The following story about a cow grooming job was sent to me
by a subscriber to the Unusual Ways newsletter, as an
entry in my Most Interesting Money Maker Contest. Others
are listed on the page Interesting
Ways to Make Money.
Note: I recently added a video no cow grooming to the page
I was just out of university and had about eight weeks
and no money before I started my full time job. My mother sent
me to pick up my younger brother at his friend's farm. When I
arrived, after visiting the lovely farmers wife, I was told my
brother would not be back for two and a half hours, so instead
of driving all the way home and back again I went to the barn
to get a tour and check out the new calves.
I wandered into the barn and was watching a newborn calf
wobble around the stall when the farmer came up to me and introduced
himself. The calf was only about 10 minutes old but the birth
had put the farmer behind on his day. Of course, having nothing
better to do while I waited, I asked "is there anything
I could help you with?"
"Sure," he said, and he directed me to put on
some overalls and meet him at the other end of the barn.
At the other end of the barn he handed me what looked like
a fine rake that a toddler would play with. "If you could
comb the cows on this side I would greatly appreciate it,"
He said. I started combing the nose of the first cow when the
farmer stopped me. "No, no, back here where I have shaved
them... try to get the spots to look good." Ok, some farmer
like their cows to look good when they are milking them.
So after the row of cow behinds got combed, the farmer
said to me, "You can either fill up your car at the tank
over there or come back tomorrow to comb the other side and I
will give you cash." Driving my mother's car and knowing
my brother would want to come back the next day, I took the cash.
I made $90 dollars for two afternoons of combing cows.
The second day I did ask why are we combing and shaving
the cows? Apparently cows get graded on their look, Hip size,
utter shape and size, and their milk production. These all factor
into their breeding potential and ultimately the cow price or
value. The farmer I helped was getting only some of his cows
inspected, but wanted the whole barn to look good for the inspector.
Two real lessons I learned from combing cows: One; you
really can be get what you want (cash in my case ) when you help
someone else get what they want or need. Two; always be ready
for an opportunity even if it smells funny.
Great story Ross. Cow grooming or combing is something I have
never done in my eighty or so ways of making money.
Note: The contest is over, but I'll announce any new
competitions in the newsletter (the form should be to the right.)
You can also send stories of odd ways you've made money any time
you like. If I put one on the site I'll send you an e-book (I'll
let you choose from a couple).
Here's a video I found on how to groom a cow for showing:
That guy is like a cow stylist!
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