Straight-line winds, tornadoes and microburst storms are a common occurrence throughout Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Over the years, MJE has built and expanded many dairies throughout the Midwest and Southern Plains.
Based on our experience with designing and building massive-scale operations, a good customer reached out to us with a problem he was facing. A microburst tornado came through his dairy with the accompanying storm winds wreaking havoc on his operation. Several thousand calf hutches were blown away.
Calf hutches, essentially small houses, are where dairy farmers put baby calves in to live for somewhere between 60 and 90 days before being moved to the weaning barn. This dairyman needed a safe, effective way to secure calf hutches so as not to lose any more calves during a storm or high-wind scenario.
Realizing that there weren’t any existing solutions on the market, the team at MJE began the development of the Calf Hutch Latch.
Existing systems were complex and needed multiple parts. They used a system that frayed cable and pins needed to secure them were easy to drop and difficult to correctly install. To combat the complexity of existing tie-down systems, the Calf Hutch Latch was developed to be easy to use with minimal part wear and tear.
Calf Hutch Latches are sturdy latches that can be fastened to the top of a hutch with just two bolts and a backing plate. Latches are made from bare metal, painted metal, or stainless steel and come with the bolts and backing plate needed to add them to a calf hutch roof. They attach quickly and easily without the need for pins that can break or be quickly lost. Once attached, the lever on the latch can be pressed down with minimal effort. A thick wire cable snaps easily in place, keeping hutches together. Using posts and a simple winch, one person can quickly secure hutches. Using our tethering system, the cable can last longer, seeing minimal wear and tear.
Upon entry into the 2020 World Ag Expo new product contest in Tulare, California, the Calf Hutch Latch was named a top-10 product of the year. Our patent-pending design has resulted in more than 97,000 sales of latches across the United States.