For your convenience, here is a list of corn snake supplies you can check off, with everything you will need to care for your new corn snake. Keep in mind that everything should be purchased and set up BEFORE you get the snake. This will save you a lot of stress, and does your new pet a big favor, too.
This list is for an average-sized adult corn snake, including links to the products we personally recommend for your new pet. In other words, we did the shopping for you. 😉
- 36″x24″x12″ terrarium
- Under-Tank Heater (x2)
- Large ceramic water bowl
- Temperature gun
- Digital thermometer/hydrometer
- Digital kitchen scale
- 2+ hides or caves
- Climbing branches
- Additional decorations: artificial plants, cork logs, rocks, etc.
- Appropriately-sized frozen mice or Reptilinks
Buying a Corn Snake
A “normal” corn snake can typically be purchased for around $25 in the US. Morphs tend to be more expensive from that point.
When buying a corn snake, it’s always best to purchase from a breeder than from a pet store, as you’re more likely to get a healthy animal from the former. Better yet, adopt a corn snake from a rescue or your local classifieds — corn snakes are severely overbred, so buying a “used” reptile can help reduce demand and discourage unnecessary breeding.
Don’t commit to buying the snake before you’ve had a chance to see and handle it. As it’s in your hands, look for:
- Missing scales
- Retained shed (tip of tail and eye caps)
- Mites (tiny black dots, lifted scales)
- Clear mouth and nostrils (bubbles/blockage may indicate RI)
- Breathing (wheezing or clicking?)
- Muscle tone (should feel strong and muscular, if you hold it halfway down body and let hang, should be strong enough to lift head and climb back onto hand)
- Weight/shape (should not be able to see spine (too skinny) or have fat “hips” (sign of obesity)
- Vent (old poo? Mites? Swelling?)
- Spine, visual and tactile check (looking for kinks/deformities)
Also get as much information from the breeder/previous owner as possible:
- Morph, known het traits
- Hatch date
- Feeding habits (live vs frozen thawed, prey size, mice vs rats, etc.)
- Last feed
- Previous health issues
- Previous sheds/shed issues
- Last shed date
If you decide to buy the animal, ask the seller not to feed it prior to pick-up. This will prevent any possible regurgitation from relocation stress.