How Long Can a Corn Snake Go Without Food, Water & Heat?

How long can a corn snake go without eating
Written by Mehwish Imtiaz

Snakes are the scary animals that come in the category of carnivorous reptiles. Many people have a fear of snakes because they have poison in their bite. However, in this article, our main focus is on how long a snake goes without food, water, and heat. You will get all the information into three sections. 

There are many types of snakes worldwide, but in this article, we will discuss only the Corn Snake. Just like the Turtles, snakes also go in the stage of inactivity called brumation. Snakes have the ability to live without food, water, and heat for an extended period where they usually go in the stage of brumation. 

Usually, snakes go in the brumation stage in the winter season. 

It is the habit of corn snakes that they eat greedily. The owners then become worried about why their snake stops eating. This article will be very helpful for the snake owners who want to get enough information about how long can corn snakes go without food, water, and heat.

When the corn snakes go in the stage of brumation, they have the capability to reduce their metabolic rate by as much as 70%. This is the main reason they can conserve energy in the wild. Many snakes can normally survive for a longer time without the hunt for prey.

As we all know that mammals are warm-blooded animals, so they require much energy through the diet. Also, the corn snakes, as well as other snakes, are the animals who have a low metabolism, so they do not require as much energy as the mammals.

They have the ability to survive for a longer period without consuming prey. This is the time of brumation when they can lower their metabolism. Usually, corn snakes can live for an extended time without food. You will be amazed to know that they can survive for two to three months without eating anything.

If we talk about the adult corn snakes, then they can live for up to 3 months, but the case is different in baby snakes. Normally, baby snakes do not live for much time without eating.

According to experts, the baby snake wants to eat food every 3 to 4 days. However, if the baby snake does not eat for more than a week, it will get many health problems and developmental implications. This is because, in the baby snake, this is the precious time of growth and development after hatching.

Now, the question arises in your mind that how can snake survive for even 2-3 months without food. This is because the snakes have a very slow digestive system, and usually, they do not chew the food. They just gulp the food, and therefore the food remains in the stomach for a longer period of time. Also, in the stage of brumation, the metabolism rate slows down even more.

How long can a corn snake go without water?

If you are the Corn Snake owner, then you must provide it with fresh water after a few days. Make sure that the water is fresh every time when you change it. Also, put the freshwater in a heavy bowl at the corner of the cage. At night, it is the habit of the snakes to go to the edges of the cage, so when they encounter the edges of the cage, they will find the water and drink it.

Usually, adult corn snakes can live without water for 7 to 12 days. But if we particularly talk about the Corn Snake, then it is highly recommended to provide the freshwater every day. Also, the water must be cleaned, and this must be done on a regular basis.

As we all know that most snakes can survive for a longer period without water, but there are some exceptions because the snake, such as the Corn Snake, can die at elevated temperatures.

Make sure that if you have a corn snake and you are giving the tap water to your snake, then it might not be suitable for him. This is because the tap water might be the hard water and contains some impurities which will be lethal for the snakes.

Usually, it is the habit of the snakes when they live in the wild; they drink the fresh water from the ponds, streams, or rainwater puddles. However, the baby corn snake can live for less than 7 to 12 days without water. The water bowl must be cleaned every week or immediately if you notice any bad smell. This is because the snake might urinate or defecate in the bowl. This is the Messy thing, but you should immediately change the water after washing it with soap. Otherwise, if the snake drinks that water, then it will be lethal for the health of the snake.

How long can a corn snake go without heat?

As I also discussed earlier that reptiles such as snakes, lizards, turtles do not produce the heat of their own. This is why they are called cold-blooded animals or ectotherms.

This is the main reason they require artificial heat to survive. The artificial heat might be a heat lamp or any other heat source. It also depends on what is the temperature of the room where you keep it. If you keep the room temperature in the range of 22 to 28 degrees Celsius, then you don’t need any artificial heat source. However, if you live in the colder areas, then you might require the artificial heat source to keep your snake warm.

If we talk about the corn snakes, then they can live for about two to three weeks without heat. However, they can live without heat if they are left undisturbed and out of drafts. Corn snakes are very strong animals, and they can withstand the harsh environmental conditions. Keep this thing in mind that they come in the category of dangerous snakes and might scare the humans.

Keep this thing in mind that if the snake is surviving without food for a longer period, than they must require the source of heat, especially the sun, if they are living in the wild.

It is interesting to know about snakes that even they are cold-blooded animals; sometimes, they do not require heat and also want the cooling effect. So whether they are living in captivity or in the wild, they require both the heat and cool conditions. Sometimes, they want them to heat up, and sometimes they want them to cool down.

So if the snake wants it to heat up, then it will lie on the warm rock or bask in the sunshine. If the snake wants to cool down, then it will go in the cave or under the sand. It is usually seen that a one and half-year-old Corn Snake can live without heat source or food for at least three months. Keep this thing in mind that the immune system of the snake weekend when it does not get enough heat.


Snakes are the cold-blooded reptiles, which can also go through the brumation stage. They have the ability to survive without food and water for a longer time; however, temperature also plays a very important role in snake behavior. In this article, we have described some interesting information about snakes. So this information is very helpful for the snake owners who want to know about how long can a corn Snake go without food, water, and heat.