Farm Barn Under-ground Plan And Yard
The most economical plan, for room in tying cattle in their stalls, is to fasten the rope, or chain, whichever is used, (the wooden stanchion, or stanchel, as it is called, to open and shut, enclosing the animal by the neck, we do not like,) into a ring, which is secured by a strong staple into the post which sustains the partition, just at the top of the manger, on each side of the stall. This prevents the cattle in the same stall from interfering with each other, while the partition effectuall
prevents any contact from the animals on each side of it, in the separate stalls. The bottom of the mangers, for grown cattle, should be a foot above 296 the floor, and the top two and a half feet, which makes it deep enough to hold their food; and the whole, both sides and bottom, should be made of two-inch, sound, strong plank, that they may not be broken down. The back sides of the stalls, next the feeding alleys, should be full 3½ feet high; and if the cattle are large, and disposed to climb into their mangers with their fore-feet, as they sometimes do, a pole, of 2½ or 3 inches in diameter, should be secured across the front of the stall, next the cattle, and over the mangers—say 4½ feet above the floor, to keep them out of the manger, and still give them sufficient room for putting their heads between that and the top of the manger, to get their food. Cattle thus secured in double stalls, take up less room, and lie much warmer, than when in single stalls; besides, the expense of fitting them up being much less—an experience of many years has convinced us on this point. The doors for the passage of the cattle in and out of the stables, should be five feet wide, that they may have plenty of room.
In front of these stables, on the outside, is a line of posts, the feet of which rest on large flat stones, and support the outer sill of the barn, and form a recess, before named, of 12 feet in width, under which may be placed a line of racks, or mangers for outside cattle, to consume the orts, or leavings of hay rejected by the in-door stock; or, the manure may be housed under it, which is removed from the stables by wheel-barrows. The low line of sheds which extend from the barn on each side of the yard, may be used for the carts, and wagons of the place; or, racks and mangers may be 297 fitted up in them, for outside cattle to consume the straw and coarse forage; or, they may be carried higher than in our plan, and floored overhead, and hay, or other food stored in them for the stock. They are so placed merely to give the idea.
There may be no more fitting occasion than this, perhaps, to make a remark or two on the subject of managing stock in stables of any kind, when kept in any considerable numbers; and a word may not be impertinent to the subject in hand, as connected with the construction of stables.
There is no greater benefit to cattle, after coming into winter quarters, than a straight-forward regularity in everything appertaining to them. Every animal should have its own particular stall in the stable, where it should always be kept, and in no other. The cattle should be fed and watered at certain hours of the day, as near as may be. When let out of the stables for water, unless the weather is very pleasant, when they may be permitted to lie out an hour or two, they should be immediately put back, and not allowed to range about with the outside cattle. They are more quiet and contented in their stables than elsewhere, and eat less food, than if permitted to run out; and are every way more comfortable, if properly bedded and attended to, as every one will find, on trying it. The habit of many people, in turning their cattle out of the stables in the morning, in all weathers—letting them range about in a cold yard, hooking and thorning each other—is of no possible benefit, unless to rid themselves of the trouble of cleaning the stables, which 298 pays twice its cost in the saving of manure. The outside cattle, which occupy the yard, are all the better, that the stabled ones do not interfere with them. They become habituated to their own quarters, as the others do to their's, and all are better for being each in their own proper place. It may appear a small matter to notice this; but it is a subject of importance, which every one may know who tries it.
It will be seen that a driving way is built up to the barn doors at the ends; this need not be expensive, and will add greatly to the ease and convenience of its approach. It is needless to remark, that this barn is designed to stand on a shelving piece of ground, or on a slope, which will admit of its cellar stables without much excavation of the earth; and in such a position it may be economically built. No estimate is given of its cost, which must depend upon the price of materials, and the convenience of stone on the farm. The size is not arbitrary, but may be either contracted or extended, according to the requirements of the builder.