Holli Friedland: I am Holli Friedland, Program Director of the Mid-Atlantic Reptile Show and this is how to take care of a Corn Snake. Now we are going to talk about how to handle your Corn Snake. The first 30 seconds that you reach in to a tank are the most dangerous to in dealing with snakes. Obviously, this tank is inappropriate for this size snake but we are using it just for demonstration purposes. When you reach in, you can use a hook to pick up your snake and you will just put the hook in a loop of the snake and then pick up another spot on it to support it. That's a safe way to pick him up and usually, once you get them out of the cage they realize that they are not going to get something to eat, so they are not going to try to strike at you.
Snakes key in on two things - movement and scent. So when you reach in to the tank they see your hand moving and their first instinct is to think about food. Another way that you can grab your snake is to flat hand it and that is to put your hand flat so that snake's mouth doesn't have anything to bite and then you can just reach in and grab another part of the snake and pick him up. For the most part, corn snakes are really docile snakes and handling them is not a problem.
There are certain times that you should not handle your snake. One is after it has eaten because you may cause it to regurgitate its meal. Another time is when it's opaque and that's when its getting ready to shed and the eyes will turn kind of bluish in color and the pattern will be all faded and you don't want to handle them then because they don't see very well at that time. You also don't want to handle them if you have handled their food like a mouse or something because they will smell the mouse on you and you can get bit in that way.
Next, we are going to talk about feeding your corn snake.