Neighbours sharing resources - tips please!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by moggles, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. moggles

    moggles Hatching

    Dec 31, 2012
    I have four hens and too many eggs.....our neighbour also would like chickens and we thought sharing the responsibility, cost and eggs would be a good solution - so we don't have the burden of full time care and two coops with not many chickens in close proximity.

    But we have no idea how to suggest dividing the cost and responsibilites. Has anyone done this and can offer any suggestions or direct me to a thread where this has been covered?

    Some initial thoughts I had were odd days and even days - we feed/collect on alternate days. Or 4 days on 4 days off. Our kids are in the same class at school also so communication is easy.

    I paid the initial set up costs but I'm not too bothered about that but perhaps it would be fair that they bought the next 2 lots of food. Would really like to avoid cash exchanging hands and being too particular about who gets how many eggs.

    Thanks so much in advance!
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Hello and welcome to BYC [​IMG] I've never attempted anything like this, but it could work if both parties involved agrees to share the responsibility and costs. Hope it works out well for you!
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, moggles, and [​IMG]! Great to have you with us. Hmmm...that certainly can be a dicey situation. If both of you are equally vested in making it work (and have the same level of care and concern for the chickens), I think what you suggested - 4 days on, 4 days off - has a good chance of success. How formal or informal do you want the arrangement to be? Is a contract required in case your neighbor doesn't fulfill her part of the bargain? There are other incidentals...if a bird(s) gets sick - who is responsible, for instance? You mentioned children...without knowing their ages, is there any way they can be involved? Perhaps as a part of their chores? Without being a wet blanket, and even though you said you didn't want money to change hands, I think the safest (least potential for hard feelings) would be for you to keep and tend them and to sell your neighbor the eggs. Just my two cents...hope it all works out for you.
    Happy New Year!! [​IMG]
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Welcome to BYC. Daddy always said, "Never lend money to or enter into business relationships with friends or family." That might also include neighbors. [​IMG]
  5. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

    Oct 3, 2011
    My Coop
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us.
  6. [​IMG] [​IMG] from washington state glad you joined us!
    good luck with your little chicken venture!
  7. Manic J

    Manic J Chirping

    Dec 20, 2012
    Funkytown USA
    Welcome to BYC .........

    As for your "partnership", call them up, and schedule a meeting to discuss and vote on how it's going to work ......
  8. Hello, Welcome to BYC!!!

    As others already stated it may be difficult to enter into a 'formal' arrangements with the neighbors. I don't know where you are located but
    things as small as winter access could cause difficulties. What time do you want the birds taken care of? what if your neighbors prefer earlier or later times for care and you have people in and out of your yard at odd hours? Will your dog kick up a ruckus each time they are over to look after the birds? A few other things to consider.... if the coop is on your property but housing chickens that belong to them who is responsible for maintaining the coop? New shingles, broken windows, general upkeep? I'm not sure of the age of kids involved but what happens if your neighbor's kids decide they aren't interested anymore and you and your kids are the ones left caring for all of the birds? Who takes care of the birds on summer weekends when vacations, camping trips and family gatherings really get going?
    The who pays for vet bills and feed bills can be arranged pretty straightforward but other issues take a lot of thought/planning. Maybe a more informal arrangement should be maintained till you get an idea of how it could work out for you. See if they want to try filling in for a day here and there in exchange for eggs collected on those days. If all goes well then maybe extend the time to a weekend or vacation period and see how they do and if they enjoy it enough that they want to get into it further.
    They may opt to have a coop of their own anyway, just so they can go out and enjoy their birds whenever they want without worrying about disturbing anyone else. If that is the case then you may be able to make arrangements with them to trade 'chicken sitting' duties when activities take you away for a day or two... or at vacation time. And they can keep different breeds and roosters and you can trade hatching eggs and breeding stock and such... that would make it a win/win for everyone.

    Good luck!
  9. moggles

    moggles Hatching

    Dec 31, 2012
    Thanks for the replies and warm welcome to BYC!!!

    All good questions and appreciate you making sure we consider all the possibilities of things that could go wrong!

    The coop is on common land out the back of our yard (adjoining a stream) so that they don't have to come through our place to tend to them. I think I'd have to be the primary caregiver in terms of sickness, setting the requirements.

    I could suggest a trial where they do 2 days a week to see if they want to carry on or would prefer to get their own, then at the end of the month it's open for us both to call it quits if it's too hard or they would prefer to start their own flock.
  10. liz9910

    liz9910 Crowing

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California

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