How much should I charge for chicken care services?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by theawesomechick, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. Over winter break, I hope to make some money by offering "chicken sitting" for chicken owners in the area. I live in a rather tight suburb in the Bay Area, and many people around here keep small backyard flocks.

    Basic services would include maintaining feed and water and basic coop maintenance, such as cleaning off the poop board or sweeping the floor.

    I was thinking maybe $5 per hour of supervised free range? Maybe the same price to get the bedding changed.

    I don't know how much to charge. Is $20 a week okay, or am I way over/under pricing it? My only means of transportation is a bike, so I wouldn't be able to go more than, say, 1.5 miles to a certain house.

    Thanks for any input!

    Edited by staff
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2014
  2. Cacique500

    Cacique500 Songster 5 Years

    Jun 2, 2013
    Atlanta, Georgia
    First, congrats on your work ethic - glad to see a youngster out there trying to make a buck!

    Second, I think you're underpricing - personally (and this is just in my situation) I'd be willing to pay the going rate that babysitters get - $10/hour is not out of the question and if you were in Georgia I'd happily pay that! I think you'll do especially well with people that need to go on vacation/travel during the holidays. One of the drawbacks of raising chickens is you can't really go on a long trip (I mean you can, but we just don't trust anybody to take care of our chickens like we do). There's got to be a good market for that.

    Good luck with your venture and hope you get a lot of customers! [​IMG]
  3. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Songster

    Jul 13, 2013
    SW Kansas
    I would do say $10 a day to include cleaning, feeding, and extra if they want them let out under supervision. I doubt the basics would even take an hour. I would happily pay $50 for 5 days out of town, that I did not have to worry about my flock!
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2014
  4. Thanks for your support! I think I'll stick with $10 a day. Do you think I should post an ad on BYC's Buy-Sell-Trade?
  5. NotableNancy

    NotableNancy Songster

    Dec 28, 2012
    Maybe you can post a sign in your local library or another area like that in your neighborhood. All you need is one or 2 customers and word will travel fast in the chicken world that someone is available to offer this service.
    And I agree with the $10/day. And free ranging would be extra. You may get free eggs out of the deal too!!

    I would hire you in a heartbeat but I'm on the opposite coast!! Good luck and I hope you land a few jobs :)
  6. Thanks! Library is a good idea... or somewhere like a park. In fact, I'll make a flyer right now!
  7. Another thing... I don't own other fowl, but I have done research on them. Do you think I could offer pet-sitting for all types of fowl? I don't think anyone around here owns geese, but there are definitely duck owners.
  8. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Songster

    Jul 13, 2013
    SW Kansas
    I don't see why not. See if such offers come up and research their needs. I like the idea of a flyer, and for sure word of mouth is your best bet!
  9. Have your prospective customers write out on paper EXACTLY what they expect you to do. Not necessarily a contract, but definitely a TO DO list. That way there will be no misunderstandings. I did this for the neighbor kids that take care of my chickens. They have never even been around chickens and they did a great job. I paid them $10 per day and they took home all of the eggs. Everyone was happy!
    1 person likes this.
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road 5 Years

    Nov 7, 2012
    Better yet, you write up a contract of your own. Outline what services you will offer, how often, prices for those services. Your absolute minimum should be $10/day, even if all you do is stop in to feed and water and collect eggs, which shouldn't take over 15 minutes. Be sure to include emergency contact numbers. Leave a blank spot for the customer to add any extra requests, and charge accordingly for the extras. Have a space for the customer to sign the agreement, as well as a space for you to sign. Keep a copy for the customer and yourself. When you have been paid accordingly, keep a copy for your files. Get your parent's input for this. This service might be expanded, if you want to include plant care and pet sitting for the family dog/cat.
    1 person likes this.

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