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. 18 2013
Durable milk room port I installed a piece of 6-inch PVC pipe through the milk house wall, then added a cabinet handle to the 6-inch PVC cap. I have a long-lasting port that won't tear up the milk
Jan. 3 2013
Leg bands track weaning progress To keep track of our weaning calves' weaning process, we use red leg bands on the hutch gates. A red band on the top row indicates that the calf is weaning. After one week...
Dec. 12 2012
Springs keep buckets in place These rake springs keep our calf pails in the right spot. It's very simple to assemble. We just screw the spring into the stand for our calf buckets. Michael Kleinsasser
Nov. 8 2012
Water hydrant won't freeze We had problems with our outdoor water hydrants freezing at the base (underground), making the hydrant useless until early spring. To fix this, we dug a hole about 12 inches...
Oct. 15 2012
Handy Hint: October 25, 2012 Caps Identify Colostrum Quality We use half-gallon jugs to store colostrum on our farm. Using a 2-liter soda crate to hold the jugs upright in a freezer, we can quickly identify...
Oct. 9 2012
Handy Hint: October 10, 2012 Tote Bag Unloaded We used to have a lot of problems unloading heavy tote bags full of supplements. This plugged the augers and spilled when it was windy. I took an empty teat...
Sept. 18 2012
Handy Hint: September 25, 2012 Vapor lock saves feed To prevent grain from spoiling on the concrete floor of my calf shed, I made a vapor barrier by laying 2-inch treated lumber down and fastening a piece...
Aug. 31 2012
Handy Hint: September 10, 2012 Move six calves at once This device was built to move calves from the calf barn to the heifer barn safely and easily. The device is built from plywood, 2- by 2-inch tubing,...
Aug. 14 2012
Handy Hint: August 25, 2012 Jetter cups change bulbs On our farm, safety and time are always concerns. To save time and be safe changing lightbulbs over our straw packs, we took an old jetter cup and taped...
July 30 2012
Handy Hint: August 10, 2012 Counter replaces silage scale We found this manual counter very useful to keep track of loads of silage when a scale is not always en route from field to pile. We weigh a couple...
July 11 2012
Gravity-flow disinfecting hose Buckets with a small amount of disinfectant solution often don't last in narrow chutes. We elevated a 55-gallon drum above the palpation chute. Then, we attach a hose with...
June 1 2012
Rotary feed pusher keeps feeding safe This feed pusher makes pushing feed cleaner, faster, safer, and quieter. The materials include some 2- by 2-inch tubing, 4- by 4-inch tubing, a skid-steer adapter...
May 15 2012
Polish seals marker We found that magic marker often wore off our tools. To permanently mark our things, we use ear tag markers, then cover it with clear coat nail polish for a durable finish. Ethan
May 4 2012
Alarm rings when water pressure is too low Using a water pressure switch and a used bell from an old crowd gate, we installed an alarm that alerts us if the fountains in the free stall barn have low water...
May 4 2012
Steel pieces improve palpation rail My palpation rail holds about 10 cows at once, but I normally need to manage five cows or less. My new device holds them in place. I made a bar out of a scrap piece...
March 28 2012
Portable Electric Panel If you need a temporary place to plug in a lot of cords, this panel comes in handy. Your cords stay out of the snow or mud, it's portable, and it stores easy. Isaac Hackel
March 20 2012
Silage roll-up We created a homemade roll-up with 1-inch cable and a piece of pipe bent into a crank, then welded the cable to the crank. The cable length depends on the size of the bag. We use a 12-foot...
Feb. 27 2012
Use curtain strapping in front of stalls We use 2-inch strips of curtain strapping to keep cows from going forward in the face-in free stalls at the Hoard's Dairyman Farm. This polypropylene strapping,...
Feb. 23 2012
Dry erase hutch map One of my jobs is to feed baby calves. I found this dry erase board handy to map calves in hutches. This system works very well when others need to feed calves if I am not available....
Jan. 26 2012
Improved whey coverage We started feeding whey upon the recommendation of our nutritionist. After pumping whey into our TMR mixer and not getting good coverage of the feed, we added this 6-foot horizontal...