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.

Jan. 14 2022
To avoid opening the shop door when I needed air, wasting electricity and letting out heat, I simply hung a hose reel outside the shop and hooked it up to the air supply
Jan. 1 2022
When parking my tractor and feed wagon in the shed, I have poor visibility and it’s hard to know when I have driven far enough ahead. So, I came up with this simple solution
Dec. 14 2021
I slipped a milker inflation into the broken off end of my metal shovel and secured it in place with duct tape. Now when I use the shovel, my hand pushes on a soft inflation instead of sharp metal
Nov. 19 2021
In cold weather, we had different operators driving off with the skid steer still plugged in and damaging the cord. That problem stopped after we started putting the cord through the hand rails
Oct. 10 2021
To ensure no cows are locked in the headlocks when the manure scraper cleans the alley, we hung the times of the day when the scraper comes by on the post by the headlock lever. That way, we don’t...
Sept. 17 2021
To stir milk replacer, we got ourselves a paint mixer for a cordless drill. It’s a fast and very effective way to mix the milk replacer for our calves
Sept. 2 2021
Rather than hauling newborn calves on my cold truck bed, I built this calf cart. I made a metal cradle that a tote fit into. I added some wheels and a hitch and made a sliding door on the back
Aug. 15 2021
Sometimes our hay and silage samples were getting burned because we forgot to turn the moisture tester off after the allotted time was up
July 19 2021
To keep our semen tank off of the concrete, we set it on a mover’s dolly. This makes it very easy for the tank to be rolled out to the truck when filling it with nitrogen
June 10 2021
For heifer feed troughs, we use half of a ditch culvert. We make metal brackets for them and use wooden half circles to close up the ends
June 10 2021
We use this cart for hauling small square bales inside our barn. It is 5 feet long and 3 feet wide, and it is made of stainless steel so it doesn’t rust
June 10 2021
To teach our calves to drink from the water trough, we take one ball completely out so they can easily access water on one side and learn how to operate the ball in the other
May 10 2021
Our calves kept chewing through the hose that supplied water to our waterer. We took a piece of cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) tubing and slid it over the hose. Now the calves can’t chew on it
April 25 2021
I came up with an idea to unroll three rolls of barbed wire at once to build a fence. I took a piece of metal long enough to fit three rolls of wire
April 10 2021
My tools were getting unorganized, and I would not know where the last person put them. So, I came up with a simple idea. I hung all my tools in the right place and traced them with a permanent marker
March 10 2021
Do you need a handy way to hold your dipper when milking cows?
Feb. 8 2021
We always have shoe booties (shoe covers) for visitors at the entrance door of our barn for biosecurity reasons. We made a wooden box that is 2 feet long, 1-foot wide, and 1-foot deep
Jan. 13 2021
I routinely paint measurements on forage and feed bags and piles to track disappearance of feeds and help monitor forage inventories
Dec. 29 2020
To move the newborn calves to the calf barn, I built this wagon. I used an old wagon and welded four corner posts to it
Dec. 11 2020
We buy calf pellets in bags and transfer the pellets into 32 gallon garbage barrels for storage. Each barrel easily holds 100 pounds of pellets. The lid securely snaps on, keeping the pellets fresher