For decades, corn snakes have been an exceedingly popular pet for both casual and advanced reptile keepers. Because of this, newcomers may have questions about feeding corn snakes. More specifically, they may have questions about when to feed corn snakes fuzzies and various other food items. This is because most corn snakes are purchased and shipped as hatchlings, which means that their dietary requirements may be a bit different from an adult’s.
To help clear up any confusion on how to feed these animals, here is a comprehensive guide on what exactly fuzzies are, feeding best practices, and why corn snakes eat what they do.
What Are Fuzzies?
To answer the question of “when to feed your corn snake fuzzies” in the first place, we need to review what exactly these food items are. These mice are typically 10-13 days old, weigh around 5 grams, and have developed a thin fur coat. For many snakes, they are an important food item for when they are transitioning from juvenile to adult.
Feeding Corn Snakes
Before determining when exactly to feed fuzzies to corn snakes, it is important to understand how exactly feeding them works. Of course, these snakes are obligate carnivores, and their food of choice are small rodents, other reptiles, and birds. Food items that will most readily be available to you, however, are frozen mice and rats. Once you have stocked up on these food items, you may feed your snake as is appropriate for its size and age.
This brief chart may help determine how often to feed your snake:
Less than 6 months: Every 5 to 7 days.
6 months to 1 year: Every 5 to 7 days.
1 to 2 years old: Once a week.
Two years and above: Three times a month.
A rule of thumb to follow when feeding snakes is to feed it a food item that is as big as the thickest part of its body.
As you can imagine, feeding your corn snake an appropriately sized prey item will always be important. This is especially true when it is in a vulnerable, juvenile state where it needs as much nutrition as possible. Some signs that you may be feeding your snake a food item that is too big include:
Refusing the food
Seeming too bloated
If your snake is incapable of digesting its food in time, it may rot within its stomach. This may cause it to regurgitate, and might eventually require medical intervention. To assist your snake in digesting its food, make sure that the temperature in its enclosure is high enough. Having the heat be too low in your snake’s tank can cause its bodily functions to run slower, including digestion.
How to Feed Your Snake
While feeding corn snakes isn’t terribly complicated, it can be a bit confusing on a first attempt. One way is simply dropping your food item in the tank. If you want the prey item to seem more enticing to your pet, you can bait it by moving the food item with feeding tongs around the tank. This will encourage them to mimic natural hunting behaviors.
Making Sure Your Snake Eats
Every snake owner knows the frustration of having a picky eater. While this usually isn’t a huge issue, it can -occasionally- be an indicator of possible health or environmental issues. If your snake is having consistent issues with feeding, be sure to take it to the vet as soon as possible.
If all health issues have been ruled out, be sure to review your habitat setup and husbandry. Certain elements being sub-optimal such as humidity and temperature can certainly impact your snake’s habitat. Of course, it is also entirely possible that your snake may have a refined palate. If that is the case, you can entice your snake to eat by defrosting your frozen mouse to more closely mimic a live animal.
Last Thoughts on When to Feed Corn Snakes Fuzzies
Understanding how to properly feed any pet you bring within your home is important. After all, your companion animal will be dependent on you for basically everything, including food and other important expenses. However, as long as you have a good understanding of these things before seeking out a corn snake for sale, you will set yourself up for success. Eventually, you will have a more general, intuitive understanding on how feeding corn snakes works, and that will follow you through however many snakes you decide to keep in your journey.