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Old 05-31-19, 02:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What snake between these two do you guys recommend?

Hello everyone! So I am setting up a 40 breeder and after research I have decided to get a corn or king snake. I am learning toward a king snake but what is your advice? Are both these snakes good beginner reptiles?
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Old 06-01-19, 09:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: What snake between these two do you guys recommend?

Both are good but I would recommend a corn snake. On average, corns are easier to handle both from the beginning and in the long run. They are usually just more laid back snakes than kingsnakes. Also, though both seem equally good eaters, kings can have a more, um, dramatic feeding response. I have to be careful that my king doesn't launch himself out of his enclosure at feeding time. He's really over the top with it.

The above are my observations from owning a kingsnake and a rat snake, working with my sister's cornsnakes, hearing stories from acquaintances and doing a fair bit of reading. However, I am still a novice with reptiles. My view of kingsnakes has been colored by my own "touch me not" kingsnake. I still love him but also really wish I could have gotten a cornsnake instead. (That is illegal in my state.) Still, as long as you don't want to do much handling of your snake, my guy would be a good first snake and he is apparently an outlier among kingsnakes. Most are not as anxious as mine.

I can't help but mention another type of snake to consider. Russian rat snakes are fantastic beginner snakes, even better than cornsnakes. The only disadvantages I can think of is the somewhat limited availability and size of the adult enclosure needed. They are very active snakes. You will see them out and about a lot, even when they are babies. Everything about mine has been easy and from my research, he is typical. As always though, YMMV.

Good luck with your decision making. I've not regretted getting my snakes, even my crazy king.
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Old 06-01-19, 10:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: What snake between these two do you guys recommend?

My vote would be a King 100 times out of 100. I've kept both in the past, but absolutely LOVE Kings and no longer keep corns. Honestly, corns bore me.

Kings definitely have a voracious appetite and an intense food response, but out of the probably 500+ times feeding a King I've never been bitten or had any feeding related incidents. Just get yourself some decent length feeding tongs.

I've also been bitten about as many times by corns as I have Kings, and probably have 100 times more hands on interaction with Kings than corns. My point being, I've spent a TON more time with Kings, but have probably been tagged the same number of times by both. You do the math. Kings are often nippy when young, but I've never experienced a King that wasn't easily handleable once they gain some size, confidence and trust with with their keeper.

Both are very easy and forgiving as far as husbandry goes. Very basic and easy for beginners.

In my opinion, Kings are much more fun, look better (depending on morph) and are practically bullet proof as far as ease of keeping.
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Old 06-01-19, 07:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: What snake between these two do you guys recommend?

Kings are fun to own, they get way more girth than a corn for sure. Both have similar personalities, more flighty to handle, more curious, and more out and about in they’re enclosure. I do want to say, Kings musk, so be prepared for that. It’s not that bad but yeah that’s the one negative to them I’d say. Also are you getting a young snake or old? Because a 40 breeder is going to be too big for a baby or juvenile snake. But yeah they are both awesome snakes, good eaters, and super forgiving as far as husbandry!
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Old 06-01-19, 07:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: What snake between these two do you guys recommend?

Also, getting bit by either is nothing, like sandpaper touching your hand. I never get bit by my adult corn or my adult kings, but bitten by both when they were young. Literally felt nothing except saw some blood. So temperament wise they’re the same to me. Great beginner snakes. Go for whoever looks the coolest to you.
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Old 06-01-19, 07:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: What snake between these two do you guys recommend?

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Kings are fun to own, they get way more girth than a corn for sure. Both have similar personalities, more flighty to handle, more curious, and more out and about in they’re enclosure. I do want to say, Kings musk, so be prepared for that. It’s not that bad but yeah that’s the one negative to them I’d say. Also are you getting a young snake or old? Because a 40 breeder is going to be too big for a baby or juvenile snake. But yeah they are both awesome snakes, good eaters, and super forgiving as far as husbandry!
Ok so I guess that may be my problem is the size of the tank. I pretty much HAVE to start off with a baby because my parents don’t want me to start off with a big one and I do get a little nervous handling larger snakes but if I got it as a baby I would just get used to it’s size and handling it as it grows. I also just want to observe it grow! I know baby snakes get nervous in a large enclosure, so what would be the recommendation here? Get a plastic tub with breathing holes and a heat pad on the bottom?
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Old 06-02-19, 07:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: What snake between these two do you guys recommend?

