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New member interested in keeping snakes as outreach animals!

Hi there friends, I'm worksnake and I'm new here. I'm piloting a program at my workplace in hopes of making my soon-to-be new corn snake a model ambassador and outreach animal. I worked a bit with a California kingsnake in grad school around education and outreach and was inspired to take this to the next level by starting my own project here in Vermont. So even though technically I'm not brand new to caring for a colubrid, this will be the first snake that I alone am responsible for keeping. Any advice about husbandry, behavior, handling, and especially thoughts on corn snakes as outreach animals is appreciated! Looking forward to getting to know the culture around here and learning more about Pantherophis guttatus.
Hello, welcome, glad to have you here. [emoji4] Corn snakes are wonderful outreach animals! I am a former high school teacher who had lots of classroom pets, including many corns. It was very positive for everyone. I've also done a bunch of educational outreach things with corn snakes. They're very good at/for such things. In my experience, though virtually all corns will adjust pretty easily to "normal" handling, some seem to be naturals at handling larger-scale events. (I've also noticed that certain bloodlines excel at this. Not saying others can't, just that I've noticed some are "naturals.")

As for resources to learn about the wonderful Pantherophis guttatus, you've found one! This forum has loads of info and conversations about all things corn snake. Another great resource is the MorphMarket Community platform. You can learn about the many lovely morphs on iansvivarium.com and the fb group Cornsnake Morph ID. There are also a couple of good books you can buy. They're older, but still great resources to have in hand. "Corn Snakes, The Comprehensive Owner's Guide" by Kathy & Bill Love has excellent info, as does "Corn Snakes in Captivity" by Don Soderberg.

Again, welcome! We look forward to hearing all about your future corn snake. Btw, we love pictures. [emoji3590]

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Welcome to the forum! Caryl gave lots of good resources. You'll find that caring for a corn is pretty much identical to a California king, but corns tend to be less bitey! We'd love to see what you end up getting!
Small world, Caryl, I (briefly) met you over on the Morph Market Community boards where I believe my username is douglitas. I got a snake from the wonderful Noodle Haus and introduced myself over there. Nice to run into you here! I don't think I ever mentioned it but Jesse from Noodle Haus mentioned you with lots of respect as a breeder who puts time and effort into handling and temperament in their snakes the very first time we communicated. Your reputation precedes you :)

And thank you for the welcome, hypnoctopus (do you/other users typically go by their real names...Olivia?)! Fun fact, the Cali king never bit me but a small corn that was later added to the animal room did tag me several times. At that point, it was only the second snake I had ever handled and I made the absolutely incorrect inference..."Corn snakes must be a pretty bitey, ornery species," I thought, stupidly. "Guess I won't go near that one again." Ha!

For the record, I don't mind going by any of the names I self-apply, but I'll add Doug under my username because that's the name that's stuck the longest.
Well, hello again in another place! Glad to see you over here, too. I know you're going to love your new corn. This forum has been around for a loooong time and has lots of info available. Responses may be slower at times but this is absolutely a solid resource.

(Awww, I really appreciate the kind words from you and from Jess. It means a lot from that source since Jess has wonderfully high standards for animal care and human communications. You'll never go wrong with an animal from Jess. Same goes for the wonderful, caring, ethical Olivia/hypnoctopus/solarserpents.)

Looking forward to pics of your new corn snake!

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Wait, Olivia is solarserpents? That's the other breeder Jess mentioned alongside you as an example of one that puts care into temperament and disposition! What a delightfully closeknit, friendly world. I'm glad to meet the both of you and hope to be able to contribute some tiny bit to the community.

Caryl, expect a thread or threads on one or both of these forums asking about your experience in the classroom with corns and/or a discussion of whether it's possible that a gentle disposition has a genetic basis (i.e. whether it could be selectively bred). I'm curious and have the zeal of a new convert, so I need to be careful to not overdo it and get a reputation as annoying guy that doesn't shut up!
Haha, yes that's me. I've been on this forum a lot longer than the MorphMarket community forum. I like both, but I love that this forum is corn specific (mostly!). And you can find old posts from some really knowledgeable people like Kathy Love and Don Soderberg.

I think temperament does have some basis in genetics, although obviously lots of other factors will play a role as well. I don't have any truly nasty corns, but my feistiest ones are all sunkissed. Mostly they just buzz at me and flail or dart away when being handled.

If you use the advanced search option, you can look for some older threads about a breeder who was specifically breeding for temperament. I don't think they're still in the hobby, but the threads might have some info. I think they called their line 'sweet corns'?
Wow, really interesting to hear someone had this idea and even put it into practice for a bit. I found the user Shiari's post from 12 years ago(!) called "Pondering 'sweet corns'" and it contained a plan for selecting for disposition. I think you're right that the person is no longer in the hobby (or at least not doing their sweet corn project any longer) but I might reach out to pick their brain a bit. Thank you for mentioning it, Olivia.
Oh, I had forgotten it was that user. She's still in the hobby! I don't know if she's still working on that project though.