This section is from the book "Modern Buildings, Their Planning, Construction And Equipment Vol6", by G. A. T. Middleton. Also available from Amazon: Modern Buildings.
In this case the cattle can see one another across the passage. Should this be objected to a swinging shutter may be added, or a 9-inch brick wall built varying from 2 feet 6 inches to 3 feet high, capped by a square or splayed wood capping. The food is tipped over this into the manger bins below (Fig. 67).
Another form of division adopted by many farmers, and recommended by the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland for its cleanliness as compared to wood, is made of concrete, 4 inches thick and let 3 inches into the wall, whilst holes are to be left for the bolts, which secure the iron plates for chain attachment.
Stall divisions may be also made of slate in one slab, but these would appear to be breakable. Fig. 68 shows a division composed of iron. ramp post and sheeting, all cast in one piece and so forming a solid and permanent fixture. When the division is required for a feeding passage a form such as that in Fig. 69 is used, where one or more iron bars impart both strength to the fitting and a barrier against the cattle. Care should be taken that this iron bar stands sufficiently clear of the manger to allow of a basket of food being easily tipped, whilst at the same time not endangering the cow in its feeding on the other side. To this bar may be attached an iron swing shutter, which allows of the attendant depositing the food and prevents the occupant of the stall from being disturbed at the sight of the cow on the other side of passage. Divisions may also be composed of cast-iron heel post ramp and sill - such as is provided in the horse stable, with the exception that the heel post is usually made tapering in its height from 6 inches at base to 5 inches at top. The division is filled in with wood boarding.
The feeding of cattle varies with different localities; in some cases roots are given - which are now always crushed previous to eating and never given whole, as was customary years ago; others prefer special cake food, whilst the hay may be chopped or given whole. In the latter case a hay-rack is required, whilst in the former case it is dispensed with. With a stall, the head of which abuts on to the wall, the rack consists of one set of bars only, whilst with a feeding passage the rails will have to be duplicated as shown in Fig. 69.
For calf-houses the same remarks apply, except that the division would be of smaller dimensions - if, indeed, a division is used at all, as the calves are often placed in a row without any separation - and the hay-rack at a less height. A convenient rack for a range of calves - which arc generally placed with their heads to the wall - is one made of iron framework with round iron bars, which can hinge back flat against the wall if not required for hay. A cow stall will often be used for young calves by boarding up the rear between the heel posts.
Bulls require a stall to themselves, and are usually secured on each side of division. If a concrete division be employed a useful arrangement is to fix a brick on end in top of coping with a cement head. As a bull often gets "out of hand," and is led by two men, this device or stud allows of one man giving a turn of the rope around this stud, so keeping the bull's head away from the other man who is attaching the rope. After this is accomplished the first man can attach his side without fear of receiving injury.
Where stock is kept for fattening purposes the arrangements are usually of a rough and ready method, the cattle being placed loose in empty houses, or in enclosed pens composed of a barricading of posts and lateral boards (Fig. 70) placed under an open shed. The sizes of pens and timbers is of no fixed standard, as these are generally knocked up by the farmer in the most suitable position, and with the wood at hand. Cattle are also allowed to be quite loose in the stock yards.
Mangers differ in various parts of the country. Some farmers maintain that the natural way of grazing is the best, and make the manger only some 6 inches high, with the interior of trough at the same level as the floor. In other places mangers are found 12 inches high, and in others as high as 18 inches, which forms what should be a maximum height. In any case the interior of manger would be of 6 inches depth. As the manger is at such a low level, and the food is sloppy and liquid, the use of wood is out of the question, but whatever material is preferred there should be every facility for cleanliness. A simple and useful manger is a half-round glazed stoneware pipe bedded in concrete or brickwerk. Concrete forms a favourite material for mangers which are from 1 foot 9 inches to 2 feet wide (Fig. 71), and of length to fit stall and height to suit local ideas. Mangers may be built of brickwork, grouted in cement, or again of stone which may be dished off in the manner shown in Fig. 72, with the slope returned at the ends.
The number of troughs to each cow is again a matter of opinion. In some instances the channel is continued all along the range of stalls, this being easily swilled and cleaned, an arrangement quite possible with concrete and pipe mangers, where a service water pipe can be fixed at one end and a waste pipe and plug at the other; but the awkward part of a long length would be to obtain the required fall. In other farms two bins are provided to each cow, both for food (if the men have insufficient time to attend to cattle in their busy seasons), or one bin may be used for water. The most common system is to supply one trough apiece to each cow, with, in some instances, a central and common one to serve as a water tank, which is, however, apt to become fouled with the splashing of the food from the adjoining bins, or from hay in the rack where such is used.
Sheet iron may be employed as a protection to water troughs, when it is bridged over by the hay-rack as shown in Fig. 73.
Feeding mangers are made of iron in several designs by the different makers. Fig. 74 illustrates the section of one made by the Carron Company, the back being kept at a higher level than the front, so as to prevent the cow from nosing out the food. Cast-iron troughs are also made with flanges so that they may be bolted together, with a centre water pot bolted above the whole, being easily disconnected and removed for cleansing.
Messrs. Gates & Green make special manger troughs with their patent salt-glazed "Nalethric" fireclay of the following sizes: 24 by 17 by 10 inches, 30 by 17 by 10 inches, or 32 by 20 by 10 inches. Three of these may be placed together, as shown in Fig. 73, so that the two extreme ones rest on the floor and contain food, whilst the centre one, suitable for water, is raised on a platform of glazed brickwork.
With this combination an ingenious arrangement for the water supply is carried out under Smith's patent, shown in plan and section in Fig. 75. The centre or water troughs are placed in communication with one another by a continuous channel, which is protected from any falling hay by means of the wrought-iron plate shown in section, the water trough being in its turn protected by the steel plate fitted to rack (vide Fig. 73). The width from front of manger to back of channel is 2 feet 2 inches.
The general mode of attaching a cow is by means of a rope, with a noose on one end, thrown over the neck or fastened around the horns, and the other end fastened to a ring fixed to side of manger, or to a chain which is fixed to an iron rod bolted to the stall division. Fig. 76 shows a rod the top of which is kept in its place by means of a hinged flap weight, whilst the lower end fits into a socket, and the chain attachment can be immediately released on the cover weight being raised and the rod drawn out of its socket.