Your first step should probably be to check to make sure that neither of these snakes are native to your state and then check to see if you can legally keep them if they are. Just a thought...
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Old 06-02-19, 08:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: What snake between these two do you guys recommend?

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Your first step should probably be to check to make sure that neither of these snakes are native to your state and then check to see if you can legally keep them if they are. Just a thought...
Very good point
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Old 06-02-19, 10:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: What snake between these two do you guys recommend?

I've never kept Corns but Kings are awesome snakes. They have really cool morphs, they're pretty esy to care for, and they're great eaters. I started my hatchlings in 40g tanks and had no issues. Just make sure they have plenty of hides and floor covering.
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Old 06-02-19, 11:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: What snake between these two do you guys recommend?

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Your first step should probably be to check to make sure that neither of these snakes are native to your state and then check to see if you can legally keep them if they are. Just a thought...
Yeah they are definitely legal, pretty much every animal store around me sells them.
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Old 06-04-19, 10:05 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: What snake between these two do you guys recommend?

Corns. Kings are prone to biting and chewing randomly during handling, mistaking fingers for food. Others would share experiences stating the opposite, but that's mine, and recently that has been proven by concerns of other members that have been posted. They are also much more prone to musking, but this is normally something they grow out of.
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Old 06-04-19, 08:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: What snake between these two do you guys recommend?

Hey! I would start with a smaller enclosure so the snake feels secure. I have my adult king in a 50 gallon enclosure. My baby king is in a 10. He’s 6 months. But the user above did it with no issue, Kings are very hardy animals and very confident. If the king is in a room with no noise and “action” he should be ok. Provide a lot of hides, so it can feel secure and tight. Both my kings and my corn like to be in their multiple hides. But they are awesome you won’t regret either, they are definitely the most active of my snakes and the most I see out cruising about. Great beginner snakes, you are really going to enjoy it.
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Old 06-04-19, 09:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: What snake between these two do you guys recommend?

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Hey! I would start with a smaller enclosure so the snake feels secure. I have my adult king in a 50 gallon enclosure. My baby king is in a 10. He’s 6 months. But the user above did it with no issue, Kings are very hardy animals and very confident. If the king is in a room with no noise and “action” he should be ok. Provide a lot of hides, so it can feel secure and tight. Both my kings and my corn like to be in their multiple hides. But they are awesome you won’t regret either, they are definitely the most active of my snakes and the most I see out cruising about. Great beginner snakes, you are really going to enjoy it.
Ok I think I may take the risk of putting a baby in the 40. As for hides, what do you use? Coconut husks for sale on Amazon or something else? As for how many hides, would something like 3-5 work or is that too much or too little?
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Old 06-04-19, 09:59 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: What snake between these two do you guys recommend?

I don't know why everyone thinks baby snakes need to be in small enclosures to feel secure. Hundreds of baby snakes hatch in the big, wild, world every day and do just fine with no enclosure of any size. Now, keeping a baby snake that needs ridiculously high humidity (like a BRB) in a small enclosure or even a plastic shoebox is a different matter because it's far easier to maintain high humidity in a small space.
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Old 06-04-19, 11:55 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: What snake between these two do you guys recommend?

When it comes to Kings and corns I've never seen s problem starting them in larger enclosures. I've started juvenile Kings and corns in 20 wides and 40 breeders and never ran into any problems.

Corns and especially Kings are almost always good eaters. Just make sure you get an animal that is already well established and eating regularly.

If for some reason you have a hard time getting the snake to eat, then trouble shoot and potentially switch to a smaller enclosure until the animal is eating. You could even throw a Tupperware inside the enclosure in the right spot and get a bit of a heat gradient.

If you want to start with the larger enclosure I say go for it.

If it was another species I would be giving different advice. But you should have no problem starting a King or corn in a 40 gal
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