Are corn snakes moody?

Table of Contents

Corn snakes are a common species of snake that are kept as pets around the world. They are known for their small size and how easy they are to handle. However, just like most snake species, corn snakes may experience mood swings every once in a while. In this article, you will be learning about corn snake moodiness, the reason they portray such a demeanor, and how to handle them when they are in this state of moodiness.

Are corn snakes moody
Are corn snakes moody

Moodiness in Corn Snakes

There are several reports by corn snake owners where they noticed a sharp change in the character of their corn snake and how it suddenly became aggressive towards them. 

In most cases, the Corn snake could be reacting due to peculiar changes in the environment or in its body. However, due to a one time attack, the human could start dealing with such a snake in the trauma of that experience and thus exhibiting fear. Snakes can sense fear in a person, and they will also respond with the same fear or suspicion. 

According to Darch, an expert in snakes, he noted some signs to look out for that might usually characterize snake moodiness.  

The effect of climate change is not as subtle as people think. Darch said that Snakes are breeding earlier than before, and now more small snakes are entering only November or December. Heavy rains throughout the winter lead to an increase in the numbers of mice and frogs, which are the main food sources for snakes. Therefore, when there is an adequate water supply, it’ll be an excellent and healthy year for reptiles, including snakes. 

Darch said we could read the emotions of a snake by paying attention to its body language. He said, If a snake floats on the ground, the thickness of its neck being the same as the thickness of the body, with the tongue going in and out – it is just a happy snake that wants to get away. If a snake raises its head five to ten inches off the ground, your neck will straighten up like a cobra, and you hear a hissing sound under certain conditions. The snake is preparing to strike.  

If you know you have a really angry snake and then it comes to a straight neck ‘S’ position, it is a snake that you want to get rid of ASAP. All these are simply body languages that can save people from getting hurt. Mr. Darsh said that snake hunters face many unusual situations. He referred to the story of a woman in the city center who was working outside. He sees many birds’ weeds and reaches for them to get them for feeding her birds. When she reached out to grab some, she suddenly realized that the Earth did not feel the same anymore, and a closer look revealed that she held a three-foot Gwadar. Mr. Darch advised that in such a case, Just put the snake back in position and cover it back with the weed or soil. He said that the snake would continue to sit there generally until an expert arrives. 

He also suggested that covering the snake with a blanket would have the same effect as covering the snake with soil as it gives it a place to hide.

Mr. Darch noted that one of the key reasons snake visited an area was for access to water and said a neighbor who had just set up a reticulation had three snakes pay a visit in 15 minutes. Snakes can feel the water in a dog bowl or even a water bottle on the back of a table from a great distance. Mr. Darch advises minimizing unexpected visits by giving them what they need. This can be achieved by placing shallow water tanks near the cracks in the fence. He agreed that the water would attract snakes but said the snake would drink and go.

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Moodiness in Animals

Depression in animals has always been a tough topic. 

René Descartes (which was a large chasm between humans and other species) and since the era of Cartesian thinkers who claimed that other animals are just robots with fur.  

The skeptical view about the complexity of nonhuman organisms has successfully persisted into the twenty-first century. 

Just like in an Olympic game, the torch of this view has been carried from one generation to another by behaviorist that sought to transform all concepts of motivation from scientific to contemporary neurologists who accepted basic motivational leadership but not as difficult as animal emotions, and finally from cultural psychologists who had no place for animals. But for various reasons. Depression is a common concept to them, a historical act defined by human words and actions.

Even though several mood scientists try to refute these ideas, we can observe from other mammals, whether rats, cats, or bats, that they provide the most effective and dramatic evidence for depression in the animal world. The High and low moods allow these animals to discover opportunities and sources in their environment; Mood is important to guide behavior in a changing world. Just like it is in humans, Rottenberg claims that depression in animals covers an entire spectrum of low moods to long and severe depression. Animals experience similar hormonal changes as depressed humans, including increased secretion of steroid hormones and reduced function of the immune system. Perhaps most interesting and indicative are the body calls of depressed animals – the circadian rhythms already considered of great importance to us for human well-being are disrupted to the point that body temperature and sleep induce the same disturbances in depressed people. Rothenberg adds:

In addition to the official symptoms of human depression, dogs and cats exhibit several informal symptoms that characterize people with depression. Those who live with them indicate that less research behavior, not hiding under the bed for long hours, little care for a litter, or a lack of interest in self-care and personal hygiene are signs that something is wrong. 

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What to Do When Your Corn Snake is Moody

In this aspect of this article, you will learn how to handle and care for your corn snake when it becomes moody and what to do to avoid being attacked by it.

Once the snake is confused or in fear, it is hard to get it to remain calm, and it is generally necessary to return it to its enclosure. The only way to make sure a snake is calm during handling is by making sure it is free of stress while in the cage. When you handle the snakes, do it in a quiet and free room away from pets and humans; also, do not restrict them unnecessarily. 

