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.

July 30 2012
Handy Hint: August 10, 2012 Counter replaces silage scale We found this manual counter very useful to keep track of loads of silage when a scale is not always en route from field to pile. We weigh a couple...
July 11 2012
Gravity-flow disinfecting hose Buckets with a small amount of disinfectant solution often don't last in narrow chutes. We elevated a 55-gallon drum above the palpation chute. Then, we attach a hose with...
June 1 2012
Rotary feed pusher keeps feeding safe This feed pusher makes pushing feed cleaner, faster, safer, and quieter. The materials include some 2- by 2-inch tubing, 4- by 4-inch tubing, a skid-steer adapter...
May 15 2012
Polish seals marker We found that magic marker often wore off our tools. To permanently mark our things, we use ear tag markers, then cover it with clear coat nail polish for a durable finish. Ethan
May 4 2012
Alarm rings when water pressure is too low Using a water pressure switch and a used bell from an old crowd gate, we installed an alarm that alerts us if the fountains in the free stall barn have low water...
May 4 2012
Steel pieces improve palpation rail My palpation rail holds about 10 cows at once, but I normally need to manage five cows or less. My new device holds them in place. I made a bar out of a scrap piece...
March 28 2012
Portable Electric Panel If you need a temporary place to plug in a lot of cords, this panel comes in handy. Your cords stay out of the snow or mud, it's portable, and it stores easy. Isaac Hackel
March 20 2012
Silage roll-up We created a homemade roll-up with 1-inch cable and a piece of pipe bent into a crank, then welded the cable to the crank. The cable length depends on the size of the bag. We use a 12-foot...
Feb. 27 2012
Use curtain strapping in front of stalls We use 2-inch strips of curtain strapping to keep cows from going forward in the face-in free stalls at the Hoard's Dairyman Farm. This polypropylene strapping,...
Feb. 23 2012
Dry erase hutch map One of my jobs is to feed baby calves. I found this dry erase board handy to map calves in hutches. This system works very well when others need to feed calves if I am not available....
Jan. 26 2012
Improved whey coverage We started feeding whey upon the recommendation of our nutritionist. After pumping whey into our TMR mixer and not getting good coverage of the feed, we added this 6-foot horizontal...
Jan. 13 2012
No more spilled milk We took a 12- by 15-inch piece of plywood and cut four holes in to fit a 3-quart milk replacer bottle. Then we screwed a 12-inch 2 by 6 on both ends. Now the bottles don't tip
Jan. 5 2012
Quick-attach feed pusher At Boucher Family Farm, Highgate Center, Vt., Denis Boucher was looking for a way to push up feed using an existing skid-steer loader attachment. Using the bale fork, he made a...
Dec. 12 2011
Electric String Winder To solve my problem of used string storage, I took old electrical wire reels and wound the string on them with a drill. I used a 1/2- by 6-inch bolt with a couple of nuts as
Nov. 8 2011
Easy system to refill dip cups Everyone knows that postdipping is one of the most critical steps in bolstering milk quality. At the Larry and Brent Simon farm of Westphalia, Mich., they partnered with...
Oct. 19 2011
Weighted Barrel Protects Feed Bags Our bulls are kept outside. The bull ration in the 25-kilogram (55-pound) paper bags gets spoiled if rained on. So, we thoroughly cleaned an empty predip barrel and cut...
Sept. 28 2011
Handy Hint: October 10, 2011 Freezer is now mob feeder We made a mob feeder for calves from a nonworking chest freezer. We drilled four holes on each side of the freezer and attached "peach teat" nipples,...
Sept. 1 2011
Homemade Grain Feeder We cut a plastic culvert pipe in half lengthwise and cut half circles of plywood for the ends. Metal hooks, made from rebar attached to the culvert, let it hang from the bars of the...
Aug. 17 2011
Automatic teat dipper Richard Doran, Jr., is an engineer by training, but dairy farmer at heart. On his farm, Bush River Jerseys, in Newberry, S.C., he has used this money-saving innovation. In its 24-stall...
Aug. 2 2011
Easier dehorning paste application We've found a better way to apply dehorning paste to calves. Instead of using a wood applicator, wear a disposable nitrile milking glove and spread the paste on with...