How to make a homemade cornsnake egg incubator

Written by amy reynolds
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How to make a homemade cornsnake egg incubator
Corn snakes are popular pets for their beauty and ease of keeping. (Corn Snake image by Stana from

Reptile eggs require humidity and warm temperatures to hatch. Make a simple homemade incubator to hatch corn snake eggs at home and enjoy a natural wonder at home. Monitor the temperature, water level and humidity to ensure successful hatching and enjoy watching in 60 to 80 days as small corn snakes, about 30 cm (1 foot) long, hatch from the fertile eggs. Miniature replicas of the adult corn snakes have the same needs as adults, requiring only smaller food items.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 45 to 90 litre (10 to 20 gallon) aquarium
  • Plastic container slightly smaller than aquarium chosen
  • Vermiculite
  • Submersible aquarium heater with temperature-adjustable gauge
  • Thermometer
  • Cling film

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  1. 1

    Place the aquarium on a sturdy stand or worktop close to an electrical socket. Fill the aquarium half full with water. Lay the heater on the bottom after setting the temperature at 27.7 to 30.0 degrees C (82 to 86 degrees F) and plug into the outlet.

    How to make a homemade cornsnake egg incubator
    Use a submersible heater with temperature control. (temperature image by Edsweb from
  2. 2

    Fill plastic containers with 7.5 cm (3 inches) of the vermiculite, moisten the vermiculite but do not drench. Small plastic containers with snap-on lids, often sold for small animal and insects, work well for incubating corn snake eggs. Use multiple plastic containers if needed to keep all containers upright while floating in aquarium.

    How to make a homemade cornsnake egg incubator
    Containers made for live animals work well for incubating corn snake eggs with ventilation. (insect cage image by yummy from
  3. 3

    Without turning or rotating eggs as you pick them up, lay eggs in a slight indentation in the vermiculite. Do not bury. Place a thermometer directly touching the hatching medium for easy temperature checks. Cover plastic container by snapping on the lid.

    How to make a homemade cornsnake egg incubator
    Vermiculite is sold for seed planting. (preparing soil for garden image by Cherry-Merry from
  4. 4

    Place the container or containers in the aquarium making sure they will stay upright. Cover the aquarium with cling film, leaving small uncovered areas on each end for ventilation.

    How to make a homemade cornsnake egg incubator
    Bubble wrap can also be used to cover the aquarium. (bubble wrap image by MichMac from
  5. 5

    Check the water level daily as the heater must remain underwater to work properly. If condensation is building inside the plastic containers, more ventilation is needed. Pull the cling film back further on the corners to allow more air flow.

    How to make a homemade cornsnake egg incubator
    Too much condensation may lead to mould on the eggs and kill hatchlings. (petit blanc / 2 image by Claudio Calcagno from

Tips and warnings

  • Disinfect and replace vermiculite between uses.
  • Do not allow water to evaporate and cause a malfunction of the submersible aquarium heater.

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