Stallion Spotlight

C-Quito1

Real Estate Spotlight

EREP-2
  • Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You�re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the Forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it�details of personal disputes may be better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts, though are not legally obligated to do so, regardless of content.

Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting. Moderators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts unless they have been alerted and have determined that a post, thread or user has violated the Forums� policies. Moderators do not regularly independently monitor the Forums for such violations.

Profanity, outright vulgarity, blatant personal insults or otherwise inappropriate statements will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

Users may provide their positive or negative experiences with or opinions of companies, products, individuals, etc.; however, accounts involving allegations of criminal behavior against named individuals or companies MUST be first-hand accounts and may NOT be made anonymously.

If a situation has been reported upon by a reputable news source or addressed by law enforcement or the legal system it is open for discussion, but if an individual wants to make their own claims of criminal behavior against a named party in the course of that discussion, they too must identify themselves by first and last name and the account must be first-person.

Criminal allegations that do not satisfy these requirements, when brought to our attention, may be removed pending satisfaction of these criteria, and we reserve the right to err on the side of caution when making these determinations.

Credible threats of suicide will be reported to the police along with identifying user information at our disposal, in addition to referring the user to suicide helpline resources such as 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it�s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users� profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses � Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it�s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who�s selling it, it doesn�t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions � Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services � Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products � While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements � Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be �bumped� excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues � Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators� discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the �alert� button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your �Ignore� list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you�d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user�s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 5/9/18)
See more
See less

How much should I charge for farm sitting?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How much should I charge for farm sitting?

    I want to start a farm sitting business but I'm unsure of how to charge. Should it be a case by case custom quote (if so, how?) or a base fee plus mileage (say $50 flat plus 10 cents a mile?) or what do you all recommend?
    I have extensive experience with dogs and cats and 6 years of experience with my few chickens but I'm new to horses, livestock, etc. I plan to launch in October and read and watch everything I can between now and then to gain more knowledge. I still have to decide on a name, get insurance and so on but I'd like to go ahead and work up a price sheet.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Best to discuss all this with a farm sitter who has been in the business for years ..and perhaps work for the sitter / apprenticeship •

    just saying I would not hire a farm sitter who did not have experience with horses •

    * equine references required

    Good Luck with your new business.

    Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

    Comment


    • #3
      IMHO - if you have no experience with horses are livestock, you're going to have a hard time finding gigs. I know I wouldn't hire someone to farm sit without extensive horse experience. Stick to small animal pet sitting and house sitting.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by scrbear11 View Post
        IMHO - if you have no experience with horses are livestock, you're going to have a hard time finding gigs. I know I wouldn't hire someone to farm sit without extensive horse experience. Stick to small animal pet sitting and house sitting.
        What about small animal sitting? Dogs, cats, chickens, goats, pigs?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by fd4517 View Post

          What about small animal sitting? Dogs, cats, chickens, goats, pigs?
          I don’t know about chickens or pigs, but for dogs and cats it depends on your location, your experience and what you are able to provide. Are you staying overnight? If not, how many times a day would you go by? Do you know how to identify a sick pet? Are you capable of dealing with sick or injured pets (monitoring, medicating, etc)?

          I live in a very high-cost area, and for dog/cat I pay about $75 (I think) for regular sitting (stay overnight), and $100 for a vet tech (also overnight). Some people charge extra for multiple pets and others don’t. I would never pay for someone to travel to me, and I really would strongly prefer someone to stay vs visit.

          I wouldn’t hire a pet sitter without references, so if you haven’t pet sat before, I would start by doing some gigs for people you know, and building up references that way. I would also see if your veterinarian would be willing to be a reference.

          While I have always full boarded, I agree that I wouldn’t let anyone take care of my horses (if I currently had them and kept them at home) who didn’t have years under the belt.

          Hope that helps!

          Comment


          • #6
            I agree with one of the other posters, it will be hard to find work without the experience. I think you should do price quote by quote. I know some farms have strict feeding schedules which requires you to adjust schedule to that. Others may just give you a window when you can show up.

