Thursday, January 20, 2011

Happy birthday, Star!

 Star in the fall of 2009
Saturday will be a special day on the farm -- Star, my very first milk goat, will turn 12 years old! That's pretty old for a goat. She's been retired for three years, because the last time she got pregnant, she had a tough time keeping weigh on her bones as she was nursing her triplet does. And don't tell her I said this, but she did not usually throw very good kids, so I didn't see the point in risking her health to get more kids out of her. Yes, she did give birth to John Adams, who had four grand champions to his credit (two in ADGA and two in AGS) under four different judges, but Star also had a bad habit of throwing teat defects. I think the total was five or six.

Star at age 2
Nine years ago, I bought her on Mother's Day and brought her to our farm. She had not been milked at her previous farm, so when I put her on the milk stand and started to milk her, she would not eat her grain. She just glared at me and tried to kick over the bucket. Mike held her back legs while I milked her, and after a few days, she decided that she'd rather eat the grain than waste time glaring at me or kicking. And she was a sweetheart from then on. I absolutely loved her long teats, and every year I hoped she would give me a little doe just like herself, but she never did.

Early on, I used two of her sons for breeding, and they gave me amazing daughters. John Adams sired ARMCH Antiquity Oaks Carmen *D, and Mercury sired Antiquity Oaks Anne Bronte 4*D, who did inherit her grandma's long teats and is one of my top milkers. So, I guess sometimes awesomeness skips a generation.

Because Star is the ultimate mama, I kept one of her last daughters so that she would not feel the need to steal other babies. (That's Lil as a baby in the banner.) One year, she didn't get pregnant, and she was trying to steal other kids from their mamas. It was really cute the way she'd walk up to kids and use her head to push them towards her non-existent udder as if to say, "Go ahead, dear, have a snack."

This is really opening a whole new chapter for me on the farm as Star gets well into her golden years. Within a couple more years, other does will also be retiring, and inevitably we will have to say a final farewell at some point in the not-too-distant future. That is something that I don't want to think about, because Star has been here since the beginning, but you don't hear about too many goats living past 12. She is in great shape for her age, other than a few dental problems, which we seem to have compensated for by switching her to a senior equine feed that is super soft and easy to digest.

And to think that I originally didn't want her. I thought her spots were ugly. I decided to buy her only because her owner said she'd probably have a lot of milk since she was nursing triplets. And now, I can't imagine what our farm would have been like without her.

A carrot cake with a goat cheese frosting sounds like a great way to celebrate the day! Happy birthday, dear Star! and many more!


LindaG said...

Happy Birthday to Star! :-)

Tiggeriffic said...

Oh Star is wonderful~! 12 years of age.. that is good for a goat..
Happy Birthday to Star...
have a great day~!


Related Posts with Thumbnails