If you’re planning to get a snake as a pet, one of your most viable choices is the corn snake; but how long do corn snakes live?
You should know the natural lifespan of your pets. Not only does this help you to set your expectations right, but you will also realize if your snake is just old enough to die or if it died unnaturally.
In this article, we’ll look at how long corn snakes live in captivity, compare it to how long they live in the wild, and give recommendations on helping your snake live longer and healthier.
How Long Do Corn Snakes Live In The Wild?
Corn snakes don’t usually live very long in the wild; at least not as long as they would in captivity.
On average, a corn snake in the wild will have a lifespan of six to eight years. When you compare that to the 15 years’ average life expectancy when they’re in captivity, you’ll see that’s a pretty significant difference.
There are many reasons why corn snakes don’t live long in the wild. Some of the more obvious reasons include the following.
The quality and quantity of food that a snake can get in the wild is worse than what you feed your average snake in captivity.
They simply won’t get as much food as they want, and they also need food to grow and thrive.
Remember that they have to hunt for their food, leaving them at predators’ risk.
In the wild, the snake isn’t the only animal hunting for food in the forests. There are larger and hungrier animals that see corn snakes as prey.
However, no predator will come hunting your snake unless you enjoy eating snake meat (some people do).
Being in captivity keep snakes safe from the hostile predators in the jungle.
What happens when your snake gets sick?
Simple. You invite a veterinary doctor to examine the snake, have the doctor diagnose the disease, and complete the treatment.
This is simply not the case with wild snakes, for obvious reasons; there is no veterinary doctor in the forests too. A mild illness for a home snake could end up killing a wild snake, cutting its lifespan short.
How Long Do Corn Snakes Live In Captivity?
Pet snakes almost always live in captivity. While they’ll be denied their freedom of movement to an extent, their average life expectancy shoots up by a large margin.
An average pet corn snake will live for at least ten years in captivity. The average age for corn snakes in captivity is 15, while some pet corn snakes will be alive for around 20 years.
Comparing this to the six to eight years life expectancy for forest corn snakes, you’ll notice that pet snakes live much longer. But why is this the case?
The answer is simple; they get better living conditions than wild corn snakes.
How to Make Corn Snakes Live Longer
Pet corn snakes just don’t live longer by chance. There are many reasons why pet corn snakes live longer than their wild counterparts.
Here are some of the reasons why they live longer and how you can replicate it for your snake to make it live much longer too.
What you feed your snakes have a huge impact on their lifespan. Most snakes in the wild eat whatever they find, including insects, and that’s not very healthy for the snakes.
For most corn snakes, a mouse is a perfect food, and they’re better served dead. You can feed rats to some huge corn snakes, but yours probably won’t need more than a mouse.
Snakes drink too, but not alcohol, lol. Snakes will need water, so you should keep them readily available at all times. They might defecate in the water sometimes, so you should keep an eye and change the water once that happens.
Overfeeding your snake isn’t a good thing either; corn snakes only need food every 8 to 14 days.
- Health care
Understandably, there is almost no pet that needs more health attention than your corn snake. These snakes should be in the wild, and you’re trying to confine them to a cage in your tiny home.
Snakes are open to many infections, so you should have a vet check your corn snake regularly.
Also, you should verify if you’re keeping your corn snake in the right conditions as it’s easy to get it wrong. Seek the help of an expert to learn if your snake is living comfortably or just trying to survive.
- Living conditions
If your corn snake is living above or below the needed temperatures and humidity, it could significantly impact its lifespan.
You need to keep the average temperature of your snake’s enclosure around 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, and to room temperature at night.
You also have to stick to a specific humidity requirement for your snake to live comfortably. If you drop the humidity below normal, you’ll have an unhealthy snake. If you raise it above normal, your snake will keep shedding.
Ensure that you keep the humidity around 50% at all times; spoiler, your room’s humidity is nowhere near this.
Corn snakes live longer than most pets, but when they’re in captivity. Captive corn snakes can live for up to 20 years, compared to around 8 for snakes in the wild.
There are factors responsible for the huge life expectancy gap, and you can utilize these factors to help your corn snake live longer.