            I don't really see a point to do the mileage thing. Just add some extra money onto your base rate. 10 cents a mile is nothing anyway. If you think about it if you were to drive 50 miles it would only be a extra 5.00. Just add that on.

            I am pretty new to the equine world. I read all day long about horses, but without the hands on experience, your learning curve will be short.

            Comment


            • #7
              Without a location, this is a "how long is a piece of string" question. Even with it, it's tough to answer because the job can be so different farm to farm. Asking on your local pet Facebook group might give you more relevant answers, or just do a search there.

              Add me to the list who would absolutely not consider using anyone without equine experience. They are unique animals that can be stubbornly suicidal and even the best animal can have a bad day and be challenging to handle. It's hard enough to leave...but impossible unless the sitter knows what a colic and founder look like, how best to handle something ugly like a horse trying to rip a leg off, or what to do if a horse gets loose and doesn't want to be caught. So much can go wrong. They can also HURT YOU, badly. If you're interested in getting some horse experience so you can farm sit, working at a boarding barn doing stalls and such could be a good way to learn.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                Without a location, this is a "how long is a piece of string" question. Even with it, it's tough to answer because the job can be so different farm to farm. Asking on your local pet Facebook group might give you more relevant answers, or just do a search there.

                Add me to the list who would absolutely not consider using anyone without equine experience. They are unique animals that can be stubbornly suicidal and even the best animal can have a bad day and be challenging to handle. It's hard enough to leave...but impossible unless the sitter knows what a colic and founder look like, how best to handle something ugly like a horse trying to rip a leg off, or what to do if a horse gets loose and doesn't want to be caught. So much can go wrong. They can also HURT YOU, badly. If you're interested in getting some horse experience so you can farm sit, working at a boarding barn doing stalls and such could be a good way to learn.

                It looks like I need to only advertise sitting services for pets, chickens and other small farm animals like goats, pigs, ducks, etc until I can gain experience with horses and cows. Will I be cutting myself off from a lot of potential clients by only focusing on smaller animals? I live in Alabama btw.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by fd4517 View Post
                  It looks like I need to only advertise sitting services for pets, chickens and other small farm animals like goats, pigs, ducks, etc until I can gain experience with horses and cows. Will I be cutting myself off from a lot of potential clients by only focusing on smaller animals? I live in Alabama btw.
                  That seems wise. And tough to tell--just how many people have large livestock in your area? If you're fairly suburban, limiting your business to small animals might make sense long term, as it can be easy to fill a book of business with those clients, and the work is generally easier than with large animals.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Simkie View Post

                    That seems wise. And tough to tell--just how many people have large livestock in your area? If you're fairly suburban, limiting your business to small animals might make sense long term, as it can be easy to fill a book of business with those clients, and the work is generally easier than with large animals.
                    I'm not sure about my area as far as livestock. I know I see them everywhere, including right down the road (a neighbor I don't know has cows and horses). My area is very rural but does have subdivisions scattered here and there and a lot of clumps of neighborhoods. Maybe only advertising for small animals won't prevent me from building a business. Also, can I get feedback on the pricing structure I'm considering?
                    - $30/day up to 24 animals
                    - $45/day for 24-40 animals
                    - $60/day for 40+ animals

                    Each price would be all inclusive as far as what work needs to be done. If they require me to stay over, I plan to charge $80/night. Thoughts?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by fd4517 View Post
                      Also, can I get feedback on the pricing structure I'm considering?
                      - $30/day up to 24 animals
                      - $45/day for 24-40 animals
                      - $60/day for 40+ animals

                      Each price would be all inclusive as far as what work needs to be done. If they require me to stay over, I plan to charge $80/night. Thoughts?
                      Is this how other sitters in the area structure their pricing, and in the same ballpark as what they charge?

                      You might want to consider basing your rates on a combo of number of visits required per day, tasks needed, and number of animals.

