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Wooden Calf Stalls
"My homebuilt wooden calf stalls are easier to use than calf hutches and cost less to build and maintain," says E.J. Flinchum, Christiansburg, Va., who raises dairy calves inside a specially-designed shed equipped with 16 wooden stalls.
The stalls, 16 in. wide, 36 in. high, and 48 in. long, are built from 3/4-in. plywood that's supported by a framework of 2 by 6's. A feed trough runs in front of the stalls and bottle racks hang from a 2 by 6 above the trough. The shed is 20 ft. long and 16 ft. wide. Clear corrugated plastic covers the entire south side of the building to let sunlight in. A sliding door on one end allows calves to move freely in and out of the dirt-floor shed, which Flinchum cleans with a front end loader.
"I've experimented with different types of calf stalls for 40 years and these stalls are the best yet," says Flinchum. "I've used them for three years without losing a calf. I wanted a way to raise calves so they'd get plenty of exercise and be easy to feed. Hutches are expensive and re-quire a lot of time for feeding and caring because you have to walk from hutch to hutch. These stalls are all located in one place so I can feed 16 calves in only 15 min. There's room for only one calf per stall so big calves can't crowd out the little ones and all calves get equal amounts of feed. Calves stay healthier than they do inside hutches because they get plenty of exercise in a 2-acre lot outside the shed, and because they can group together and stay warm in the sunshine that comes through the clear plastic south wall. I bottle-feed milk replacer for two months before weaning and provide dry feed when calves are 2 to 3 days old. I continue to feed them until they reach 400 lbs."
Flinchum says he spent $600 for materials to build the shed and stalls. He's considering selling do-it-yourself plans.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, E.J. Flinchum, Rt. 1, Box 480-A, Christiansburg, Va. 24073 (ph 703 382-8459).

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1989 - Volume #13, Issue #6