Do you have an idea you’d like to share with other dairy producers? Send it our way! We pay $50 for Handy Hints printed in the magazine.

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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a collection of Handy Hints from our readers.



Here are a few Handy Hints from fellow readers.

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...
Aug. 31 2016
Handy Hint: September 10, 2016 Let the light shine in 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...
Aug. 17 2016
Handy Hint: August 25, 2016 Recycled seat makes for a smoother tractor ride I was restoring a John Deere 4250 tractor, and the original tractor seat had tears in the fabric and the armrests didn't work...
Aug. 4 2016
Handy Hint: August 10, 2016 Keep New Calves Close By We only have one calving pen on our farm, so sometimes we have to calve a cow in her stall. We purchased a small 40-gallon water tank that works perfectly...
July 11 2016
Handy Hint: July 2016 No surprise pipeline washes For an added layer of protection, I installed a limit switch on my swing pipe in the milk house. I wired the switch into my pipeline washer. The pipeline...
June 3 2016
Handy Hint: June 2016 Cold milk gets the green light After losing a tank or two of milk due to the bulk tank not cooling right, I bought a separate thermostat and wired red and green lightbulbs to it....
May 12 2016
Handy Hint: May 25, 2016 Cleans every inch of an esophageal tube I have always had a hard time getting the tube on my esophageal feeder clean. To fix this problem, I started using a bore snake for cleaning...
April 28 2016
Handy Hint: May 10, 2016 This tool scrapes and rakes To help clean the freestalls on our farm, I welded a piece of angle iron to a steel rake and bolted a rubber strip to it. I use the rubber end to scrape...
April 22 2016
Handy Hint: April 25, 2016 A row of clean bottles I was looking for a way to rinse calf bottles thoroughly and efficiently. I took 1-inch PVC pipe, 4 feet long, and connected it to the hot water line....
April 5 2016
Handy Hint: April 10, 2016 Keep winter's wrath away from calves Here in southern Pennsylvania we received nearly 3 feet of snow during one storm in January, and I needed a way to keep that snow out of...
March 20 2016
Handy Hint: March 25, 2016 Gates are easier to open To easily open and close gates, Dave Clark of Godfrey Dairy developed this double-hook system. By creating a U-shaped pipe, one half of the U-bend fits...
March 7 2016
Handy Hint: March 10, 2016 Racks help bundle tires Tires that cover bunker silos at Hillcrest Dairy are more organized after creating a number of iron "tire racks." As tires come off the bunker to expose...
Feb. 17 2016
Handy Hint: February 25, 2016 PVC pipes track calf feeding Keeping track of which calves get fed milk twice per day, once or not at all is handled rather easily for the calf feeders at Paint Creek Heifers...
Feb. 2 2016
Handy Hint: February 10, 2016 Get little helpers ready for barn chores For most farm moms, the worst part of taking little ones out to the barn is getting them ready. It can take half as long as chores...
Jan. 14 2016
Handy Hint: January 25, 2016 A milk house floor saver The purpose of this recessed stainless steel drain pan is to save the concrete from the detergent and acid that run under the bulk tank washer. This...
Jan. 5 2016
Handy Hint: January 10, 2016 Hinged gate closes man pass From a safety standpoint, a man pass allows a person working with livestock to make a quick exit from the pen to avoid injury. There are over 56...
Dec. 9 2015
Handy Hint: December 2015 Make It Easy to Keep Tanks Clean To ensure that water tanks are cleaned out regularly at Duncan Acres Dairy in Franklinton, La., farm owner Brent Duncan placed several milk house...