Corn snakes can eat a good amount of food when they have the chance. So it is highly unbelievable when it comes to the idea that they can live a long time without food.
But the experienced owners know that they can refuse their food all of a sudden, without any sign of sickness or any valid cause. This is actually a cause of much tension to the owners who think that it may cause their dear pets death anytime soon. So here we will discuss the various cause and functions of the corn snake’s fasting process.
What is the length of time that a corn snake can go without food?
Corn snakes can live for six months before they will eventually die, without food. The time of survival is this long due to the stored body fat in their body. Snakes are usually able to spend months without food as they live in such areas where food is not available regularly. So their body is able to store the excess food which they can use when they are not having the supply of food.
What happens when the corn snake does not eat?
Warmth is needed to keep any live creature stable. Food gives us warmth by breaking inside our body. Also, warmth or heat is required when it comes to digesting the food. When the heat is not provided in ample quantity of adequate quality, then the corn snake will stop eating.
The metabolism rate inside the body of the corn snake decreases when it goes without food. Energy conservation takes place naturally as the body tries to be prepared for the time when it has to survive without food.
Other than lack of heat, the corn snake can stop having food when it is feeling sick.
What are the situations in which the corn snake refuses to eat?
There are certain periods in which corn snakes do not take food. The details are given below.
Brumation is the period within which the corn snake does not eat. They start eating less frequently at the beginning of the period and it lasts for 3 months maximum. Their body does not need food as it uses the stored up fat for the least amount of energy they use at that period.
This is a common practice among reptiles, which do this in time of winter when the food becomes scarce anyway. They sleep away the whole season of winter.
Shedding goes for 3 weeks and when it begins, the corn snake refuses to eat its food. There is no reason to be hyper as in this period, as corn snakes are not supposed to eat until the shedding process is completed.
If you have adopted a female corn snake then being gravid is one reason for not eating food. The eggs inside the female snake become heavier day by day. It wishes to release them when they are matured. If they do not get the place to burrow and lay the eggs, they do not eat food. For 55 to 60 days they can stay gravid and meanwhile they will not have food.
There can be different kinds of illnesses which make them avoid the food. They may have impaction from consuming dust like substrate or else they can have some sore in their mouth or inside the body. They may have pain swallowing their food, which is why they will avoid eating.
Also if they are not having ample heat from the heat source they will stop eating, as we have discussed above.
Type of food:
The corn snakes like to have live mice. But if you offer them killed mice, they will not accept it. They are habituated to the way that they will kill their prey and then eat it. So it will take time to get adjusted to eating dead mice, in case you have no other choice of food for the pet corn snake.
Also the size of the food matters to the corn snake. They do not eat their food by tearing or chewing, and just gobble it up. So if you are offering a big mouse to a baby corn snake, there are chances that it will not touch it. They can gauge the size of the food by looking at it, which will make them understand that they will not be able to eat it.
Too frequent handling:
Snakes do not like to be petted. So when you bring home a corn snake, only touch it when it is necessary. At least for the first two months, it takes time to get adjusted to its new shelter and it stays stressed. Unlike other pet creatures, they do not need to touch and caress to feel friendly with their owners.
If the snake is handled often and that too by different people, they will stop eating or refuse to eat when food is provided. They do not like the touch and it makes them anxious when someone touches them regularly. To prevent it if your friends, guests, and relatives come to see your new pet and try to play with it.
How often the corn snake needs to be fed?
A fully matured corn snake should be fed with a matured mouse after every seven days. When you bring a baby corn snake, you need to feed it once every five days. Read detailed guide here on How Often To Feed Corn Snakes?
How long the corn snake can survive without water?
Unlike food, corn snakes need water more frequently. You must keep a water bowl in the cage of the corn snake to let them drink from it. Also, you need to keep in mind that snakes cannot live without water for more than 7 to 12 days. That is why you always keep an eye on the consumption of water on a daily basis.
How long the corn snake should eat pinky mice?
Until the corn snake becomes 6 months of age, it should be fed with pinky mice. After they have reached this stage, they can eat a juvenile mouse.