Do snakes cost too much? What is the cheapest snake to buy? These are the common questions for many beginners who are eager to buy snakes as pets.
There are several options in the market to choose snakes and therefore there could a range of cost differences involved in every snake species we choose. They all depend on various factors like the type of species, whether they are original species or morphs, or whether they are exotic or a new species that we have very little knowledge of. There is a range of cost levels of all kinds of snakes- pythons, boas, and so on. These costs are shown in the table at a glance:
|California King Snake
|Green Tree Python
|Kenyan Sand Boa
|Mexican Black Kingsnake
|Red Blood Python
|Japanese Rat Snake
|Central American Boa
|Borneo Blood Python
There are many sources of purchasing snakes, either online or offline. Sometimes the cheapest snakes may not be the favorite choice for the pet owner. So it may take some time to choose the right species at a reasonable price. The best way would be to do your own research and cost analysis before you buy any at all.
7 Cheapest Snakes To Buy And Their Characteristics
Let’s look at the cheapest snakes that can be owned by the common snake enthusiasts or new beginners:
1. California King Snake
The California King Snake is known as the king because of its unique capability of killing and eating other snakes, especially rattlesnakes. As its name says, this snake originates from Southern California and is quite popular among the pet trade and the wild.
They are also good beginners. As it costs least among the other pet snakes mentioned above, it would be a good choice for a beginner naturally. This snake grows from 3 to 4 feet long and can easily be fit into a 20-gallon enclosure with a screened top, a hiding place, and a suitable substrate.
The California Kingsnake feeds on fuzzies, mice, hoppers, and rodents which can be easily kept with them. Also, you need to keep a light available under the tank to ensure the proper temperature for the snake and help it to digest.
2. Florida Kingsnake
The Florida Kingsnake originated from the warm grasslands of central and northern Florida. This snake’s look is said to be handsome compared to many beautiful-looking snakes.
It has a calm temperament, a manageable size, and a simple lifestyle when it comes to owning as a pet. Being the second cheapest snake, it also has a reputation of a good beginner snake pet.
The Florida kingsnake is a tough animal and can be bred easily and they are available in large numbers. This snake needs to be kept in a tightly held shelter because they get quite nervous in a huge spaced environment.
This snake can grow up to 4 to 5 feet long and will require a 60-gallon enclosure. Also, as these are snake-eaters, they need to be kept isolated as well. They feed on small, freshly killed rodents or even store frozen prey. It is better not to bring wild rodents for feeding as it has a big chance of spreading diseases.
3. Japanese Rat Snake
The Japanese Rat Snake is one of the most docile and friendly snakes which are non-venomous medium-sized snakes known as ‘aodaisho’ or blue general in Japan, found in the woodlands, farmlands, and forests.
This snake consists of several lovely colors like olive green, pale yellow, white and dark blue, which is why it got its name “blue general”. They grow up to 6.5 feet long and love to climb trees.
The rat snake feeds on lizards, frogs, or rats, often they prey on birds and their eggs. These snakes are found in mountains mostly. They are commonly found in the Kunashir Islands of Japan.
They can live up to 10-15 years. Often, they are considered as very cute and pretty-looking reptiles with their different colors being an added advantage to their appearances.
4. Kenyan Sand Boa
The Kenyan Sand Boa belongs to Kenya and its adjacent countries in East Africa. These are small and attractive indigenous snakes that are fossorial spending most of their time burrowing under the sandy soil.
Their lifestyles are quite easily adaptive and are readily available. The Kenyan Sand Boa’s tails and scales play a major role in helping them burrow and dig under the ground. They can reach a length of 2 to 3 feet and lives up to 20 years.
In order to keep them at home, a 15 to 20-gallon terrarium will be needed with adequate ventilation. They should be provided the right substrate of a few inches knowing their habit to dig into the sandy floor, and also could add a few hiding places for it.