Move Slowly: Rapid movements will frighten the snakes, thereby making them agitated and defensive. Lift the snakes slowly out of the cage without making any quick movements. Sit down and let the snake discover the change around the environment away from its enclosure.  

Handle with Extra Caution: Snakes generally respond to handling with curiosity or fear. Frightened snakes do not move much; they rather retreat into a defensive position. Curious snakes crawl around slowly, often quivering with their forked tongues.

Guide it, Don’t try to Restrain it: The only animals in nature that restrain snakes are the ones that want to eat them – even quiet snakes will likely be anxious if you try to restrain them. Always try to fully support your snake and allow it to hold you rather than you holding it. 

Give it Some Time to Calm Down: It’s impossible to change the way a snake behaves overnight – it may take you several months to be able to convince the snake you aren’t a threat. If you are trying to conditioning unreliable nerves or snakes, keep the sessions short. If the snake is agitated at the moment of interaction, place it slowly in its enclosure and allow it to calm down. Give it a few more days and try again.

Provide a More Comfortable Place: When handling a snake, make sure it is calm while resting in its cage. Most snakes do not like exposure and thus spend most time hiding away from perceived threats. Provide the snake with a safe hiding place. If possible, place several hiding places for it within its cage. 

The hiding places should be dark and fit your snake perfectly; Snakes like to make contact with the inside of wherever they are hiding.  

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Are Corn Snakes Aggressive?

Generally speaking, corn snakes are not an aggressive species of snakes. They are usually calm, relaxed and feel good when you walk into their cage to tidy up or even pick them up.

Corn snakes are great starter snakes and are an excellent pet. They are easy to carry, feed, and a great watch. Due to their size, humans are more a threat to them than they are to us. Accidentally throwing them or handling them with too much force will result in endangering their life. If a corn snake bites you, it is not usually harmful. 

However, in some cases, corn snakes can become more aggressive. Even though it rarely happens, the truth is that it does. 

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Why did My Corn Snake Become Aggressive all of a Sudden?

An aggressive corn snake can suddenly be as a result of a variety of reasons.

When Feeding: In some cases, a corn snake may mistakenly perceive a human finger or hand as a cute mouse. This is not aggression, but its owner would perceive it as such. If you have a problem with a corn snake trying to feed on you or even biting you while feeding it, be sure to use tongs long enough and show the snake where the food is! If you aren’t doing it already, heat the rats slightly in a bowl of warm water. This will make it easier for the snake to find the mouse, as it is sensitive to heat.

In the Process of Shedding its Skin: How would you like your skin to start flaking from head to toe? When a snake’s skin is shedding, it is not in the best psychological state, and you should not disturb it. Not only is there a good chance that scaly skin all over will be uncomfortable and highly stimulated, but they also can’t see well when the skin above the eyes begins to peel off. When the corn snake begins to shedding, try leaving it alone as much as possible. If they cannot see what will happen to them, they are more likely to be defensive. 

This is usually less of a problem for older snakes who must have gotten used to their master’s presence.

When Exposed to Stress or Threats: When a corn snake feels threatened, their animalistic instinct will prevail, and therefore there is a good chance that they will catch some kind of anger. Always move calmly and deliberately to avoid frightening the snake. This is even more important when you just got the corn snake and trying to familiarize yourself with it. Be careful not to forcefully handle them, and try to approach them from the side rather than from above.

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How do Snakes Show Affection?

Snakes lack the intellectual ability to display human emotions such as love or affection. So no, they cannot have affection for you. However, they may feel close to you as a non-threatening creature that cares for them. They, however, may become comfortable with a particular handler, but it has nothing to do with the complexity of emotions as we know in humans.

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Do Snakes Like to be Petted?

Most pets love to be petted. Dogs and cats would do anything to have you keep stroking their fur. However, snakes do not like to be petted, and most snake species do not even like humans handling them, although they may learn to tolerate it after a while.  

This is influenced by a number of factors such as species, age, and how familiar they are to their owner. Snakes often feel uncomfortable when they start physical contact. 

However, just like snowflakes, each snake is unique. 

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It is an unusual sight to see your gentle and easy-going corn snake suddenly become aggressive and ready to attack at any slight move towards it. Even though it doesn’t happen every other day, it may occur occasionally, and in this article, we have examined some common reasons behind such an occurrence.

With the knowledge, you have acquired from this article, we are positive that you can better handle your corn snake when it is exhibiting signs of moodiness and also properly diagnose to know the reason behind the demeanor.

Hazel Buckley
Hazel Buckley

About Hazel Buckley
Hazel is an animal enthusiast and educator who grew up on a farm which her parents owned in Ingogo, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.  The farm was situated right under the Majuba Mountains - the site where the Anglo-Boer War was fought. 

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information published on this website is accurate, the author and owners of this website take no responsibility  for any loss or damage suffered as a result of relience upon the information contained therein.  Furthermore the bulk of the information is derived from information in 2018 and use therefore is at your on risk. In addition you should consult professional advice if required.