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Barns & Equipment

Whether using a tiestall, freestall, dry lot or pasture, here are some tips for cow comfort and maintaining farm facilities and equipment.

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Everyone loves a bargain. No surprise there, but there can be many unpleasant surprises when purchasing equipment at auction. Being “surprised” by your recent barn find is never the object of the buyer’s affection, so let’s take a few minutes to talk about some common ways to reduce the stress or increase the success rate of bidding on that “new to you” piece of equipment.

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The Martin family of Milky Way Dairy in New Paris, Indiana, robotically bed their freestall barn with sand.

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What started as an idea for three brothers to combine their dairy herds and build a new facility has led to one of the most automated precision dairies in the country, with robotic milking, cow monitoring, sand-bedded flush system, flexible stalls and a robot that delivers sand bedding to the freestalls.

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Belt-tracking issues have several causes. The most common belt-tracking problem I have seen stems from poor operating habits. During core formation, it is important to get hay under all the belts as soon as possible.

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While wooden hutches – consisting of a base, flooring and hutch system – are relatively inexpensive to build, they may not be the cheapest calf housing option available on the market today.

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You’re ready to trade off a piece of farm equipment, or trade for another farmer’s iron. You’ve looked at the “blue book” value and searched similar sales on various internet sites. You think you are fully prepared to make a bid. But you’d be wrong. You’re not prepared until you’ve made some inspection of and determined value for the tires.

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