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Old 08-09-2013, 06:41 PM   #1 
HeroicPoison
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Need baby corn snake help!!! Any snake ppl out there?!?!

We purchased a baby corn snake about two weeks ago, the little one is about a month old now. It won't eat! We have tried live pinkies and frozen... We have even cut one in half long ways incase it was not eating due to the size of the pinkie. It refuses to eat, the breeder has given us little info on why this is or what he was feeding them. I have faith in my betta forum! Please someone help!
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Old 08-09-2013, 06:59 PM   #2 
shannonpwns
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First, you're thawing the pinkies, right? Lol. Rat pinkies or mice pinkies? How old is your cornsnake? If its under 5 months old, it should only eat one appx one day old mouse once or maybe twice a week. Don't cut them in half...snakes like their food whole...and that's just gross.

What temperature is the tank? If its not warm enough, snakes won't eat, and won't be able to digest properly.
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:13 PM   #3 
HeroicPoison
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This little one is about a month old.
We have tried live mice pinkies and frozen. We are thawing them to room temp before attempting to feed.
The pinkies are three days old. He is very tiny can he eat that whole pinkie?! His head is about the size of a larger sunflower seed.
The tank temp is 73.5 F
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:54 PM   #4 
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Do you have a heat spot in the tank? A cornsnake that young needs ONE day old pinkies....the smallest you can find.... There is a big difference between one day old and three day old, in regards to what a newborn cornsnake can eat. They can eat a pinkie that is 1 1/2 times as round as their mid body girth.



Cornsnakes should be kept between 75-85 degrees. 80-85 degrees should be under a log or some sort of hiding place for them, via an under tank heater. They NEED that 80-85 degrees to digest their food.


I used to breed Red Tail Boas, and have had a few cornsnake a myself, btw. :).
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:44 PM   #5 
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Hi, there. Herpetologist here. There are flavor attractants you can add to food to make it seem more palatable, though that's not my first choice. In the old days, we'd put a dab of chicken broth on a pinky to see if that helped. Nowadays, I hear that there are attractants you can purchase. Before you spend that money on something that may or may not work, there's another thing to try. Get the thawed pinky above room temperature, to more of a mouse temperature. I do that by putting it in a waterproof plastic bag like a Ziploc and floating it in a sink of warm water. You don't want it hot, just warm. You can try wiggling the thawed pinky with a long, thin rod (like a really skinny dowel) while trying to stand out of the snake's sight, or at least not moving yourself. Not eating at 1 month old is not an emergency. They have a little bit of yolk left inside when they hatch, so it's not starving at this point. It's probably stressed out and adapting to its new environment. Leave it alone for a couple days. Make sure it has plenty of hiding places so it can feel safe. And the heating as suggested above. Make sure the snake can choose between a gradient of temperatures. It's not a good idea to keep the whole tank at 85 all the time, for example. If you can get one end at 75, the other end at 80, a hiding place at 80-85, and a second hiding place that is not heated by a heater, that would be ideal. Then the snake can choose the temperature it needs at anytime. No need to panic quite yet. There's still time for the snake to calm down and start eating. :)
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Old 08-10-2013, 04:34 PM   #6 
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You can also try putting some small guppies in his water dish (I'm assuming his water dish is big enough for him to get all the way in, and therefore big enough for a guppy or 2 to swim upright) If you can get in touch with your local herpatological society ( ;) Google is your friend) you should be able to find someone who has some 1 day old pinkies, or, even better, baby anoles, as often corn snakes prefer a small lizard for their first meal or two.

In the future, do not buy any snake of any kind but especially a baby one until you have seen it eat with your own eyes. First, then you have the best kind of proof that the animal is not only eating, but eating the kind of food you can provide. Second, you then know the exact timeframe of it's next meal, and when you should start worrying. Third, you won't have to worry about said meal until it's had a bit of time to settle, as new surroundings will very often throw a snake off eating.

Best of luck with your new pet :)
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Old 08-10-2013, 05:30 PM   #7 
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it is not an ideal food fo baby corn snakes, but I have had luck in getting reluctant eaters to take live crickets. I had one that would only eat mealworms fo the first two months, so honestly when they are small, it's trial and error. If you find that it will indeed eat crickets, go get the calcium/vitamin powder to coat the crickets with before feeding. Also, I completely agree with turtlebarb. Most snakes can easily go a month without eating. You want to look for their body condition, more than their eating frequency. if the spine is prominent (looks like a triangle, rather than slightly rounded) then you may want to invest in syringe feeding mediums. There are different formulas/brands, etc, but mostly they are egg-based powders that you mix with water and then GENTLY feed with a syringe. I have had to do this for infant anoles, and an aging iguana.

If you don't have a hiding place or under tank heater, a few options you can do for an emergency is to put a plastic cup on its side for your buddy to hide inside and behind, and take a sock, fill it with uncooked rice, tie it shut, and microwave for 1 minute. You CAN microwave longer, but if it's too hot for you to handle, it's too hot for the snake. you can use the rice-sock as a temporary heater about a half hour before feeding attmepts to warm him up. Do not handle the snake for 24 hours prior to feeding, as this can cause stress.

I've had about every type of non-venomous herp out there at one point or another, but my biggest challenge has been my current buddy, Sgt Slithers, a ball python that will NOT eat anything but live mice. You've got to figure out what your buddy eats, and then work from there, but don't panic. not eating isn't serious unless body condition starts to deteriorate. Best of luck!
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