How Big Do Corn Snakes Get (And How Long Does it Take For Them to Grow)?

Being a lover of corn snakes, I have often wondered how big corn snakes can be and how long it takes them to get there. So, I decided I would do some research and find out for myself.

How big do corn snakes get?

Corn snakes do not become as large as other species of snakes. They do get to a length of about 3.9 to 5.9 feet as an adult, with a mass of about 2 lbs. 

While my initial research was to find out the length of a corn snake, I have come to find out more than just their length. Their habitat, diet, and nature are fascinating to read about. Corn snakes are bred with many other snakes, creating multiple morphs of the species.

What Do Corn Snakes Eat?

A corn snake’s diet is fairly simple. The primary source of food for a corn snake is rodents. They are a constrictor snake, which means they do not need to poison their food to eat it first.

They catch and then crush their food before they eat it. If you want to give your snake the feeling of killing its own prey without actually killing it, you can purchase dead rodents and defrost them to room temperature. Once it is warm, you can give it to your snake, holding the rodent by its tail, then your snake will take over from there.

While they eat rodents most of the time, you can also give them quail eggs to shake things up sometimes, but only on occasion. The prime amount of time would be one quail egg every few weeks. The reason for limiting this delicacy is that if your corn snake was in the wild, it would not find quail eggs as easily as a rodent. So it is not a part of their regular day-to-day diet.

Here is a schedule for the amount of food to give to your snake, depending on its size starting from their size as a baby:

  • Snake: 4-15g – Mouse: pinkie sized 
  • Snake: 16-30g – Mouse: pinkie sized x2
  • Snake: 30-50g – Fuzzy 
  • Snake: 51-90g – Mouse: Hopper/Small 
  • Snake: 90-170g- Mouse: Weaned/Medium
  • Snake: 170-400g – Mouse: Adult/Large 
  • Snake: 400g+ – Mouse: Jumbo adult/Large 

Remember to also keep fresh, clean water for your corn snake in its tank. It is essential to its survival.

What Is the Ideal Habitat for a Corn Snake?

You will need to get a tank which is suitable for the size of your snake. You will likely not need a 20-gallon tank for your snake right away, but as they get older and bigger it is best if you do. The adult length can go to about 5 feet long.

You will also need to give your corn snake the proper amount of heat for it to feel comfortable, so it will need a heat mat.

You will need to put the heat to about 75-85 degrees, with the higher temperature on one side of the tank for basking.

Since corn snakes are nocturnal and typically hunt and are active at night they use the heat from the ground, which is why a heat mat is necessary and a heat lamp is not.

Your snake will also need some hiding spots for it to be able to feel secure and safe. You can place these hiding spots on top of the heat mat on the warmest spot. Make sure whatever you use is non-toxic. Along with all these internal pieces for your tank, you will need to cover your tank with bedding.

The best option for bedding would be aspen chips or newspaper. Make sure to provide enough water for your snake, provide at least a bowl of water big enough for it to soak in. Change the water twice a week–it does not matter whether it is cool or warm, but if the bowl of water is on the warmer side of the tank, it can affect the humidity.

Finally, provide lighting for your snake, but it is not required for health benefits like most snakes need. They are able to receive all their vitamins from the mice they eat in captivity.

What Is the Temperament of a Corn Snake (And How Do You Handle Them)?

Corn snakes are known for being very fearful and cautious from the moment they hatch. They are naturally nervous and defensive against anything. It is very normal for a baby corn snake to defend themselves if they feel threatened but it is very unlikely they will do any harm.

These snakes have a bite but it is not poisonous. Their bite will simpl be uncomfortable on the skin and it will blow over before you know it.

Handling a corn snake can depend on how much time you give it to become comfortable in its new home. You will need to give it a few more weeks and give it a proper and steady feeding schedule before stressing it by wanting to handle it.

After about 3 or 4 meals, you can handle your corn snake for short periods of time but try not to for the first two or three days after its meal.

You can approach your corn snake from either side of the tank but make sure not to approach it from above, as that is how most predators approach them. You can lift it up but you need to have confidence because hesitation will frighten it.

Once your snake realizes you do not want to eat it, it will become more comfortable and calm down as it begins to regain security in its environment. Soon after, it will become used to being handled and will act tame.

Related Questions 

How long can corn snakes go without eating? 

Baby corn snakes can go for about 5 to 7 days without eating, while the adult can live up to 7 to 10 days. So you need not worry about your snake if it decides not to eat the food in its tank right away.

Do corn snakes need a heat lamp?

No, they can live contently with no special lighting. Because of how their snakeskin looks, using a fluorescent light that emits small amounts of UVB can help you see your snake easier.

Can corn snakes kill you?

Corn snakes are one of the safest species of snakes that can be kept as a pet. They are not venomous. Since they are constrictors, they kill their prey by crushing it. Their bite is uncomfortable but it is over fairly quickly.