A while back, I wrote a beginner’s introduction to the esoteric secrets of Duck Math. However, I must now admit that I was holding something back. Something essential. I’m now convinced that the omission might easily have led to disaster (or at least mild irritation) for many who were relying on me for the straight truth.
I’m sorry. Please brace yourself. The truth is coming.
Duck math is cross-calculable with other species-specific reckonings.
There. I said it.
You can see how this could lead to trouble. After all, having mastered and come to terms with 1 + 1 = 3 for ducks, one might be lulled into a sense of security, believing that the worst is now over. Your duck pen is built, your duck-exclusion garden systems are in place, your predator problems are solved, you’ve learned to identify duck-induced mud holes in the lawn before twisting your ankle in them. You are at peace with supporting the maximum number of waterfowl your property can feasibly sustain.
And then you realize your brood pens, which held baby ducks last year before you reached maximum capacity, look so lonely and sad sitting empty…
And, being ill-prepared for Fowl Math, you are blindsided by the sudden explosion of bird species now drawing sustenance from your paycheck. Which is why, finally, I am sharing the rest of the story. This is complicated and potentially frightening, but if you get a handle on the mathematics now, you’ll be ready when you need it.
Variables used in calculations:
s = species
n = individual
1n +1n = 1s(too many n to count) (Proof: read Duck Math for the explanation)
1s – 10n = 2s (Proof: “I just sold half my flock of ducks, leaving several brood pens open so I definitely need some cute little birds to fill them up… how about quail?”)
1s(8n) + 1s(3n) = 2s(16n) (Proof: “I only need a couple girl quail to go with my boy quail but OH LOOK THOSE WHITE ONES ARE SO PRETTY”)
2s(16n) = 2s(40n) (Proof: “My new quail girls are already laying! The father must be one of the white ones. Quick, into the incubator!”)
2s(40n) – 1s(4n) – 1s(25n) = 3s (Proof: “I just sold four ducks and most of the baby quail. Look at all the hay on the shed floor. You know what could live in here??”)
1n + 1n = more bird species than you ever knew existed
And that, my dear friends, is why there is a box of 7 silkie chicks coming in the mail this next Thursday. Because I really need more birds in my backyard.
Warning: Fowl Math may be a subset of a highly sophisticated calculus currently under exploration called “Livestock Math.” But let’s hope not.