Hi
I have a son who is wishing to keep a corn snake. Son is 18 and looking for a hatchling which he will keep alone.
I just wondered if anyone here has any advice/tips in order to help him decide if this is truly what he wants before he buys his snake. Thanks in advance.

Hazel
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Hi I have a son who is wishing to keep a corn snake. Son is 18 and looking for a ... order to help him decide if this is truly what he wants before he buys his snake. Thanks in advance.

http://www.mcmartinville.com/reptiles/rph/rph faq.htm

You mean, if he truly wants a corn snake, or truly wants a snake in general, or truly wants a pet?

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Yes, the general idea is to get a pet to keep, not to find out it's not for him after the event. We already have 3 rabbits one who has free run of the house, so we are aware of the responsibility of pets, but have never kept a snake before and only have the info from the pet shop and a little reading on the net.
Perhaps I should also state we are in the UK and will be moving home in the next couple of months although only a few miles away.

Hazel
hi.we have several snakes, and our first was an Okeetee corn snake. i don't know what country you're in, i'm in Canada, but the best thing to do is go to a pet store, and purchase a book on corn snakes. we have 2 diff one's by the same author, RD and Patricia Bartlett, put out by Barrons. first is just corn snakes, other is corn and other rat snakes. either one will tell you the areaeach kind resides, their natural habitats, how/where to buy, house, feed, and care for your snake.

they even go into different diseases, parisites, etc, you need to watch for and how to deal with them if needed. both books are illistrated and contain exellent color pics. but, be careful...having snakes as pets is addictive...i know!! we ave MANY pets, cats, dogs, guinea pigs, rats, mice, gerbil, birds, toads and frogs, fish, and of course, my babies, boas, pythons, and corn snakes. good thing wife is a vet aid, and works at a pet store...which she calls her "fun job", as she is also a psw and takes care of people with handicaps, or illnesses that require in home support.

so, we get discounts for pet supplies, and supply babies to the pet store.
tell your son he won't regret having a snake as a pet, mine lay with me and watch tv...as i'm on disability i spend lots of time with them. hope this helps, cheers. larry
Thanks Larry, my son Alan has spoken to some people who have snakes and has handled their corn snake- he is hooked and is going on Thursday to collect all the equipment, vavarium, heatpad, lights, wooden branches and a rope to climb? along with the baby corn snake. Incidentally Alan is a homecarer for the elderly giving in home support to elderly people and their partners/families so that they can remain in their own homes. We are in the UK.

Hazel
http://community.webshots.com/user/hmpayn
Thanks Larry, my son Alan has spoken to some people who have snakes and has handled their corn snake- he ... all the equipment, vavarium, heatpad, lights, wooden branches and a rope to climb? along with the baby corn snake. I

Whoa. If at all possible, get the vivarium set up correctly, with a proper thermal gradient, etc, before you bring home the snake. It can take several hours and quite a bit of fiddling about before you can be sure that the environment is stable. In particular, the temperature of the vivarium can vary a great deal depending upon the type of heating as it interacts with the type of substrate you are using which all interacts with the ambient temperature shifts in your home. You may even end up buying different equipment.
It is a lot easier to do all this without a tiny little snake waiting on you to sort it out.
When I got my first snake, I researched it for weeks, looking at all the best options, etc, etc. I brought everything home, and promptly discovered that had I followed all the careful advice and homework, I would have cooked the little guy.
nj"good luck"m

"...but like everyone who uses anecdotes as
proof, I had to customize it to my particular theory."
hi Hazel. the best advice i, or anyone who raises snakes, can give you is, "simplicity". however, keeping the enclosure simple doesn't mean totally sacrificing appeal. ie, newspaper is a preferred substrate for those who have many snakes and/or breeders, or for large snakes, but it isn't too nice looking. i use indoor/outdoor carpet. i keep clean pieces on hand so when i clean cages, i put clean one in and wash/dry the soiled ones. i also have hide shelters at each end of cage, i'm speaking of smaller snakes in particular, a water bowl, a piece of wood for climbing, a rock or two and plastic plant for decoration.

because cleanliness is critical for good health, the last thing you want is taking pleasure out of having your pet by spending a lot of time cleaning. having said that, with only one or two snakes cleaning time isn't a real big chore, and i have friends in Europe who have elaborate enclosures including live plants, small waterfalls or fountains, two or three diffeerent substrates, and lots of other decorations. these enclosures are nothing less than a work of art.

however, when building the enclosure, remember there may be times you'll have to clean it two or three times a week. specifically as soon as it deficates and when it sheds.
the other priceless piece of advice i got was, "you can never know too much, and if you have any questions, get answers quickly". it could mean life or death to your precious pet.!!
happy snakin'. larry
hi Hazel. the best advice i, or anyone who raises snakes, can give you is, "simplicity". however, keeping the enclosure ... you have any questions, get answers quickly". it could mean life or death to your precious pet.!! happy snakin'. larry[/nq]I agree with Larry, Jill and Chris. One of the best first snakes is a corn snake, and I know that they are available in the UK as pets. Do research on substrates, the tank size, a 20 gallon long tank would be the best starter, but in a few years, your son would want to move the corn snake up to a larger tank. Also bear in mind, most snakes live about 20 years. Is he willing to keep a commitment that long for the snake? Is it easy to find food (frozen mice, including pinkies at first) where you live and where you will be moving to? Some people find that although they can find adult mice, including frozen thawed, they are not able to find the baby mice that hatchling snakes need to eat until they grow into the larger size mice.

They don't eat crickets or goldfish, as my step-son's mom wanted his first cornsnake to do. (I kept that cornsnake with his dad and I for the first 4 years until he was old enough to take it and feed it himself without her needing to be home.)
Another book you may want to look for is The Cornsnake Manual by Kathy Love. She is one of the premire breeders in the US and has been working with cornsnakes for over 20 years. I have met her husband and her before, and they are very nice, knowledgable people.

Also, as was mentioned before, snakes are addictive. Having animals that only eat once every week or two, then only deficate once every week or two makes for an easy to care for pet. Having more than one is as easy as just one. Our family started out with just one, then before we knew it, we were up to 12. Now it's the 12 snakes, three lizards, 5 dart frogs and 2 pet rats (Not feeders) All of our snakes get frozen/ thawed rodents, as it is easier to store them, easier to feed, and you don't have to worry about their dinner biting back.

Cheers!
Kat
Our Pets: http://s27.photobucket.com/albums/c198/katsnake/Pets /
Thank you to all who responded to my questions.
My son has had a long chat with the owner of the pet store, who keeps snakes himself and also with other owners. He had handled some snakes and read up on the care and environment needs of his new companion.He is fully aware of the length of commitment he is undertaking. He will collect the vivarium and all the bits and bobs later today when he finishes work and get that all sorted out and following the advice you have given will then collect the little guy either later on or even tomorrow.
I will try to check back in and let you know how the two of them get on.

Hazel
http://community.webshots.com/user/hmpayn
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