Friday, December 3, 2010


This is a tricky blog to do, because to be honest, you really have to see it being done a few times before it really makes sense, no matter how many times you read about it.

But I'm going to try...

Palpating is a tough thing to do if you don't know what you are looking for.

You are trying to feel for the follicular development of your females, and the follicles are different sizes at different stages of development.

I have been able to feel follicles as small as 3mm, and as big as regular egg size (about 45-50mm), but all of this comes with practice and knowing that they are there.

It is easiest to feel the follicles when they are around pearl sized and above, which is usually around 5mm.

You would begin around midway of the body of the FEMALE.
I stress female, because obviously if you are palpating a male, you will only feel fecal matter and urates.

Again, begin midway around the body of a developing female.

Take your thumb and place it on the stomach, and take your pointer finger and place it on the spine.

Press firmly but gently. Hard enough to smoosh the belly into the spine, but not hard enough to hurt any vital organs.

Let the snake crawl thru your vice grip. This may be tough to do, so I let the animal crawl back into her tub, with only one option of crawling forward (head in tub, no more space to back out). This works like a charm.

You should feel pebbles sequentially around the second third of the lower half of the body. They will be close together, and they should all be the same size, depending on development.

If they are squishy, if they are random sizes, if they are anything but rounded pebble bumps with very little space in between, you may have something else.... i.e. fecal matter or urates.

It should feel like this:

"nothing, gurgle, nothing, nothing, squishy stuff maybe, nothing, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, nothing, nothing, nothing, vent"

Maybe more bumps, maybe less... and again, if you are trying to feel for pearls in your huge 3000 gram female, you need to exert enough pressure to feel them. If you are working a 1200 gram girl, the same amount of pressure would not be needed.

If you don't feel anything, give it a week and try again.

Practicing is really all it takes to get it right... and the right amount of pressure.

Just remember the vice grip technique, and you should be able to work it out.

I am going to see if I can make something up in terms of a video of sorts, but I'm not sure when.

So there you go.

I hope that was helpful, and remember, be careful...

Have a fantastic weekend, my friends.


Royal Morphz said...

I can be your camera man lol.

Jackie M. said...

Thanks! Oh, I got another one: diseases. What diseases have you had to deal with in that N years of snake-handling? And how did you deal with them?

Jackie M. said...

Oh oh! One more. Now that I've palpated (pea size in the het lavender, marbles in the pied), how long does it typically take for the follicles to build? At what point does ovulation occur, and when should I be seriously ramping up the time the quality time with the boys?

Eventide said...


Irulan, last year, went from quarter-size follicles in mid-Dec. to ping-pong ball size two weeks later. Iridium locked a week after that, and she was glowing like mad. Ovulation occurred sometime in the three-week range after that.

Does that sound like a typical timescale, Heather? (I only have one snake to go by; you have lots more. ;)