How Long Can a Corn Snake Go Without Eating? – Exploring the Eating Habits of Snakes

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If you have recently adopted a corn snake as a pet, one of the first questions you may be wondering is “how long can a corn snake go without eating”? Knowing the answer to this question can help you monitor your pet’s health and ensure that it is getting the proper nutrition to stay healthy and active. This article will provide a guide to feeding your pet snake and discuss how long they can survive without food.

Overview of Snakes

Overview Of Snakes
Snakes are legless reptiles that belong to the suborder Serpentes. There are over 3,000 species of snakes, varying in size, color and behavior. Snakes are found on every continent except Antarctica and range in size from the tiny, 10 cm-long thread snake to the 5.5 m-long reticulated python.

Types of Snakes

Snakes can be divided into two broad categories: venomous and nonvenomous. Venomous snakes have a set of specialized teeth, called fangs, that are used to inject venom into their prey. Nonvenomous snakes have teeth that are well adapted for grasping and holding onto prey.

Anatomy of Snakes

Snakes have a long and slender body that is covered in scales. They have flexible jaws that allow them to swallow prey much larger than their head. The scales help protect the snake from predators and also allow it to move quickly over surfaces. They also have a tongue that is used to smell and taste its environment.

Habitat of Snakes

Snakes can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, deserts, grasslands, wetlands, and even in the ocean. They prefer warm climates, but some species can be found in colder climates as well. They can often be found in burrows, crevices, and other areas where they can hide from predators.

How Long Can Corn Snakes Go Without Eating?

How Long Can Corn Snakes Go Without Eating?

Corn snakes can go without eating for up to two months without any adverse effects. However, it is best to feed them regularly as they are used to regular meals. If they are not fed regularly, they can become weak and even refuse food. It is best to feed adult corn snakes every 5-7 days and juvenile corn snakes every 2-3 days.

During the winter months, corn snakes may enter a state of brumation, which is a kind of hibernation. During this period, they may go without eating for several months, but it is best to feed them every few weeks to ensure that they stay healthy.

It is important to note that lack of food can cause malnutrition, which can affect the health of a corn snake. If a corn snake is not eating for a long period of time, it is best to take it to a veterinarian for a checkup.

Factors that Affect How Long a Corn Snake Can Go Without Eating

Factors That Affect How Long A Corn Snake Can Go Without Eating


Temperature affects a corn snake’s ability to digest its food, as well as its overall activity level. Corn snakes kept in cooler temperatures tend to require less frequent feedings than those kept in warmer temperatures.


High humidity can negatively affect a corn snake’s ability to digest its food, and can lead to digestive issues such as bloating and constipation. Low humidity can cause dehydration and can lead to skin and eye issues.


Younger corn snakes require more frequent feedings than adults. Juveniles should be fed every 5-7 days, while adults should be fed every 7-10 days.

4 Size

4 Size

  • A hatchling corn snake can go for a month without eating.
  • Juvenile corn snakes can survive for two to three months without food.
  • An adult corn snake can go for four to five months without feeding.
  • An older corn snake can last for six to seven months without eating.

5 Stress

5 Stress

  • Environmental stress caused by drastic changes in temperature and humidity.
  • The stress of handling, which can cause a decrease in appetite.
  • The stress of moving to a new home, which can cause a decrease in appetite.
  • The stress of being housed with another corn snake, which can cause a decrease in appetite.
  • The stress of being housed with other animals, which can cause a decrease in appetite.

Signs and Symptoms of Starvation in Corn Snakes

Signs And Symptoms Of Starvation In Corn Snakes

  • Decrease in weight and body mass
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Visible skeletal structure
  • Flaky, dull, or dry skin
  • Loss of color
  • Reduced activity
  • Decreased shedding frequency
  • Reduced immunity to illnesses
  • Growth retardation
  • Inability to survive hibernation

Corn snakes are typically active and alert, and they should have a healthy weight and body mass. If your corn snake is not eating, it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of starvation, as these can be signs of a larger health problem. Starvation in corn snakes can lead to a decrease in weight and body mass, loss of appetite, lethargy and weakness, loss of muscle mass, visible skeletal structure, flaky, dull, or dry skin, loss of color, reduced activity, decreased shedding frequency, reduced immunity to illnesses, growth retardation, and the inability to survive hibernation.

