Duck Math Redux

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

1+1= 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.

Knock knock, mf

Warning: Fowl Math may be a subset of a highly sophisticated calculus currently under exploration called “Livestock Math.” But let’s hope not.


6 responses to “Duck Math Redux

  1. you should share this with “Vi”. she has a channel on youtube all about math. 🙂 look up “binary hand dance” and u can find her other math tidbits of life.

    -RAP, II

    • Oh, yes, they do. Those that refuse to pay their rent get the boot, too. I’m in negotiations to sell four ducks who are not earning their keep. They keep telling me that they’re doing their best and it’s not their fault they haven’t been able to produce eggs all summer, but I’m not buying it. I’m quite sure it’s spitefulness.

      We eat quail eggs, duck eggs, and we’ll be adding chicken eggs to that next summer if all goes as planned. 🙂 Backyard-fresh eggs are so tasty I can’t stand to eat store-bought any more. The silkies will also provide an additional service by sitting on eggs and producing more birds for the yard (they can be used as surrogate mothers for other species). Because, as I’ve said, I need more birds in my backyard. 😀

  2. Hello, I just came across your blog today and am really impressed. I have been thinking about raising ducks and selling there meat and or eggs? I just don’t know enything about it. I was hopeing you could help me? What are the best resources you have found? I have been looking on the internet for resources and thats how i came upon your site. There arn’t that many sites that explain how to buy, raise, sell, and make money. Thanks. Hope to hear from you soon.

    • Hi there! Have you checked out the article I wrote in Grit magazine on this topic? You can find it here:

      Other than that, just know that making money on livestock is a low-profit-margin endeavor, meaning you’ll have to work hard just to squeeze out enough to pay the feed. People DO make money at it, and your best bet is probably raising and selling ducklings, but it’s hard.

      Oh, and don’t miss So many resources there, even for ducks! Good luck and come back with an update. 🙂

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