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CO-HABITATION
By Jimmy Johnson

Everyone makes their own decisions but I thought I would offer my opinion and a few things to consider.

COHABITATION
MY OPINION

I feel it is best to keep snakes separate.
I know a lot of people can and do keep multiple snakes together without problems. I just feel the possible drawbacks need to be expressed.
When a person gets the experience and knowledge of each individual snake in his care, and wants to try co-habitation, it is up to them. They just need to be careful and observant enough to see and understand the subtle signs of stress in their snakes.
There can be definite drawbacks in co-habitation.
If one snake becomes sick there is a very good likelihood the other/others will get sick as well.
It may also take a while (usually too long) to determine which one is the sick one.
If one regurgitates its food you won't know which one unless you happen to get lucky and see it.
If one has a problem stool you won't know which one. Once again one may have a problem and by the time you figure out which one the other/others could end up with the same problem.
Although this is only a slight possibility, it is still a possibility and has been know to happen... one snake could eat the other. Cannibalism can and does occur with corn snakes. The smell of a prey item could trigger one snake to eat the other. Or simple hunger accompanied by a ready food source could do the same. Although uncommon, it has happened and is a possibility.
Another possibility is unwanted eggs. A female may become gravid and you may not have the knowledge, desire or ability to incubate the eggs, care for the hatchlings and find homes for them. With hatchlings comes added responsibility.
A lot of people rationalize by saying, "I will just put two males or two females together". That can work but mistakes can be made, especially with hatchlings. You could easily end up with a male and female.
There is also a chance of a female breeding too young or too small and becoming egg-bound. Although uncommon, it is a possibility and can happen.
With multiple snakes in the same enclosure you could easily loose them all if there happens to be an avenue of escape. Corn snakes are escape artists and they could all easily escape if the oportunity arises.
With multiple snakes in an enclosure, one or all of them could be stressed by the presence of the others. Stress can cause a drop in appetite and other health problems as well.
People will put multiple snakes in an enclosure and ask why one isn't eating.
When they are told it is probably due to stress caused by the other snake, the response is almost always the same "they like each other, they are always under the same hide together". Well this probably just means that hide or area of the tank has the optimum conditions they are looking for.
Snakes do not like each other or enjoy each other’s company. There is no capacity for snakes to "like" or "enjoy".
I have kept multiple snakes together without problems, but I have since made the choice to keep them separate. There are no good arguments as to why you should keep snakes together. However, there are several good arguments as to why you should not.
So, in my opinion, although people do it successfully I just don't think it is worth the risk.
If you decide to keep multiple snakes together, watch closely for any signs of appetite loss, shedding problems, regurgitation or “personality” changes. These could all be signs of stress.
You would also want to feed them in separate containers and give them an hour or so before putting them back together.

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