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Pasture/Shelter rental prices?

519 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  BetsyK in Mich
I've decided that I'm gonna rent out a couple acres of my pasture this year and have no idea what to charge. To tell the truth, I'd about let someone run a few head of sheep or goats for pennies just to keep the weeds and grass down. They'd be responsible for fencing repairs needed before they brought the stock in that case.

A few options I am looking at and have no idea what to charge for each:

#1) sheep or goats, water available, no buildings, they do the required fencing repairs if needed, they take care of the critters. Like I said, I'd charge minimal for that, enough to cover some water cost.

#2) Same as above but also include a corner of a pole barn for shelter.

#3) Same as #1 and/or #2 but I feed and water the animals.

Now for the horse options:

#4) Same as option #1 except they bring a horse or 2 instead of sheep. I do no work and they don't get shelter. Again, I'd charge minimal for this.

#5) Same as #2 above but with a horse or 2 and they get a corner of a building for a stall. Again, any fencing, stalls, watering, feeding etc. is up to them.

#6) I build and maintain stalls and fences, they take care of the horse(s).

#7) Same as #6 except I also feed/water the horses and clean stalls. They supply any feed/hay.

Guess I ended up with more than a few options. The only option I have any idea on cost is option #7. I know that around these parts (Iowa) people will pay $300-$500 per horse for basically a full service horse boarding. Not sure if I'm interested in this but if someone wants to pay me good money for option #7 I'd have a hard time turning them down.

What would be fair charges for the above options?

Thanks in advance, CB
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Your summer will be less hassle if you scratch goats off your list. The only thing animals need for shelter in the summer is plenty of shade. Are there any trees available for shade? A woven wire fence will hold sheep if it isn't mashed down somewhere. Horses are the most plentiful critters that might need pasture. One hot wire will hold horses. They will need lots of drinking water, but the sheep wouldn't need swo much. I'd require the owners to tend to their own animals. If an animal if not doing OK they should see it theirself and tend to it. Two horses will have two acres shaved to the ground after a month or two, especially if it gets really dry. How much you charge is whatever they are willing to pay. I'd rent it for the summer at a set price, that way if they over graze it and take their animals elsewhere you will still get full payment, which You would be wise to require up front.
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I think that it'd be easier to mow than it would to do any of your listed options.

Taking care of horses is a lot of work. Around here it could easily cost $250/month for pasture board.

Goats are a lot of hassle. Does your insurance cover these options? All of these options are a liability to you. This could end up costing you a lot if someone is injured.

Horse people tend not to want to do a short term board.

If you feed and water critters the people are less likely to come as often. What happens if a critter gets ill? You are responsible for any animal's health if they're on your land. What happens if the animal owner stops feeding them? Stops providing feed? Do you want to give up your ability to go anywhere for a few days this summer?

I think you'd be better off hiring someone to mow your place a couple of times this summer. Horses won't eat weeds, by the way.
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I just made an agreement with a neighbor to run 4 cow and calf combo on my rotational pastures this summer. I sold my sheep before my knee replacement surgery and would like to keep the pastures in good shape. He will do all the work, his sons will be over to clean out the bull thistles all summer, pastures are fenced with woven wire. I provide water and a little power for a single electric fence wire around the top of the woven. The cattle will be here from May 1 to Oct 1 or if the pasture gives out. Should be a pretty good arrangement, his cows are pretty calm as long as your not driving them someplace. This is on 9 acres. May put more than four set on if the pasture can carry them. He's paying me .65 per day per cow. Don't know if that is good price or not but it is ok with me, my only concern is to keep the pastures in good shape for when I get back into sheep next fall.
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