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PALPATING_FOLLICLES

This is how I palpate for follicles in adult females who have been bred.......
I start breeding in late September or the beginning of October.......from the starting time until mid January I do not feel for follicles.........

Mid January is when I will start weekly palpating all the girls that have been put into a breeding cycle........this is about the earliest I'm able to feel follicles........they are at their smallest at this point and can be tricky to feel..........from mid January through the end of March, mid April I monitor the growth of the follicles by palpating them weekly..........it is very exciting to feel them growing bigger and then transform into eggs............its like a "sneak preview" of what is going to happen..........at the latest stage you can actually feel the shelled eggs and any slugs that are inside the female........and get a good count of how many........

This is an acquired touch and is worth it's weight in gold when breeding ball pythons..........its a "window" that must be hit with perfect timing of a male..........I believe that the awareness of follicles gives a person breeding ball pythons a huge edge..........

Anyway........how do I do this?palpating follicles in a female ball python

I will remove the female from her tub.........I will try an relax her a bit.......then I push her tub back into the rack, leaving it open about 3 inches wide.........I place her head over the open edge so that she can see her "dark" hiding place in the rear of the tub.........once she starts to move her head over the edge of the tub towards her hiding place I palpate for follicles.......

As she is moving into the cage........she is traveling through my hand........I'm feeling her belly as she moves through my hands for follicles ..........I press gently, and in the right spot........

Many times you will feel nothing......she may not have follicles large enough to feel at this point ( give her time and keep a male with her )........also you may feel uric balls.........poop.........or a digesting rat.........many times through palpating I have heard gas bubbles inside......you never know what your going to feel........but the follicles are what you want to feel.........if they are there and large enough.......with practice you will feel them.palpating follicles in a female ball python

Follicles will feel like a small string of beads/pearls inside your snake..........the beads are easiest to feel at the size of a penny ..........when your finger comes to the first one ( follicle ) it will be a small bump ( like a marble ).......than there will be a split second of nothing......than another bump..........when I do this I say......"bump bump bump".......I count them as I go and mark them down on the card........I will monitor the size as in comparison to a penny .......quarter etc........this is just a reference for me so I know what I felt earlier...........a snake full of follicles will feel exactly like you ran your finger across Wilma Flintstone's pearl necklace.............hows that?

I'm not saying you can not do well breeding ball pythons with out palpating follicles ........I'm saying that this is a nice "heads up" of what is going on with your girl.....and it influences the way I rotate males and plan strategies etc........

"you have to gently "flatten" your snake a bit to feel anything...........once she is relaxed........this is pretty simple to do...........it may take a few "runs" over your hand before she relaxes........but she will.....you will not feel anything until you get past the first half off your snake.........when you learn this......your finger will "expect" the spot of the first follicle to show up.......then its pie......."


Ralph

 
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