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Want to be fair

tncattle

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A cattle farmer has contacted me and wants me to check on a herd of 90 head that will be grazing his 100 acre pasture for 75 days. He wants me to check them once a weekend and may be once during the week as he will do it most of the time. The owner of the cattle are paying him to let them graze it for 75 days. The cattle are weaned heifers, with all shots & wormed. Anyway, I live about 28 miles from the farm and he wants me to let him know what I would charge to do this. I've never done this and was wondering if I should charge by the mile or for my time or both. I'm not really looking to make a bunch of money but will gather good experience and make a few more contacts in the cattle business.
 

HerefordSire

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Hit him with a price a tad higher than market and then listen to him speak. The thing about this deal is there is not much money in it for him and he expects to pay you? Does he have an alterior motive other than making money?
 

tncattle

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HerefordSire":33561ekp said:
Hit him with a price a tad higher than market and then listen to him speak. The thing about this deal is there is not much money in it for him and he expects to pay you? Does he have an alterior motive other than making money?

I just talked with the guy a few minutes ago to make sure I understood this right. He said they will pay him $.42 per lb. gained per animal for those 75 days. Unless my math is off (which is possible) that ain't bad. Even if they only gained 1 lb. a day that is a little over $2800 for 75 days. How can the cattle owner do this? Does this sound right?
 

backhoeboogie

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tncattle":38syzw2r said:
I just talked with the guy a few minutes ago to make sure I understood this right. He said they will pay him $.42 per lb. gained per animal for those 75 days. Unless my math is off (which is possible) that ain't bad. Even if they only gained 1 lb. a day that is a little over $2800 for 75 days. How can the cattle owner do this? Does this sound right?

Slaughter cattle are bringing about 44 cents on average at the sale barn. It is going to depend on them being fats, high yeild, low yield or thin and shelly but 44 cents is average. You can check your local market for slaughter cattle prices. The order buyers at the sale barn are making money on them by buying them at that price.

So if this guy is paying $42 per hundred gain, he's coming out ahead based on current market price.

If you are taking delivery of cutters or canners, you may have trouble keeping some alive. For each one dead you lose the gain on 10 or so healthy cows (give or take).

I have no idea what anyone has in mind and don't know enough detail. I wouldn't enter that deal. I'd be better off having someone bale my pasture on the halves and selling the hay.
 

farmwriter

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In my area, people are asking anywhere from .35 to .45 per pound gained. I guess they come out better than graining or buying hay if they don't have enough grass.
My question would be, what does it mean to check on them? If one is sick or injured, do you just call and let him know, handle it yourself, help landowner handle it? If they're all out in the road are you going to be the only one getting them back in the pen? Will you be checking water, mineral, fly control?
 

backhoeboogie

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Sorry. I missed the part about weaned heifers. They are in the 90 cent range. If he's paying 42, he'd coming out with better 50 cents a pound.
 

tncattle

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farmwriter":185ppjs6 said:
In my area, people are asking anywhere from .35 to .45 per pound gained. I guess they come out better than graining or buying hay if they don't have enough grass.
My question would be, what does it mean to check on them? If one is sick or injured, do you just call and let him know, handle it yourself, help landowner handle it? If they're all out in the road are you going to be the only one getting them back in the pen? Will you be checking water, mineral, fly control?

I'll call him and help him if they are sick or out of the pasture etc. When I'm out there I will be checking water, mineral. etc. Just trying to figure out what is a fair price for both of us.
 

Running Arrow Bill

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What is your time worth?

If you don't know...

Consider that semi-skilled labor is being paid ~$10. an hour.

Your services are "skilled cattleman". IMO I wouldn't touch the deal for less than $1.50 a mile round trip plus $25. an hour on site services. Also, since there are two other people involved, I'd ask for one week advance payment, billable weekly. If the check doesn't come...you don't show up.

It's neither here nor there who is making what off the cattle operation. YOU are a contract "labor" person with cattle skills.

Anytime there is more than one "boss" involved then the picture gets muddled as to who is responsible for paying you.

