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  1. #1
    Elite Member Richard's Avatar
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    Default How much to charge to bury a horse?

    This morning, I took Brutus out for a "stride" [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] (went to rock quarry to pick up couple tons of boulders to block a roadway)

    While driving the 4 miles, a truck stopped me and a lady get's out. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]

    Hmm... I know I was going slow, but Brutus just don't go THAT fast! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img] She comes to me and the upshot, she owns a Llama farm that is probably 2 miles from my house and evidently also has horses. She asked if I was local, I told her where I live, turns out, she knows my father in law. (everyone knows him, retired dentist)

    Anyway, she told me she had a dead horse last Christmas and had to call someone from in town to bury it. (probably 18 miles or so).

    She said it was nice knowing a backhoe was nearby, and did I mind, if she needed it in the future, if she called me?

    I said no problem.

    So, I'm not wishing dead horses or Llamas on anyone, but if she DOES call me (she called the last guy apparently in the middle of the night...why a dead horse couldn't wait until morning is beyond me) [img]/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]

    If she is to call me, how much does one charge? Though she's a neighbor, this is first time I've met her in 5 years here and I have no reason to do it for free.

    If I ever DO get a call to bury a horse... what/how do you do it?

    How deep would you want the bottom, or how much cover over the horse?

    How do you scoot it into bucket without desicrating it (pinching/slicing/breaking it's leg/neck), or would you drag it? (seems awfully disrespectful)

    Once in bucket (presumably) do you just "dump" it into the hole? (seems awfully disrespectful too)

    If you dump it, what if it lands on it's back side, feet sticking up (and near surface or worse, out of the hole?) Seems awfully cruel to break them to make them fit.

    Appreciate any thoughts. I've got to bet more than one person here has done this before and if I ever WERE to get that call, I'd rather be aware of the sensativities involved since a horse is a family pet.

    Oh.. and Brutus can dig a 2' flat bottom at 15 1/2 feet deep.

    Thanks

    Richard

  2. #2
    Gold Member
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    Default Re: How much to charge to bury a horse?

    This is kind of an interesting question. I do have some experience with this situation. One time I had an excavator friend scheduled to come out and dig some trenches because I was putting my power lines underground. The day before he came out I noticed one of the horses was laying out the field alone. The next morning the horse was still there but two of its legs were pointed more heavenly. Sure enough it was dead. So when my excavator got there I asked him what he would charge to get rid of the horse. $25 was what he asked for. Of course he was already there and he was a friend of mine. The horse was an old girl owned by another farmer so he just drug it over to the hole with his truck and the backhoe put it in. Iím not sure how deep the hole was because I was working on my power lines. It didnít take very long and the owner was happy to pay the $25. I usually try to undercharge enough that it makes friends and neighbors happy but charge enough that I donít have to waste my days doing small chores.
    Eric

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
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    Default Re: How much to charge to bury a horse?

    I would think you would want to get down at least 6 feet. 8 if you can get there easy enough.

    A neighbor of mine has his horse dug up by a bear because it wasn't quite deep enough...not a pleasant site I am sure.

    When I had to call in a backhoe I ended up paying $150. To be honest I felt completely ripped off, and had I shopped around probably could have done better.

    If it was me, and I was real close I would probably charge 50-75 bucks...if I had to travel a bit, especially if it meant trailering, I'd probably want $100.

    Seems to me, when a horse dies, no need to rip people off during a difficult time, but also no need to work for too cheap. Charge a fair price, and people will remeber you and call you again when they need something done...screw someone, and chances are you make a few extra bucks up front and you will never hear from them again.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
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    Maine
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    Default Re: How much to charge to bury a horse?

    Richard, Unfortunately, I can share some experience on this issue. I lost a wonderful saddlebred horse a few years ago. We were boarding them at a stable near home in NH. While I can't answer the question of charges (they didn't charge me for the burial), I can answer some of your other questions.

