Corn Snake, The Best Pet Reptile?
Posted on October 21, 2017
Clint talks specifically about the corn snake (Pantherophis guttatus), weighing the merits of these incredible snakes so you can decide if they are the right pet for you.
0:50 Corn Snakes get an overall score of 4.8 out of 5.
0:56 Score criteria: Handleability, Care, Hardiness, Availability, Upfront Costs.
1:05 Handleability: How well does a Corn Snake do with handling?
2:56 Care: What is involved with caring for Corn Snakes?
5:14 Hardiness: How hardy are Corn Snakes?
5:50 Availability: How easy is it to obtain a Corn Snake?
7:14 Upfront Costs: How much does it cost to get setup with a Corn Snake?
8:01 Conclusion: Corn Snakes are great and deserve an overall score of 4.8.
8:37 Bloopers, out-takes, silliness.
Welcome! What I have with me right now are corn snakes. And corn snakes, I’m gonna go ahead and say it, corn snakes might be the very best pet reptile for a new reptile keeper. Now I don’t know if you’ve seen our other video. If not, you should check it out. It has a list of the five, arguably six, five best pet reptiles for new reptile keepers.
Honestly, if I had to put one reptile at the top of that list it would be the corn snake. Now, of course, corn snakes aren’t for everybody. And so we’re gonna talk a little bit about what the basic attributes are of a corn snake and why it may, or may not, be the ideal first pet reptile for you. We give these snakes an overall score of 4.8 out of 5 on our scale. And that scale, as always, comes down to our five categories. Those five categories are handleability, care, hardiness, availability, and upfront costs.
When it comes to handleability we give these snakes a score of 4 out of 5. The only reasons that they don’t get a five out of five… for the one thing they’re a little bit smaller than say a ball python. Which means they’re a little bit more fragile than a ball python, that’s really not a big deal. Though, as babies, like this one – this one’s not a brand new baby but it’s pretty small #NAME? child. Also, these guys can be a little bit dartier or they’re a little bit faster than ball pythons are. And so handling them requires a little bit more attention. A corn snake is gonna be exploring most of the time when you’re holding it. These snakes are even a little bit cold right now because they’ve just been transported even so they’re still exploring all over the place. One of the biggest things about these that makes them a little bit sub ideal when it comes to an animal for handling is just that especially as babies they can be a little bit nippy. It’s really not a big deal I mean they could probably bite you 15 times and if you weren’t watching you wouldn’t even know what happened to you but that can be unnerving for a lot of people. I’m one of those people, I don’t like to get bitten by snakes. And so as babies they can be a little bit nippy. When you’re a noodle with a head the world’s a scary place and when you’re a baby noodle with a head it’s a really scary place. So you can’t really blame them. They tend to mellow out as soon as you pick them up and as adults they tend to be calmer. There are exceptions but generally speaking they’re not gonna bite you. As they are snakes they are only gonna eat every so often and whenever they eat about once a week you’re going to want to leave them alone for a couple of days afterward. Otherwise there’s the possibility that they could regurgitate their food – which isn’t good for them, it’s not good for you, nobody likes it when that happens. You just want to, you know, feed them and then give them a couple of days to digest that meal before you get them out again. Overall though, great to handle. That’s why we give them a 4 out of 5.
