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Snake Survival Tactics: How Long Can Corn Snakes Go Without Food?



How Long Can A Corn Snake Go Without Eating?


Popular non-venomous snakes that are frequently kept as pets include corn snakes, also referred to as red rat snakes.

They are well-liked among reptile lovers due to their eye-catching hues and calm demeanor. How frequently and for how long corn snakes eat is one issue that owners frequently worry about.

How Long Can a Corn Snake Go Without Eating?

A corn snake’s ability to go without food for a different amount of time depends on a number of variables, including age, health, and other situations.

Mature corn snakes can usually survive 7 to 10 days without eating, but if they are about to shed their skin, they may wait up to 14 days.

On the other hand, young corn snakes require more frequent feedings, which should occur every 5-7 days.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that these are only general recommendations and that various snakes may have different preferences and behavioral patterns.

Factors Affecting Corn Snake’s Feeding Frequency:

Several factors can affect a corn snake’s feeding frequency. These may include:

Age: Adult corn snakes may have different feeding patterns compared to baby corn snakes.

Health: A healthy corn snake may have a regular appetite, while an ill or stressed snake may have a decreased appetite.

Shedding: Corn snakes may lose their appetite or refuse to eat when they are in the process of shedding their skin.

Brumation: Corn snakes may go into a period of decreased activity and metabolic rate called brumation, similar to hibernation, during which they may eat less or stop eating altogether.

Reasons Why Corn Snakes May Not Eat:

There are several reasons why a corn snake may not be eating. These may include:

Recent feeding: Corn snakes may not eat if they have recently consumed a meal and are still digesting it.

Shedding: Snakes may lose their appetite or refuse food when they are about to shed their skin, as the shedding process requires energy and can be uncomfortable for them.

Brumation: If a corn snake is in brumation, it may eat less or stop eating altogether as part of its natural behavior during this period of dormancy.

Illness: An ill or stressed corn snake may have a decreased appetite or refuse to eat.

Food size: Corn snakes may not eat if the food offered to them is too large or too small for their size and age.

Tips to Encourage Feeding:

There are plenty of techniques you can experiment with to encourage your corn snake to eat if it’s not showing interest in food.

These may include:

  1. Place the mouse just in front of the snake’s hiding place or nose to trigger its natural hunting instincts.
  2. Cut the mouse to release the scent of blood in the air, which may entice the snake to bite.
  3. Use a plastic container with holes to mimic the challenge of catching live prey, making it harder for the snake to obtain the meal.
  4. Tap the snake’s nose gently with the mouse to tease it, but be cautious of potential bites as the snake may strike and start eating.
  5. Drag a thawed, pre-killed mouse by its tail on the tank bottom to simulate the movement of live prey and stimulate the snake’s feeding response.

Understanding Corn Snake Behavior: Brumation:

Also, it’s essential to make sure your corn snake receives the proper husbandry and care to support its general health and hunger.

This entails creating a suitable enclosure with suitable temperatures, humidity levels, and hiding places, as well as keeping the area clean and always providing clean water.

It’s also crucial to feed your corn snake suitable-sized prey items. For optimum digestion, prey items should be around the same width as your snake’s broadest region of its body.

If the prey is too big, your snake might not eat it or have trouble digesting it, which could result in regurgitation or other health problems.

Establishing a regular feeding regimen for your corn snake based on its size and age is also crucial.

Compared to adult corn snakes, little ones may need to be fed more frequently. You may keep tabs on your snake’s eating routine and general health by keeping a feeding journal and keeping track of its weight.

It’s critical to get expert veterinary care from an experienced exotic veterinarian if your corn snake continues to refuse food or exhibits symptoms of disease despite proper husbandry and care.

They are able to do a comprehensive examination, identify any underlying health conditions, and prescribe the right course of action.

In conclusion, 

while corn snakes can go without eating for extended periods, it’s important to monitor their health, provide appropriate husbandry and care, and seek veterinary attention if they show signs of illness or refuse food for prolonged periods.

By providing optimal care and addressing any health concerns promptly, you can help ensure the well-being of your corn snake.


  1. Introduction
  2. How Long Can a Corn Snake Go Without Eating?
  3. Factors Affecting Corn Snake’s Feeding Frequency
  4. Reasons Why Corn Snakes May Not Eat
  5. Tips to Encourage Feeding
  6. Understanding Corn Snake Behavior: Brumation
  7. Conclusion

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