Baby corn snakes
Caring for hatchling corn snakes is very much the same as caring for adults. There are a few important thing to point out which will be highlighted in this article. It may take up to a week for a baby corn snake to settle into a new habitat, which is why you should set up the vivarium before getting the snake. It is advisable to put a baby corn snake in its new environment and leave it for 4 – 5 days, only disturbing it to change the water. After the corn snake is settled in you may proceed with handling and feeding.
Housing baby corn snakes
Baby corn snakes can live comfortably in something the size of a shoe box (18x30x12 cm or 7x12x5 inches) until they are about 50 cm long. At this young age corn snakes feel very nervous in larger open areas and a bigger vivarium is not advisable. Large open spaces can stress out corn snakes and make them nervous reducing appetite.
Provide small corns with secure hiding spaces and an indigestible substrate such as paper towels, newspaper, reptile carpet or similar. Floor coverings such as aspen are ideal to help corn snakes feel secure where they will hide in and around it however care must be taken to prevent ingestion of the substrate, and so a separate feeding area may be required.
Housing hatchling corn snakes together is not advised. At this young and confusing age they have a tendency to eat each other, where they can mistake one another as mice.
Feeding baby corn snakes
From an early age corn snakes should be fed in a separate enclosure to their regular vivarium to stop them nipping and becoming aggressive towards you, associating opening the vivarium with food. You could use a show box for this purpose.
Hatchlings corn snake are very small and must be fed on day old pinkie mice. As the name suggests, day old pinkie mice are day old mice which are pink due to lack of fur revealing their pink skin. Some corn snakes may prefer a cricket or small lizard as their first meal, however this is unlikely in captivity and these should only be offered if the snake is refusing pink mice.
Hatchling corn snakes take their first meal after their first shed, which should occur around a week after they hatch. Following on from this feed them twice a week to encourage healthy growth. Avoid food items bigger than 1.5 times the girth of the Corn snake and do not handle your snake until 2 days after feeding. After feeding, corn snakes move to the warm side of the vivarium to digest the meal.
If you have purchased a bag of pink mice and find that some are too large, take a sharp pair of scissors and cut off their heads. The body of the mouse should be a good size and so feed them to your corn snake.