August 14, 2015

"There are 30 cows in a field..." Can you solve the math problem that's stumped the internet?

Rebel Staff

A math problem is currently stumping countless people on the internet.

Matt Philips of asked Torontonians if they could solve it.

Can you?


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commented 2015-09-04 04:27:51 -0400
20 ate chickens. 10 didn’t eat chickens. hosers.
commented 2015-08-16 02:04:56 -0400
“…a problem in critical listening.” Indeed.
And it seems many of us are in critical need of learning to do that…
I said 17, because:
I assumed the 30 cows would contain at least one bull to " do it", which leaves 29 cows. On a cow-calf operation that’d give you 14 pairs and either a twin or a heifer.
The 28 chickens I figured was a hen and a rooster and whatever came out of the 26 eggs, for 2.
The bull, 14 cows and two chickens ‘did it’ for 17. (Sorry, I instinctively provided the calculation because you’re a teacher)
As silly as I feel in hind sight for my answer of 17 – after seeing what I’m assuming (again) is the correct answer of 10 – this little exercise did get the old brain-a-workin’ and out of the usual paths…maybe a few more of these riddles and conservatives can figure out a way to curb the lefty/liberal onslaught.
commented 2015-08-15 16:53:29 -0400
What a silly waste of time…hey rebel, how about letting us in on important stuff and not this junior high junk….
commented 2015-08-15 15:37:58 -0400
The answer is obvious once the question is written down! Also, the intonation of the questioner is misplaced which confuses the listener. If he had said, "Twenty ATE chicken, with the stress placed on ATE (EIGHT), then no one would be confused! LOL
PS. I am a retired teacher who was involved in public speaking with my students. Patterns of intonation – pitch, stress, and juncture – are important in the delivery of any message! This is less a math problem than it is a problem in critical listening.
commented 2015-08-15 13:28:54 -0400
My answer is – zero. There are 30 cows and 28 chickens. But no didn’t.
commented 2015-08-15 11:17:57 -0400
Guess I should read the comments before posting.
commented 2015-08-15 11:16:35 -0400
10 man!
There are 30 cows in a field.
And 20 ATE chickens.
How many didn’t?

commented 2015-08-15 11:04:19 -0400
Are 28 of the 30 cows chickens? The answer must be 28, since only two weren’t chicken and actually did it.
commented 2015-08-15 08:35:59 -0400
Since chickens can be cannibalistic when it comes to settling scores, it is obvious that the “didn’t” answer is 30 cows
plus the dead or vegan nonparticipating pacifist total of 8 chickens.
The answer is 38.
While some of the dead chickens may have swallowed bits of meat in the course of the brawl while meeting their demise, technically they were not primarily “eating” at the time.
commented 2015-08-15 07:37:17 -0400
10 cows didn’t eat chickens.
commented 2015-08-15 07:02:41 -0400
Mathew Scallon – Hahaha!!!
commented 2015-08-15 02:42:58 -0400
I have to admit I didn’t get it till I looked at the comments—attach the stone of shame! (sorry, Simpsons reference.) Anyway, I think Peter is right, at least I hope he is about cows not eating chickens. Grain fed beef is better, right?
commented 2015-08-14 23:22:59 -0400
28 didn’t because they were chicken!
commented 2015-08-14 23:02:16 -0400
Cows don’t eat chickens
commented 2015-08-14 21:53:13 -0400
It’s good to get our minds of politics for a few minutes. Thanks!
commented 2015-08-14 21:49:54 -0400
28 did not, because they were all too chicken to.
commented 2015-08-14 21:49:39 -0400
They all didn’t there were no bulls or roosters.
commented 2015-08-14 21:13:36 -0400
Mathew Scallon – good work. This is more of a riddle than an exercise in mathematics and I admire a keen mind that is quick to work out these kind of ‘problems’.
It is interesting to see people search for an explanation to the riddle. Each response is so uniquely human. Some grasp for a plausible answer that they know doesn’t seem quite right. Others get frustrated with the question or impatient, perhaps embarrassed by their own lack of imagination. My own impulse was to try and understand the question but quickly recognized the answer when I saw Mathew’s answer.
I just can’t help but relate this to the recent trend that I see in people who over empathize with animals (Cecil the Lion). I think this is because there is a very silly notion out there that human beings are just another ‘species’. This riddle is a another of a multiplicity of examples of why we are not just animals. The many and varied responses of people shows the riches of human emotions, rationality, creativity, pride, among others I am not taking the time to identify.
Why are more and more people interested in identifying themselves as another animal rather than a very unique creature, separate and higher than the animal kingdom?
To those who might be annoyed, I apologize for imposing a serious philosophical question on such a fun and light hearted story.
commented 2015-08-14 21:13:09 -0400
Were there bulls and roosters also?
commented 2015-08-14 20:53:50 -0400
Glenn Craig……you hit the nail on the head. Like you say it’s a play on words…….it’s not 28 ……it’s 20 ate, so 30-20=10. I was wracking my brain, but I bet if I had asked my friend’s 12 yr old, he would have gotten the answer right away. Got a kick out of that first couple….she was totally frustrated at Matt.
commented 2015-08-14 20:53:45 -0400
cows don’t eat live chicken!
commented 2015-08-14 20:13:13 -0400
30 cows in a field and 28 chickens. How many didn’t?
Better question would be : How many Torontonians does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
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