Agistment gone bad!

8 posts

Member for

8 months 1 week
Last seen: 04/01/2019 - 21:35
Joined: 04/01/2019 - 21:26

Agistment gone bad!

Hi, I’m looking for some advice. a lady id met online offered to agist her cattle here for a few months which we offered for free. The aim was the cattle would munch it down for a few months and then our sheep could follow and have lots of feed for summer and rest a paddock. This was 6 months ago. I have been asking her for several months to remove the cattle. It’s costing us over $150 a week to feed our sheep who are stuck in a paddock with zero feed and the cows have now completely cleared the other paddock. I get excuse after excuse as to why she hasn’t collected them. I have given her 2 weeks to remove them but I’m not sure where we stand legally if this doesn’t happen. We very very stupidly didn’t get a written agreement in place. I’m so extremely regretful over this. I’m at a loss as to what to do next and I’m extremely frustrated and disappointed and not sure what to do next. Has anyone had a similar experience or can offer advice??

Last seen: 12/13/2019 - 17:12
Joined: 02/28/2011 - 14:19

Hi Frontess,

Welcome to the small farm forum and thanks for the post.

It sounds like a difficult situation you are in, without taking legal action that will be costly and lengthy I don't think you have many options. Did you provide your deadline in writing and via a solicitor, this may have more impact? A verbal agreement should still be binding but is difficult to prove, were there any witnesses to your agreement?

Lastly, do you know where the person lives, could you organise and pay for transport of the cattle and deliver them back to her farm?


Last seen: 04/29/2019 - 20:33
Joined: 11/06/2017 - 22:55

Hi Frontess. I had a similar experience where our agistee took forever to meet his written obligations and was constantly exceeding the agreed stocking density. Thankfully we had everything in writing so when it came to it with threats of costs being incurred he was pretty quick to clear out. You should be able to contact council and have them impounded. Retag them and send them to the markets maybe to recoup costs Or depending on your location, open the gate. It’s a bit reckless but this should not be your problem. No one else is going to stand up for you so sometimes you have to take the gloves off so to speak. Good luck with it.

Last seen: 04/29/2019 - 23:21
Joined: 01/09/2018 - 16:59

Hi Frontess, I agree with other posters here. This shouldn't be your problem / issue to deal with now. Some people will take advantage of people's good nature and until they feel some pain they won't budge. You can contact your local council and have them impounded. Even the threat of this should be enough, make sure you give adequate warning or like the other poster said. Get them tagged and off to the sale yards. These are not your problem.

Last seen: 12/13/2019 - 17:12
Joined: 02/28/2011 - 14:19

Hi Frontess,

I have also posted your question to our Facebook small farm discussion group and had a number of replies that you may be interested in reading.

You can find the Facebook discussion group here



Last seen: 06/11/2019 - 19:02
Joined: 06/11/2019 - 14:01

hi mate
sorry to hear whats happened. Get the animals impounded immediately. Lots would like to just open the gate , but accidents will happen ,and its not the cows fault. Also it makes things difficult for us very grateful farmers and stock owners when things go wrong, and we need a hand. Good luck with everything, make it known who this person is .,so it wont happen to anyone else in your district. all the best.

Last seen: 06/20/2019 - 07:47
Joined: 04/27/2016 - 21:23

I had a situation similar situation to you and this is what I did and was successful.
Firstly calculate how much it has cost you for the feed for them after you requested her to remove them and then send her a letter and an invoice for the cost of the feed via Registered Mail, requesting a Delivery Receipt and give her 30 days to pay.
In the letter explain why you are charging her for the feed costs and confirm that you want them removed specifying a date and time giving her a minimum of 21 days official notice.
Also advise her that if they are not removed by the date that you will be selling them, recouping ALL of you costs whilst they have been on your property and the balance is payable to her.
If they have done any damage, the costs for the repairs need to be included so that you are "not out of pocket".
When you have done all of that, advise her that you have the balance and that she has to come and pick it up from you. (Under no circumstances send it to her.)
(Just remember that while you have them, treat them as an asset to recoup all of your costs)
All being equal & well that action should obtain some response from her and if she comes to pick them up, DO NOT release them until she has FULLY PAID YOU.
Another thing that you can do is also advise her that you are going to get some of them slaughtered and keep the meat for your own use.
Please advise what the outcome is.

Last seen: 07/02/2019 - 08:53
Joined: 07/02/2019 - 07:09

If this is still a problem you could check with your council. If you haven’t already, you might give the owner written notice to remove them by a date. Legally it only needs to be reasonable but maybe two weeks? Advise them that if not removed you will dispose of them You do have the right to recover your costs but that may not be able to be argued as you’ve offered free Agistment putting that aside, I think if they’re treated as abandoned, sell them off and retain the proceeds Let the owner then pursue you if it really comes to that

Check with your council if they have a pound that takes abandoned stock, give them the owner details.

If not and you’ve got your pic details sorted then you may be able to sell them off. I guess another avenue depending on number of head is the RSPCA or your local LLS may be able to offer advice too

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