Get a 24 hour weather forecast
Catherine Hurley, B.Agr.Sc, Agri Sales Support Advisor
Slats and manhole covers are not lifetime items, they need to be replaced before they fail. The expected lifespan
of them is about 20 years. However, intensive use of slats like allowing stored slurry to reach them and stocking
mature bulls on them will shorten the expected lifetime of them.
To avoid any accident happening due to slats or manhole failure, they need to be checked every year. Now is
an ideal time to check while livestock are out at grass and enough time is there before housing time to repair or
replace slats if needs be.
Both slats and manholes need to be checked for cracks and sagging annually to reduce the risk of broken legs, or
worse, animals or humans falling into the slurry tank. Attempting to rescue animals from slurry tanks is extremely
dangerous and has resulted in the loss of multiple human lives over the years.
We urge you to take time these next few months to carry out this simple job for the safety or your animals and your
families. Dairygold does not recommend any farmer entering a slatted tank.
How to check your slats:
Although some may be tempted to get an extra year or two out of slats, it would be foolish for safety reasons to do so. There is grant aid available under TAMS11 to replace slats. To qualify it is necessary to have an external agitation point but extending the tank to provide this is also covered under TAMS11.
When replacing slats and extending tanks it is wise to take the opportunity to remove the inevitable build-up of silt at the bottom of the tank.
See Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Specification S123S (available on