|Star in fall 2009|
|Star with her triplet doelings in 2008|
It's ironic that I originally was not interested in her because I thought she was ugly. While many people love spotted goats, I preferred the solid colors. But when her owner told me that she would probably have a good milk supply because she was nursing triplets, I was sold. I could overlook all of those ugly spots if this goat could supply us with fresh goat milk, which I intended to use to make "goat cheese." At that time, I had no idea that goat milk could be used to make anything other than the cheese that I was soon to learn was more correctly called chévre.
|The picture of Star on Patty Putnam's website when she was for sale|
Within a week her milkstand etiquette had improved considerably, and I could milk her by myself, although it took me a long time, and I knew I wasn't getting all of the milk. Each day that first week, I got less and less milk, but luckily my technique improved quickly enough for her supply to rebound, and for several months, she supplied us with a quart of milk a day, the standard quantity for Nigerians usually quoted in books and articles. In spite of all my novice mistakes -- some too embarrassing to share -- she survived, and for the first few years, she was our best milk goat.
|Star's great granddaughter Agnes|
with Star's spots and long teats
Star has always been a big part of everything that is Antiquity Oaks. She is the goat in the farm logo. My daughter reminded me today that when I first started making and selling goat milk soap, my labels read, "Milk by Star and Dancy; Soap by Deborah." Back then, it never occurred to me that Star wouldn't be with me forever.
When Coco died this spring after giving birth to quintuplets, I was heart-broken, not only because she was gone but because of the way she died. I always pictured my goats retiring out here and then living a few more years relaxing in our green pastures and enjoying life with their daughters and granddaughters. And I am grateful that is what happened with Star. I don't suppose I could ask for anything more.