Goats on Zoom: English farm finds new income by livening up video conferences

Many of us are struggling with lockdown fatigue – and if you’re working from home, you might be looking for ways to brighten up your video meetings.

A British farmer was half-kidding when she suggested hiring out her goats to make surprise appearances. But a year into the pandemic, she has made over €56,000 doing just that.

Cronkshaw Fold Farm in Lancashire, northwestern England, offers video calls with one of its goats at a rate of £5.99 (around €6.80) for five minutes. You can peruse its website to take your pick – perhaps the Copacabana-inspired Lola: “a show goat, yellow Iodine on her hair from butting other goats without a care.”

Farmer Dot McCarthy says the Zoom calls have proved a welcome source of new income after bookings for weddings and accommodation at the farm froze during lockdown. The money has paid for staffers’ wages and towards converting the farm to renewable energies.

The goats are savvy in a range of video conferencing tools, and they’re sure to be one participant you won’t want to put on mute. And although they might butt in from time to time, both types of kids love it!

“We’ve got one family who books the same goat every week,” McCarthy said. “She’s like a member of the family now and they know everything about her and invite her every week to their family call.”

Check out the interview – and goats – in the video player above.

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