Keep Bottles Warm In The Barn

I use one of those insulated bags you can buy for under $3 at the grocery store (used to take ice cream, milk, etc. home) and put four of the calf bottles in it and zip it shut once I get the jugs ready. These bags have nice handles and I can easily carry the bottles to the barn without dropping them and spilling the milk replacer. I use it for calves, but it would work ok for lambs and goats too.

PS: I recently read an article online that some makers of milk replacer are now using soy or other carbohydrates instead of milk proteins. The cheaper mix can cause damage to the gut of the animal as well as diarrhea in the animal. The article suggested using whole cow’s milk from the grocery store or raw goat milk. Be sure to check your milk replacer for soy–you don’t want it!

–tip submitted by MN, CA


Critter Waterers

Those porcelain drawers from old refrigerators make a real nice temporary water pan for baby lambs and goats once they start to drink from a pan. They are really easy to clean–I use an old pancake turner to get the gunk out of the bottom and then use a toilet brush to scrub out the corners. Then I tip it on a side and rinse out the crud. This is very easy to do and takes just a couple of minutes to keep good clean water in front of the babies.

–tip submitted by KJ, NE


Easy Ironing

I know that not many people do much ironing anymore, but here is a trick taught to me by an elderly aunt. She ironed her tablecloths, and so do I, so I know this really does work.

She said when you change the pad on your ironing board, put a strip of foil over the top of the pad (it may take two strips if your board is wide), then lay the new cover on the top and tie it down. The foil will reflect the heat of the iron and save you time and money (less electricity use), because it takes much less time.

–tip submitted by CB, ID

(Pennywise says: Don’t toss that old ironing board pad either–I cut them up and use them for liners in hot pads for my table or pot holders and oven mitts. Yes, you can buy insulation material at the fabric store, but why buy it when you already have it on hand?)


Cap Washer

Did you know that you can wash all those farm caps the guys wear out in the fields and into town in your dishwasher?

I put the caps on the top shelf in the dishwasher and run it through a full cycle–just don’t use the drying cycle. Take the damp caps out of the dishwasher and put them over gallon glass jars, like the ones pickles and mayonnaise come in, or use whatever you can find for the size of the cap and let them dry.

–tip submitted by JO, SD

(Pennywise says: I didn’t bother to put the caps over the jars; I just let them air dry on a towel on the counter since the caps are adjustable at the back.)


Dishwasher Breath

If your dishwasher develops ‘stinky breath’ just get out the vinegar jug and put a half-cup to a cup in the bottom of the machine. Then, load the machine with dishes you don’t use very often, or fancy little glass collectors’ items that are a pain to hand wash and run the machine. The film will be off of the collectibles and the dishwasher will smell good again.

–tip submitted by CU, ND


Clothespins To The Rescue

A reader writes: My daughter gave me some of those plastic clips to keep chips, cereals, etc. shut in my cupboards. I don’t use them–they are too big and bulky. Instead, I have found that pincher-type plain wooden clothespins work just as well and I can buy 20 of them for about a dollar, rather than paying a dollar apiece for some fancy do-dad.

–tip submitted by RS, IL

Do you have any tips or ideas you would like to share? Email them to Paula at [email protected]  Be sure to mention the "Farm And Livestock Directory" when you respond.