A new slurry mixer avoiding the need to remove slats for safety features has been enhanced by the German manufacturers Reck.

The new feature fits between the slats in livestock housing, which reduces the danger of mixing the slurry collected below. The slatted floor mixer can be inserted through slats as small as 17mm and enables safe mixing with little disruption to livestock. This makes pumping easier and reduces the need for farm workers to risk going below to attend potentially dangerous blockages.

There are two models – The Porco is designed for pigsties whilst the Torro is for cowsheds – Both are light, portable and can be operated by one person. Once inserted through a gap the blades automatically unfold when the mixer is started. It can then be swivelled laterally which enables large areas to be stirred from one location.

“These easy to use machines start at just £2500 and remove any risk of falling into the slurry because access can be gained without removing concrete flooring," said John Tydeman, from slurry specialists Tramspread.

The slurry that collects below livestock housing is often the hardest to access. Emissions from slurry can be strong and unpredictable. When agitated or pumped, slurry emits dangerous gases such as hydrogen sulphide. The operator should use a slurry gas detector to monitor the levels of gas when mixing takes place. “We always recommend a monitor such as the Gas Alert Clip. It’s a simple, cheap device that alerts the operator to dangerous concentrations of gas and can save lives,” advises Mr Tydeman.

DEFRA suggested that all slurry had to be covered since 2017, and aims to abolish splash plates by 2025, which will increase the need for slurry to be suitable for use with dribble bars and trailing shoes.

These methods rely on slurry having a low dry matter content so mixing will become ever more important in the future.

“Pressure from government will soon force farmers to change how slurry is stored and treated. Slurry is an excellent resource if kept properly and used responsibly. We just hope that more farmers will realise this and invest in the right equipment,” John concluded.