How big should a baby corn snake be before a shop or breeder sells them?

I got a baby corn snake about a month ago, it was the smallest snake I’d ever seen, I was never able to get it to feed and it passed away this morning. This is the 2nd snake I’ve gotten from the shop I dealt with to be in my opinion small and have eating problems. So I’m wondering if anyone could point me towards some regulations that show how big they should be before they are sold.


Are you in the United States? Or elsewhere? Because I don’t think the US regulates how large snakes have to be before you sell them. Turtles/tortoises, yes. Snakes, no.


Yep, krequiem has it correct, no regulations on the size of the snake being sold, just turtles in the USA. That said, even baby corns are generally reliable feeders and therefore are often sold pretty small. Can you explain more about the snake’s enclosure and what you were offering for food? Also, any photos of the animal(s) in question will help.


Just adding this here for future reference for myself… Minimum & Recommended Shipping Sizes


Size isn’t really the issue, but any good breeder will guarantee that the baby has eaten at least 3 unaltered meals before being listed for sale. Sometimes breeders will sell “out of egg” hatchlings for a discount, with no guarantee that they’ll eat for you, but it would be plainly stated so you’d know what you’re getting into.

I have definitely seen extremely tiny hatchlings at expos, smaller than what brand new hatchlings look like, and I would always steer clear of those ones. Either they’ve never eaten or are being fed on such an extreme maintenance schedule that they aren’t growing at all.

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Yes I do live in the USA, thank you for all of your advice I had a feeling there weren’t any rules, I guess that just means from now on I’ll only deal with breeders and not pet shops.

As far as what I was feeding, I was attempting to feed strawberry extra small pinkies, I even tried cutting them up, strawberry just spit it out everytime.

So that snake definitely doesn’t look undersized or thin. However, a corn snake, even a baby one, can go months with no food before dying of starvation, so it makes me think something else was going on. When you say ‘spit it out’, do you mean that literally? Like the snake would have it in its mouth and then spit it out, or do you mean a regurge, like the food was completely swallowed and then came back up later?


I think you might be right about that, out of all of my snakes my corn is my easiest snake to care for, that’s why I wound up getting strawberry. I actually got my Nelson’s milksnake from the same shop, when I put the milksnake into quarantine the milksnake had mite and refused to eat but as soon as I got rid of the mites the milky started eating. I did the same procedure with the corn snake. But for some reason even with assist feeds it just refused and spit out the food.

The fact you got a snake with mites from the pet shop is a big warning sign not to go back. Mites are blood suckers that can and will feed on multiple individuals of snakes. With inventory coming and going out of a pet shop, any snake that comes into that shop will inherit whatever nasties came before once it gets bitten by a mite. Boas in particular can host some really nasty diseases that are transmissible to other snakes (particularly pythons).

If I were you I’d ditch that pet shop altogether. Just assume everything, even supplies, are contaminated with mites. Mites are pretty easy to treat, if there’s a mite infestation at the pet shop it means they don’t quarantine properly and don’t treat the mites appropriately. There are so many good breeders out there, just go to the source and avoid the middle man. Sure, you’ll have to pay shipping that may be the same price as the snake you’re buying, but you’ll be much better off.


Yeah I agree with that I have made the decision I won’t be going back to that shop for anything.

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