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Corn and Rat snake care sheet


Corn and Rat Snakes Caresheet


Corn and Rat Snakes

Corn snakes and Rat snakes are typically docile and make good pets. They originate from eastern United States but now due to escaped pets have colonised in several area of Europe. Corn snakes are generally slightly smaller than rat snakes and are more commonly kept as pets.

Wild caught snakes are often timid and can be tamed with effort. However they are commonly bred in captivity by breeders and therefore there is little need for wholesalers etc. to import wild species.

Baby corn and rat snakes will feed on thawed out mice pinkies from a few days old and should not be sold on until they have had at least 4 feeds usually at between 3-6 weeks old. Occasionally baby corns will have to be assist fed to start them off but it is recommended that this is only done by experienced keepers.

Temperature: Corn and rat snakes must be kept at an ambient temperature of 74-78 F. With maximum temperatures of 82F under a heat lamp and reducing down by 10degrees at night.

The best source of heat is a heat mat which gives off a slow warmth from under the vivarium.

It is recommended that all heat sources are used in combination with a thermostat to prevent overheating. If a heat bulb is used ensure that this is protected by a heat guard to prevent the snake burning itself.

Vivarium Size:

Baby snakes are best kept in smaller plastic vivariums where they will feel safe. They can be put into larger vivarium’s as they grow.

Care should be taken in choosing bedding – ensure that if the bedding is eaten then it can be passed without blocking. We produce 2 types of snake beddings – affine baby snake bedding which is used for snakes up to 24” and snake bedding for adult and juvenile snakes. Do not use standard beech chips as this may block the intestines and sand must not be used as it will cause irritation and sours.

Corn snakes will grow up to 48”- 60” long

Rat snakes will grow up to 60”-72” long

With both species the males are often longer than females.


It is easy to breed corn and rat snakes and they will usually lay between 6-24 eggs which will hatch in an incubator at 82F after 60 days, although this time does vary.


Both corn and rat snakes will take mice and rats. These are available frozen and must be thoroughly thawed out before feeding otherwise you will harm the snake.


Select the size of mouse or rat so that the body of the food is similar in size to the size of the head of the snake. It is illegal to feed live rats and mice and can also result in the snake being bitten.

When snakes are fed it is wise not to handle them for 24 hours.

If a normally docile snake becomes aggressive it is usually because it is hungry and may need feeding on a larger food or more often, baby snakes require feeding every 5-7 days and adult snakes every 10-14 days.

If a snake is shedding its skin it will not feed until the shed is complete.


Vivarium Set Up

The vivarium must be made as natural as possible and can include hide places, branches etc. and foliage to climb over and for cover.

A water bowl should be provided for the snake to bathe in, it is rare that they drink water unless hot.



Jungle Trade Supplies, Buxton, Derbyshire

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