Agri Vehicles Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Sponging?  (Read 2005 times)


  • Joined Jan 2013
« on: November 12, 2014, 06:50:49 pm »

I am thinking about getting one of my goats in to kid but would rather not put the other in as she is too skinny, plus I would like to keep on milking her so.....

Please can someone brave explain sponging to me? IS this something a vet does? Or can you buy a diy kit? How successful is it?

Very intriguing....


  • Joined Mar 2014
Re: Sponging?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2014, 09:54:41 pm »
Do you have your own male or have to travel ? if you do have your own male much easier to keep separate from your females and when the one you want in kid comes into season put in with male , or if you have to travel ,with some goats in season for 1 day some 2 days, can you get away? Sponging is useful if you want to plan when you can travel to a male or plan kidding for several of your goats to kid around the same week. If Ai you have to sponge usually. It is never 100% and if she doesn't hold they may miss a cycle or more before they come back into season -more common in sheep than goats. My experience it's quite successful in goats better than the sheep
You can get everything you need from the vet to do it yourself or get your vet to do it or someone who has pedigree sheep are often more experienced than some vets. From what I remember You will get usually chronogest sponges normally in packs of 20 and if you are doing AI a timed program from the inseminator or vet. Normally insert sponge into vulva with a twisting motion with fingers or use an applicator. A week later remove and insert a fresh sponge,(some goats seem to keep spurting them out and you gotta keep putting them in not an easy job) A week later you remove the sponge and inject usually 1.8ml  of. Pmsg from your vet ( depending on size type of goat I would say no more than 2ml if larger swiss goat and not prone to triplets quads naturally, as the sheep recommendation of 2.5 ml results in too many kids for the health of the goat discuss right dosage for your goats with your vet. From what I remember your goat will come into season 52 hrs later with a optimum window of about  4 hours for AI.
 It is best to keep goat inside for the duration of sponging and check regularly the sponge  is still there at least twice a day as it can fall out with some goats a few times. the sponges are toxic if ingested by animals so you don't want your dog chewing them up if found in the field. Dispose of used sponges carefully. Different sponges vary times etc. so discuss with vet. I have found sponging useful for AI and when I could take 4 females in one go to another goat keeper who lives 2 hours away to her two males. I've found to plan kidding it is often just as easy to do it naturally. I only sponge if I have a few to travel so save  many trips or find very few days I can travel or for AI
Planning for kidding a few at a certain time  I can do naturally. I know a couple of goat keepers who now sponge every year with naturally service so their goats kid when within the hoildays they take from work quite succesfully and occaisionally AI which is not always successful.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2014, 10:43:58 pm by Talana »


  • Joined Jan 2013
Re: Sponging?
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2014, 06:38:10 pm »
WOW thank you Talana, sounds complicated! Also I foolishly thought sponging and AI was the same thing which is rather embarrassing.

I would take her to the billy but its a 2 hour round trip and I guess she would need to stay a couple of weeks which would be distressing for her fellow goat. Also she is still currently in milk and I don't fancy leaving home at 5a.m to milk her and then again after work.

We rent our land and the owners are not willing to have a billy on site as they live next to the goat field and they think (possibly quite rightly) that billy's smell bad.

So maybe I will have to buy female kids in next year. This year we had 3 male kids born which was a bit of a disappointment.....

Oh to have my own smallholding :fc:


  • Joined Mar 2014
Re: Sponging?
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2014, 08:32:03 pm »
Lucky you having a 2 hour round trip as this year when I noticed goat in season I phoned stud goat owner, drove for 2 hours after work. Goat in with male 5 minutes 2 jumps,back in float , had cup of tea & chat with stud goat owner paid stud fee and received service certificate, then go the 2 hour journey home. Some people have to go further.
 You could take her pal in the float for company and leave her in float whilst your other goat going to the male would be only with the male for a few minutes then paperwork head home.
 Some people arrange to board their goats with the stud owner just before they are due in season and pick them up once served usually extra fees.Some stud owners don't always board milkers so may be an issue if both went to board.

AI is generally done at innovis centres at Edinburgh, Aberystwyth, Malvern some vet practices do it,
Some goat keepers have done a course for it cervical AI but can be as low as 20% success with frozen semen also transport of semen you want can sometimes be difficult. innovis are specialist vet team who do laprascopic AI which has a higher success rate some say about 60% with the semen already stored at their centres.

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Sponging?
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2014, 11:23:08 pm »
The only thing to watch with taking the goat to the billy when she comes into season is that sometimes the journey can upset them so they come back out of season again. I've had it happen twice out of the three visits I've made. One stayed overnight and came back into season. The other was five days before she came back in. If that happens, you do need someone who can milk for you. Mine is a two hour round trip as well.


  • Joined Mar 2014
Re: Sponging?
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2014, 10:17:20 am »
Another option could be seeing if the stud goat owner could take him to you when your girl is in season would probably mean a fee for fuel. Most farm stock you move the male not the female as with most goat keepers. In fact in Scotland there is an exemption for the 13 day standstill  for movement of breeding males.But moving the female causes the 13 day standstill so you can't take home unless you have a separation agreement in place which is easy to do. Good Luck


Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Ark Farm Livestock Movement Service

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2021. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS