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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2008

    Default Going rate for farm-sitting?

    Just curious, what would be considered a fair compensation to pay a person to farm-sit while you're away for a week? Figure about a half-dozen each of horses, dogs, and cats.

    I take a week's vacation to farm-sit for my folks every year at their cattle farm, but obviously that's different-- they're my parents, they do enough for me throughout the year, I would never expect payment.

    But for non-family, what would be considered fair payment? Figure that the person would be staying in your home overnight but would still be able to go to their day job during the day. They'd be doing AM & PM farm chores, including feeding and stalls, plus caring for the non-horse critters.
    *friend of bar.ka

    "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2007
    Triangle Area, NC


    So muck 6 stalls, feed and turn out 6 horses and take care of a dozen small animals. I would expect to pay close to $200/day.
    chaque pas est fait ensemble

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2003
    Canada where all hell has broke free


    I guess it would all come down to how things are set up. Are the cats barn cats and just need there feed dish filled each day, or are there kitty litter to clean. Are the dogs outside and able to walk themselves or will they need to be walked.

    If it is easy things about $100 a day if there is a lot to do then up to $200 a day.
    My life motto now is "You can't fix stupid!"

    Are you going to cowboy up, or lie there and bleed

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 29, 2006
    Brooklyn, Wisconsin


    I've done it for my trainer for 7 dogs and 10-14 horses for $50 a day, but I only do it for so little because I feel like my trainer undercharges me, too. If she raises her rates, I'll have to raise mine, too
    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
    -Edward Hoagland

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Lexington, KY


    Depending on the knowledge and skills of the farm sitter and the work involved...I'm going with $125 to $200 a day.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2008
    southeastern PA


    Wow, you never know how good you have it till you hear what other people are doing. I have good barn help that I pay $10/hr. My barn is set up so that it takes about 1 1/2 hour to clean eight stalls, dump wheelbarrows and dump and fill water buckets. That is the normal work load. But it can change day to day: horses extra hours in stall- more manure, add a half hour, if scrubbing out the buckets, add a half hour, if feeding and turning out or bring in, add another half hour, feeding house cats, you get it? another 1/2 hour. etc. (I usually do the feeding in AM and turning out or bringing in.)

    So an easy muck, water and go...$15. Once in a while it's a 2 1/2 hour day and it's $25. When I'm away, my boarders step up and check in regularly to make sure everything is cool. And I give my barn help a bit extra cash for taking care of the barn without me. Works out to about $45.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Lorena, Texas


    We have 2 dogs, 4 house cats, 1 barn cat, and 4-8 horses. We pay $25/visit.

    NOW only 4 of those horses are mine, the additional ones belong to the rescue so our farm-sitter doesn't really charge for them (it is one of her donations to the rescue).

    She also lives maybe 5 minutes away - she has started charging more for clients who live further away as she has to spend more in gas, time getting there, etc.

    If we want her to clean stalls (say if we're going to be gone for more than about 2 days), she charges $2/stall/cleaning.

    I try to have things set up easy. When she gets to the house, she feeds dogs and cats and then lets the dogs out. They stay out while she's there. She feeds and waters ponies, cleans stalls if needed, puts dogs up and picks up the cat food (inside cats don't get unlimited food). If she doesn't have a problem child or stall cleaning, it takes about 30 minutes/visit.

    If I had a lot of turn out/bring in, stall cleaning, etc., I would expect to pay more. And I try to leave her tips to cover the unexpected things that crop up sometimes.
    Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society -

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004


    Quote Originally Posted by blue phlox farm View Post
    Wow, you never know how good you have it till you hear what other people are doing. I have good barn help that I pay $10/hr.
    Regular barn help is a whole different ball game than someone you pay to come out a week or weekend or two every year.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2008
    Middle Tn


    According to these replies I am really undercharging! I charge $35 a day at the place I stay overnight and then go to my day job (6 horses, 2 donkeys, 1 large dog, one house cat, 4 outside cats) That's drop feed, muck stalls, bring in/out, etc. I get to raid the fridge and snuggle with a giant Collie at night Anyone else that I go 2x a day too is between $10 and $20 a visit depending on the amount of animals and cleaning stalls, etc. I typically have between 4 and 6 pet/farmsits a month. Maybe I should look at raising my rates!
    "Farriers are the hairdressers of the horse world. They know everything about everybody..."-Lildunhorse

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 6, 2009


    I think that $200/day is too much, but MajMeadowMorgans isn't charging enough.

    Start by calculating how many hours of work per day the job should take for someone who is doing it for the first time. Then multiply it by the going rate for per hour regular barn staff. Then double it, because this person isn't your regular barn staff. Then, add something on top, a "responsibility" amount. Because the person you are hiring isn't just doing the work, they are agreeing to stay at your house and be available to handle any emergencies or messes that come up. That should give a ballpark figure, which could be raised or lowered depending on the area you are in.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2007


    $200 a day!!!! I'd never go away...for 7 days, that's $1,400.00
    Sorry, but that is way too much.