    Best thing to do is dig the hole first, about 7 or 8 feet deep.... and then just lash the rear legs to your tractor and drag it to the hole. If it was a small horse, you could lash all four legs together and hook the rope around the hook you must have welded in the middle of your FEL and lift the carcus for removal to the hole. The sooner you bury it the better. As it starts to decompose, it will swell up and becomes easier to puncture the body. You don't want to do that.

    After you have the carcus in the hole, you want to cover it with wire cloth or heavy plywood before you bury it, in order to keep the coyotes and other creatures from undoing your neat tractor work. Spreading a bag of lime on the carcus will help mask it from the other creatures.

    //bruce
    <font color="green"> May Prince RIP..... </font>

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    Central New Mexico
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    JD garden 214

    Default Re: How much to charge to bury a horse?

    Well, the first thing I would do is find out if the horse is alive or dead. A live horse would be problematic, to say the least. On the otherhand, the Mrs and I have talked about this since our horses are not young any more. Our water table is quite shallow here, so we might hire someone to take them to higher ground. This may be a consideration for you, as well. Also, you should check with the county health department just to be sure - don't want to get crosswise and have to dig it up!

    Don't know what I would charge, but I have had horses taken to the rendering plant - overall a much easier solution.

    Good luck!

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
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    upper central Connecticut
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    case dx45 cab

    Default Re: How much to charge to bury a horse?

    One gentleman mentioned 150 and felt it was too much. Being in western Mass area my self, in fact doing a cemetery burial today, 150 is not that much when you consider we are the rock and boulder capital of the world. Sometimes the digging isn't so bad, other times it never ends. Was the person there for two hours, digging, setting the animal and covering? Of course if it was ten minutes, then you may have something there. It took me 1 1/2 hours yesterday to open today's burial. Close quarters, reaching over other headstones, very bony and rocky area. Just couldn't do it any faster without major damage to someone. You have to consider all this and the wear and tear on the machine.

  7. #7
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: How much to charge to bury a horse?

    Richard I usually trailer my hoe because of its speed and the way folks drive here, but i get a 2 hour minimum usually 25 and hour plus extras for lime if needed. A horse got run over near a job I backed the trailer near him to keep from unloading I hooked a strap around it and tarped it and hoisted it with the hoe and set it on the back of my trailer. I carried it home and buried it in the woods. I charged them 50 for 3 hours work. I usually bury them 7 feet deep and lime them. If its in a field ill hoisted it and put logs under it so i can use the forks. I buried a Belgian last week at 1800 pounds and that was about 150 dollar job for the Vetrinarian. After the horse was put down i dug a hole beside him and raked him in. usually dont like to have family watching as it can be disturbing to them. I dig a hole only wide enough for them to lay in the kneeling position to keep sink holes to a minimum in feilds.
    Last year a load of cattle was wrecked and 5 bulls were dead on the scene, that was for a trucking company and i charged 150 per animal as i had to dig seperate holes.
    I hate to sound cold on prices but its like the horse ranch here that complains about th prices when i drive acoss the county to bury the price goes up every day it lays there.
    Most of my burials happen when im already doin some wok for the folks and they have an old animal i usually wont charge.

  8. #8
    Super Star Member
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    Default Re: How much to charge to bury a horse?

    After our vet put one of our horses down, we paid $150 for a local rendering company to come out and pick the horse up. The vet advised us not to be there for this process.

    I think this is a much better solution than paying someone almost the same price to bury it on our property. I imagine as the horse decays it will leech interesting things into the soil/water table as well as cause the ground to sink above it.

  9. #9
    Super Member
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    Default Re: How much to charge to bury a horse?

    There's no danger to a horse decaying in the ground. It's all matter and to matter we all return. If anything it fertilizes the ground. As long as you mound up the dirt that came out you won't have any kind of a sinkhole. I know I would not have a rendering plant come for one of my horses. Talk about disrespect to the animal. They are cut up in every which way. This part made into this and that, etc. Not a very pleasant process for sure. I've buried many horses and a year later you can't even tell where the grave is.

  10. #10
    Elite Member Richard's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much to charge to bury a horse?

    How deep would you put them?

    Is it fair of me to presume the hole is wide enough for the horse to lay on it's side?

    Richard

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