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Topic-icon Sheep grazing costs per week

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1 month 1 week ago #544994 by vizsla

Hi everyone,
I am struggling to find a price to charge a neighbour to graze some sheep on our place. Like many places the grass is drying up and our neighbour wants to bring quite a few sheep over. We are lightly stocked. I want to charge as I am taking the risk that we might not get any decent growing weather before winter. Can anyone give me an idea what I should charge? It is good quality grass and lots of it. I am currently thinking around the $1 mark a week per sheep. Any help much appreciated :-)

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1 month 1 week ago #544996 by max2

Can't say that I have ever read or been asked for a per head price for sheep. Usually its just per hectare/sole use of a property lease amount...

Will be interesting to read if others do.

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1 month 1 week ago #545001 by Cigar

Considering young dairy cattle are around a dollar a day, a dollar a week for sheep seems reasonable to me, but also depends what class of sheep which affects how well they need to be fed.

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1 month 1 week ago #545005 by LongRidge

I work out how much I an going to pay for grazing on an animal per day basis, because some farms grow pasture better than others. If I pay on an area basis the land owner very tempted to not improve the soil fertility so that more animals can be grazed. Generally, the amount paid pays for fertiliser, but while the price of sheep and beef is so high the land owner should be able to charge more.
I work the rate out on a daily basis, so that I do not have to work at getting them on and off on a specific day.
Your grass is worth only what somebody wants to pay for it. As the animal owner I work on half the value of the offspring going to me, and the other half going to the land owner, and I return the soil to the same fertility as it was at the start. At the moment I am averaging about $100 per lamb before tax, so at 100% lambing that works out to about 13.5 c per day for each of us. Thus $1 per week per sheep is fair, especially if no tax of both kinds is involved. If tax is involved the $1.25 per head per week is more fair to you. But .... with the current scarcity of grass if your area has none, then you could ask more. If he had to feed hay then his cost would be nearer $3.50 per week.

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1 month 1 week ago #545009 by vizsla

Thank you very much this was very helpful. Thank you for making the time to reply. I really appreciate it! :-)

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1 month 6 days ago #545028 by muri

From the perspective of a sheep owner, $1 a week is too much as it means your animals have cost you $52 for the year before they have done anything else eg drenched, shorn and so forth.
I would pay 50c a week but would find $1 high, unless it was emergency grazing for a short period of time and then I would think it a reasonable price.
If it was my pasture and I was deliberately under stocked to conserve grass, then i wouldnt bring a lot of sheep on if it would compromise future grass for your own animals.

Last Edit: 1 month 6 days ago by muri.
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1 month 6 days ago #545032 by VioletFarmer

I tend to think the same way Muri does- over a year $1 a week per sheep adds up, you would want more than 100% lambing to make it worth while. It sounds like the neighbour probably only needs the grazing short term/ or the poster is only wanting to lease the paddock short term. So- I suppose its a case of- you have been asked to provide some grazing as opposed to you offering grazing- so I tend to think its really up to you what you charge. You can always start at $1 per sheep per week- then work backwards depending on your pasture quality- how good the fencing is/ will they need to supply electric fence/ troughs etc. We like to stay 'in credit' with our close neighbours, so when we do each other favours, we all tend to do it on the lower $ side, as we have good relationships & you never know when you may need a hand. That's the most useful currency imho :)

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1 month 6 days ago #545034 by tonybaker

in the interests of having a grateful neighbour, and considering that the sheep are doing you a favour in returning compost to the soil, I would see what sort of "deals" you can do?


5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, ducks, Kune Kune pigs, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)
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1 month 6 days ago #545035 by LongRidge

Unfortunately for those of us that graze other peoples LSB, they all think that their grass is more valuable to the grazier, and they hear stories about how ewes have triplets and lambs sell for $150 each, What they don't believe is that a twin or a triplet will take a year to become worth $100 let alone $150 :-(. That is why I used to pay 50c per head per week, and also why I expect the owner to pay for fertiliser. But I have to pay enough so that the land owner does not give me such short notice that I cannot get rid of the animals that I can no longer feed :-(.

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1 month 6 days ago #545036 by Cigar

Short term grazing is nearly always a lot more expensive than all-year grazing in the dairy industry.
You should also take into account how much it costs you to grow the pasture, and the cost of alternatives.
Many years ago we were told the average cost of growing pasture was 8 cents per kg of dry matter. It will no doubt be a lot higher now, but even at that rate a sheep on 1 kgDM/day costs 56c/week (without any profit).
To fill a short term deficit, good quality bought in feed would probably cost 30c/kgDM or more. That's over $2/sheep/week if they have no pasture.

I would definitely try to come to an agreement you are both happy with beforehand. We grazed our neighbours two heifers for 11 months, and in return we got one feed of steak and the kids got the occasional horse ride. Plus some neighbourly goodwill but they split up and sold up soon after so that wasn't worth much either!

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1 month 4 days ago #545101 by vizsla

Ok thanks everyone. Just to let you know I have established through stock agents and farmers the going rate currently is between $1 - $1.6 per sheep per week for short term grazing. I have agreed on a price with the neighbour. Thank you all for your help, it really helped.

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