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.

March 10 2019
Even though I hung my electric fencer on the wall in the pole shed, a heavy rainstorm blew water through the eaves, causing a short. I cut out the top and one side of a 2 1/2-gallon oil drum and place
Feb. 20 2019
When we move calves into pens with headlocks, sometimes they are hesitant to use them. We started to hook their old grain buckets on the headlocks to encourage them to eat. We also took
Jan. 28 2019
We made these reels to wind up our polywire after we are done grazing our cows. They are made out of old shovel handles, small bucket lids, 18-inch ready rod, and locking nuts and washers. With
Jan. 15 2019
With a lot of calves and a lot of different calf feeders, it can be hard for everyone to keep track of what’s going on with each hutch. When a calf is sick, we wrap a few pieces of bright yellow...
Jan. 7 2019
Eye protection is important, especially when straw dust is involved. To make sure there are always safety glasses accessible, we took a refrigerator magnet clip and put it on our straw chopper
Dec. 11 2018
With lots of loose straw chaff to chop up for bedding but not a good way to transport it from the hay barn to the straw chopper, we created a funnel that fits perfectly. Using plastic bo
Nov. 8 2018
Moving the gutter grates behind cows in a stanchion barn can be hard on your back and messy work. To eliminate this, we welded together some leftover pipe to create hooks. These hooks fit easily
Oct. 25 2018
I quit buying the heavy-duty $300 bale rings because the skirts came off in one year. I started buying the $150 economy feeders without skirts
Oct. 11 2018
Calves don’t always finish drinking the water we give them. This means their water has to be collected and discarded before milk can be fed. We took a broken lawn mower, removed the eng
Sept. 26 2018
We always need a fork or shovel nearby to clean feed bunks or put hay in front of the cows, so we came up with this idea. It’s just a PVC pipe screwed onto the fence, and we slip the fork right into
Sept. 10 2018
I do a lot of maintenance around the farm and some of it requires PVC pipe repair. To keep the PVC primer and glue together, since they are both used at the same time, I took duct tape and taped both
Aug. 25 2018
Jumping onto the bed of my pickup truck to get a different hitch, chain, or whatever I might have on there gets harder as I get older. To make that easier and prevent me from having to climb up, I mad
Aug. 10 2018
When a newborn calf is moved into its individual pen in the calf barn at Endres Jazzy Jerseys, it is not ear tagged immediately. In order to keep calves correctly identified at the Lodi, Wis., farm, a
July 15 2018
At Migliazzo and Sons Dairy of Atwater, Calif., milking towels are kept close by in these handy towel holders. The farm took 3-1/2-gallon plastic pails and cut a hole out of the bottom. Clean towels a
June 15 2018
After having valuable saleable milk poured down the drain due to a simple error of not paying attention to overflowing bulk tanks, we decided to go back to the basics. We recalled the game “red ligh
May 25 2018
At Cook Dairy in Pewamo, Mich., calves on pasture are fed grain using a homemade feeder. The feeder was constructed by slicing plastic barrels in half and securing them with a bolt. The feeder can be
May 10 2018
Goma Dairy in Marlette, Mich., found that storing and freezing colostrum in plastic bags leads to a faster defrosting period
April 25 2018
Wallman Dairy asked builders to pour the curbs with a curved top, rather than a flat one, so that feed and moisture will roll off of the curbs rather than settle on top of it
April 10 2018
We bought this shelving unit from Sam’s Club that had bins of varying sizes. I labeled and organized all the boxes according to what they would be holding
March 25 2018
I wanted to make our pressure washer more portable, so I put it on a wagon and added a 55-gallon drum and hose reel. I drilled a hole 2 inches from the bottom of the drum and installed a bulkhead fitt