I am a pretty good seamstress and our dairy farmer friends have asked if I would be willing to make calf coats for her. I am curious if I could possibly do this as a sort of side income and wanted some feedback. While Maggie was ill she gave me an old wool calf blanket that I can use as a pattern. I also have a bias apron pattern that looks exactly like the coat she gave me so it would be possible for me to make them in several sizes.
The coats would be waterproof nylon with a wool backing. I am going to find old (but good) wool blankets to use for the backing because wool flannel is about $30 a yard. The waterproof nylon would run around $6 to $10 a yard after shipping it to me; if I buy off ebay. Plus I will have a few other expenses.
Those of you who use calf coats, do you prefer buckles or velcro; I have seen them online with both? And I know that Nasco has ones for sale in the $40 to $50 range. Would that be an appropriate price to charge for "homemade" ones and do you think their would be a market?
Rachel Klessig Wife to Matt MOM (Mommy Of Many) to Danial, Jacob, Isaac, Clara, Sarah, and twin girls Anna and Emma
I've never used one, have always made do with a sweatshirt or something - but would prefer velcro, because it's easier to adjust on a squirmy calf. If you make them with velcro, you'd probably want to put the hook side on the blanket, and the loop side on the strap, so that if it's not lined up perfectly, the hooks won't scratch the calf. Also that way when putting it on, the hooks won't get full of shavings or straw or whatever is on the floor if they get on the ground.
I'd probably be willing to pay $40 for one. I'd be willing to pay $20 for a good pattern - I've got a bunch of horse blankets and a couple of wool turnouts that I will never use, that I could make into calf jackets - and will most likely be having 4 calves born next Dec and Jan, so will be needing something. I was just looking at them a couple of weeks ago and thinking about that - so if you want to get your pattern perfected and sell me a copy......
Tig - 3/4 Jersey 1/4 Dexter 11 yr
Lucy (aka "Lucifer") Guernsey 10 yr
Pepper-Angus/Dexter/Jersey 6 yr
Mocha (aka Crazy Cow) 5 yr
Eva Holstein 5 yr
Maggie - HoJo 4 yr
Chloe - Jersey/Dexter 4 yr
Brie - Jersey - 3 yr
I don't know if this would be helpful but I've found with horse blankets that the key part is the elastic straps that crisscross between the back legs. If those break, the whole deal goes to heck, you can get by without the belly strap but the rear leg straps are what keeps the whole thing on correctly and mostly centered. My thought would be to design the thing to drop over the head of the calf w/o any chest buckles, not worry about a belly buckle and just have the elastic straps with clips that snap to Dee's and crisscross between the back legs. Of course calves are different than horses, this might not be helpful at all . Sounds like a good idea, there were plenty of Dec, Jan, Feb calves born just to forum members this winter. If I had a couple I'd go put them on the neighbors twin calves that were born a few days ago ;D. Blaire
blaire wife to Marty mom to Wyatt, Willy and Wesley. Milkmaid for the Bell Cow Creamery Jersey girls: Ginger, Ingrid, Poppy and Adele Birdie 9/22/09 Ginger's Brown Swiss cross heifer, Zelda, Willy's Jersey heifer. qtr horses:Train, Jesse, Katie, Colter, Smudge! Haflingers:Norman and Handy 2 goats 15 some chickens lotsa cats Spencer and Fiona the Corgis Gunnar the Gordon Setter
actualy i have a foal coat i like. but it has velcro i dont like.. it has a belly band about 6-7 inches wide might be a foot.. need to measureit.. and it goes under.. and attaches to the side.. the front does the same.. with a belly band you dont really have to worry about back leg bands.. i would go for those plastic quick hitches the kind used on dog colars. for fast on and off.. adjustable strap.. and a bit of elastic for when the calf moves and breaths..i used my foal coat on one of my calves and it worked great.. never moved or bunched..
Post by judithtcar on Mar 26, 2009 19:44:53 GMT -5
I have got a couple of the calf coats and have made them I like the quick hitch things for the legs Walmart has them 1.98 and the webbing for.80 a yrd I used Quilted material doubled and binding tape around the edges 3" velcro on the chest took me less than a hour to make The jersey coats are water proof and they are small will not fit a reg. holstein calf my holsteins coats are not waterproof all of them wash real nice though.I do have to say that I really like them they relly help keeping their body heat up.
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