Zoom calls with goats is the latest lockdown trend helping one farm struggling due to COVID-19 to net $68,000

Zoom calls with goats is the latest lockdown trend helping one farm struggling due to COVID-19 to net $68,000
Two goats look into the camera.Wendy Love/Getty Images
  • Dot McCarthy, 30, was set to host events at Cronkshaw Fold Farm, Lancashire before the pandemic.
  • Customers can pay $7 for a video chat or $14 to have an edible note written and eaten by the goat.
  • Many people donated more than the $7 fee and the money collected will be invested to convert the farm to renewable power.

Zoom calls with goats, the must-have guest to any lockdown online meeting, have earned $68,000 for a British farm that was struggling to survive after the coronavirus scuppered its events business.

Dot McCarthy, 32, was set to host weddings and other events at Cronkshaw Fold Farm, Lancashire, before the pandemic forced them to be canceled, the Manchester Evening News reported.

During lockdown in April, she posted her idea of goats on Zoom on the farm's website as a joke but woke up to 200 emails the next morning, according to Farming UK.

"I had a random idea because I know people like goats, and they're naturally curious animals, so they will stare at the camera and skip about," She told the Manchester Evening News.

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The scheme's popularity has seen calls come in from Russia, China, Australia, and New Zealand for the goats to join video calls for five minutes. The goats also recently took part in a Eurovision quiz in Germany, the MEN noted.

McCarthy told the BBC that one family books their favorite goat, Margaret, for a long catch up every Saturday morning.

Customers can pay £5 or just under $7 and choose from seven goats, all with their individual personalities, or for £10 or just under $14, have an edible note written up, and be eaten by the goat on camera.

The success of the goats on Zoom has allowed McCarthy to keep her staff employed.

It's so popular, many people donate more than the $7 charge. The money will go to converting the farm to renewable power to improve its carbon footprint, McCarthy told the BBC.