Handy Hint: April 10, 2011
Plywood, nails, and tags track calves
We found it difficult to tell employees which calves to feed, what type of milk, and how many times a day to feed each calf. Our solution was to pound equally spaced nails into a piece of plywood. Each nail represents one calf hutch. For heifers, we hang their future tags on the nails, and for bulls, we simply write the letter "B" on a piece of cardboard. Heifer tags that are right side up means the calf gets fed twice a day. If the tag is flipped over, it means the calf is weaned. Now it is easy for employees to distinguish which calves need to be fed. If farms put tags in calves at birth, this system could work with paper tags which could be used to represent each calf.
Michael Peters, Wisconsin