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Corn Snakes are one of the most popular pet reptiles in the UK and across the world!

They are known for being great snakes as their temperaments make them ideal for handling and stay a manageable size. They are known as Corn Snakes due to often being found around corn granaries where mice and other small rodents would dwell making them ideal places for these rodent hunters.

Corn Snakes, unlike some reptile species, are very successfully bred in captivity and have a wide range of morphs (scale colours and patterns). Corn Snakes normally grow to 3-5 feet in length and with proper care can live from 10-15 years (but the oldest on record was 32 years old!) They are Crepuscular  animals meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk.

A 4 foot vivarium is recommended as a minimum for Corn Snakes, but as they grow this should be a least the size of their body fully stretched out. To find out more about making a corn snake enclosure see here. They need lots of enrichment within their enclosure. Vast open spaces can cause stress to you snake so fill their vivarium with lots of interesting textures and levels will create a more enriching enclosure for them. They are a territorial species and it is safer to keep them alone to prevent fighting, injury and stress.

Kept correctly Corn Snakes make brilliant life long pets, but unfortunately a lot of these pets suffer due to a lack of correct care.

There is a lot of conflicting advise out there on how to care for your scaly friend. We have condensed some information around the main areas of Corn Snake care here, but for a more in-depth look at their husbandry you can download our free Bright Side Vets Corn Snake Care Sheet!

Corn Snake facts


Some of the most common health issues for Corn Snakes are directly related to an error in care. If one or a few of the basic requirements above are not met correctly your Corn Snake will begin to show signs of illness.

What does an ideal Corn Snake environment look like?

The basics are always needed to keep your pet happy and healthy but the general presentation of the vivarium is very individual! The enrichment materials and look of your pets vivarium is completely up to you.

Get creative using safe materials to create a mini wilderness for them in your home!

Corn Snakes originate from dry scrublands and forests in the USA! Our weather and climate are not suited to what they need to stay healthy. Therefore, we must create a ‘mini-climate’ for them in our home. This means getting the temperatures, humidity, substrate and lighting as close to their wild habitat as possible. These factors make sure your pet is happy and healthy throughout their life with you.

Reptile enclosure


Reptile safe materials

Your Corn snake’s home doesn’t have to by a mini masterpiece, but there are lots of very simple things you can add. Adding natural textures and additional levels in your vivarium creates the environmental enrichment you pet needs to stay happy. Remember your pet spends the majority of their life in their vivarium so making it as interesting as possible keeps them happy and healthy.

Reptile safe materials you can use are:

  • Drift wood – This come in all shapes and sizes. They often have interesting natural curves and bends making them great features to any vivarium!
  • Cork Bark – These pieces often come in long but curved shapes making them ideal for creating hides.
  • Synthetic vines – These man made vines are normally lined with wire, allowing your to position them exactly how you need them, while also bring strong enough to hold many different shapes and sizes of reptile. Being synthetic, they are easy to disinfect when needed.
  • Live plants – Live plants are a great addition to any vivarium, while you create your reptiles own personal environment there are also native plant species that thrive in the same environment.
  • Fake Plants – Fake plants are great for adding a pop of colour and interest. They do not require any maintenance, unlike live plants, and are easy to disinfect.
  • Tiles – These are great for a basking spot and they are flat spread heat evenly.
  • Stone Slate/Large River Pebbles – Like tiles these are great for basking areas and add smooth surfaces with climbable height.
  • Sphagnum Moss –  This natural material is ideal for your moist hide, most needed when shedding. This Moss holds humidity very well.

All of our further in depth ca ‎re advise can be found here in our free downloadable REW Care Sheet!