                      Stopping in once a day to check on three kitties who free feed dry food and just need their box cleaned is a LOT different than visiting four times a day for three young dogs that all need walks, feeding, and playtime. Those two clients probably should not be paying the same rate.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Simkie View Post

                        Is this how other sitters in the area structure their pricing, and in the same ballpark as what they charge?

                        You might want to consider basing your rates on a combo of number of visits required per day, tasks needed, and number of animals.

                        Stopping in once a day to check on three kitties who free feed dry food and just need their box cleaned is a LOT different than visiting four times a day for three young dogs that all need walks, feeding, and playtime. Those two clients probably should not be paying the same rate.
                        That's a very good point. The dog client would absolutely need to pay more than the one with kittens. Back to square one. But I am thankful you pointed that out. I guess I need to create a price sheet based on every scenario I can think of; number of animals, number of visits, work to be done like you said and have it memorized so I can easily quote a potential. As far as comparing to others in my area, I don't think there is anyone else. At least no one pulls up on Google but maybe they do it through word of mouth? I'm hoping there's a market for my services in my area and I can build a full time, successful business.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I’m in a somewhat high COL area, but our cat sitter charges us $15/visit to do the daily basics - food, water, litter. If she spends more than 10 min at the house per visit, I’d be shocked. (Worth every penny, though!). She also offers additional services like playtime/petting for additional cost.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by fd4517 View Post

                            What about small animal sitting? Dogs, cats, chickens, goats, pigs?
                            If you don't have actual experience in caring for goats , chickens, cows and pigs I wouldn't do those either( i have all those animals too).

                            Farm sitting and caring for peoples pets and livestock is a huge responsibility. To be in business I would expect any farm sitter I used to be proficient in handling (caring for) all the animals I entrust into their care. Knowing when a particular animal is " off " is extremely important.

                            Probably why I don't get away.

                            You might be better off staying with dogs, cats , birds etc.. Not include any livestock until you can somehow get experience.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              my daughter who is a vet tech and high school teacher is in demand for dog setting...we have even considered this since her client base is expanding... the pay?

                              She has one client who "oh I will pay you what it would cost board my darling pooches "... take care my three dogs for seven days; $1,500

                              and I thought horse people were crazy
                              Not responsible for typographical errors.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by fd4517 View Post
                                I want to start a farm sitting business but I'm unsure of how to charge. Should it be a case by case custom quote (if so, how?) or a base fee plus mileage (say $50 flat plus 10 cents a mile?) or what do you all recommend?
                                I have extensive experience with dogs and cats and 6 years of experience with my few chickens but I'm new to horses, livestock, etc. I plan to launch in October and read and watch everything I can between now and then to gain more knowledge. I still have to decide on a name, get insurance and so on but I'd like to go ahead and work up a price sheet.

                                Thanks!
                                You may consider checking with local vet clinics and see if they need an aide.
                                There you will mostly clean cages and stalls if they have large animals and do routine stuff.
                                You will also get to watch and help with the care of the animals and get to know owners that may just. become your clients.

                                That would give you the advantage of really knowing more about animals and so being able to do a better job of babysitting them later, as you then start that business with the real expertise it will require on how to handle and care for those animals best.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Very glad you mentioned insurance in your first post! I am actually *training* a farm sitter who doesn't really have horse experience because she is the only one I could find who had at least fed an equine before (donkey) and who is insured!

                                  I only have one old retired horse here, so it's different than if she had to actually _handle_ any horses. I just need her to make sure he is right side up, throw hay and soak his pellets. If anything seems wrong there are neighbors with horses that she can summon to evaluate the situation.

                                  As far as costs, I'm in rural Georgia so probably similar and paying $45/visit for the horse, dog, cats and two sets of chickens. She's here for an hour or less twice a day.

