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.
It is indispensable that the stable floor should be impervious to moisture, capable of being easily cleaned, and with as few places for the lodgment of dirt as possible; the surface should have a sufficient foothold to prevent any risk of a horse slipping. The grooved vitrified clinker stable-paving bricks meet these requirements, and should be laid upon Portland-cement concrete. The floor should have as little slope as is consistent with the How of liquids, so as to prevent the horses standing too much on an incline. Another excellent paving is formed with adamantine-clinker bricks. These are of a small size, - 6 inches long, 2 1/2 inches deep, and 1 3/4 inches thick, - and are laid on edge in herring-lione fashion, upon concrete, with rather open joints, and grouted with cement. These clinkers wear with a gritty surface, and, being so small, the numerous joints afford a good foothold for horses. They are made with chamfered edges as well as square. Similar bricks are also made a little wider.
Channels should be laid down the centre of each stall and along the past behind. The under part of the channel should be semicircular, of cast-iron, with a perforated flat top in sections made to slide, so that, by removing one of them, the attendant can slide the other pieces along and clean out the whole of the channel. By discharging the waste water from the drink-ing-pot, as hereafter to be described, the flushing of the channel is rendered easy. Some persons prefer an entirely open gutter, as being; less liable to choke up from neglect. The chief objection to open gutters is that they allow the liquids to be absorbed by the bedding, retaining them within the stable and vitiating the air. Musgraves pattern, as show in Fig. 731, has a fall in itself, and is often used; the channels or corrugations provide for the flow of Liquids to the drain, while the surface is almost level, and offers a good foothold for the horse.
The underground drains should he made of glased fire-clay pipes, laid upon concrete, and jointed in the best modern manner, preferably with Doulton's or other special joints. It used to be the idea that on account of the great percentage of solid matter contained in the drainage from a stable compared with the liquid portion, a very large diameter of pipe was necessary. The theory
Fig 731 - Musgrave's Patent open Surface-gutter of large pipes for house-drainage is now quite exploded, and there is no reason why it should be retained in the case of a stable. The contrary rather should be the case, for a small pipe running nearly full will be better flushed, and there will be a less deposit of sediment than with a larger one.
The chief features of a stable trap are that it should be very strong and afford a good foothold for horses, and that the attendant should be able to get his hand into every part; if by any accident it should be left open, the horse should not be likely to be injured if he put his foot into it; the trap should also provide as easy a flow fur liquids as is compatible with a sufficient water-seal.
Musgrave's patent trap, shown in Fig. 732, fulfils these conditions,1 but new traps, each claiming to be the best, are being put on the market almost every day.
Some Corporations do not allow any connection between stable-drains and the public sewers, and an intercepting tank may sometimes be required. This tank should not be too large; it should be impervious both at the sides and bottom; the top should be closed with Adams's or other air-tight cover, and due means should be taken for ventilation. Such a tank, however, must be viewed with more or less suspicion, and perhaps the safest way is to place it in a spot as little frequented as possible, with a ventilating grid made to lift easily, and to have it cleaned out at very short intervals. It is desirable to have an inspection-manhole at every change of direction or important junction, so as to obviate as far as possible any necessity for lifting the drains and breaking up the yards and pavement
The fitting up of racks and mangers has received great attention. The chief desiderata are - nothing that could injure a horse, or that a horse could injure, perfect cleanliness, and economy in the use of food by the horse. In all complete stables there should be in every stall or loose-box three articles - a hay-rack, manger, and water-pot. All these are best made of iron, with enamelled lining to the manger and water-pot. The hay-rack answers best when on a level with the manger, the old-fashioned overhead rack allowing dust and particles of hay to full into the horse's eyes, besides often allowing the food to be wasted The low or trough rack, shown in Fig. 733, is not open to these objections, as hay dropped by the horse generally talk again into the rack. This may be fitted with a sliding grid, which lies loosely on the top of the hay. The horse eats through the hare of this grid. which follows the hay as it diminishes, and prevents the waste by the hone pulling out too large mouthfuls at a time.
Fig. 732. - Musgrave's Patent Stench-trap.
1 The objections to this trap are that the outgo is rectangular, and that it delivers the sewage into the drain at right angles to the flow in the drain, and not in the direction of the flow. - ED.