Feet come in a huge range of sizes and it wouldn’t be practical for me to provide boots to fit every sized foot. I prefer to wear gumboots but any sturdy footwear would suffice.
As I’ve mentioned in other responses I own just one car and I need to use it to get to and from the airport. Visitors to NZ hire cars to get around and I couldn’t imagine anyone flying to NZ to house sit for ten days and then go home.
I’ve deleted the sentence about what goes on at dairy farms but it’s a brutal fact re what happens across the world
Re the chaff etc. The house sitter won’t be moving the bags between sheds - that’s something I’ll do.
The number of animals needs to be taken in context of where and how the animals are located and fed. In my case, my set up requires at lot less ‘work’ than one where there are fewer animals that are further apart. My dogs are going to boarding kennels so there are no ‘my dog is taken for a 2 hour walk every day’ requests.
Just to add and to help put the ‘workload’ in context, I’ve had a friend from the North Island look after the animals including one dog on 2 occasions ( a long weekend and around 10 days). She has health issues but she was able to feed the animals without any problems.
@Working_Class - Please do not think that I am criticising for the sake of it. Yours is probably the most ‘difficult-to-sell’ listing I have ever seen.
I think the only way you have any serious hope of finding sitters is by altering/compromising at least some of the obstacles that are obviously standing in the way.
Two simple things I would advise you to do immediately.
1- “I’m in my 60s and am fit and healthy. I’m able to move 32kg bags of chaff (with the help of the wheelbarrrow) and bales of hay”.
If this is not something the sitter will need to do why are you even mentioning it? - Delete the sentence
2 - “You’ll need to bring your gumboots”
Travelling sitters will not have gumboots - your best option will be to offer to provide gumboots then if you manage to confirm a sitter ask their shoe size and buy them a cheap pair - money well spent.
Two bigger things you should think seriously about doing to instantly increase your chances of getting a sitter dramatically are.
1 - I know that it has been mentioned many times already but - Offer the use of your car. Either get the train to the airport yourself or at the very least offer your car on the proviso that the sitter gives you an early morning lift to the airport - At least you have then offered a solution, it is for the sitter to decide whether that is too big an ask or not. I have recently completed a string of six back-to-back sits in New Zealand - five of the six offered me the use of their car during my stay, and the sixth was only a city centre weekend stay so a car was not necessary
2 - consider offering the sit to everyone, regardless of whether they are vegan or not. I understand you not wanting your own utensils used for cooking non-vegan produce - Why not buy a selection of pots, plates and utensils from the Op-Shop for them to use and ask for yours not to be touched? - these would then be re-donated or saved for future sitters
Would you mind sharing with an ignorant American what Gumboots are? From what I’ve googled it just looks like what we would call “rain boots.” While i’m not sure what the cost of things in NZ are but in the states you can get a decent pair for $20 at a store like Target/Walmart. I would agree supplying a pair for a sitter would be a sound investment.
Public transport on the South Island (especially the rural areas) is limited to the Intercity Bus service. There’s no passenger rail service, other than the tourist train that travels from Christchurch to the West Coast. Christchurch Airport is a 3 and half hour drive (including a ‘cup of tea’ break on the way) from my home. I have to check in for my flight by 4.30 am and that means driving to Christchurch the previous day, staying a motel and driving to the airport car park very early in the morning. it’s just not practical for me to have my house sitter using my car.
Re the plant based food, having someone using even op shop utensils to cook meat and dairy products doesn’t help in any way, they’d still be cooking and eating products I don’t want in my house.
But thank you for offering suggestions that could work in other locations and circumstances
I totally agree with Colin and others that this is an extremely difficult sit to fill. Eleven cats, dotted in various places, from outside, to different rooms within the house and seven horses, an unknown number of chickens and an unknown amount of alpacas is an awful lot of responsibility and work. You also mention collecting eggs and then boiling them up and feeding back to the chickens? If boiling them up, why cannot a sitter enjoy the odd egg also? This is the reason that people keep chickens, so that they have fresh free range eggs on hand. Whenever I have looked after chickens, I have always been told I can eat as many eggs as I like. Something to look forward to on a sit.
I do think it would help, if you had some outside photos, showing the views in different directions. Also a photo of the nearest beach. And do you have any outoor seating areas, where sitters can sit and relax after their hard slog. Photos of this would also help.
With so many animals and so many restriction, it may be better to go to a professional house sitting site, where you pay a daily rate for a sitter. There are also sites that do offer work, such as helpx, where somebody will work approx. up to four hours a day in exchange for all food and lodgings, although I believe the owner is usually there in these cases, as usually cooks all the meals.
I really do think you need to compromise somewhere, if you wish to get a sitter. I would not apply, due to the amount of animals and work involved and the dietry requirements being imposed on me. Good luck,
Hi, I agree with some other points made here that this seems like a very hard to fill sit, but one thing I don’t think has been mentioned is that you have no sitter reviews. Reviews could help potential sitters see that you are a welcoming host and the perks of the sit, and corroborate that the work is manageable for a visitor. You mentioned a Danish couple but I’m guessing they weren’t found from THS? If they were, maybe see if you can ask them for one at this point. I don’t think homeowners have the same option as sitters to request reviews from off site but I wonder if there are ways to include testimonials or offer to provide references at the interview stage for anyone who wants to hear from someone who has done a housesit for you. Are you allowed to upload a picture of a testimonial for example from someone who is willing to be a reference?
I honesty think that you’ve over estimated the amount of work involved at my place - but I understand that people will see ’ 11 cats’ ‘4 horses and 3 ponies’ and think that equates to hours of work. The reality is dramatically different.
I’ve got 5 hens and their house and run are about 20 metres from the house.
The 6 alpacas are about 50 metres from the house. The only work involved with the alpacas is checking that their water trough isn’t empty and giving them some hay and pellets, Their paddock is next to the hayshed. .
Re the few eggs the hens lay, winter is fast approaching and the hens are laying one or 2 eggs per day. From an ethical point of view, it’s only fair that the ex commercial hens get to benefit from what they’ve produced.
I do think it would help, if you had some outside photos, showing the views in different directions. The immediate area around here is flat (mountains can be seen in the distance) and is basically a dairy farming area - cows and very few trees. Also a photo of the nearest beach. It’s nearly winter here and I would imagine that not many people would want to go to a SI beach in winter.
*And do you have any oudtoor seating areas, there’s a wrought iron table and chairs in the front garden but I prefer relaxing by the fire.
There are also sites that do offer work, such as helpx, where somebody will work approx. up to four hours a day in exchange for all food and lodgings, although I believe the owner is usually there in these cases, as usually cooks all the meals. Yes - the owner would be at home in these cases