Do Corn Snakes Brumate?

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Just like many other animals corn snakes will brumate (enter into a state of dormancy) during the winter months. This is a survival mechanism that allows them to conserve energy and survive when food is scarce.

Corn snakes typically begin to brumate in late October/early November and will remain in this state until March/April. During this time they will not eat drink or defecate. Their metabolism slows down and they will often spend most of their time curled up in a ball hidden away from the cold.

What Is Brumation?

Brumation is a period of inactivity that reptiles undergo during the cooler months. Think of it as a reptilian version of hibernation. During brumation snakes will slow down their metabolism heart rate and respiration. They may spend most of their time hidden away in a burrow or other safe space.

Why Do Corn Snakes Brumate?

There are a few reasons why corn snakes may brumate. In the wild corn snakes use brumation as a way to survive the winter months when food is scarce and temperatures are too low for them to be active.

Brumation can also help corn snakes shed their skin. The cooler drier conditions during brumation can prompt a shed which can sometimes be difficult for captive corn snakes to achieve on their own.

Finally brumation may help corn snakes reset their internal clocks. In the wild corn snakes are active during the day in the warmer months and nocturnal in the cooler months. Some captive corn snakes may brumate in an effort to adjust their activity level to match their natural habitat.

When Do Corn Snakes Brumate?

In the wild corn snakes will typically begin brumating in late October or early November and emerge in late February or early March. Captive corn snakes may begin brumating earlier or later depending on the temperature and conditions in their enclosure.

How Can I Tell If My Corn Snake Is Brumating?

There are a few signs that may indicate your corn snake is entering a period of brumation.

First you may notice that your corn snake is spending more time hiding and less time out in the open. They may also become less active and you may notice a decrease in their appetite.

Asbrumation progresses you may also notice that your corn snake’s skin becomes duller and their eyes may become sunken. They may also shed their skin more frequently.

What Do I Need To Do If My Corn Snake Is Brumating?

If you think your corn snake is entering a period of brumation there are a few things you can do to make sure they remain healthy and safe.

First check their enclosure to make sure it is clean and free of any potential hazards. Snakes can be more vulnerable to injury during brumation so it’s important to make sure their enclosure is safe.

Next check the temperature and humidity levels in their enclosure. Make sure the temperature is between 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity is between 30-50%.

Finally make sure your corn snake has access to clean water. They may not drink much during brumation but they will still need water to stay hydrated.

What If I Don’t Want My Corn Snake To Brumate?

If you don’t want your corn snake to enter a period of brumation there are a few things you can do to prevent it.

First make sure their enclosure is warm enough. The ideal temperature for corn snakes is between 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature in their enclosure is too low they may be more likely to enter brumation.

Second make sure the humidity levels in their enclosure are high enough. The ideal humidity level for corn snakes is between 50-60%. If the humidity in their enclosure is too low they may be more likely to enter brumation.

Finally make sure your corn snake is getting enough food. A corn snake that is well-fed is less likely to enter brumation.

Do Corn Snakes Need To Brumate?

There is no one answer to this question. Some corn snakes will enter a period of brumation even if they are well-fed and their enclosure is warm and humid. Other corn snakes may never enter brumation even if their enclosure is cool and dry.

If you are concerned about your corn snake’s health it is always best to consult with a reptile veterinarian. They can help you determine if your corn snake needs to enter a period of brumation and can provide you with guidance on how to care for them during this time.