This section is from the book "The Principles And Practice Of Modern House-Construction", by G. Lister Sutcliffe. Also available from Amazon: How Your House Works: A Visual Guide to Understanding & Maintaining Your Home.
The horse is with justice considered to be the nobler animal, and the useful cow must always take the second place, and until lately almost any accommodation has been considered good enough for her. The housing of the one or two cows that supply milk to the suburban gentleman's family, is a matter of such simplicity that little need be said about it, but the construction of the large city dairies, or of the byres upon the great milk-raising farms which surround our large towns, is now recognized to be a matter of the most vital importance. In its relation, indeed, to the health of the community, it is of infinitely greater moment than the construction of any stable can be. This has been to some extent recognized by the law, but there are many features that the law cannot, or does not, touch. In the construction of cow-houses even more than in stables, two opposing principles are contending for the first place. From the point of view of the producer economy comes first, from that of the consumer health, and the opposing needs of these two have to be reconciled.
In large and economically-worked houses, there are two systems of arrangement, each having its advantages. The one is with the cows in two rows with their heads facing a feeding-passage in the centre, and of course having a passage of access behind each row of cows adjoining the outer walls. The other system is to have a double row of cows with their tails opposite each other and a single passage of access in the centre, and with the heads of each row of cows pointing to a narrow feeding-passage along each outside wall. This arrangement is adopted at some of the Government model farms, where Musgrave's patent fittings have been used. The whole building is 32 feet wide; the feeding-passage along each wall is 4 feet wide, and has a sunk portion along which a feeding-truck can run. Down the centre runs a passage 5 feet in width, which allows a standing depth of 9 feet 6 inches for each cow.
The fittings consist of cast-iron stall-divisions arranged for two cows in each stall, with a cast-iron feeding-trough, and a wrought-iron hay-rack above. The distance between the divisions to accommodate two cows is usually 7 feet, and asionally 7 feet 6 inches or 8 feet. Sunk Hush in each division should be an upright tying-rod, arranged to be easily removable in case of accident. As in the case of stable-fittings, everything should he smooth and rounded, and made as to avoid any possibility of the cow hurting herself. The feeding-trough should be capable of being filled and flushed with water, which when discharged will in its turn serve to Hush out the drain or channel. A water-trough or pot may be provided at a suitable height above the feeding-trough, in the centre of each bay. and can be automatically supplied from the main tank.
The floor of the passage and of the lower part of the stalls is best formed of concrete with a floating of hard cement on the top, but some authorities prefer that the part under the cows' fore-feet should be of earth only, covered with litter. Probably, however, concrete for all will be the cleaner, an ample supply of litter making a soft enough provision for standing or lying.
For covering the walls nothing is so good as whitewash, which can hardly be too often renewed.
The most ample ventilation is indispensable. A simple air-inlet grating opposite each cow's head answers well, and Musgrave's patent outlet-ventilator on the roof, (say) one to every ten cows, is perhaps as simple and efficacious as can be devised. This outlet-ventilator is shown in Fig. 742.
Dairy-arrangements for the storage and distribution of milk hardly come within the scope of this work, but among the general requirements which must be mentioned are hay-lofts, root-stores, and a preparation-room for provender with boiler, etc., and, of course, accommodation for the men, latrines, manure-pits, Ac, hut in these there is nothing specially distinctive from those required for commercial stables. In everything that pertains to the accommodation of cows it can only be literated again and again, that, in the future, considerations of cleanliness and health will become more and more paramount, and that the regulating sanitary laws and their enforcement will become increasingly stringent, though quite possibly this may take the form rather of greater intelligence and frequency in the supervision, than of much greater stringency in the laws themselves.
Fig. 742. - Musgrave's Outletventilator.