Stable floors have to be impervious, easily cleaned, not slippery, and such as will not require an over steep incline for drainage, and also of such a colour as will please and give the idea of warmth. When dealing with horse stables the part where most resistance is required is the floor of the stall, where the horse should stand as level as possible, and where he can kick and paw without wearing away the paving. The passage-way may be paved in some less resistant material, but, as a general rule, except where stables are built on the style of show places, the flooring is of the same material throughout. Portland cement concrete of one part cement to six of gravel should first of all be laid to a depth of 6 inches and to the required falls. The finished floor may be of grooved cement, but it has a tendency to become slippery, and soon cracks beneath the continued pounding of a horse's hoof. At A in Fig. 21 is shown a clinker brick of a dark yellow colour, 6 inches long, 1 3/4 inch wide, and 2 5/8 inches deep. It is made flat or with chamfered edges. For drainage purposes it should be so laid that the V-shaped groove - formed by the bricks being laid side by side - will conduct the urine in a straight course to the drainage channel. For passage-ways the bricks may be laid herring-bone fashion. This is also generally done in the stalls, effectiveness of appearance being studied instead of utility. The blue Staffordshire bricks (B, Fig. 21), made in 2, 4, 6, or 8 panels, and 9 inches long by 4 1/2 inches wide and 3 inches deep, give a most solid and impervious floor. Their drawback may be considered to be the difficulty of properly draining or cleansing the chamfered channels, which continually cross one another at right angles. However this may be, in some localities they are general favourites, and are extensively used. The St. Pancras Ironwork Company have produced a paving brick of a blue-black or brown colour (C) which seems to meet a great many of the objections. The groove, semicircular in section, runs in the middle of the brick, so removing any danger of leakage from a faulty or weak joint. This, like the clinker, may be laid so as to conduct the drainage direct. It is claimed for these bricks that, on account of the mixture of clays of which they are composed, they will never wear smooth, but always give a firm foothold. The fall required is so slight that the difference of level on length of stall need only be of 2 inches. Paving may be composed of bricks on end, but these wear out easily; or of granite cubes or rectangular blocks with roughened surface. They are apt to become slippery, and then require to be repicked. In granite districts they are extensively used, and are found to answer satisfactorily.

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Fig. 21.

Floors 29

Fig. 22.

At D, Fig. 21, a corrugated form of the same brick is shown, specially adaptable to cow-houses and piggeries. For the former it has been found cleaner for the stall to be raised some 4 or 5 inches above the passage level. This will allow of the cow's droppings falling into an open gutter and not fouling its bed in any way. However, in the case of Jerseys this would scarcely answer, as they have a habit of pulling themselves forward into their stall. Therefore the peculiar habits of the breed of cow must be studied. Some authorities are of opinion that a softer substance is required at the head of the stall than paving bricks, as the cow requires a warm and more yielding substance to kneel upon, and that it would be better to provide a space levelled with well-rammed clayey earth.

Floors 30

Fig. 23.