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Indoor Manure Pits
Indoor manure pits are starting to catch on in Canada where tough water quality regulations - and odor complaints near urban areas - are prompting some farmers to store semi solid dairy cattle manure inside new prefabricated buildings.
The buildings, which have a cement floor surrounded by an 8-ft. high retaining wall, keep rain and snow out of the manure and prevent odors from escaping. A stacker delivers manure from barn gutters directly into the building.
"Indoor manure pits are environmentally safer than dumping manure outside or pumping it into a lagoon and are virtually BodcoFarm Equipment, St. Francois Xavier, Quebec. The company, which makes barn cleaning equipment, has constructed a number of buildings 80 ft. wide, 100 ft. long, and 30 ft. high with enough capacity for nine months of manure storage from 100 cows.
"Most of our customers had been stacking manure outside but live close to town and wanted to eliminate odors," says Vachon, who notes that some farmers install a "chimney vent" on top of the roof for extra ventilation in addition to the roof peak vents. "Keeping rain and snow out results in a more solid form of manure that's less likely to seep into ground water or run off fields. The manure can be handled with a front-end loader and conventional manure spreader. Indoor manure pits cost about 25% more than lagoons. However, there are no under-ground pipes to plug up, and if you ever stop milking cows you can use the building for other purposes."
Two independent stackers are used, one inside and one outside the barn. The inside stacker drops manure onto the bottom of the outside stacker, the bottom end of which is barn. "The shed keeps the outside stacker from freezing up in winter," says Vachon.
The outside stacker has a transmission on the top end that automatically declutches if the chain plugs up and automatically reengages when the motor is restarted, eliminating the need to climb up to the top of the stacker to put it back in gear.
For more information, contact FARM SHOW Followup, Bodco Farm Equipment, 10 Route 249, St. Francois Xavier, Quebec Canada J0B 2V0 (ph 819 845-7824).

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1992 - Volume #16, Issue #3