What Do Kingsnakes Eat? A Starter Guide

If you’re thinking of getting a kingsnake as a pet, you may be wondering: What do they eat? And how often should you feed them? These questions are answered in this article. Kingsnakes are common snakes in the United States, mostly kept as pets. They thrive in habitats such as swamps, scrublands, forests, and deserts. Their diet consists of small snakes and other venomous animals.

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How Do Kingsnakes Hunt For Food?

If you’re wondering how kingsnakes hunt for food, you’re not alone. Kingsnakes are extremely adaptable predators. These snakes will eat just about anything, including mice, birds, other reptiles, and fish and mice.

These snakes have been known to even eat the eggs of their own kind! However, if you’re interested in how kingsnakes hunt for food, you should know that they prefer their prey’s eggs to the adults.

To hunt, kingsnakes actively look for other snakes to eat. After they find their prey, they crush and suck them up while they’re still alive. Their method of death is rather complex, but the kingsnake uses various adaptations to crush their prey, including a gastric mill. The diamond pattern on their back makes them very recognizable.

Are Kingsnakes Good As Pets?

If you’re considering a kingsnake as a pet, you should know that they shed their skin about a week after hatching and at different intervals throughout their life. The shedding period might be hard to spot in a kingsnake, so you should check the snake’s skin for dullness and cloudiness. Kingsnakes love to soak in water, so a large bowl with sphagnum moss is a must-have for your snake.

While kingsnakes are known to be opportunistic eaters, they are generally a good fit for a home as pets because they’re so easy to care for and come in a variety of shapes and colors. They also resemble coral snakes in color so you can feed them rats and mice or even bird food. Although kingsnakes do not prefer bird food, they do enjoy eating quail.

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What Do Kingsnakes Eat?

California kingsnakes are white or cream with black or brown bands on their body. There are also albino and banded forms of the species. Both have similar care requirements. However, California kingsnakes are more common than their striped counterparts.

Their coloration makes them less noticeable to predators and their diets include a variety of insects, birds, and small rodents.

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What do Kingsnakes eat? California kingsnakes are expert constrictors and can kill and eat a variety of rodents. Their diets are rich in calcium and do not require extensive space. You should select rodents that are approximately the same size as your snake’s girth. In general, kingsnakes are a good choice for snake owners because they are active and not overly large.

The king snake is a carnivore that hunts and consumes other snakes.

Despite the fact that they are not pure-bred, these magnificent monsters can consume their kind.

The king snake will use its body weight to strangle its prey and consume it whole.

Rats and Mice:

Kingsnakes’ principal food source is mice and rats. These small mammals are easy to obtain and provide a significant portion of the snakes’ diet.

When hunting larger prey such as rabbits or frogs, kingsnakes frequently utilize mice and rats as bait.


Birds are also eaten by kingsnakes. Although this is not their preferred food source, they will consume it if available.

The Black Kingsnake eats birds and chicks without hesitation in Florida. Because they are adept tree climbers, they are perfect for ambushing birds.

In captivity, they would happily consume quails and fledglings.

Frogs and Lizards:

Kingsnakes are voracious eaters. They will pursue any prey that stands in their way.

Frogs and lizards may appear insignificant to these serpents, but it would be foolish to believe you are safe because of your size or ability!


Depending on the available prey in their location, the king snake is also known to eat on turtles.

If they can’t find any other tiny animals to eat, they’ll turn to turtles as a substitute.


Kingsnakes have been observed eating both wild and human-reared eggs, but only in captivity. In the absence of additional food sources such as mice or rats, these snakes prefer to eat routinely.

An egg can give critical nutrients needed during growth periods, allowing them to thrive overall!


Kingsnakes are carnivorous predators that will consume any little mammal they can get their hands on, including rodents like mice, rats, and voles. They hunt these creatures by suffocating them or pinning them to the ground with their entire weight before strengthening their grip.

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Depending on what is available in their local environment, kingsnakes will also consume birds, amphibians, and reptiles. While kingsnakes are usually satisfied to eat whatever prey they can get their hands on, pet owners must offer a balanced diet for confined kingsnakes.

This can contain a wide range of high-quality rodent meals as well as live prey such as mice, rats, and chickens.

A good diet for a captive kingsnake should include the following items:

  • Rodent diets of superior quality
  • Mice, rats, and chicks are examples of live prey.
  • Several species of lizards, frogs, and other tiny reptiles

Kingsnakes are opportunistic feeders, meaning they will eat anything that is readily available and easy to catch.

As a result, pet owners must always keep a tight check on their snakes, especially if they are housed outside or in huge cages where prey might easily escape. 

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How Often Should You Feed a Kingsnake?

The California king snake doesn’t need to be fed daily or on a regular schedule. In fact, feeding too frequently may lead to obesity. Some care sheets recommend feeding them once every five days or two weeks.

Feeding them fresh mice or rats is a safer and more effective option. If you’re feeding them once a week, consider offering them a rodent that is about the same size as the snake’s girth.

Mexican Black Kingsnakes may be difficult to keep because they are active during the day and bask at night. Their habitats should be kept as clean as possible. If not, they may become infected with bacteria and viruses.

Their temperature needs to be kept at the right temperature to prevent respiratory tract disease. If you do find a kingsnake that is overweight or flighty, you should consult a veterinarian.


A kingsnake’s diet can be pretty simple as long as you provide them with a variety of food items.

The main thing to remember is that they are carnivores so their diet should consist mostly of meat. While they will eat just about anything, offering a balanced diet that includes fresh rodents, live prey, and high-quality foods is important.

Keeping their habitat clean is also crucial to their health and well-being!

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