Berthoud Weekly Surveyor | Covering all the angles in the Garden Spot

Two options for farm-sitting in Berthoud

June 28, 2019 | Business

By Shelley Widhalm

The Surveyor

Two women who grew up in Berthoud now offer farm-sitting services in addition to typical house- and pet-sitting services.

Katelyn Scoma, owner of Katelyn & Kritters, and Hannah DeCoteau, who both grew up on farms, take care of horses and livestock and do basic farm chores while clients are away on trips or vacations.

“A lot of my clients have horses,” said DeCoteau of Fort Collins, whose parents, Annie and Robert, co-own Rise Artisan Bread Bakery & Café in Berthoud. “People with horses have a hard time going out of town.”

Hannah DeCoteau

DeCoteau, a 2017 graduate of Thompson Valley High School, began farm-, house- and pet-sitting three to four years ago when a family friend asked her to horse and dog sit and recommended her to others. Finding someone with the skills to take care of horses and livestock is more difficult than finding a house or pet sitter and also takes more coordination, according to DeCoteau.

“I’ve grown up around farm animals and know how to take care of them, so I’m comfortable with most livestock animals,” she said.

DeCoteau has ridden all her life and learned how to care for livestock when her family lived on a farm in Vermont before moving to Berthoud. Currently she is studying equine science at Colorado State University and is a junior.

For her services, DeCoteau covers Berthoud, Loveland and Fort Collins, plus the surrounding areas. She stays overnight at the farm or home or stops in during the day to feed the animals, exercise the horses and do farm chores, which can include mucking stalls, stacking hay and dragging horse arenas to even out the ground. She also does pet sitting, taking dogs on walks, in addition to cleaning up litter boxes and spending time with cats.

“I always try to leave a place better than when I came in,” DeCoteau said, adding she tells her clients, “Don’t worry about what’s going on at home. Go on your vacation.”

Like DeCoteau, Scoma, who was home schooled, offers farm-, house- and pet-sitting services by staying overnight or visiting the animals during the day. She spent the past seven years on her parents’ nonprofit Berthoud-based ranch, Guided Hope, helping out with chores and will continue to do so during the summer. She graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in 2016 with a degree in human studies and works as a licensed account representative for an insurance agency in Longmont.

“Farms are really complicated. You’ve had to live on farm yourself to know how to take care of those animals properly,” Scoma said.

Since December 2018 Scoma has offered the sitting services on a part-time basis during the lunch hour, in the evenings, and on weekends, covering Berthoud, Loveland, Mead, Erie and Longmont. She works with an average of two to three clients a month.

Katelyn Scoma

“Each farm has very different needs,” Scoma said. “I keep things running as usual while they’re gone.”

Scoma feeds the animals, administers shots and medications if needed, does farm chores and provides basic home care, such as watering plants, getting the mail and taking out the trash. She can contact her veterinarians and information sources if she encounters a problem, or use the client’s vet.

“It’s my comfort to be on the farm overnight if anything goes wrong,” Scoma said. “I’m there on top of it right away.”

Scoma considers farm sitting to be “the best gig ever.”  

“There’s no better way to wake up than to go out and say hi to all the animals,” Scoma said. “There’s something very refreshing about being with animals.”

DeCoteau can be reached at [email protected] and Scoma at [email protected]

related Business
Latest Pets
More Pets
Latest Senior Wise
More Senior Wise