Sunday, November 27, 2011

Building a Rack for Feeding Calves

You need:
  • 2- 1” x 6” Rough Cut Corral Boards 38” Long*.
  • 8- 1” x 6” Rough Cut Corral Boards 5” Long*.
  • 2- ¼” Think Furring or Lattice Strips 38” Long.
  • Screws 2” or 2 ¼” Long
Just screw the boards together following the pattern below. The main key is that the opening for the bottles are 4 ½” wide by 5” tall (that way you cut them at 5”). The space in the middle will not be big enough for a bottle to fit, but this rack will still feed six calves. Then just mount the rack between two post, I would use 4 bigger screws about 3” to 3 ½” long. It is kind of hard to reach the inside of the rack, but a drill with an 8” – 10” bit extension will be able to screw the rack on the post from the inside of the rack. Two screws will do the job most of the time, but if rack seems unsteady place in a few more. Rack can be made longer if you have post already in place, just remember the opening for the bottles are 4 ½” x 5” or 5” x 5” would work. When mounting the rack tilt in down so all the milk will be able to come out. We set ours on about a 45 degree pitch down.
*Rough cut corral boards are thicker than regular 1” x 6” boards but if you can’t find them use the regular 1” x 6” just make sure they are treated for outside use.
You want these two stripes to be thin. ¼” thick. Lattice’s strips work great and leave enough space for nipples of the bottles to go in easily. Just nail or screw on front of rack to hold bottles in.

Note: Calves must be watched while feeding from rack. They can rip the nipples off the bottles and waste milk. They also like to steal other’s bottles (a small stick and light tap back of their ears will help them stay off of other’s bottles). Always use bottles with a screw on nipple.

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-There are some good advice on caring for a calf in this web site, but always refer to your veterinarian for proper treatment of sick animals. Some home remedies work, but veterinarians know best, and can save you money and heartache with exact treatment For this sites Terms and Conditions click here.