happen that if mistakenly their tail is moving, they bite it. Two conditions define prey for a corn snake. They must be alive, moving and smaller than the mouth of a corn snake. If you stop giving pinkies to your corn snake, what should you offer after your snake weighs more than 30g?

How Long Do Corn Snakes Eat Pinkies?

Your corn snake should hopefully not eat pinkies for too long after you reach the 30g mark! At this point, your corn snake should be eating prey that’s a little larger than pinkies.

If they plan on staying around or getting any bigger, it is recommended to start offering something with bones in them like mice or rats. Corn snakes like a lot of living pinks inside them. These are their preys, usually rodents such as rats and mice which have skeletons in them. Not as much as those without bones that provide no nourishment whatsoever.

Rodents are the preferred animals for corn snake food. Rodents love to eat pinkies, which are small mice that don’t have fur on their body. Due to the absence of fur, they appear pink and are commonly referred to as pinkies. It is best to give pinkies to baby snakes. Baby snakes can eat pinkies until they become an adult.

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You should not rely on corn snake’s age for deciding if you should offer pinkies or not. All the snakes of the same age don’t have the same weight. Therefore, you should prefer weight while deciding on pinkies. If your corn is up to 25-30g of weight, you should offer it pinkies. If your corn is more than this weight, you should offer it to adult rodents, mice or rats. 

You should shift your corn snake’s diet if you don’t offer your snakes pinkies.  Size of rodents is matters when offering one to your beautiful pet. You should go for a rat or snake that equals the size of the mouth of your corn snake. A little bigger is OK, but too big can be problematic.

Can a Corn Snake Eat a Small Rat?

Yes! Your corn snake can eat a small rat. Your corn snake prefers to eat rats and mice that are of small size to engulf quickly. Small-sized rats are an excellent option to feed your corn snake. You should always choose the size of rat or mice that your corn snake can quickly engulf or pass through the mouth. 

However, if you have frozen rats for your corn snake, you should first defrost it before offering. You can defrost the frozen rats in normal (not warm) water. It will take two to four hours to defrost. You should not defrost the rats in warm water because it may provide the optimum temperature for the bacteria and other pathogens to grow.

Corn snakes don’t bother your routine for their feeding. It is not mandatory to offer food only at night or the day; you can offer the food anytime that suits your routine.

Your corn snake is a carnivore, and it eats a variety of animals. You can’t blame your corn snake for being a picky eater because they can eat anything alive, moving and fits their mouth size. But the most preferred diet for corn snakes is rodents, rats or mice.

Even in the wild, corn snakes prefer eating rodents. In addition, they provide benefits to the human population to reduce the number of rodents damaging the fields.