As an "extra" job for you, make it worth your while or bail out!
 

LimiMan

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If all you are doing is checking on the animals and not responsible for getting them up and working them by yourself. I think around $ 10-12 an hour and about $1.00 a mile. It seems your not doing anyting that a 16 year old farm boy couldnt handle.
 

HerefordSire

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tncattle":39ay9o8g said:
HerefordSire":39ay9o8g said:
$10 per hour + expenses + a sum if you are on call.

I won't be on call. So maybe $10 an hr. plus expenses?

That sounds right just so you understand there is allot of responsibility with cattle. They don't go to school or day care but they can land you in jail if mismanaged.


Edit: check the fence before you agree to anything.
 

Running Arrow Bill

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HerefordSire":3undx8po said:
tncattle":3undx8po said:
HerefordSire":3undx8po said:
$10 per hour + expenses + a sum if you are on call.

I won't be on call. So maybe $10 an hr. plus expenses?

That sounds right just so you understand there is allot of responsibility with cattle. They don't go to school or day care but they can land you in jail if mismanaged.


Edit: check the fence before you agree to anything.

Given all the issues...I'd personally draw up an agreement, details specified, have the guy sign. Don't know what people in your area are worth, but no way I'd do that kind of work for $10. an hour! Unless of course a person doesn't consider themselves "skilled" and all. Even with a part-time, 2-3 times a week visit to check on things, a job "title" would probably be "Livestock Manager" (checking on security issues, livestock health, water, minerals, etc., etc.). X years of experience and/or college degree in livestock area "should" be worth $50. an hour... Consider that plumbers, electricians, welders, irrigation people, etc., are charging $35 to $75 an hour for their professional services. Greeters at Wally World and Fast Food "shift managers" are probably making $8 to $10 an hour. Granted a "competent" H.S. Kid that grew up in livestock business would probably do it for $10. an hour during the summer months. However, can you find one?? The Federal Minimum wage (still too low to support oneself much less one's family) is still now only $7.25 an hour. Put things in perspective...IMHO.

;-)
 

chippie

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If you are charging $10 per hour, I would say that the time clock starts when you leave home and stops when you get back home.
 

HerefordSire

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RAB...

It looks like about a 5 hour per week contract job or 5 * $10 * (75 days / 7 day in week) = $500

I wouldn't worry about it for $500 as long as tncattle didn't feel any bad vibes, etc. and trusts him, etc.
 

grannysoo

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56 miles per day @ .50 per mile (minimum) = 28.00
Figure at least an hour of your time there = 25.00
Figure at least an hour of travel time = 25.00

Minimum charge of 78.00 per trip.

Good, trustworthy help that shows up and can be counted on to handle any problems is hard to find. I wouldn't want to put a 16 year old school kid in charge of my investment. I would want someone that would and could do whatever it takes to handle the job.
 

HerefordSire

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grannysoo":2g37aw99 said:
56 miles per day @ .50 per mile (minimum) = 28.00
Figure at least an hour of your time there = 25.00
Figure at least an hour of travel time = 25.00

Minimum charge of 78.00 per trip.

Good, trustworthy help that shows up and can be counted on to handle any problems is hard to find. I wouldn't want to put a 16 year old school kid in charge of my investment. I would want someone that would and could do whatever it takes to handle the job.


The five hours I was figuring per week should cover the cost of the drive time to and fro. The fuel could be shown in receipts. Wear and tear would depend upon the vehicle. There is a market for this type of stuff especially with house dogs. There are many times while living in a small town where I can't just get up and leave because of dogs. With cattle, not much of an issue as long as there is a good fence.
 

grannysoo

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HerefordSire":2i1ziieg said:
With cattle, not much of an issue as long as there is a good fence.

Don't forget the rule of relative distance.

The probability of cows getting out and misbehaving are directly proportional to the distance that is traveled away from them.

For example:
1 miles away = 1% more probability of escape or escapades.
10 miles away = 10% more
500 miles away = 500% more

Don't ask me how they know, but they do....
 

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