Hi there. I was wondering if anyone ever had more than dogs or cats that they cared for while owners were away? I had planned on boarding some of my livestock and one of my dogs (that does not like to travel) while away this spring— as I will be gone too long for traditional farm sitting— but feel this may be a better option. Just wondering if anyone out there had done house-sitting on a homestead?
Yes, there are experienced sitters who love farm sits. If you do a search (click on the magnifying glass icon) and enter farm, homestead, or individual animals, such as goats, sheep, pigs, chickens you will see previous posts on this topic. You came to the right place.
Hi @Lth and welcome. I’ve been both homeowner and sitter for livestock. When we had our hobby farm we raised pigs, chickens & guinea fowl and I was SO nervous to have our first sitter, but they were amazing and all of our animals were well cared for. We even returned from our trip to a homemade dinner!
I don’t have livestock now so can travel more. As a sitter, I’ve looked after dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, pigs, sheep, goats, ducks & chickens.
You will find quite a lot of sitters who have experience watching livestock, in fact many of us jump at the chance to farmsit! As with all sits, communication is important, you would probably want to have a video chat with prospective sitters to make sure you trust your their instinct when it comes to animal health and make sure to leave detailed instructions as well as emergency contacts.
Where are you located and what type of animals do you have?
I am located in NE Florida. I have chickens, goats and alpacas and mini-pigs— though I am currently downsizing my goats. Alpacas require special care in the warmer months here in FL. I would also have a cat and one dog who does not like to travel because he is a goof ball of energy who is scared of cars
Oh yes, looking after farm animals is definitely on the cards. We have looked after sheep, horses and chickens, all hard work but great fun. It’s amazing how many personalities there are in a flock of sheep!
It’s a different sort of sit, more responsibility, less free time and you have to be on constant watch for problems or illness. Even fence checking is very important. They are all great escape artists. But yet again there is always something new to learn. Who would know broody hens were so vicious when disturbed, I was only trying to change her water….
A sit for a true hard working animal lover.
@ElsieDownie Oh yes, broody hens can definitely have a vicious streak. One of the chickens I sat for would not leave the nestbox part of the chicken house, It was the middle of a heatwave and she was in real danger of becoming roast chicken! Every day I had to open the roof and lift her out - very carefully. There was a reason the kids named her “Mrs Angry”!
We have cared for chickens in the UK on many occasions and in one sit cared for chickens, ducks, turkeys, partidges and guinea fowls (20 birds in total) - one of our most memorable favourite sits!
Personally I’d love the opportunity to look after more farm animals. There will definitely be sitters with the experience you are looking for
Hi @Lth a very warm welcome to our community forum … I see you’ve had some great feedback and help from our community already, with more to come I’m sure.
At TrustedHousesitters we care for all creatures great and small with many sitters who have large and small animal experience. When creating a listing it’s important to include all of your animals care and needs, experience required, also your expectations that way the most suitable sitters will apply, also think about whether you could welcome families as often farm style sits are suited to families.
As @mars says there are conversations around sitting farm animals, use the spyglass to be a part of those conversations.
Welcome again and enjoy connecting with our members from around the world.
Angela & The Team
We have a small farm with sheep, ducks, chickens and cats and all our THS sitters have been great. We’ve had up to 14 animals but now have only 9 (#farmlife ). We are just back from a three month vacation and our sitter was amazing! Our outdoor animals are pretty hands-off and we try to keep care simple, but there is always some degree of concern caring for livestock and keeping them safe so we try to choose sitters who are attentive, flexible, and have good instincts. Most have had limited previous experience but they’ve worked out fine. We do try to choose sitters who plan to be home a lot vs those looking for a base to explore from. You’ll have no trouble attracting applicants, just think ahead about what qualities are most important to you.
Yes, I state on my profile that I have experience with goats, sheep, pigs and poultry. I’ve done sits with goats, sheep and poultry, but no pigs as yet.
We have, amongst other animals, sheep & pigs. If you can cope with sheep then you definitely can cope with pigs. The saying that sheep are born to find ways to die is so correct from getting cast, to heads stuck in fences, to getting fly strike etc. The Sitters we have chosen in the past either have some experience with sheep or good animal instincts. Pigs, on the other hand, are happy if they are fed, straw added to their bed, buckets of water thrown to create a wallow in hot weather and, as long as the Sitter wants to, given a good back scratch. They are rarely ill. Good luck with your sits.
Very true about the sheep @Margaret . We used to be members of a sailing club on the River Avon, and my husband was sometimes on the rota to be in the rescue boat. The only rescue he ever had to make was a waterlogged sheep who had strayed too far down the riverbank and into the water. The small rescue boat had a crew of 2, but somehow they got the very heavy waterlogged sheep into the boat without capsizing, and then back onto the bank at a more accessible point!