There is no doubt to anyone who has been stuck in the work-from-home structure since last year that video call meetings can get dull. Some teams have tried coming up with games for each meeting to try and light up the mood every week. But what if we had goats to liven up the meetings.
Well, Dot McCarthy, a British livestock farmer unexpectedly stumbled into this bizarre method since 2020 and it has been her main source of income all through the lockdown.
All McCarthy gets to do is hold up her mobile phone to film one or more of her floppy-eared buddies while they eat or glare curiously at the camera. The video of the goats then gets to appear on a Zoom call as the participants smile and giggle and she gets to tell them the goats’ names.
Of course, one has to contact her prior to the call and pay a fee if they want the participants amused.
The Cronkshaw Fold Farm located in Lancashire, northwestern England, currently offers a five-minute appearance by a goat on any video-calling platform for £5 (about KES 760).
Customers have up to seven different goats on the farm’s website to choose from. Speaking to France24, McCarthy says, “Say you’re doing a video call with work or whatever, or maybe a really long family call and it’s getting a bit boring. You can book a goat to join you in the meeting and just see if any of your colleagues notice.”
The 32-year old farmer adds on that business has been thriving giving her a reliable source of income for her farm.
Since it started offering the service about a year ago, the farm has earned £50,000 pounds (about KES 7.6 million), which has been crazy even to her.
Interestingly, the farm that also breeds sheep and chicken had started diversifying right before COVID-19 hit with various side gigs. This includes conducting farm tours, sheepdog demonstrations, providing guest rooms and even goat yoga.
Despite the rising popularity, McCarthy still thinks that this “goat video call wave” is just a phase and one to be relied on fully as a sustainable source of income.
“I’ve been saying this since the first lockdown, but I definitely think this is just a phase,” she says, laughing. “But yeah, we’ll keep going — as long as people want goats, we will bring goats to the people.”