Practice, practice and more practice! Try feeling a pregnant doe and try feeling a non-pregnant doe. That was what I have been told to do and that was exactly what I have done.
Palpating is a very valuable skill for breeders. It helps us determine if our does are pregnant at least 10 days after mating. And since the gestation period could go a little beyond 28 days, it helps us to decide if rebreeding should be done without having to wait another 18 days more.
What can I say about my palpation experiences? I don’t have much to share since I am only beginning to learn this valuable skill. But I would like to share the most hilarious parts of the learning process.
Bearing in mind that fetuses after 10 days should feel like marbles or grapes, I put hands into practice.
There was once that I tried palpating my does and felt a PEARL NECKLACE in her! I was ecstatic! I thought I hit the jackpot. But when I palpated further, I realized that these little pearls are very close to each other. Trying to be optimistic, I just made a mental note and went to bed that night with a joyful heart. I tried again the next day and realized that my pearl necklace was gone!
As I looked into the doe’s litter tray, I realized that what I felt the day before was now in it. I was actually feeling her rectum where all the poops were. LOL!
So basically my first lesson was to differentiate between poops and kits.
I have also read about breeders mistaken the kidney for a kit. When I palpated my non pregnant does, I felt the kidney in one of them. It is very hard and rounded in shape just like how a fetus should feel like.
Wish that I could have more does to palpate in order to improve this valuable skill.