Johanna Laggis, calf manager at Laggis Bros. Dairy, Eastwick, Vt., uses inexpensive, digital thermometers from the local drugstore for temping young calves. “They’re quick, accurate and affordable, plus they’re much more convenient to use than mercury thermometers,” she says.

Attica, New York calf management specialist Sam Leadley, with Attica Veterinary Associates, affirms that the thermometers are fine to use on calves.  “Just be sure to apply gentle pressure when using them, so that the thermometer is touching the wall of the rectum, and not temping air,” Leadley advises.

And be careful where you store them, adds Laggis.  “One time I took one out of my pocket and left it on the bathroom counter,” she recalls.  “My son used it orally on himself.”