Although it looks poisonous with its orange and yellow scales, this snake is one of the most docile species of snakes. Originating in the southeastern United States, it owes its name – known as corn snake – to its regular presence near North American barns and also to the characteristic pattern of its belly, which is very reminiscent of corn kernels.
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What you need to know before getting a corn snake
If you are in search of a pet that is not a cat, dog, rabbit, or fish, your next alternative is to care for a reptile. As many of them have a calm nature, it is to be expected that they need much less maintenance than, for example, a dog, after all they don’t need to be bathed, walked, vaccinated, etc. But contrary to popular belief, reptiles do need a lot of care.
The corn snake is one of the most sought-after reptiles. Native to North America, they are not poisonous and usually do not bite. It has a very calm temperament, a variety of beautiful colors, and its relatively easy care, leading many to keep it as a pet.
Adults can range in length from about 61 to 180 cm, and they can live 20 years or more in captivity. This means that if you are not very willing to care for a snake for the next 20 years, this may not be the right one for you.
Corn snakes are carnivores and they eat every few days in the wild. They live among the corn fields and also eat small rodents, but they can also climb trees to find eggs or the young of unattended birds. As such they are considered a semi-arboreal species.
As a cold-blooded animal, the corn snake lives in very warm and humid environments and requires heat and light to survive in captivity, mainly for digestion. They drink a lot of water, so it’s a good idea to always have a bowl of plenty of clean water handy. The temperature and humidity should be between about 23 and 30 °C and 50 to 60%. It is always very important to maintain the characteristics of its habitat so that it doesn’t get too stressed or sick.
It is recommended to use a terrarium for an adult, 1.20 cm long, 80 cm wide and about 50 cm high, which offers much more room to crawl. When young, they should be kept in a faunary lined with paper towels or can be newspaper.
The place should be equipped with heat lamps where the snake can gain the heat it needs to digest and also warm up the stay. Also indispensable: a thermometer to check the temperature and hiding places like roots or tree trunks etc. Humus, pine bark or even kitchen paper or newspaper can also be used as substrate.
So before you get a snake as a pet, you should check that everything is legal when purchased from an authorized seller.
Because, like any other living being, raising an exotic pet requires a lot of responsibility, time and also financial investment. Therefore, it is very important to think well before acquiring it, discarding every trivial reason.
However, it is worth pointing out that not all veterinary clinics specialize in exotic animals. Therefore, before taking your pet home, check if there is a professional available in your area.