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Old 02-23-18, 11:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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my new snakes!

Hey all, im new here. I recently purchased a couple awesome corn snakes and i had a few general questions i would like some opinions on. To start, they are a male and a female, both about 2 years old, and have been housed together for their whole life i am told. They live well together and cuddle andi think its adorable! That brings me to my first question. The male snake is much bigger than the other and i worry he might be squishing the female when they are both in their hide together. Something to worry about there? Also what is their general day to day activity like normally? They definitely move from place to place every now and again, but for the most part they are just sleeping in their hides, either separately or together. Temp and humidity are both fine. If anything humidity could be a little higher but im working on it. They dont seem to like the heat lamp either but i dont really know how to tell what they do or dont like. I wanna make sure they arent bummed or stressed or something. I feel bad because i want to try and handle them at least once a day or once every other day once they get used to me, but i dont want to have to pull them out of their hides to do so when they look so cumfy! Sorry for lengthy post, all responses are much appreciated!!
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Old 02-24-18, 11:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: my new snakes!

I'm no expert with corn snakes but I've kept snakes for over 20 years and I'm sure the first thing most people will tell you is that they should be kept in separate enclosures. With 2 snakes in one enclosure you will always have one that becomes dominant and that will likely stress the other one out. If your temps are on point then they should move between the warm and cool areas as they need. As for handling them, most snakes will spend a good chunk of their days hiding or perching depending on the type you keep. I currently keep a dumerils boa and 2 carpets and if I want to hold them I usually have to "disturb" them as it is not too often that they are out cruising when I go to handle them. Purchasing another enclosure may not be what you had planned, but it will benefit your new pets in the long run. Once you have posted 5 times throw up some pics of them. Everybody loves pics!
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Old 02-24-18, 11:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: my new snakes!

As long as they are similar in size it shouldn't be an issue... but, male + female, you know what that means, I hope. And are they brother and sister, or they have different parents, another thing to consider.
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Old 02-24-18, 01:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: my new snakes!

Cohabitating is never a good idea. Certain species do ok with it, but most snakes are solitary animals and should be housed individually, corns included.
Cohabbing can be done with some species, but requires huge enclosures and experienced keepers.

My two cents: separate them asap.

Pros:
- only needing to have/maintain/heat one enclosure. So, only benefits the keeper, NOT the snakes.

Cons:

- they can become cannibalistic and eat each other. More common in Kings, but happens with almost all colubrids as well as other species

- they can fight over food
- they can fight over hides, etc...
- your snakes are NOT cuddling, they are fighting for the better place to hide, etc... it might LOOK cute, but it is NOT and is adding unnecessary stress to the snakes.
- the snakes can (and eventually will) mate if opposite sex. Are you prepared for up to 30 eggs???

Honestly, the only positive to keeping them together only benefits the keeper while the snakes fail to thrive and are always stressed.
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Old 02-24-18, 02:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: my new snakes!

I agree with Craig. I'd separate the snakes too.
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Old 02-26-18, 03:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: my new snakes!

Thanks for the help everyone, i guess i need to invest in a new tank then
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Old 02-28-18, 06:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: my new snakes!

Corns have no issues to be housed together given

- Enough space and a properly setup enclosure (ie- not a bucket with aspen, a hide, and a single lamp... they need more options)
- Adequate food
- Adequate procedures around feeding (separation)
- Non juveniles, similar size animals

Can you please point me to a single case of an adult corn eating another adult corn when kept well (not starved?). Heck I can't even find one case.. just hatchlings.

Otherwise you could also say you can't have 2 cats at home, because one may eat the other, and actually will when not fed, being carnivore and all.

Just in this particular case, male and female, and likely related, it's not a good idea. They will breed (inbreed, perhaps) and you have to be ready for that. And anyway, they are likely not adult yet and the size difference can be a concern. If you want cohab corns, 2 adult females with a non defensive disposition will give you little to no concern. Generally you shouldn't put 2 males together, sometimes males can harass the female and when cohabing you need to add 2 females to a single male, or the male simply cannot be kept with the female (happens, guy constantly wants something :P).

It's a little tiresome that the same information is always just spit out without question, yes there are snakes you shouldn't cohab, yes there are risks with cohab that you have to be aware off (it can always go wrong no matter your experience), yes it takes extra preparation in housing and experience/knowledge on the species behavior. But it doesn't mean you cannot keep ANY colubrid together. There are even many species that have social behavior that you will never get to see when not cohabing them. F.e. psammophis sp. that will rub each other with special scent glands under their eyes. You'll even see communal behavior with cohabing which is believed a form of security... basking together, moving around together... even when other options are there, and there's plenty of space, the snakes will still do things together and often found using the same hides. This is not 'competing'. If you force animals to have to compete for basking space with sufficient temperature or for use of a hide because it only fits 1 snake, then your setup is a problem, not the extra snake.

Last edited by TRD; 02-28-18 at 07:04 PM..
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Old 03-01-18, 07:32 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: my new snakes!

I'm not saying it can't be done. I'm just not a fan of cohabiting most snake species for exactly the reasons already stated. They will compete for space, heat, and food. There's going to be an alpha and a beta which causes unnecessary stress to both critters. In the case of a m/f pairing there's also the liklihood of them breeding. And there is the remote chance that one might kill the other. It's not worth the risk to me but to each their own. I'd just invest in another enclosure and everybody's happy.
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Old 03-01-18, 08:34 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: my new snakes!

The possibility of them breeding is reason enough to not house them together. The risk has nothing to do with inbreeding, and using cats as a comparison is ridiculous. Otherwise, some good information in here.
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