If you notice any of these signs and symptoms in your corn snake, you should seek veterinary advice immediately.

How to Help a Starving Corn Snake

Step Description
1 Check for underlying health issues. A trip to the vet may be necessary to rule out any health issues that may affect its appetite.
2 Provide a proper habitat. Ensure the habitat is set up properly with the correct temperature, humidity, and enclosure size.
3 Introduce different types of food. Offer a variety of fresh, frozen, and live food to encourage the snake to eat.
4 Handle the snake regularly. Handle the snake regularly to help it become more accustomed to being handled and to encourage it to eat.
5 Try different feeding methods. Try different feeding methods such as hand-feeding or using tongs to offer food.
6 Consider feeding supplements. If the snake is not eating, consider feeding supplements such as reptile vitamins or calcium powder.

What to Feed a Starving Corn Snake

Corn snakes can be fed a variety of prey items, including mice, rats, birds, lizards, and amphibians. When feeding a starving corn snake, it is important to choose the right prey item and size. For adult corn snakes, the ideal prey item is an adult mouse or rat, which should be about the same size as the widest part of the snake’s body. For baby corn snakes, small mice or pinkies are best. It is also important to make sure that the prey item is fully thawed before feeding it to the snake.

It is also important to provide a proper feeding environment for the snake. This includes making sure the temperature of the room is between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit and providing a secure hiding place for the snake. It is also important to make sure the snake is not being disturbed while it is eating.

Once the snake has been fed, it is important to monitor its health and behavior. This includes checking for signs of illness, such as a loss of appetite, lethargy, and regurgitation. If any of these signs are present, it is important to contact a veterinarian immediately.

Finally, it is important to remember that corn snakes have a very slow digestive system, so it can take up to several days for the snake to digest its meal. As such, it is important not to feed the snake again until it has fully digested its previous meal.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can a Corn Snake go without Eating?

Corn snakes can usually go two to three months without eating, but this depends on their age and size. Juvenile and baby corn snakes should be fed every one to two weeks, while adults should be fed every two to three weeks. When it comes to hibernation, corn snakes can go without food for up to six months. However, it is important to make sure they have enough fat reserves to survive the winter months.

Why won’t my corn snake eat?

There are several reasons why your corn snake may not be eating, including stress, improper temperature, improper humidity, and improper food sources. If the snake is feeling threatened or stressed, it may refuse to eat, so it is important to give your snake a comfortable and secure environment. If the temperature and humidity levels are too low or too high, the snake may also refuse to eat. Lastly, if the food sources are not of the appropriate size or type, the snake may not be interested in eating.

Why is my Corn Snake Not Eating?

There are a few possible causes for a corn snake not eating. These include illness, stress, an improper habitat, or a lack of food variety. If your corn snake is ill, it may refuse to eat and require veterinary care. Stress can be caused by changes in environment or an overcrowded tank. To ensure your snake’s habitat is suitable, provide a hide box, substrate, and a water dish. Also, provide a variety of food items such as mice, crickets, and mealworms.

Why is my snake not eating for months?

There are a few possible reasons why a snake may not be eating for months, including stress, illness, improper temperature, and inappropriate food size. Stress can be caused by changes in the environment or in the snake’s diet. Illness can also be a factor, and the snake may need to be taken to a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment. Temperature can also play a role in appetite, as too cold or too hot of an environment can cause a snake to lose its appetite. Finally, an inappropriate food size can lead to a decrease in appetite as the snake is unable to consume the offered food. If a snake is not eating for months, it is important to take necessary steps to ensure its health and wellbeing.

How often should a corn snake eat?

Corn snakes are known to be opportunistic feeders, so they can be fed as often as every five days in their juvenile stages. As adults, corn snakes should be fed every 7 to 10 days. It is important to provide the correct size prey for their size, as too large of prey can lead to regurgitation or even an intestinal blockage.


Corn snakes can go up to two months without food, and can survive for much longer periods without food with proper husbandry. It is important for owners to monitor their pet snake closely for signs of hunger or malnutrition and to feed them on a regular schedule. A healthy corn snake diet should include a variety of food sources, including live foods, frozen/thawed prey items, and a variety of vegetables. It is important to take into account the size, age, and health of the corn snake when creating a diet plan.

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