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Caring For Corn Snake Eggs And Hatchlings: A Step-by-Step Guide




Two corn snake eggs hatching, depicting the process of caring for corn snake eggs and hatchlings.

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Raising corn snakes from eggs can be a thrilling experience, but it also comes with its fair share of questions and challenges. Did you know maintaining the right temperature and humidity are crucial to successfully incubating corn snake eggs? This step-by-step guide will navigate everything from properly incubating the eggs to caring for your newly hatched reptiles.

Get ready to embark on an exciting journey into the world of breeding corn snakes!

Key Takeaways for corn snake egg laying

  • Maintaining the right temperature and humidity is crucial for successfully incubating corn snake eggs.
  • Proper substrate, such as vermiculite or perlite, helps maintain optimal humidity levels during incubation.
  • Gently rotating the eggs during incubation promotes healthy development and increases the chances of successful hatching.
  • Newborn corn snakes require a suitable enclosure with proper heating, hiding spots, and fresh water.

Incubating Corn Snake Eggs

Snake egg incubator showcasing controlled breeding environment for snake reproduction.

To successfully incubate corn snake eggs, you will need specific equipment and follow a careful incubation process.

Equipment Needed for Egg Incubation

Incubation is a crucial process in successfully breeding corn snakes. Here is a list of essential equipment for this stage:

  1. Incubator: The central piece of gear, providing the right temperature and humidity conditions for the eggs.
  2. Thermometer or Hygrometer: These tools allow you to accurately monitor and regulate ambient heat and moisture levels.
  3. Substrate: Vermiculite or perlite works well, creating an optimal egg environment.
  4. Containers: Plastic containers with small air holes can hold the eggs and substrate.
  5. Spray Bottle: To maintain ideal humidity levels inside the container, occasional misting may be necessary.
  6. Heat Source: A reliable heat source such as heat tape or a heating pad ensures constant temperature inside the incubator.
  7. Egg Tray or Rack: This secures the eggs, minimizing possible harm during incubation.

Top 3 Incubators

Below are the three best-selling incubators for hatching reptiles and snake eggs. Ensure you get the perfect hatch rate and maximize the results.

The Incubation Process What To Do To Make Eggs hatch

Incubating corn snake eggs involves several crucial steps. First, you need to identify if the eggs are fertile. This can be done through a method known as “candling,” where you shine a light through the egg to check for signs of development. If your corn snake egg is fertile, prepare an incubator set at 82-84 degrees Fahrenheit – maintaining this consistent temperature is vital throughout the incubation period.

Check The Temperature and Humidity

Maintaining accurate temperature and humidity levels is crucial in the incubation process of corn snake eggs. Set your incubator to a consistent temperature range of 82-84 degrees Fahrenheit.

Keep the humidity levels between 75-85% throughout the incubation period. Regularly monitor these conditions to remain steady, as fluctuations can negatively impact egg development.

Install a reliable thermometer and hygrometer inside your incubator for real-time monitoring and better managing these parameters.

Substrate within the incubator

Choose an appropriate substrate for the corn snake eggs. The substrate is the material that lines the bottom of the incubation container. It should retain moisture and provide a stable environment for the eggs.

A commonly used substrate for corn snake eggs is vermiculite mixed with water, creating a damp but not wet consistency. This allows proper humidity levels to be maintained during incubation.

Vermiculite provides insulation and helps prevent any damage to the developing embryos. Another option is using perlite, which also retains moisture well. Both substrates are readily available at pet stores and online retailers, making them convenient for incubating corn snake eggs.

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Do you need to turn the eggs?

Turning the eggs during incubation is not required for snakes or reptiles in general, so if you use a chick incubator, any turning mechanism should be removed to prevent the eggs from being turned.

Incubation Period, Hatching and Care of Hatchlings

Corn snake egg hatching with the snake's head emerging.

Once the eggs have been incubated, it’s time for your newborn corn snakes’ exciting hatching and care.

Hatching Process

The hatching process of corn snake eggs is an exciting time for reptile enthusiasts. Here are the key steps to follow:

  1. Incubation period: Corn snake eggs take about 60 to 70 days to hatch.
  2. Monitor temperature and humidity: Maintain an incubator set at 82-84 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels between 75-85%. This ensures optimal conditions for the eggs to develop.
  3. Keep eggs undisturbedAvoid touching or moving the eggs during incubation, as this can disrupt development.
  4. Watch for signs of hatching: As the eggs near the end of the incubation period, you may notice small slits or pips appearing on the surface of the eggshells.
  5. Allow natural hatching: Once pipping occurs, letting nature take its course and not interfere with the hatching process is crucial.
  6. Provide a safe environment: After they hatch, transfer newborn corn snakes to a secure enclosure with appropriate heat, humidity, substrate, and hiding places.
  7. Offer food and water: Feed hatchlings appropriately-sized pinky mice every five to seven days and provide shallow dishes of fresh water.
  8. Monitor health and behavior: Regularly check for signs of illness or stress in your hatchlings, such as loss of appetite or abnormal behavior.