    I agree with Bee honey. How long does it take to do the job, and multiply by the going rate for barn help. I also add in travel and pay that too.

    If that is what you are paying...1400 a week, then if the person works 52 weeks a year, they are making 72,800 a year. If they only work 75% of the time, or 39 weeks, (thats 13 weeks off a year or over 3 months off) they would make $54,600!!!
    Also, no travel to work, since they are staying at your place. I would assume you stock the fridge for them, and they have lower utility, food, gas, heat, etc bills since they aren't home all that much.

    So, you really think 1400 a week is fair?
    save lives...spay/neuter/geld

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2009

    Default Last time we had a 'sitter' ``` $100.00 a day

    Last time we had a barn 'sitter' she charged $100.00 a day ~

    Stall cleaning (9) ~ turn out & feeding both ends of the day

    Barn cats & house cats fed both ends of the day ~

    Outside horses fed twice a day and water refreshed

    and all the other obligations ~ equine meds ``` bedding stalls when needed ...

    Expen$ive but worth every penny ~!~
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2003


    At $200/day I would never go away either.

    Cowgirljenn, you are getting a great bargain. When we went away for a month over the summer, we paid $25/day (which was a bargain, about $800 for a whole month) for someone to come over and deal with just 2 horses. There were no stalls. They had to put feed and hay in their feeders and then open the pen gate in the morning, the come back in the evening (they live about 6 miles away), shout "PONEEEEEEEEEEZZZZZZ" very loudly, hope to heck that the horses appeared out of the woods, put feed and hay in the feeders and then close the pen gate on them. (Mostly they did come, but a couple of times she had to go wandering through our woods to try to find them) When we got back the woman had also been fly spraying them every day, treating bite on the horse every, single day, had been to the vet (20 miles away) and got a steroid shot for the horse as he was suffering from fly bite allergies, and had administered it. That was a bargain at $25/day - but cowgirljenn, you top my bargain, you have a winner!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2011


    I currently pay a college aged pony clubber $40 a day to come to my farm 2x a day. This is feeding, mucking, in/out, change blankets for 1 horse & 1 pony, dropping feed to barn cats and farm dogs, checking auto waters as everybody uses them, plus feeding & cleaning for the 1 guinea pig. At first I thought it was a tad high, but she is super reliable and I live far enough out that need a localish person.
    Things happen for a when I reach over and smack you upside the head, just gave me a reason!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2011


    If you are asking them to spend the night, at least $100 per day. Chores beyond feeding I'd price at $10 per hour.

  16. #16


    I pay $25 a day for a young couple to stay at my farm when I go on vacation. I load up the fridge with goodies. They say it's like a vacation for them from their tiny apartment. They bring their dog along. They ask me frequently if I am going away soon ... They love it here.

    Three horses, five cats, one dog. But we have Dish and lots of channels.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2010


    Holy crap, $200 per day!? A local boarding barn here charges $20 per day per horse if you go on vacation... so our 5 horses would only be $100/day there. $200 is insane!

    We have five horses at our place. They are in stalls with attached runs, so they are outside most of the days. Only one is really messy in his stall... the others are generally pretty clean. When we leave we have someone come 2x a day to clean/feed/water/check on the horses. I believe we pay about $50-60 a day. Plus we work out how much gas money to give her as well.

    We don't have any dogs or cats that need to be looked after at home though--we send the dogs to a kennel and someone else comes in for our cats, so you'd have to pay extra for that as well obviously.
    The New Banner's Choice- 1994 ASB Mare
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  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2006
    Seattle, WA


    I have 5 horses here along with 2 cats and 2 dogs. We went on vacation for 2 weeks last Christmas and paid $50/day for a neighbor to stay here. All of my guys live out, and only one has a stall to come into that he poops in, so she only had to clean one stall once a day.
    Flying F Sport Horses
    Horses in the NW

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May. 2, 2011


    $200 may seem excessive for many people. But if the animals are ill mannered idiots, $200/day sounds just dandy to me. When I was a little younger, untrained animals didn't bother me and I took care of farms for very little $$. Not any more, lol.
    It's only when a mosquito lands on your privates that you realize there is always a way to solve problems without using violence. fb meme.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun. 4, 2002
    The hollers of WV


    For my farm which is a mishmash of horses, cattle, and poultry..with huge responsibility that certain tasks MUST get done...I pay $75 a day. We do have a little bit of mucking but not but one or two stalls and that depends on the weather. I have a wonderful farmsitter who I trust completely. She generally does not overnight there as she lives close enough to commute. I also get a referral discount for spreading the word and getting new customers for her. :-)

    I wanted to add that it takes about 3 hours a day to do chores between morning and evening.

    Some of you are paying way way more! OMG, I could never afford to go anywhere!

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