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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.

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...
Jan. 13 2012
No more spilled milk We took a 12- by 15-inch piece of plywood and cut four holes in to fit a 3-quart milk replacer bottle. Then we screwed a 12-inch 2 by 6 on both ends. Now the bottles don't tip
Jan. 5 2012
Quick-attach feed pusher At Boucher Family Farm, Highgate Center, Vt., Denis Boucher was looking for a way to push up feed using an existing skid-steer loader attachment. Using the bale fork, he made a...
Dec. 12 2011
Electric String Winder To solve my problem of used string storage, I took old electrical wire reels and wound the string on them with a drill. I used a 1/2- by 6-inch bolt with a couple of nuts as
Nov. 8 2011
Easy system to refill dip cups Everyone knows that postdipping is one of the most critical steps in bolstering milk quality. At the Larry and Brent Simon farm of Westphalia, Mich., they partnered with...
Oct. 19 2011
Weighted Barrel Protects Feed Bags Our bulls are kept outside. The bull ration in the 25-kilogram (55-pound) paper bags gets spoiled if rained on. So, we thoroughly cleaned an empty predip barrel and cut...
Sept. 28 2011
Handy Hint: October 10, 2011 Freezer is now mob feeder We made a mob feeder for calves from a nonworking chest freezer. We drilled four holes on each side of the freezer and attached "peach teat" nipples,...
Sept. 1 2011
Homemade Grain Feeder We cut a plastic culvert pipe in half lengthwise and cut half circles of plywood for the ends. Metal hooks, made from rebar attached to the culvert, let it hang from the bars of the...
Aug. 17 2011
Automatic teat dipper Richard Doran, Jr., is an engineer by training, but dairy farmer at heart. On his farm, Bush River Jerseys, in Newberry, S.C., he has used this money-saving innovation. In its 24-stall...
Aug. 2 2011
Easier dehorning paste application We've found a better way to apply dehorning paste to calves. Instead of using a wood applicator, wear a disposable nitrile milking glove and spread the paste on with...
July 18 2011
Here are a few 2010 Handy Hints from fellow readers. Handy Hint January 10 Handy Hint January 25 Handy Hint February 10 Handy Hint February 25 Handy Hint March 10 Handy Hint March 25 Handy Hint April 10...
June 30 2011
Safe way to dispense formaldehyde We like to use formaldehyde in our footbath. We mounted the 275-gallon tank a few feet off the ground to give us enough head pressure to fill the 5-gallon container using...
June 2 2011
Handy Hint: June 2011 No longer need to remove skid loader attachment On our farm, we welded a few pieces of steel pipe to our feed scraper. This way we can push up feed and then later move bales without...
May 13 2011
Handy Hint: May 25, 2011 Agitator dock saves money At the Gibson farm in Walton, Ky., the high cost of a floating dock for a manure lagoon agitator was daunting. So, a homemade version was made using 50-gallon...
April 27 2011
Handy Hint: May 10, 2011 Calf protocol in ATV To remind calf feeders of strict protocols at Newalta Dairy in Pipestone, Minn., a square piece of dry erase board was fastened to the cage of the ATV which...
April 13 2011
Handy Hint: April 25, 2011 Pipeline notes status of cow Flowerbrook Farm in Hamburg, Minn., has created a way to mark cows in their tie stall barn that need extra attention or should not be milked. After...
March 31 2011
Handy Hint: April 10, 2011 Plywood, nails, and tags track calves We found it difficult to tell employees which calves to feed, what type of milk, and how many times a day to feed each calf. Our solution...