Caring for Newborn Corn Snakes

Newborn corn snakes require special care to ensure their health and well-being. Here are some important steps to follow:

  • Provide a suitable enclosure: Set up a small enclosure with proper heating and hiding spots for the hatchlings.
  • Maintain temperature and humidity: Keep the temperature between 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit, with a humidity level of 50-60%.
  • Feed appropriately sized prey: Offer pinky mice or small feeder insects as food for the hatchlings. Ensure the prey is no larger than the width of the snake’s body.
  • Provide fresh water: Offer a shallow bowl of fresh water in the enclosure, kept clean and changed regularly.
  • Monitor shedding process: Newborn corn snakes will shed their skin frequently. Ensure they have a damp hide box to aid in shedding.


Corn snake hatchlings require frequent feedings to ensure proper growth and development. It is recommended to start with pinky mice, as they are small enough for the hatchlings to consume easily.

As the snakes grow, they gradually increase the size of their prey. Most corn snakes can be fed once every 5-7 days, but monitoring their body condition and adjusting feeding frequency accordingly is important.

Always offer pre-killed prey items and thawed frozen rodents for safety reasons. Clean water should be provided regularly in a shallow dish large enough for the hatchling to soak if desired.


Corn snake hatchlings require a fresh supply of water at all times. Providing clean water is essential for their health and well-being. Place a shallow water dish in the enclosure, allowing the hatchling easy access to drink and soak if desired.

Regularly check the water to ensure it’s clean and free from debris. It’s important to note that corn snakes do not need a large amount of water, so a small dish should suffice. Remember to monitor the humidity levels, as excessive moisture can lead to respiratory issues for the hatchling.

Heat and Humidity

Maintaining the right temperature and humidity levels is crucial for successfully incubating corn snake eggs. The eggs should be kept in an incubator at 82-84 degrees Fahrenheit.

Monitoring the temperature regularly is important to ensure consistency throughout the incubation period. In addition, humidity levels should be maintained between 75-85% to provide the ideal environment for egg development.

Proper heat and humidity will help facilitate healthy hatching and ensure the best chances for hatchling survival.

Caring for Adult Breeding Corn Snakes

Male and female corn snakes coiled together in a breeding position.

After your corn snakes have grown into adults, it’s important to continue providing them with the proper care and environment they need for a healthy life.

Checklist for Corn Snake Care

Taking care of a corn snake requires proper attention and care. Here is a checklist to ensure that you are providing the best care for your pet:

  1. Housing: Provide a suitable enclosure with enough space for the snake to move around comfortably. Ensure that it has secure lids and proper ventilation.
  2. Temperature: Maintain a temperature gradient in the enclosure with a warm side between 85-90°F and a cool side around 75-80°F. Use thermostats to regulate temperatures.
  3. Lighting: Provide a day-night cycle using appropriate lighting, such as reptile-specific bulbs or natural light.
  4. Substrate: Choose an appropriate substrate that allows for burrowing and is easy to clean, such as aspen shavings or reptile carpet.
  5. Feeding: Offer appropriately sized prey items, such as mice or rats, once every 1-2 weeks, depending on the size and age of your snake.
  6. Water: Always provide fresh water in a shallow dish large enough for the snake to soak in if desired.
  7. Handling: Handle your snake regularly but gently to help it adapt to human interaction and reduce stress.
  8. Health Care: Monitor your snake’s overall health, watch for signs of illness or injury, and seek veterinary care when necessary.

