how much/how to pay chicken sitter?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by rebecuna, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. rebecuna

    rebecuna Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 6, 2012
    We'll be gone for 2 weeks over Christmas and our next-door neighbor is going to watch our 6 hens. Let them out in the morning, feed/water, close up the coop at night. Probably a total of 10 minutes of work a day, if you go slow. What's the ballpark of what to pay for something like this? I keep thinking the overall number I'm coming up with is too high, but when I break it down to how much they get paid each morning/evening, it seems like so little! Help!

    *note: this could be our neighbor's teenage daughter, who we pay $7/hr to babysit (occasionally, not a regular). I don't think she's too excited about it, though, so most likely it will be her dad, who is the quintessential perfect neighbor, always offering tools and blowing leaves off our driveway for us and such. He's an animal guy, and has had ducks and rabbits and things over the years. He's taken care of the chickens for us overnight a couple times, but nothing like this. It feels a bit awkward to pay him, since that's not our typical relationship, but I also don't want him to feel taken for granted, and it IS work. Besides keeping the eggs, would you do cash or a gift certificate or...?
  2. stevetone

    stevetone Chicken Advocate

    If it is done by a child, then payment at a reasonable rate is a good teaching moment and incentive to make money. In your example, if the teenager does it, explain the requirements and time expected, then ask her to set the price, which is another good teaching moment.

    If done by an adult...well, why? There are so many children that would love to do it, I find it hard to imagine that an adult is required (although, for younger children, an adult may need to come along).

    We have our daughters take on all such assignments. They have been paid from zero (bartering with other chickenkeepers) to $5/day.
  3. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    I used to pay the girl who babysat for our grandchildren $10 a day to stop by and feed the dogs and check their water. She would do it on the way to or from school. She was reliable.

    I would be looking for reliable first.

  4. heybarb

    heybarb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2012
    North Carolina
    We had to pay a neighbor because we just don't live close enough for a younger person to do it. Since she had to drive to our house, we paid her $10 per day plus she collected and kept the eggs - for several 3 day weekends in the spring. After a 2 week vacation this summer, our chicken sitter refused to take the $200 but she kept $100. It seems like a lot, but taking into account her driving time and the time at our house $10 per day (or $5 per trip) seemed cheap. Plus while she was there, she collected our mail, fed our cat and fish too.

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