Livestock Tips from Farmers
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Dispose of Empty Bags
"I built what looks like a giant memo holder spike stick to push empty paper feed bags onto. The 3/4-inch rod is about 3 feet high and is welded onto an old disk plate. The top has a point sharp enough to easily puncture the bags. When it gets full, I just set it out on a concrete slab and set the torch to it."
- George Waldner
Britton, South DakotaDate Published: January 11, 2018Date Updated: January 11, 2019
"I was having difficulty crossing the creek to check on cattle and fences. Then I came by some used 4x12-foot cement slats. With my skid steer, I sloped the west bank to my liking and placed two of the slats running lengthwise. Then I kept adding more, pushing them down the slope and across the sandy creek bottom. I went to the other side of the stream and did the same thing until the slats were together."
- David Friedrich
Alta, IowaDate Published: January 11, 2018Date Updated: January 11, 2019
Zerks Alleviate Noise Near Calves
"When I expanded my calving building, I added 30 individual pens constructed of used steel oilfield pipe. One innovation in the project involved drilling and installing grease zerks on the custom gate hinges to reduce noise from squeaky gates. Less noise means calmer cattle, resulting in better delivery of calves."
- Tom Ramm
Valentine, NebraskaDate Published: January 11, 2018Date Updated: January 11, 2019
Keep Cows' Heads Dry
"I had an old satellite dish out in my yard. I put it to use again by coating it with a rubber waterproofing membrane and then using the former TV antenna as a cover for my bale feeder. I cut the material to fit between the ribs of the antenna and glued it to the frame. It's easy to place the bale spear into the hook on the top of the new cover. Whether taking it off or putting it back on, the entire procedure can be done from the cab of the tractor, and the fit is perfect."
- Tom Espie
Clinton Corners, New YorkDate Published: January 11, 2018Date Updated: January 11, 2019
Warmer Dippers, Happier Cows
"Since my milking parlor gets pretty cold during the winter, I devised a way to keep dippers warm. Using a torch to heat the end of a pipe, I melted four holes in an empty plastic gallon-size antifreeze jug. Sitting on one flat side half-filled with warm water, it keeps dippers warm for the rest of the milking."
- Philip Hurst
Seneca Falls, New YorkDate Published: January 11, 2018Date Updated: January 11, 2019
Protect Cattle Waterer
"I used an old chemical shuttle to make a greenhouse-type enclosure for a cattle waterer. Since this water fountain sits out in the cold and the wind, I couldn't keep it from freezing. So I removed the bottom from the shuttle and cut a hole into one side to give cattle drinking access. Then I positioned it over the water fountain. Now the sunshine warms the shuttle enough that the water won't freeze."
- Bob Kissel
New Palestine, IndianaDate Published: January 11, 2018Date Updated: January 11, 2019
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