Habitat Setup

Creating the perfect habitat for your corn snake is essential for its health and well-being. Here’s what you’ll need for a proper habitat setup:

  1. Tank or enclosure: Choose a glass tank or plastic enclosure that provides enough space for your corn snake to move around comfortably. A 20-gallon tank is suitable for hatchlings, while adults require a larger tank.
  2. Substrate: Use a reptile-friendly substrate such as aspen shavings, cypress mulch, or paper towels. Avoid substrates that could be ingested and cause digestive issues.
  3. Hide boxes: Provide at least two hide boxes – one on the warm side of the tank and another on the cooler side. These hide boxes will give your snake a sense of security.
  4. Heat source: Install an under-tank heating pad or an overhead heat lamp to maintain the necessary temperature gradient in the habitat.
  5. Temperature and humidity gauges: Place thermometers and hygrometers in different tank areas to accurately monitor temperature and humidity levels.
  6. Lighting: Corn snakes do not require special lighting unless they have specific light-dependent needs, such as certain albino morphs. In most cases, ambient room lighting is sufficient.
  7. Water dish: Provide a shallow water dish large enough for your corn snake to soak in comfortably. Clean and refill it regularly to ensure clean drinking water is always available.
  8. Branches and hides: Add branches or climbing accessories to create an enriching environment for your corn snake to explore and climb on.

Feeding and Watering

Close-up of corn snake head swallowing a baby mouse, showcasing natural hunting behavior.

When it comes to feeding your hatchling corn snakes, it’s important to provide them with the right nutrition for their growth and development. These baby snakes typically start eating pinky mice or newborn mice, which can be purchased from pet stores or bred at home.

The prey size should match the width of the snake’s thickest part of its body. As they grow, you’ll need to increase their food size gradually. Ensure the prey is freshly killed and not too large for the snake to swallow comfortably.

It’s recommended to feed your hatchlings once every 5-7 days.

A shallow dish filled with fresh, clean water should always be available for drinking and soaking in their enclosure. Hatchling corn snakes may also enjoy misting or spraying water on their bodies during shedding periods as this helps soften their old skin and assist in the shedding process smoothly.

It is essential to check regularly if contaminants like substrate or feces are present in their drinking water and change it accordingly. Remember, maintaining good hygiene is crucial for your hatchlings’ health.

Health and Behavior

Corn snakes are generally healthy reptiles that require basic care to thrive. Providing them with a suitable enclosure, proper temperature and humidity levels, and a balanced diet is essential.

Regularly monitoring their health is crucial, as any changes in behavior or appearance may indicate an underlying issue. Corn snakes are known for being relatively docile; however, they should be handled gently and cautiously to avoid stressing them out.

Maintaining a clean and well-maintained habitat will help prevent any potential health problems. By providing proper care and attention to their health and behavior, corn snake owners can ensure the well-being of their beloved pets.

Handling and Interaction

A newly hatched corn snake emerging from its eggshell.

Handling and interacting with your corn snake is important to their care. It allows you to bond with your snake and helps them become accustomed to human presence. When handling your corn snake, it’s crucial to approach them calmly and confidently.

Gently support their body with both hands to avoid causing any stress or harm. Remember that snakes can be sensitive to sudden movements or loud noises, so create a quiet environment for handling.

Regular interaction will also help monitor the health and behavior of your snake, allowing you to detect any changes early on.

Corn snake egg care

Conclusion Caring For Corn Snake Eggs

In conclusion, caring for corn snake eggs and hatchlings requires attention to detail and proper environmental conditions. By following this step-by-step guide, novice snake owners can successfully incubate the eggs and provide optimal care for newborn corn snakes.

With patience and dedication, raising these fascinating reptiles can be a rewarding experience.

Check out this study by Wiley and Zoo Biology on the Artificial semination of corn snakes (Source)

FAQs What to do with the eggs when corn snakes lay

1. How do I care for corn snake eggs?

To care for corn snake eggs, you should provide a suitable incubation environment with consistent temperature and humidity levels, regularly check the eggs for any signs of distress or damage, and avoid handling them too frequently to prevent causing harm.

2. What temperature and humidity are ideal for incubating corn snake eggs?

The ideal temperature range for incubating corn snake eggs is between 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit (27-29 degrees Celsius), while the humidity level should be maintained at around 60-70%. Using an appropriate reptile egg incubator or creating a separate enclosure can help maintain these conditions.

3. How long does it take for corn snake eggs to hatch?

Corn snake eggs take approximately 55-65 days to hatch. However, the exact duration may vary depending on temperature and genetics. Regularly monitoring the progress of the eggs by candling them can give you a better idea of when they may hatch.

4. What should I feed newborn corn snakes after they hatch?

Newborn corn snakes typically feed on small pinky mice pre-killed or frozen-thawed. It is important to ensure that the mouse size matches the diameter of their thickest body section to prevent feeding difficulties or injury. Gradually increasing prey size as they grow will accommodate their changing dietary needs.

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