Make your own esophageal feeder

Most esophageal feeding bags don't hold the recommended 1 gallon of colostrum that newborn calves need. So, Dave Kuehnel, vice president of sales and marketing for Milk Products, Inc., located in Chilton, Wis., made his own. Kuehnel took a 1-gallon container — purchased at a local discount store — and drilled a hole in the side. Then, with the help of a plastic fitting and a few rubber washers, he connected the feeding tube from an old esophageal feeder.

If a new esophageal feeder is purchased, the cost of the project is $13.35. Using an old one lowers the cost to $5.40.

Kuehnel's idea was presented during "heifer tips" at the Professional Dairy Heifer Growers Association's annual meeting, held in March in Seattle, Wash.