Home-made telescoping fronts made of 2 by 4's and positioned on the front of dairy calf hutches help keep calves out of the weather when necessary, says dairyman Donald Baker of Lineboro, Md.
The hutches Baker uses are 4 by 8 ft., and the telescoping fronts, when extended, create an additional 4 by 4 ft. outside area. When a calf is first put into a hutch, the extension is pushed clear back in, keeping the calf inside. As the calf gets a little older, the telescoping front is extended, allowing the calf outside into the sunshine.
In rainy weather, the hutch extensions are pushed back in (an easy task, says Baker) to keep calves from creating a muddy area in front of their hutches. They're opened again when the ground dries.
Calves are kept in the hutches 8 to 10 weeks, and the extensions are built so as to keep calves in without netting or fencing. Two feeders are mounted on the lowest rung of the frame.