What Do Baby King Snakes Eat

What Do Baby King Snakes Eat?

King snakes are fascinating reptiles known for their vibrant colors and powerful constricting abilities. These snakes belong to the Lampropeltis genus and are native to North and Central America. While adult king snakes primarily feed on other snakes, lizards, and rodents, baby king snakes have slightly different dietary requirements due to their smaller size and less developed hunting skills.

Baby king snakes, also known as hatchlings, have a diet that mainly consists of small prey items that are easier to capture and swallow. Here is a list of common foods you can offer to your baby king snake:

1. Pinky mice: These are newborn mice that have not yet grown fur. They are a perfect size for baby king snakes and provide essential nutrients.

2. Fuzzy mice: As baby king snakes grow, they can move up to slightly larger prey like fuzzy mice. These mice have a coat of fur but are still small enough for the snake to consume.

3. Small lizards: Baby king snakes can also eat small lizards, such as anoles or skinks. These reptiles provide variety in their diet and are a more natural prey item.

4. Insects: Crickets, mealworms, and other small insects can be offered to baby king snakes. However, they should not be the sole source of food as they lack certain nutrients required for proper growth.

5. Pinky rats: As baby king snakes grow, they can transition to pinky rats, which are larger than pinky mice. This change in prey size ensures the snake’s nutritional needs are met.

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6. Small birds: In the wild, baby king snakes may occasionally consume small birds that they come across. However, it is not a common part of their diet in captivity.

7. Anuran amphibians: Baby king snakes may consume small frogs or toads if they encounter them. However, caution should be exercised as some amphibians secrete toxins that can harm the snake.

8. Small snakes: While adult king snakes primarily feed on other snakes, baby king snakes may eat small snakes that they can overpower.

9. Small fish: Some baby king snakes may accept small fish like guppies or minnows. However, fish should be offered sparingly and not as a staple part of their diet.

10. Quail eggs: Occasionally, baby king snakes may consume quail eggs, providing them with additional nutrients. However, this should be offered as a supplement rather than a primary food source.

11. Small rodents: As baby king snakes grow, they can move on to eating small rats or mice, depending on their size. These prey items should be appropriately sized to avoid any issues during swallowing.

12. In captivity, commercial reptile food can be offered as a supplement to ensure the baby king snake receives all the necessary nutrients.


1. How often should I feed my baby king snake?
Baby king snakes should be fed every 5-7 days, depending on the size of the prey item.

2. How do I know if my baby king snake is hungry?
Look for signs of increased activity, flicking tongue, and a voracious feeding response when offering food.

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3. Can baby king snakes eat live prey?
It is generally recommended to feed baby king snakes pre-killed prey items to avoid any injuries to the snake.

4. How long should I wait before handling my baby king snake after feeding?
It is best to wait at least 24 hours after feeding before handling your snake to allow for proper digestion.

5. What if my baby king snake refuses to eat?
It is not uncommon for baby king snakes to refuse food occasionally. Monitor their weight and consult a reptile veterinarian if you have concerns.

6. Can baby king snakes eat fruits or vegetables?
No, baby king snakes are carnivores and do not require fruits or vegetables in their diet.

7. Do baby king snakes need calcium supplements?
Calcium supplements are not necessary if a varied diet is provided. However, it is best to consult a reptile veterinarian for specific advice.

8. Can I feed my baby king snake insects exclusively?
Insects alone do not provide all the necessary nutrients, so it is essential to offer a varied diet.

9. What size prey should I offer to my baby king snake?
Prey items should be no larger than 1.5 times the snake’s girth to ensure easy swallowing.

10. Can I feed my baby king snake larger prey to help it grow faster?
Feeding larger prey items can lead to regurgitation or other digestive issues. Stick to appropriately sized prey items.

11. How long does it take for baby king snakes to reach adult size?
Baby king snakes can take anywhere from 2 to 4 years to reach their full adult size, depending on various factors.

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12. Can I feed my baby king snake wild-caught prey?
Wild-caught prey should be avoided as they may carry parasites or diseases that can harm your snake. Stick to captive-bred prey items.