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To be considered, all submitted hints must include a clear, print quality photo (at least 240 dpi and approximately 4" by 6” in size). Please send items to Hoard’s Dairyman, Handy Hints Department, P.O. Box 801, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538. You can also email your Handy Hints to editors@hoards.com. Please include your name, full mailing address and a short description of the handy hint with each submission.


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Here are a few Handy Hints from fellow readers.

July 15 2017
Calves are fed pasteurized milk and starter in pails at Vir-Clar Farm in Fond du Lac, Wis. The Boyke family keeps their calf pails securely in place by using field drain tile. Each piece of drai
June 26 2017
To make feeding grain easier, we put a 3-inch auger into the skid loader bucket with a hydraulic motor. Now we can drive into a pile of corn, fill up the bucket, and drive along by the bun
June 15 2017
On the hottest days of the summer, it can get warm inside the cab even with the air conditioner running. In order to alleviate this situation, I added some window tint and an extra fan
May 25 2017
To provide water access in our pasture, we mounted an old cast iron bathtub on skids fitted with a MiraFount valve. Water is supplied by a 1-inch buried line, and the tub is moved through the pasture
May 10 2017
We were shopping around for aftermarket tractor mirrors but were not impressed by the price or small size. Instead, we picked up two combine mirrors for $10 at a salvage yard
April 17 2017
There are certain times of year when we use a lot of hoses, and we used to struggle with how to store them when not in use
April 10 2017
At Dan and Wendy Flood’s dairy farm in Oakfield, Wis., screws have been inserted into some of the wooden fence posts around their pastures. When it is time for the cows to come in for milking
March 25 2017
We have to carry our milk bottles to the calf barn and, unfortunately, sometimes one or two bottles would get spilled. We decided to build a cart to transport the bottles
March 10 2017
I was working on a school project of restoring a John Deere 4250 tractor. While operating other tractors, I would get tired of cleaning windshields off from mud flying off of the front tir
Feb. 25 2017
On our dairy we use 50-pound bag shavings, which are stacked on a pallet for delivery. It’s a four-hour drive by semitruck to our location. When tying them down, bags used to rip from the tie-
Feb. 10 2017
I made this calf box to move calves from the hutches over to the group pen. This box sits on the front of our skid loader using the pallet fork. It makes moving calves more fun than leading them
Jan. 25 2017
I use a bowl brush in my 1/2-inch cordless drill to clean the waterers on our farm. This picture is one that I just cleaned. It came out pretty clean and saves a lot of scrubbing
Jan. 10 2017
At Vir-Clar Farm in Fond du Lac, Wis., co-owner and calf manager Katie Grinstead uses a system of colored duct tape to communicate with calf feeders. Different colored duct tape attached t
Dec. 16 2016
To make feeding wrapped round bales easier in the barn we made a round bale turntable. On a four-wheeled wagon, we mounted an old wheel hub with the rim bolted on and then welded a metal plate t
Nov. 8 2016
All I needed to make this homemade calf hutch door to protect calves during winter storms was a pallet, a tarp, staples, nails, baler twine, and slat wood. First, I took a tarp and folded it so
Oct. 25 2016
We built this 12- by 12-foot-square frame building to wash our calf hutches. It is 8 feet tall, has a floor grate that is 16 inches off the ground, and old windbreaker panels on three side
Oct. 10 2016
We transport milk over to our calf area using 5-gallon buckets with lids. I was annoyed by how quickly our already hard-to-see premarked milk amount lines (using “longer lasting” ear tag pen
Sept. 15 2016
Handy Hint: September 25, 2016 Wash bottles with a push of a button I was searching for a more efficient way to wash and dry calf milk bottles. Two years ago, I bought a dishwasher through Craigslist for...
Sept. 10 2016
Our farm created this calf pen with a roof that can be lifted up and down. My dad, Fred Ritsema, and employees from his 3,000-cow dairy welded the pen. The roof is lifted by a hand winch and strong cable,...
Aug. 25 2016
I was restoring a John Deere 4250 tractor, and the original tractor seat had tears in the fabric and the armrests didn't work properly. Rather than replace it with a new identical seat, I decided to use...