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A local fruit and vegie farmer approached me recently and asked if I would consider being a caretaker for a herd that he plans on getting to draw in customers for his fruit farm. I am interested in the idea, and although I have only owned goats for a year or so, I have always raised other farm animals and I went to school for animal husbandry/wildlife ecology. I am confident in my abilities to to assist him (especially with resources like this forum and the yahoo group). However I was wondering, if your were approached with the same offer, what would you choose to charge for different services?
I would imagine he wants bottle babies so there is no transition time to become bonded. Does $10 a day plus the cost of milk per every two goats sound reasonable If I did it in my own barn? What about the following services, what would you charge: trimming, worming, bathing, external pest treatments, training (stand, back, stay, spin to right/left and basic manners), breeding/milking services (assuming he wants does in milk). Then of course there are emergency services and the associated boarding fees that would go along with it.
There are so many things that goats could require and if he was just a local farmer looking to keep a herd and wanted sound advice...I would dish it out in wheelbarrows, however this farmer is completely clueless when it comes to animals. He grows fruits and veggies so I know I would end up holding his hand through the whole thing. Plus, he is only doing it to make money for his farm. I am not inclined to "volunteer" my labor and knowledge for him to earn money on it. I do that enough at the horse farm :roll: I see this as an opportunity to make money doing what I love. I don't want to take advantage of him, but I too do not want to be taken advantage of. What would you consider a fair deal?
Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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feederseaters said:
... However I was wondering, if your were approached with the same offer, what would you choose to charge for different services? ... What about the following services, what would you charge: trimming, worming, bathing, external pest treatments, training (stand, back, stay, spin to right/left and basic manners) ...
You'll probably have to determine how you value your own time for the more time-consuming activities like training, but as a point of comparison for at least the small services such as hoof trimming, around our area (MD) you can hire a shearer to do most of these services. They usually charge around $50-75 for the visit, plus per-animal fees for each service ... the per-animal fees seem to run around $2-5.
 

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I would imagine he wants bottle babies so there is no transition time to become bonded. Does $10 a day plus the cost of milk per every two goats sound reasonable If I did it in my own barn? What about the following services, what would you charge: trimming, worming, bathing, external pest treatments, training (stand, back, stay, spin to right/left and basic manners), breeding/milking services (assuming he wants does in milk). Then of course there are emergency services and the associated boarding fees that would go along with it.
I'd have him own the goats, and I'd just be an employee. All the other costs associated with keeping the goats would be his directly. Anything less than this and he wants it on the cheap.

Then you only have one price to negotiate, being sure you get a punch time clock, since he won't want you full time for effectively what is just advertising for him.
 

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Maybe you could come up with another option for him, something where you have more control- What if he just "rents" you and your own goats to come hang out during the high traffic times at his farm?

If I were you I would not do it unless he really wants to own goats. He should like goats, want to handle the goats, help take care of the goats. If he doesn't really want to own goats, then you will end up owning the goats or having to find homes for the goats. I've done animal rescue for many years and so often animals have to be surrendered to rescue places because there was an arrangement similar to what you describe. Noone fully "owned" the animals, so noone was willing to go the distance for them. Of course you could always eat them, unlike horses, but consider that that could happen.
 

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The only realistic way to do it is figure how many hours its going to take every day to do everything and multiply that by an acceptable hourly wage. Take that number and lump that into a set weekly, or monthly charge for your services. I wouldn't charge "him" by the hour because it leads to squabbles about when you were there and when you weren't. A set weekly or monthly fee eliminates the need to keep track of hours and as long as you are keeping up with everything he should be happy. Some weeks will be less work and some will be more but it should equal out in the end. Also if he owns the goats then he has to cover medications and vet bills.
 
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