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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Here are a few Handy Hints from fellow readers.

July 5 2013
Easy bottle fix Our calf bottles have an air intake valve on the bottom of them. After about two years of use the hole becomes bigger than the plug, and it leaks milk. We put silicone over the original...
June 14 2013
Holds three-point hitch steady I made this three-point arm holder by cutting a piece of rerod about 2 inches longer than the width from outside to outside of the arms. I welded a washer on one end, and...
May 18 2013
Improved system to feed calves To help improve our calf feeding situation, I built a stainless steel vat that holds 20 gallons of milk or milk replacer. Now I don't have to carry heavy pails around that...
May 18 2013
Here are a few 2011 Handy Hints from fellow readers. 2011: Handy Hint January 10 Handy Hint January 25 Handy Hint February 10 Handy Hint February 25 Handy Hint March 10 Handy Hint March 25 Handy Hint April...
May 17 2013
Low-Cost Bottle Holder We were tired of our bottles and nipples always being in a mess, so we built this holder out of 1/2-inch PVC pipe. We put the bottles on the long pipes and the nipples on the short...
April 22 2013
Simple welds secure sliding barn door I made this holder for our pole barn door by first putting a hollow pipe 2 feet long in the ground at the center of the door. Then I took a pipe that fit inside and...
April 4 2013
Glove box rack made from old calf pen panels I made this simple and inexpensive glove box holder out of calf panels that were so bent we couldn't use them any more. I cut the pieces to my desired length...
March 16 2013
Plastic barrel holds entire milking set The farm at Mississippi State University, Starkville, Miss., needed a way to hold milk meters when they weren't using them. They were able to fit over a dozen in...
March 5 2013
Grader makes great feed scraper We needed something to scrape up feed on our farm and had this three-point grader blade that we no longer used. We welded a short piece of angle iron onto our skidloader...
Feb. 28 2013
Safer calf hauler After seeing some great adaptations of chemical totes for calf haulers in the Handy Hints' section, we tried our own. Hoard's Dairyman Farm staff folded one section of plastic down and...
Jan. 30 2013
Simple pipe protects water source I put a bent pipe around the waterer to protect it from the bull and tractor. It has saved the waterer many times already and costs almost nothing to manufacture
Jan. 18 2013
Durable milk room port I installed a piece of 6-inch PVC pipe through the milk house wall, then added a cabinet handle to the 6-inch PVC cap. I have a long-lasting port that won't tear up the milk
Jan. 3 2013
Leg bands track weaning progress To keep track of our weaning calves' weaning process, we use red leg bands on the hutch gates. A red band on the top row indicates that the calf is weaning. After one week...
Dec. 12 2012
Springs keep buckets in place These rake springs keep our calf pails in the right spot. It's very simple to assemble. We just screw the spring into the stand for our calf buckets. Michael Kleinsasser
Nov. 8 2012
Water hydrant won't freeze We had problems with our outdoor water hydrants freezing at the base (underground), making the hydrant useless until early spring. To fix this, we dug a hole about 12 inches...
Oct. 15 2012
Handy Hint: October 25, 2012 Caps Identify Colostrum Quality We use half-gallon jugs to store colostrum on our farm. Using a 2-liter soda crate to hold the jugs upright in a freezer, we can quickly identify...
Oct. 9 2012
Handy Hint: October 10, 2012 Tote Bag Unloaded We used to have a lot of problems unloading heavy tote bags full of supplements. This plugged the augers and spilled when it was windy. I took an empty teat...
Sept. 18 2012
Handy Hint: September 25, 2012 Vapor lock saves feed To prevent grain from spoiling on the concrete floor of my calf shed, I made a vapor barrier by laying 2-inch treated lumber down and fastening a piece...
Aug. 31 2012
Handy Hint: September 10, 2012 Move six calves at once This device was built to move calves from the calf barn to the heifer barn safely and easily. The device is built from plywood, 2- by 2-inch tubing,...
Aug. 14 2012
Handy Hint: August 25, 2012 Jetter cups change bulbs On our farm, safety and time are always concerns. To save time and be safe changing lightbulbs over our straw packs, we took an old jetter cup and taped...