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Manure Pit Agitator Slips Down Between Floor Slats
An Illinois hog producer made his own two-wheeled, pull-type manure pit agitator using a unique "fold-up" impeller blade design.
    "It stirs the pit up good and runs smooth and quiet. It cost much less than a comparable commercial pit agitator," says Gary Lorton, Greenfield, Ill., who has a farrow-finish operation.
    The machine is equipped with a two-bladed impeller that's shaft-driven by an orbit motor that operates off tractor hydraulics. A flow divider is used to adjust motor speed. The impeller blades are made from 10-gauge stainless steel sheet metal and are designed to fold flat whenever the power is off. The blades unfold by centrifugal force as the shaft starts rotating.
    Lorton's hog barn measures 120 ft. long by 36 ft. wide and is divided into 10 rows of 12-ft. wide pens. It has a 10-ft. wide by 120-ft. long pit covered by slats spaced 1 in. apart.
    "It isn't as aggressive as a commercial manure pit agitator but it does the job," says Lorton. "The pit is about 4 ft. deep. The agitator reaches down far enough to agitate most of the manure. It takes about an hour to get it ready to pump. We move the agitator every 8 ft. or so and use it twice inside each pen. We park the tractor in front of the building and have enough hydraulic hoses that we can do three or four pens before we have to move the tractor."

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2001 - Volume #25, Issue #5