                                  Your charges should be dependent on the number of tasks and time, plus mileage. Don't under price yourself! For farm owners, being able to leave and not worry (much) is nearly priceless.
                                  --
                                  Wendy
                                  ... and Patrick

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    We pay 60$ a night to stay in our house, look after two dogs (fenced back yard, so no walking) and feeding four horses twice a day, no mucking. Horses go right into stalls that open onto pasture, so no leading from paddocks or pasture needed. Horses stay in if there is bad weather, but we generally have someone who mucks out for us. The only glitch I've had is their surprise that we don't have a microwave. The good ones wash and change the sheets on the guest bed where they stayed, bless them.

                                    Have to add that my step daughter was dog sitting for an older dachshund in Atlanta (Buckhead area) and was payed 100$ a night plus she had to go and get roasted chicken or turkey from the OK Cafe every night for that dog!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I housesit in north Alabama. I have many years of experience with dogs and horses and some experience with cats. I charge $10/critter/day with a $25/day minimum. I stay at the house, do whatever barn chores and critter care they request. On the last day I wash all sheets and towels I used and put them back, wash the dishes I used and put them away as best I can and, at
                                      most housed, run the vacuum. Nobody wants to come home to cleaning chores. I do count all cats as one critter and flocks of chickens as one critter.
                                      At my place I have 4 dogs, 4 cats, 4 horses, 1 turtle and a flock of about 35 chickens; I’d charge myself for 10 critters so $100/day. Because I leave things very clean and I’ve done things like take a sick dog to the vet, medicate him and clean up all his puke and when the fridge at a house broke I took everything to my house and kept it refrigerated until they got their’s working I get tips, sometimes almost double my fee.
                                      When I hire a housesitter I always leave names and numbers for friends and neighbors just in case there’s a question or problem and I also ask a friend to stop by at least once to make sure everything is ok and the stock tanks are full.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Lots of good suggestions here. I know it is temping to try to price things out. But in service businesses like pet or farm sitting is really going to depend on what sorts of pets and how many you are caring for. Do pick a "minimum" charge for one visit a day - regardless of how many pets. Say your minimum charge is $10 - so you might say on your web site or wherever you advertise, "price is determined by number of visits per day and number of animals cared for, with a daily minimum of $10". That way folks know the absolute minimum cost, and you will avoid getting requests to come feed their entire menagerie for nothing.

                                        You should also pick a range of miles from your home base that you are willing to travel. Like "My service area includes 35 miles from Applejack city. Additional fee applies to clients that are beyond that." or "quoted price includes 45 minutes travel time one-way - addition fee applies for every 15 additional minutes". Or something like that. After all, you wouldn't want someone to call from three counties away and expect to pay $10 a day to come feed their one cat.

                                        Figure out the average gas mileage of your vehicle, then using current gas prices, figure what it costs per mile. Then figure it out based on gas being 50 cents more expensive per gallon. Then average the two. Whatever that cost is needs to be built into your minimum price structure. Because you've at minimum got to recuperate your gas money. Using my lovely 20 yr old Suburban that gets 13 miles to the gallon max (on the interstate!) as an example - if I serviced a 25 mile radius, then at $10 minimum, I'd not break even for that 25 mile trip one way, because the gas alone would cost me $10 to drive 50 miles. Hopefully, you aren't driving a 20 year old Suburban!

                                        Get some jobs now pet sitting before you launch. Do it for free (or perhaps just for gas money). Then have them write you a reference that you can put on your website. Or if you have already pet sitted (sat?) for friends or family, have them write you a reference.

                                        I would also recommend contacting your future competition and getting price quotes. Pretend you are going out of town and are looking at pet sitting options, vs keeping your pets at a kennel. Good way to find out exactly what others charge.

                                        I had a pet sitter last November to take care of feeding, putting out hay and picking poop in my 2 run-in sheds and just making sure everyone was OK for our three horses (once a day). My mother stayed at our house and took care of our cats and dogs, and fed the horses in the AM. The sitter came in the PM. She charged $25 a day, which I didn't feel was enough. So I tipped her $100 on top of her fee (our vacation was 10 days, so basically $10 day).

                                        Good luck with your venture!
                                        ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X