How old is too old to attempt popping or probing?

Discussion in 'Other Pythons' started by Kyle1330, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. Kyle1330

    Kyle1330 New Member

    I have a roughly 6 month old carpet python and I don't know what would be the safest way to sex it. Popping seems pretty simple but I know it's normally done on hatchlings so is there any danger in attempting it on mine?
  2. Karlee

    Karlee Member

    No danger whatsoever. It would be dangerous if you did it incorrectly, but it is perfectly safe otherwise.

    JEFFREH Administrator Staff Member

    Actually, Popping can be dangerous when you exceed a certain age... as the snake gets older the muscle control becomes stronger and you can more easily damage them. It requires more force to be exerted to actually invert the genitalia.

    Probing can be dangerous too if you do not know what you are doing - ANY method of accurately sexing a snake can be dangerous. If the snake is older, I would recommend probing them... just be very cautious and thoroughly research the methods before attempting it. The best ways to learn are to have a breeder or experienced keeper who knows how to sex a snake show you personally.

    And naturally, few snakes enjoy being messed with down there. As the snake gets older expect bites to be a little worse than that of a hatchling ; )
  4. Badger711

    Badger711 Member

    It totally depends on the snake, but at 6 months I'd rather probe, just to be on the safe side. I'd have a local breeder, or experienced keeper do it, or show you how to, just to prevent any possible damage to the snake. Not saying that you are inexperienced or incapable, but like Jeff said, ANY method is potentially dangerous if not done right.

    JEFFREH Administrator Staff Member

    It should be fine - to be safe because I do not actually keep this species it might be a good idea to email the breeder you purchased it from, or an online breeder with a quick question about popping at that age/size for the species.

    I hate to direct you elsewhere for the answer in this manner, but I'd hate to give you wrong advice on a procedure like this. Its pretty straightforward, but I really only have experience popping ball pythons and I'm not sure if there are any special considerations to take into account with Morelia...

    There are also more non-invasive procedures that can have some accuracy as well that work for Boas and Blood Pythons...possible Carpets... here is a video link:

    Scroll down to the 3rd blog post "How I Sex Blood Pythons" it simply involves feeling the base of the tail. Granted, I'd personally feel more comfortable with a pop/probe to guarantee.
  6. Badger711

    Badger711 Member

    I also have no experience with carpets, I just thought 6 months was a tad old, I could quite possibly be wrong. I prefer probing over popping every time just because it's safer.

    I'd agree with Jeff, contact the breeder you got him/her from. Better safe than sorry :D
  7. Shanna66

    Shanna66 Well-Known Member

    do you have a reptile store near you or an exotic animal shop? a few of the ones by me will probe your snake for you for free if you call ahead of time
  8. Badger711

    Badger711 Member

    Well, good luck :D I hope it works out for you.
  9. WingedWolf

    WingedWolf Member

    I pop adult ball pythons, and I actually find it easier to pop an animal that's about 6 months old than I do a new hatchling. The hatchling's muscle control is weak, but it's so weak it's difficult to apply pressure in the right direction--everything down there is sort of squishy, and you have to be far more gentle, while the snake is trying to get rid of you, lol.
    So long as you are gentle, and do it correctly, you're not going to injure the animal.
  10. WingedWolf

    WingedWolf Member

    Here's one of my favorite popping technique vids:
    You see how he bends the tail back, and then rolls the snake's tail over the side of his thumb? That technique is the most gentle and effective I've found for popping large adult snakes.
    StikyPaws312 likes this.
  11. WingedWolf

    WingedWolf Member

    It can be difficult to pop on older snakes--they have stronger muscles down there. With newborn hatchlings, everything is a bit squishy, so that makes it difficult, too. I find older hatchlings up to yearling size to be easiest, lol.

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