steel anchor or drain in dairy barn

by Mark
(Gurnee, IL)

I have a question. I'm reclaiming a dairy barn circa 1945 with foundation re-poured in 1977. It is a common dairy barn within two rows of stanchions and a pad in the middle with a drain trench running through in the shape of a large rectangle.

I can't seem to copy a photo on to this site but in the concrete are 4 round steel hubs of some sort. They are solid and sunk into the concrete at the corners of the inner pad. They are in the drain trench set just below level of top of trench. They area about 10 inch in diameter and have some type of lid but I cannot find anyway to open them and they are not drains.

There are no drains in the floor or plumbing.
The steel hubs are real solid. I tried to beat them up with a sledge and didn't even dent them.
Any idea what they could be?

Hi Mark,

Thank you for your question!

During my childhood I spent many an afternoon after school with a flat shovel and wheel barrel cleaning all the cow manure from one of those rectangular shaped trenches you describe, which we used to call a gutter.

You see before the days of the automated milking parlor, cows were milked in stanchions and would spend an hour or more in those stanchions waiting to get milked and be let out.

Cows can go number 2 at a suprising rate during a one or two hour period!

The steel hubs you are describing I can only guess about, but I would bet that they are some sort of mounting bracket for an automatic gutter cleaning system. I used to dream of having one of those... Clean gutter at the push of a button! It can't get any better that that!

-BarnGeek

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May 17, 2013
Dairy Barn
by: Robin Ellison

Up until about 5 years ago, we still used this system. I wish I knew where our auto gutter cleaner went.

Our cows stayed in their stantions all winter, it was much warmer in the barn. They went outside for about an hour. They also had auto watering cups mounted to each stantion.

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