Holli Friedland: I am Holli Friedland, Program Director of the Mid-Atlantic Reptile Show and this is how to care for a Corn Snake and we are going to show you how to feed your corn snake. First of all, you should pick a prey item that is the appropriate size for your snake and corn snakes eat rodents, that's their natural diet and you just have to live with that that's what they are going to eat. It's best to use frozen thawed prey items for your snake. It's better for their health and it avoids problems where the food can bite the snake.
With a baby snake, the food is not going to hurt the snake but as a snake gets bigger and the food items get bigger, the mouse could actually injury the snake. Some reptiles, you need to supplement their diet with vitamins and calcium powder. With corn snakes you don't have to do that because a rodent is a whole food and in that rodent they are getting calcium from the bones, they are getting the blood and the organs, so they are getting all the vitamins and all the nutrients that they need. You can get mice online through various companies that sell them or you can buy them at your local pet stores and many of them do carry frozen and some also have live.
When you feed your mouse you should never put your fingers in the tank because that's a good way to get bitten. You should always use tongs or long tweezers or something so that the snake is not going to hurt and you dangle the food in front of them and once they are attracted by the movement and the scent, they will start to eat the animal and they will stretch out their jaws so that they can fit the whole animal in one bite and it takes a few minutes usually for them to eat it down.
Normally, you should hold the mouse by its back end because the snake likes to eat it head first and that's important especially as the food items get bigger because if they eat the food back end first, the arms stick out and it's a lot more difficult for them to swallow and sometimes they will even spit it out and start over with the head. Once they swallow the prey they will start to move their body to move the food once it's inside, down into their stomach and they do that by turning from side to side.
Next, we are going to talk about troubleshooting your corn snake problems.