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Husbandry and Basic Care General stuff about keeping and maintaining cornsnakes in captivity.

Cornsnake & Yellow Rat Snake
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Old 01-14-2022, 07:34 PM   #1
Coach Pagel
Cornsnake & Yellow Rat Snake

[font="Times New Roman"][size="5"]Hi guys! Today, I rescued a 3.5' to 4' Yellow Rat Snake from our school chicken coop. It had made itself quite comfy in one of the laying boxes. I brought it home as that area is being developed, and the habitat is about gone. I have a large (2x55 gallon tank) habitat for my 2' Cornsnake. Is there an issue letting them both live there?
Old 01-14-2022, 09:08 PM   #2
Lucky snake for having you to rescue it. (Psst - we live pics!) And good for both snakes that you're asking questions before cohabbing. It's not a good idea.

It's always good to quarantine new herp arrivals from anywhere as far from your collection as possible (even a collection of one). This is true no matter where they come from. It's especially important with wild-caught animals since they're likely to be carrying internal and/or parasites and/or disease. If you want to keep this rat snake and that's legal where you are, it would be best to take it to a vet to check it over and take care of parasites.

Corns and rat snakes can freely interbreed. If your 2' long corn is female and the rattie is male, results could be disastrous for her - even lethal.

There's a small risk of cannibalism. It is small, but not zero.

Individuals of both species live solo in the wild. Cohabbing is stressful for them. Sometimes this us obvious, sometimes it is subtle. There's quite a lot of discussion about the topic on the forums here's if you are interested in learning more.

Best of luck to the three of you!
Old 01-14-2022, 09:19 PM   #3
I agree with Caryl - definitely a bad idea! (I also agree that I want to see pics!) Parasite and disease transmission is probably going to be the biggest reason not to house them together, but definitely interbreeding and stress are large factors as well.

Personally, I would try to find an area within its natural habitat that's still pretty far away from people to release it back into the wild. If you really want to try keeping it as a pet, it will definitely need its own enclosure, strict quarantine (so, making sure you don't share any decor, hides, feeding tongs, etc.), and it will probably need to be treated for parasites.
Old 01-15-2022, 02:12 AM   #4
Coach Pagel
They are in separate enclosures now. Big YRS ate a live rat this evening. I was a little surprised as the egg count of the coop had been down for a few days. Is it possible that it was not the eggs it was after but whatever was taking the eggs?
Old 01-15-2022, 11:34 AM   #5
Oh yeah, definitely! Rat snakes normally prey on animals rather than eggs. You'd mentioned that the area is being developed, so the snake might have simply taken refuge in coop. Once there, it might have found that meals actually came right to its new home. If you had a drop in production, I wouldn't blame the YRS for eating eggs. It's possible that the snake upset stone hens just by its presence, though.

There was a big black rat snake who lived in our barn when I was a kid. My dad always referred to him as "The Pest Control Officer." He was quite welcome to stay there, and for several years, he did.

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