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.

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
Nov. 13 2020
We use this homemade bucket holder made from 1-inch PVC pipes on our dairy. The shorter PVC pipes coming out of the main pipe structure hold all sorts of things. On ours, we store buckets and bottles
Oct. 25 2020
At our dairy farm, recently weaned calves would jump out of their pen through the feedbunk. We hooked a gate to the bunk that keeps the calves from jumping out, and the feed can still be put in
Oct. 10 2020
We had problems with our calf feed getting wet when it rained. We got a 15-gallon drum, put an auger in the bottom, and put it up on metal legs
Sept. 25 2020
When we needed an additional paper towel dispenser in our milking parlor, instead of spending money on a new one, we used an old daily newspaper box
Sept. 10 2020
Instead of using a shovel or an expensive piece of equipment for the ever-pressing job of pushing up feed, our dairy uses an old lawnmower with a scraper dedicated exclusively for the job
Aug. 25 2020
Every time I tried to move my portable loading chute, I would have a hard time grabbing it with forks because it is unbalanced. I took an old bucket from my loader, cut off the attachment, and simply
Aug. 10 2020
I created an easier way to take down an old barbed wire fence. I cut the ends off a 55-gallon drum and lag screwed it to a 4 by 4
July 15 2020
I mix milk replacer for 10 calves at one time and want to make sure I have consistent water temperatures for each batch
June 15 2020
My dad is an avid coffee drinker. We were running low on calf bottle holders, so we came up with an idea to reuse the plastic coffee containers for easier feeding