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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay so I have a 20 month old male corn snake, he seems to be acting differently at first I thought it was a phase and that it would pass.
He seems to like the cold side of the viv too much, he never goes in his hides anymore there is one on the cold side and one in the warm side...this has been going on for a month or two. At most he'll stick his head in them, do a lap of the inside then come out and go lay out in a bushy area or next to the cold wall.
I moved him into his final viv today actually and I have been probing the temperature on both sides. He is currently in the cold side and the temperature is 65F on that side as of right now, I'm aware this isn't a suitable temperature for him I'm still playing with it to get it right, but he proves my point.
Why does my snake insist on the colder side of the viv regardless of the temperature? He is eating good, he's essentially a dust bin. He is drinking regularly and I can not spot any signs of ill health. One suggestion was an RI but I'm not one to jump to conclusions, as this has been going on for a while he surely would have come out with more symptoms/behavioural giveaways by now.

Any ideas?
 

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I'm not too sure, but is he cold when you pick him up? If he isn't, chances are he's going to the warm side at night time when you can't see what he's doing. If he is cold, however, I have no idea :? Sorry
 

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The hide thing is simply coincidental, and not an issue. My snakes very rarely spend much time hidden away even though their vivs are furnished so that they can pretty much go from one end to the other under cover if they want.
Some snake species lean towards timid, and you hardly see them, but corns are pretty confident animals and the longer you keep them, the more confident they become. (There are always exceptions in all species!)
The temperature issue could have a number of causes.
Your readings may be inaccurate, and the viv may actually be too warm, in which case the snake is trying to escape the heat (I am not suggesting this is the case for you.) If your temps are correct at the hot spot, it doesn't matter where your snake prefers to sit, so long as it has access to the higher temps. Both my bull and milk snakes spend the vast majority of their time in the cool end, and always have.
I think we sometimes over estimate the temps that our snakes prefer, simply because we are so paranoid about them getting an RI. If your snake has an area to bask at its upper temperatur end, it won't get an RI no matter where it sits (providing there are no other factors involved to complicate matters!)

Your snake may be following its instincts to burmate. Some do, and some don't, again down to individual animals. Just because some of us (rare these days) are not actively breeding our snakes doesn't mean that they do not wish to follow their instincts and enter a torpid, burmation period for a few months as we approach their personal winter season. In nature, the temps drop, the snake hides away and stops feeding and "sleeps" until its time to look for love. Generally though, in captivity they voluntarily stop feeding at this time too.

I'm not a vet, and its hard to tell what is really going on across the internet, but I hope this puts your mind at rest a little.
If it does start to gape, wheeze or click, or show ANY other symptoms, don't ask for advice on here though just take it to a vet. : victory:
Across the wide expanse of the internet, I don't think it will. :2thumb:
 

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Most likely, he knows it's winter ( my snakes seem to know exactly what time of the year it is, they are by the window and are exposed to natural day length ) and is trying to hibernate, or at least trying to seek as cold temperature as he can.

All of my corn snakes are doing this now, one even to the extend that he will not go to his warm side ( 28 C) , even after a feed. He will insist on spending 5 -6 days digesting on cold side, instead of his normal 2-3 days on warm. I tend to space feedings more in winter, to give them a rest, as they naturally seem to slow down, regardless of the temperature.

I even considered hibernating my adult corns properly, as I think it would be much more natural for them, and they are all good weight - but the only place I could use is the attics, and I'm worried about how stable the temperature would be there.

2 of my corns didn't behave like this in their first winter, only from their second winter onwards, so it might be why you're seeing this cold seeking for the first time. As long as he's healthy, I'd leave him to it :)
 

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It's hard to comment without details of how he is kept, the method of heating, and exact temperatures of both substrate and air for hot and cold end of the enclosure. I advise using an IR Laser themometer to get temperatures of the substrate as it's precise and easy to obtain without too much disturbance to the snake. It also allows you to take the snakes body temperature as well.
 

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All of my corn snakes are doing this now, one even to the extend that he will not go to his warm side ( 28 C) , even after a feed. He will insist on spending 5 -6 days digesting on cold side, instead of his normal 2-3 days on warm. I tend to space feedings more in winter, to give them a rest, as they naturally seem to slow down, regardless of the temperature.
2 of mine are doing this as well, avoiding their warm spots and being less active than normal.

1 is being a crazy ball of energy, madly searching for food in every corner of his tank.

So... yeah. Different snakes cope with winter in different ways, I guess. ;) Paul F's advice is good, though- keep an eye out for signs of an RI, and if they show up, take him straight to the vet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
:2thumb: Thanks everyone, especially Paul, lots of useful info there. I will rearrange his viv a little because I heard they prioritise hiding sometimes so I'll make the warmer end bushy to see if it persuades him. Nice one.
 
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