Sheep Manure Project
Delivery only available within the Launceston Area.
Since 1984 we have built up a reliable fund raising activity in collecting sheep manure from shearing sheds for sale to gardeners.
The sheds have slatted floor panels that allow droppings to fall to the ground below. Retrieving this material by shovelling is tiring and labour intensive, so to improve productivity, reduce physical stress and labour requirements, in February 2004 the club after about 18 months of planning, designing and building from the wheels up, entered the 21st Century with a hightech Sheep Manure Extraction Machine which is a super vacuum cleaner mounted on a trailer (nicknamed Monica).
A Toyota Corolla car engine drives a centrifugal fan that draws sheep manure via 150 mm plastic piping from the shearing shed for delivery to a highly efficient cyclone separator made from two 200 litre drums.
At the base of the cyclone is a metering hopper of one bag capacity that has sliding shutters at top and bottom. When the top shutter is open the hopper fills, this is then closed before opening the lower shutter to fill a receiving bag. This system prevents downward air discharge, minimising dust. Air leaving the cyclone goes to a large filter bag in a casing made from two 200 litre drums and is so effective that there is no visible discharge of dust from the outlet.
The trailer carries 60 metres of suction piping, allowing the machine to be parked outside the shed whilst accessing the deposits inside.
The old manual method of gathering produced a product of a pelletised consistency, whereas the new method results in a manure that is pulverised by passing through the blades of the fan. This is much better to spread on the garden and is more rapidly assimilated. The rate of bag-filling was recently timed at 25 in just under 15 minutes.
Construction, including the trailer was done over 18 months usually on Saturdays, at the home of Past President Peter Smith with the assistance of Past President Dennis Tulk, Past President Charles Smith and other club members.