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Another Farm Sitting Question :)

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  • Another Farm Sitting Question :)

    I was just curious as to what the going rate is to have someone stay at your farm over night to care for your animals.

    I have a few dogs that would require walking and four horses that would need their stalls cleaned, blankets changed, fed, and turned out.

    What can I expect to pay someone a day/night to stay at my place? If it matters I live near a big city in NC.

  • #2
    I usually pay $20/trip (2 trips a day) to have my 3 horses, barn dog, cats, and chickens looked after. It's not much work, but I hugely value my barn sitter and want her to keep doing it! I also let her work for tack I no longer need--win/win for both of us there.

    I haven't had anyone sit our place overnight, but may do that this summer so I'll be happy to read what others suggest. I have one person lined up to perhaps stay and do house/barn/critter sitting, in exchange for her to keep her horse here for the summer so that would be a not-purely-monetary exchange. But I'd be prepared to pay well for the service--probably $1000 for 2 weeks since I'd be paying a barn sitter AND boarding the house dog/cat AND having to get someone to feed the lizard, etc. etc. which would add up to close to that amount anyhow!
    Click here before you buy.


    • #3
      One of my closest friends sits at my farm and takes care of up to 5 horses, 2 dogs and 2 cats. The dogs don't need to be walked (we have a fenced in yard) but with 5 horses, it's a lot of work.

      I pay $10/horse/day and try only to vacation in the summer, when the workload is easier. For 5 horses, that would be $350 per week.

      We also shared my mare, so that offset the cost a little.

      I am interested in hearing what others pay, since I may need to re examine this since my mare is no longer around.


      • #4
        Hmmm. I pay $100/day for my farmsitter to stay at my house, care for my dog and 2 cats and the 11 horses and one donkey here. Horses are out 24/7, but they need feeding 2x a day, haying in winter, blankets etc. In the summer it probably takes about an hour to feed each time (so 2 hours a day) and in the winter it takes up to twice that long.
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        • #5
          We have 5 horses, 1 donkey, 6 barn cats, 2 house cats, 1 dog, 12 chickens...in addition to regular dog and cat care (and chickens although they are really easy): horses and donkeys get fed breakfast and dinner, turned out and brought in, get hay in paddocks 2 or 3x per day, stalls mucked and bedded daily, water buckets scrubbed daily, pick paddocks daily. $85 per day...and the place is spotless when we get home.


          • #6
            I used to dog/farmsit. In my area the going rate for staying overnight with dogs was 60. I watched a huge barn with 20+ horses for $100 a night but I also go to ride their horses multiple times a day. The rate would have been higher if I didn't get to ride. The barn was located so far away I couldn't watch my normal dogs/pets so I did have to make up for that. If it had been close enough to still run out and walk other dogs it would have been less. I think it really depends on your area I live in a very expensive area outside Washington DC.


            • #7
              Granted it's been a few years since I farm-sat regularly, but I used to charge in the vicinity of $30-$60/day depending on work load. Sometimes 2 animals can be more work than 10 depending on what the owner wants done!

              Aside from the very minor inconvenience of uprooting me from my home, I always thought staying overnight was preferable to driving back and forth several times a day. I never charged extra for that.
              Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


              • #8
                Of friend of mine stays very busy pet sitting and charges $50-$60 to stay at a house with multiple dogs and cats. She would ad on extra $ for horses. We are in Ohio.


                • #9
                  I currently house/farm sit quite a bit and usually charge $50/day. At my current jobs there is no stall cleaning or blanket changing; only throwing hay and checking water for the horses and general care of the other pets.

                  If I were you I would set $50/day as a minimum for the house, and add in an additional $15-$20 for each additional hour of work you expect the house sitter to take care of the blanket changing and stall cleaning in the morning. So if you expect it to take the house sitter an hour to clean stalls and blankets in the morning and an hour again at night, I would pay between $80-$90/day.

                  Keep in mind, as a house sitter, the more simple you make the routine, the less likely there will be any mistakes while you are away.


                  • #10
                    We have 12 to 16 horses here on a regular basis - we never go out of town for more than a day, we can't afford to have someone take care of them all!

                    Usually what we do is find a couple of boarders or students that we trust and have them take turns - two in a family will feed/care for horses one evening, then another family will care for them in the morning, then another the next evening, etc - obviously, all people that are very well versed in caring for the horses and know all the ins and outs of it!

                    In exchange for this, they get free riding time or lessons - which are billed at $60/hour, so they do pretty well. It's worked well for us for about three years now, so I'm not complaining. I think if we were to go somewhere for more than a few days, I'd pay someone $50/day to come out twice a day - if it's winter and the horses are up due to cold (I live in central NC btw), the stalls need to be cleaned and ice broken on the outdoor barrels - but otherwise, all they need to do is bring them in, dump grain, and then turn them back out. Our horses use round bales (I make awesome round bale hay nets that make it SO much easier and less wasteful, and the hay bales usually last about a week for four horses!!), so it's easy to just put round bales out and not have to toss squares out all the time.
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                    Stop Wasting Hay and Extend Consumption Time With Round Bale Hay Nets!!


                    • #11
                      I get paid $50/day (without having to spend the night) to feed one cat and make sure he has water, and to feed and clean stalls for 2 horses that are on 24/7 turnout with option to be in their stalls or not, so "cleaning" doesn't need to happen sometimes if there are no poops :-)
                      "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


                      • #12
                        I would probably be charging between $75-$100 per day for that job depending on the workload, but I am in MA so it may be different in your area.


                        • #13
                          so "cleaning" doesn't need to happen sometimes if there are no poops :-)
                          There are still poops, even if the horses are out!

                          I ask my barn sitter to pick up poops in the (half acre) sacrifice paddock and horse porch (none of mine ever stay in stalls unless they're injured or the weather is truly spectacularly bad) because if they're not picked up every day or nearly every day it gets to be disgusting and the flies can get out of hand in the summer.
                          Click here before you buy.


                          • #14
                            I start at $50/day for a couple easy horses, easy house animals, mail and papers and stay overnight with a reasonable driving distance of my usual paths of travel. For more driving, more complicated animals, more house stuff, that rate goes up. I don't take regular city dog-and-cat jobs any more because I can't charge enough to make the disruption to my schedule worthwhile. Farm dogs are much more self-reliant!


                            • #15
                              When my friend went on vacation it worked out to about $10.00 an hour. 16 horses and 33 goats. But she had round bales put out so I only had to grain 2 of the stallions, make sure everybody had fresh water, do a head count and check to make sure there were no problems. The goats got grain and hay. She has a very "farm sitter friendly" set up so it was about 1 1/2 hours a day. She also only lives about 1/2 mile away. Plus the added bonus when I go on vacation, I know I have someone I can trust to take care of my critters.


                              • #16
                                For 5 horses, stalls, twice per day feeding, dogs, and staying onsite, I was paid $50/day. Wasn't much more of a drive for me to work so it worked well.

                                I have paid the same or more though just for someone to stay with my dog.

                                The best thing I ever did was make friends with other horse/dog people so we could just swap responsibilities from time to time.

                                WAY cheaper.
                                A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                Might be a reason, never an excuse...