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 11 2019
I do a lot of corn planting at night in the dark. My planter doesn’t have any work lights at the back by the row units and seed tanks, and it is a headache to always have to carry a fl
June 1 2019
We got tired of running to the milking parlor office to get calf treatment supplies, so now we use this basket. Everyone knows where the medicine is, there are easy directions in there on what to brin
May 25 2019
I made a bottomless box from pallets to “bale” plastic from silage tarp, bags, and net wrap. I place the box on a hard surface and line it with heavy plastic twine from square bales. As the...
May 9 2019
On the south side of the barn, I boxed in a tunnel ventilation fan on a frame
April 12 2019
A syringe cooler keeps a vaccine at the right temperature, protects the vaccine from UV radiation, and keeps syringes safe
April 3 2019
We created a holder for the stickers used by the milk hauler to label bulk tank samples. We took a 2-inch pipe, cut it 6-inches long, and cut out a little opening for the stickers to be pulled out. We
March 20 2019
We feed our cows through the side of a building. To protect the feed from snow, we cut a hay tarp in half and tied it to the side of the building. We lay tire sidewalls on the tarp to hold it in place
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