Creating a home for your corn snake

Corn snakes come from the Americas and are typically found in the South-eastern United States. In the wild they tend to live in over-grown fields, pine forests and areas of agriculture.

Like most reptiles, they are normally housed in an enclosed cage with glass doors, known as a vivarium. They have specific requirements, therefore it's essential that the environment within the vivarium is controlled precisely and monitored at all times.

Young corn snakes should not be housed in large vivarums as this can be stressful for them and they can be less inclined to eat. Corn snakes are not highly active and do not need huge enclosures. A medium sized vivarium will house your snake comfortably. As a rough guide, the vivarium can be half the length of the snakes total body length. Snakes are excellent escape artists, so care must be taken when planning their enclosure. Make sure your vivarium has a tight fitting lid and tightly fitting doors. Snakes are very strong and can push a loose fitting lid from a vivarium

There are many options in regards to substrate that you can keep your snakes on. We would advise Aspen bedding, bark chips or cage carpet. The substrates are very easy to keep clean, which is paramount in order to stop possible health issues.

Snakes are cold blooded and get heat from their surroundings. In the wild, snakes move between warm and cooler spots to regulate their temperature, this is called thermo-regulation.

The ideal temperature gradient for your snake's vivarium is a gradient of 24°C-30°C. If the temperatures are not correct often the snake will not feed and tehir health will deteriorate quickly. A night-time drop in temperature of 5°C is advised.

Heat should be provided using either a heat mat with thermostat or a bulb with a dimming stat on the roof of the vivarium. If you decide to heat the vivarium with a bulb a guard must be used as snakes coud easily burn themselves when moving around the vivarium. Heat mats should only cover between a third and a half of the floor space to allow your snake to thermo-regulate. This heat mat should be regulated by a thermostat to ensure that it does not overheat.

There is no specific UV requirement for lighting of any kind for corn snakes; however snakes will react differently to the different amount of daylight. It is good practice to mimic the seasonal changes that teh snake would find in the wild, meaning 12-14 hours of daylight in the summer months reducing down to 8 hours in autumn.

Humidity is also critical when keeping most types of reptiles, however with Corn snakes high levels of constant humidity can cause health issues so a nice dry vivarium is ideal, with a damp hide of some type to ensure the snake can hide away in a cool wet hide if they wish.

Although snakes do not play with toys, they do appreciate enrichment in their habitat in the form of decor such as articficial plants, branches, hides, rocks and cork bark