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 Please include your name, full mailing address and a short description of the handy hint with each submission.

Click here to order our Handy Hints Book,
a collection of Handy Hints from our readers.

Here are a few Handy Hints from fellow readers.

March 10 2017
I was working on a school project of restoring a John Deere 4250 tractor. While operating other tractors, I would get tired of cleaning windshields off from mud flying off of the front tir
Feb. 25 2017
On our dairy we use 50-pound bag shavings, which are stacked on a pallet for delivery. It’s a four-hour drive by semitruck to our location. When tying them down, bags used to rip from the tie-
Feb. 10 2017
I made this calf box to move calves from the hutches over to the group pen. This box sits on the front of our skid loader using the pallet fork. It makes moving calves more fun than leading them
Jan. 25 2017
I use a bowl brush in my 1/2-inch cordless drill to clean the waterers on our farm. This picture is one that I just cleaned. It came out pretty clean and saves a lot of scrubbing
Jan. 10 2017
At Vir-Clar Farm in Fond du Lac, Wis., co-owner and calf manager Katie Grinstead uses a system of colored duct tape to communicate with calf feeders. Different colored duct tape attached t
Dec. 16 2016
To make feeding wrapped round bales easier in the barn we made a round bale turntable. On a four-wheeled wagon, we mounted an old wheel hub with the rim bolted on and then welded a metal plate t
Nov. 8 2016
All I needed to make this homemade calf hutch door to protect calves during winter storms was a pallet, a tarp, staples, nails, baler twine, and slat wood. First, I took a tarp and folded it so
Oct. 25 2016
We built this 12- by 12-foot-square frame building to wash our calf hutches. It is 8 feet tall, has a floor grate that is 16 inches off the ground, and old windbreaker panels on three side
Oct. 10 2016
We transport milk over to our calf area using 5-gallon buckets with lids. I was annoyed by how quickly our already hard-to-see premarked milk amount lines (using “longer lasting” ear tag pen
Sept. 15 2016
Handy Hint: September 25, 2016 Wash bottles with a push of a button I was searching for a more efficient way to wash and dry calf milk bottles. Two years ago, I bought a dishwasher through Craigslist for...
Sept. 10 2016
Our farm created this calf pen with a roof that can be lifted up and down. My dad, Fred Ritsema, and employees from his 3,000-cow dairy welded the pen. The roof is lifted by a hand winch and strong cable,...
Aug. 25 2016
I was restoring a John Deere 4250 tractor, and the original tractor seat had tears in the fabric and the armrests didn't work properly. Rather than replace it with a new identical seat, I decided to use...
Aug. 4 2016
Handy Hint: August 10, 2016 Keep New Calves Close By We only have one calving pen on our farm, so sometimes we have to calve a cow in her stall. We purchased a small 40-gallon water tank that works perfectly...
July 15 2016
No surprise pipeline washes For an added layer of protection, I installed a limit switch on my swing pipe in the milk house. I wired the switch into my pipeline washer. The pipeline washer will now only...
June 15 2016
After losing a tank or two of milk due to the bulk tank not cooling right, I bought a separate thermostat and wired red and green lightbulbs to it. Red goes on when the tank is hot or empty, and green...
May 25 2016
I have always had a hard time getting the tube on my esophageal feeder clean. To fix this problem, I started using a bore snake for cleaning firearms
May 10 2016
This tool scrapes and rakes To help clean the freestalls on our farm, I welded a piece of angle iron to a steel rake and bolted a rubber strip to it. I use the rubber end to scrape manure out of the stalls...
April 22 2016
Handy Hint: April 25, 2016 A row of clean bottles I was looking for a way to rinse calf bottles thoroughly and efficiently. I took 1-inch PVC pipe, 4 feet long, and connected it to the hot water line....
April 5 2016
Handy Hint: April 10, 2016 Keep winter's wrath away from calves Here in southern Pennsylvania we received nearly 3 feet of snow during one storm in January, and I needed a way to keep that snow out of...
March 20 2016
Handy Hint: March 25, 2016 Gates are easier to open To easily open and close gates, Dave Clark of Godfrey Dairy developed this double-hook system. By creating a U-shaped pipe, one half of the U-bend fits...