As they are used to dry weather like the desert, they should be given a good and comfortable humid environment to be in. Being the third-cheapest snake to own, they can be quite affordable with additional facilities like food and a well-built enclosure with a lid or screen top.
The Kenyan sand boa enjoys eating pinky mice but as they grow they can change their diets to frozen prey.
5. Milk Snake
The Milk Snake is another less expensive snake that originated from the United States and some parts of Canada. There is a variety of this kind of snakes and a variety of habitats as well such as forest or woodlands, rocky hillsides, swamps, prairie, farmland, and dunes.
They grow up to 4 feet or slightly more and they need a minimum sized enclosure. Milk snakes are quite popular in the United States, not only for the vivid color it carries but also due to their manageable size, their hardiness, and good human interaction in general. They are the best choice for new snake owners.
Milk snakes can live up to 20 years if they get the best care. These snakes are also snake eaters like the Kingsnakes, so they are best kept in one separate enclosure. It is better to keep as much warm temperature possible for this snake as they need plenty of basking area. Also, there should be warm hiding places as well.
Mice are the most common food for this snake but they also like to feed on small mammals, other snakes, lizards, birds, and eggs. They can also have a more varied diet including geckos, hamsters, gerbils, chicks, and also frozen prey.
6. Corn snake
Next in line comes the corn snake. This snake costs from 50 dollars which can range up to 500 dollars but that depends on your budget as well.
Corn snakes are like rat snakes that originated from North America. This snake is a good escape artist and climber. They have beautiful colors and patterns which makes them popular pets.
The corn snake has a cool temperament generally, and if you handle them regularly, they behave more docile and gentler. They are good for beginners or new snake owners.
Corn snakes are most active during dawn and dusk and like to live on land more than near water. If you don’t want the snake to escape from its enclosure a tight lid should be provided.
Also, they need places to hide as they want to feel safe. A hiding place should be provided for them to in warm and cool sides of the tank it is kept in. These snakes like to burrow and hide so a layer of loose substrate is a good idea to allow them to hide away easily.
7. Central American Boa
The Central American Boa is another option for cheap snakes. This snake comes from Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Venezuela.
They are often confused with the red-tailed boa. This is a common pet in the snake industry and is non-venomous. With good care and help, this snake can live up to 30 years.
The Central American boa has a length of 5 to 8 feet and needs a large enclosure or terrarium or cage it is kept in. The enclosure should have a similar climate as it has been living in tropical rainforests.
The central American boa feeds on frozen or live fuzzy mice and sometimes an adult mouse if the snake is large enough. This snake is mostly happy living alone and loves climbing on trees and bushes especially when younger. The adult ones spend more time on the ground.
Points To Consider While Doing A Cost Analysis
So, to name a few these were some of the cheapest snakes or lesser expensive snakes to own. Regardless of the variations in behavior and lifestyles of the reptiles, it can be assured that they would not be harmful as pets and most of them are good choices for beginners as well.
To put all the factors in one list here are the main points to consider while doing a cost analysis for purchasing any snake:
- It is recommended that you buy your snake from a breeder rather than catching it from the wild
- You need to save up a few dollars to set up a proper terrarium for your snake and there are many cost-effective ways to do that
- Consider the costs of maintenance and bedding for the enclosure as pet snakes will require a clean and sanitized home too
- Pet snakes have a cost of feeding which will continue, although it is not too expensive it should be well planned
- Learn about the species you want to purchase as costs may range from less to a much higher price depending on its origin
- The average cost of a snake ranges from $30 to $100, but if you choose a more exotic or morph species it could get higher probably up to $2000 +
Last of all, if you are determined to keep a snake pet then you definitely will have to welcome all the other needs and requirements that will facilitate your snake’s well-being and healthy life. Like humans, snakes have a variable natur5e and characteristics in eating, living, and growing, and if it’s from different l9ocalities this may vary even more. So, the best exercise would be to learn about your snake from the beginning to the end of its lifespan.