Manure Sifter – Frequently Asked Questions

manure sifter

What is a Stall Shi*fter?

The Stall Shi*fter is a manure sifter on wheels with an electric motor driven sifting screen. The Shi*fter is rolled into a stall and turned on. As the sifting screen shakes, the user shovels the mixture of bedding and manure onto the screen. It’s like magic, the bedding sifts through the screen and falls to the floor in a nice fluffy pile as the manure moves to the low end of the screen and falls off the rear into a muck bucket.

How much does it cost?

The Stall Shi*fter should be considered an investment in equipment, not a cost. As any business person knows, the best way to improve profits is to control cost. The best way to control cost is to eliminate waste and improve efficiency. The manure sifter does both. It will return your investment many times over for years to come. The investment can be recouped in a 12 stall barn in as few as 3 months. It can pay for itself several times over in a year, better than any other piece of equipment you can purchase for your farm. It can be completely depreciated as business equipment on taxes. Click the Prices link  in the menu at the top to find current pricing information.

How long have Stall Shi*fters been around?

I built the first Stall Shi*fter in November of 1996 and introduced it to the public at the Hoosier Horse Fair in Indianapolis in April of 1997. We have been improving and fine-tuning it ever since.

How can it save me money?

If you can cut stall cleaning cost by just one dollar a day in a 10 stall barn you can save $3650 in the first year. A survey of our customer base reveals the following: Our average customer reduced cleaning time by 65%, cut bedding cost by 50% (that’s an average of $2.50/stall/day) and is very happy with the overall operation of their Shi*fter. The range of cost saving varied from farm to farm but the overall average dollar savings were significant. It adds up quickly in large operations. Even beyond these cost savings they now have cleaner fresher smelling stalls than ever before.

How can it help my Tennis Elbow?

This condition is aggravated by repetitive palms down labor like shaking a manure fork. I developed tennis elbow in less than six months of daily stall cleaning. My doctor told me to either change the way I did the job or it would become chronic. He told me to change the palms down movement of shaking the manure fork to a palms up method, like shoveling. This was my prime motivation for developing the Stall Shi*fter. I have not suffered from Tennis elbow in over 15 years; many of my customers have told me the same thing, their Tennis Elbow pain began to abate within a week of using the manure sifter and using palms up labor to shovel instead of palms down labor to shake the manure fork.

What do you do with the wet spot?

When using the Shi*fter in the preferred manner, the stall is prepared for sifting before the manure sifter is rolled in. This preparation takes less than a minute. Wet spots are easily identified and scooped up into the tub with your grain shovel. If small wet spots are missed, don’t worry, the wet bedding has a tendency to clump together and most of it goes off the end of the screen into the tub anyway. What falls to the pile of sifted bedding is inconsequential and will be well mixed with the dry bedding.

How long can you keep recycling bedding?

Bedding life depends on many factors. In most stalls, fresh bedding is added every few days to replace the wet spot that was removed, some stalls more than others depending on the horse. When the bedding gets to the point where it is too dusty it should be stripped out and replaced with fresh bedding. Application of Arena Rx will eliminate dust and greatly increase the life of bedding.

What is the best stall flooring to use?

We found rubber mats to be best. The cost of the mat is recovered in the labor and bedding savings in just a couple of years. Rubber mats are easy on the horses, they do not absorb urine, and they are a better surface than dirt to scoop bedding from. The mats will also help reduce the amount of bedding necessary.

What is the best bedding to use?

There are many good types of bedding available, rice hulls, wood shavings, peat moss, wood pellets, Guardian Swift Pick, sawdust etc., etc. Any bedding used with the manure sifter must be small enough to pass through the screen which is a 1/2 inch by 1 inch diamond grid. A informative table showing average absorption rates is shown on the “Benefits” page comparing automatic to manual sifting.

Will wood pellet type bedding work with a Shi*fter?

There are numerous brands of “pelletized bedding” available in different parts of the country and they are becoming quite popular with barn managers. When used as directed this type bedding works quite well in the stall and the Stall Shi*fter sifts it quickly because it is so fine. Much of the pelletized bedding comes from Canada and is made of pine shavings. Guardian Horse Bedding is a brand made in the USA and is available in the Midwest; Mallard Creek Comfort Blend, also made in the USA is available in the Northwest.

How easily is the Shi*fter moved from stall to stall?

The Shi*fter has four wheels and is pushed around much like a shopping cart or baby carriage. Narrow work aisles are no problem because it can be turned completely around in an aisle 8 feet wide.

What are the physical dimensions?

The Shi*fter is 30 inches wide, 72 inches long and 36 inches high and weighs 125 lb. when fully assembled. It ships in two boxes. The box dimensions are: Box one is 62″ x 9″ x 28″ and Box two is 30″ x 12″ x 12″. Box one weighs 96 lb. and Box two weighs 45 lb.

Can the Stall Shi*fter roll over a step?

The Deluxe Hybrid Woody Shi*fter has 20-inch rear wheels and 12-inch front wheels; pushing down on the handle raises the front wheels, much like a baby carriage going up a curb. It will pull over a six inch step with ease.

What kind of motor does it have?

The manure shifter is driven by a Leeson 1/3 hp, 120 Volt AC, totally enclosed, dust free, fan-cooled electric motor. Special order models can have optional 240 Volt AC TEFC motors.

Is any assembly required?

There is some assembly work required but nothing too difficult for the average person. There is a fully illustrated assembly manual with many photos. It takes about 45 minutes to assemble.

How long will it last

We expect them to last a decade if they are well maintained. We have many of our original wooden models still operating every day. We honestly don’t know how long they will last, but it is many years.

What kind of maintenance is required?

A regular drop of oil on the tie rod ends or bearing when it squeaks and normal reasonable cleaning.

Are replacement parts available?

Our manure sifter is designed and built so that no special tools would be required for repair. All repairs are simple and seldom required. There are normal wear parts that will require occasional replacement. They are tie rod ends and roller bearings and wear rails.

Are there many adjustments that need to be made?

No adjustments should be necessary, the pitch, speed and screen grid size is optimized for daily use in typical stalls.

Isn’t it harder to sift everything with the manure sifter than to selectively pick manure with a fork?

The manure fork is much more tedious and requires shaking which is very hard on arms, wrists, shoulders, backs and elbows as many already know. Much less strenuous palms up labor more friendly to those body parts replaces this palms down shaking. On average a 10 x 12 stall with 3 inches of bedding takes 5 minutes to clean using the manure sifter and a grain shovel. When it is cleaned with the Shi*fter it is really clean, all particles larger than a kernel of corn have been removed. This cannot be done with a fork.

Can it be used when the horse is in the stall?

We do not recommend cleaning stalls with horses in them. It is not very noisy, about 50 db, and we have not had any problem with spooking horses in adjacent stalls. You must find out for yourself if your horses are excited by the Stall Shi*fter. If they are don’t use it while they are in adjacent stalls.

How many people use them?

We have been making our manure sifter since 1997 and have shipped them all over the U.S.A. and Canada. We’ve also shipped to Alaska,, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Great Britain, Norway, Germany and Australia. Total users number in the thousands.

How do I order one?

Simply pick up your telephone and give us a call at 812-837-9607812-837-9607 or you can email us at shifter47448@gmail.com and we can call you. We accept Paypal, VISA, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

What about shipping?

We can ship via ground transport to anywhere in the Continental United States or Canada. Alaska orders will include some sea travel. Shipment is by UPS. We have also shipped to Germany, Norway, England, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Australia using Air Cargo Inc.