Hi all, so I have mainly only dealt with sand boas on the breeding side of things. I am normally able to sex them visually by tail structure or by palpating. I have recently started getting into the breeding side for ball pythons (toe in the door) getting a couple hatchlings and plan to get a few more to have a small breeding group. To avoid spending time, effort, and money into a “female” only to find out she is a male (or vice versa) I would like to responsibly learn to pop and/or probe. I’ve seen numerous videos over the years but am afraid to cause injury until I have someone well versed teach me in person. The vets that I have called that advertise serving reptiles are mainly doing drop off appointments at this time due to covid. Does anyone have any suggestions apart from just “a vet”, maybe a specific vet or breeder or something, that would be willing to teach popping and/or probing in person, in Oklahoma (USA) preferably near the OKC area?
We watched videos of well known breeders do it on YouTube and also the breeder near us showed us how to do it, we had 4 Royals from him.
Safe to say we can now sex snakes easy
We checked all ours when we had them (12 Royals). Just to double check them all when we got them. Now we have only 1 boy.
But it’s really easy to ‘pop’ them. Just be careful not to push too hard!
I’d ask a breeder near you to show you. So much better seeing it done in person!
I second everything above and I’d recommend going to an expo and having a seller show you how to pop and/or probe.
It is best to do as @ghoulishcresties says. I will say learning to pop is much easier, and you don’t run nearly as high of a risk of injuring the animal in the process. It is easy to hurt the animal with probing if done wrong or if the animal moves suddenly, so I only stick with popping personally.
Thank you @ashleyraeanne! I would eventually want to learn both in case I ever acquire an adult that needs sexing by probing, but I agree that popping seems to be much easier and convenient based off what I’ve seen and heard.
Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but I have read and been told its better to pop hatchlings and prob adults. Hatchlings are not in full control of their muscles just yet making it easy to pop em and dont have to worry about injuring them with a prob. While with abults its easier to mistake for a female when popping because they have more control and easier for them to keep you from seeing their business.
I have seen it both ways though especially since our mom and pop shop all they do is pop and dont seem to have a problem with hatchlings or adults.
Are ball pythons harder to pop than other snakes?
I used to breed a lot of other snakes and found it very easy.
There seems to me to be smaller hemiphens than even little corn snake hatchlings.
Am I just out of practice or is there a difference?
The tails are certainly smaller but my eyes are not what they were years ago.
That’s my experience
They are stronger then corns, might make it slightly harder to pop? You are right with the size of hatchlings though, sometimes it seems the female scent glands stick out as well. Just look for the deep red, purpleish color on the end for the males😃 I think it is easier to pop hatchlings, but think it is just as safe to pop adults if you know what your doing. I have a set of probs just sitting in my snake accessory bin doing nothing. Much safer not to stick things in snakes in my opinion. Just get someone to show you once or twice and practice gently on known gender snakes, easy once you get the hang of it!
Thanks for the reassurance, I am ok with probing but just feel safer doing that with adults.
In the past i would always pop hatchlings and probe adults.
Hatchling size probes being thinner seem sharp and a bit scary.
I can pop and probe but I’m still working on my popping technique since I have a lot of peripheral neuropathy symptoms due to the several TBI’s I’ve had throughout my lifetime. I find probing easier since I have more control over pressure output vs mostly numb and shaky hands, but I am starting to see popping my smaller snakes easier the more I do it. I do agree it’s essential to learn how to do both methods under the guidance and supervision of someone experienced to learn the basics before practicing on your own animals. Best of luck!
If you were closer to me (MI/IN) I’d offer to show you probing at least. As for in the area, Highline Reptiles is in Perry, OK so you might be able to reach out to them! I’ve purchased from the Tuckers and they are wonderful people so they should hopefully be able to help you out.
Several of them?, sorry to hear that. One TBI is one thing and is easier to deal with over time, but many is another thing… You have my best wishes for what that’s worth.
I am fine with probing adults, I just fear it with the thin probes for hatchlings. I will practice with ball pythons till get as good as i was with north american snakes, Now I am older better glasses would help too.
But thanks for the offer, like you say I am at least 5000 miles away in the uk. My brother is in south carolina, But thats still well far when i visit him
Thank you! It’s wonderful how tight knit the hobby is. Once I have some time and everyone’s settled in from the move I would be more than willing to put together a popping and probing video for y’all if interested! Just let me know so I can make note and get to work. Best of luck on your journeys in breeding, all!
Well I have now popped my first clutch of ball pythons and probed to be sure, yes i did find slightly harder to pop, but is it just me or do ball python males have nothing to be prowed of I have had baby corn snakes with more. it made it hard to see.
Hey now! Come on @ascended Maybe your snake room is just a little chilly
LMAO … .
I have a couple non-bananas that should be males (dad was a female maker banana) but don’t have any obvious hemipenes at all. Not even small hemipenes, they just straight up look like females