When it comes to care corn snakes get a 5 out of 5. When it comes to a reptile this is as easy as it’s gonna get. They’re only gonna need attention a few times a week. The biggest thing is going to be to make sure that their water bowl is full because if they don’t have water that could kill them. You’re also going to need to feed them about once a week. That’s gonna mean giving them something like a mouse or maybe an appropriately sized rat. And I want to talk to you guys about mice and rats. I’m gonna be really clear about this one because there are is a lot of kind of not-so-great information floating around about feeding mice and rats to corn snakes. And so I just I want to be clear. If you look at the mice and rats that you would feed to a corn snake – which are not going to be ginormous rats. You’re gonna be feeding them an appropriately sized rat that’ll leave a little bit of a bump in their belly but not too much. Rats and mice have about the same fat content and about the same protein content. A lot of people will tell you otherwise but if you look at the actual data it’s about exactly the same. Corn snakes like to eat, which is a wonderful wonderful wonderful thing about corn snakes. Corn snakes, if you give it to them they’re probably going to eat it. And the thing is if you give them too many mice or too many rats or too big of a rat they’re gonna get fat and you can have a pudgy corn snake. So the key is if your corn snake is getting fat give it either smaller feeders than you’re giving it now or give them to them less often. People say “well they get fat if they eat rats” and they do if you’re feeding them a big ol’ rat just as often as you would feed them a little mouse. Feed them so that they maintain a nice healthy body weight but not so much that they get obese. And you’re gonna be good to go. And really this is not a bad thing, this is a side effect of the fact that they’re very easy to feed. Now, of course, they do eat rodents and that is a con for some people. That might be the reason that you don’t want to get a corn snake. But, honestly, feeding a frozen thawed rodent to a snake once a week – that’s as easy as feeding an animal is it gonna be. Also because they only need to be fed about once a week and a water bowl often can stay full for a long time – as long as you’re careful about it before you leave. If you go on vacation or something, your corn snake will be fine. That is neat! That is super-duper neat! Honestly, that’s one of the things that discourages me from getting something like a dog.
When it comes to hardiness we give these snakes a score of 5 out of 5. They’re about as good as a reptile is gonna be. They don’t need care every day or even every few days. Their heat, that you’re gonna keep in the enclosure, that would be one way you could kill them. If it just got crazy but if you’re monitoring it with a thermostat or something like that that’s not gonna be a big concern. Lack of water – you can kill anything if you don’t give it water. They’re great eaters so when it comes to keeping them fed generally speaking they eat phenomenally well. When it comes to hardiness this is as good as you can find. They can tolerate a few little mistakes here and there.
When it comes to availability, again, a 5 out of 5. We give them a 5 out of 5 because this is as available as a reptile can be. The reason they’ve been popular for a long long time is because they’re easy to breed. And they’re spectacular pets. As such people want them they’ve always wanted them and you can get them anywhere. There are lots of great breeders. Any Expo is gonna have corn snakes. Those would be my first choices of places to go. If you don’t have a breeder near you there are lots of places that sell them online. Every pet store in the world will have them – if they sell reptiles at all they probably sell corn snakes. When it comes to the colors that you can get in corn snakes that are about as variable as any snake you will find. Most of them are some sort of red or brown or white. You can get corn snakes that have this basic pattern but they’re albinos that their eyes are red and everywhere where there’s black on this snake it would be replaced with white which is just awesome.You can get them that are snows where they’re pure white. You can get them where they’re stripes, where they’re banded. These are a lot closer to what you would find in the wild. Even that color is just out of this world they’re just amazing. There are so many colors and they’re all pretty affordable because these marks have been around for a long time. When your new morph of a creature comes out it starts out really expensive and it gets cheaper over time and these have been out for a long time.
When it comes to upfront costs, once again, they’re getting a score 5 out of 5 because these snakes are very very affordable. The snakes themselves can be purchased super inexpensively. The enclosure for these guys doesn’t need to be super huge and so that means that the enclosure is less expensive. I wouldn’t skimp on the enclosure because frankly the whole cost of owning a corn snake is fairly inexpensive so splurge a little. Make it a really nice enclosure. Make sure that your enclosure has a secure lid. Heating for them is very very reasonable. You’re just gonna need probably a heat pad. I would definitely recommend a thermostat, thermostats can be purchased very inexpensively. Proper substrate. They’ll definitely want some sort of a hide. We’ve got links to all these things down below, so check them out – there they’re down in the description. Very easy to house, very inexpensive to house, very inexpensive to buy, easy to feed, easy to take care of.
If you can handle snakes and if you can handle feeding rodents. And I’m talking like a frozen rodent that you thawed. If you can handle those things there is no better pet reptile than the corn snake, at least for a brand new keeper I say for anyone. That’s why we give them a score of 4.8 out of 5. I’m pretty sure that will be the highest score we ever give to any reptile ever ever ever ever ever.
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Look at these checkerboards. I always love that, checkerboard on the bottom of the snake. Your reward will be a Dr. Pepper. OH BOY!