Perhaps the most vetted serpent breeds to become pets are corn snakes. Breeders take great care in breeding corn snakes because they’re both high in demand and profitable.
Breeders spend a lot of money on making sure they have the right equipment to breed corn snakes.
When I first started breeding corn snakes, I was a little overwhelmed because there were so many steps to what seemed like a simple breeding process.
Other types of snakes that I bred did not require as much time and energy as the corn snake. But, everything’s worth it in the end.
How to Breed Corn Snakes?
To breed corn snakes, you’ll need to prepare a breeding enclosure first while having them examined before the brumation phase. Let them hibernate, and, after 8 weeks, wake them up by warming the enclosure. Allow them to shed before placing the snakes in the breeding enclosure. After which, wait for the female to lay eggs and for the hatchlings to come out.
Things to Consider Before You Start Breeding Corn Snakes
Do you have the time to fill water bowls, clean enclosures, monitor the corn snakes, eggs, then eventually the hatchlings every single day?
Are you willing to invest the money in the equipment necessary to care for and breed the corn snakes and then provide food for the corn snakes and the hatchlings?
Plus, you will have at least one veterinarian’s bill, one for the initial exams for the two breeding snakes.
Hopefully, the breeding process will go well and both snakes and the hatchlings will be healthy, so there will not be any future vet bills.
Don’t misunderstand breeding corn snakes is wonderful and well worth the time and effort. It’s just I want you to prepare yourselves before even getting started.
When I started breeding them, I was not as prepared as I should have been, which is the reason why I was overwhelmed.
Let’s get started and look at the steps for breeding corn snakes.
Before brumation begins, you need to stop providing the snakes with food about three weeks prior so their systems can empty out completely. If their systems are not empty, they could die during brumation.
You should cool the corn snakes in the winter. You can start the process between the first of December through mid-February.
Breeding is more successful if the snakes go through brumation. The corn snakes can be left in the same enclosure or put in separate ones.
Make sure you put a water bowl(s) in the enclosure(s) and provide fresh water through this process. The snakes will still drink water occasionally, otherwise, they will become dehydrated.
Place the enclosure in a dark, cool place. Sunlight and warmth of 60 degrees Fahrenheit will draw the snakes out of brumation. The brumation period should last about eight weeks.
Warming & Waking
At the beginning of March (or eight weeks), after brumation, start to warm up the enclosers. When the corn snakes are warm, they will wake up.
This process can takes hours to days, depending on how quick you are in warming them.
When the corn snakes are awake, start feeding them two to three times weekly so they can regain their strength. Observe them and ensure they’re looking healthy.
Their initial exam will have been done before brumation.
The female corn snake takes longer to shed her skin than the male. After the female has shed, then breeding is imminent.
When she has ovulated she will look like she ate a large meal and the area will be soft to the touch.
If your male and female corn snakes have never met, now is the time to do it. Put them together in the enclosure – if you have an enclosure that will be used specifically for breeding, then introduce them into that one.
After they have bred once in an enclosure, they will associate that enclosure with breeding and, in the future, it may make the process easier and quicker.
Make sure the enclosure is humid when you place the snakes in it. The male will be better able to detect the female snake’s pheromones.
Some people repeat this process a few times to ensure it was successful.
How many times you place your snakes in the breeding enclosure is up to you, but generally, four times is enough. The female snake may begin to get aggravated and become aggressive toward the male.
Hurry Up and Wait
For myself personally, this is the hardest part – the waiting. Continue to care for your snakes as you normally would.
During this time, if you do not have an enclosure set up and prepared for the eggs, do so now.
You will need a semi-large container put in a substrate or nesting box, a water bowl for the female, a thermometer, and your heating source.
If you’re using a heating pad, be sure to cover it if you don’t want the eggs lying directly on the heat. Keep in the 80-degree Fahrenheit mark the temperature and the humidity at 80%.
After the female lays the eggs, remove them from her enclosure and place them in your makeshift incubator so they can grow. This process takes about eight weeks.
A female will have a clutch of 12 to 34 eggs, sometimes even more.
Make sure it is nice and toasty, warm, water bowls and substrates. Anything that will help keep the hatchings warm and healthy.
It’s very important that you can see inside their enclosure so you can keep a close eye on them and detect any problems quickly if they should arise.
Corn snake hatchlings are timid and prefer small living in tight quarters. It helps them feel safe and secure.
Baby Corn Snake Home
After you move your baby corn snakes to their new enclosures, you can start trying to feed them small amounts of food. Don’t be alarmed if they do not eat right away.
Many babies do not eat until after their first skin shedding, which is at about one to two weeks of age. A baby corn snake is about 8 to 12 inches long, so adjust their enclosure to their size.
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Breed Corn Snakes
At what age can a baby corn snake be sold?
Corn snakes are precocial snakes, meaning that as soon as they are laid, the mother’s job is done and the eggs are abandoned. The babies are left to fend for themselves in the wild or for the breeder to take care of until they are sold.
Can corn snakes lay eggs without breeding?
On occasion, a female corn snake will lay a small clutch of unfertilized eggs called slugs. They will not hatch.
If you’re looking for the best snakes to become your pet, corn snakes are your best bet. They are docile and do not require a lot of extra work beyond feeding, watering, and cleaning their enclosure.
They do require an enclosure with a lock as they like to escape, and they are good at it!