



 
We have two responses for you. Hi Norman. There are far more heads than legs! Could you perhaps have the numbers reversed? If there are 252 legs and 81 heads then consider it this way: Let B = the number of bovines and F = the number of fowl Then B + F = 81 (counting the heads) and 4B + 2F = 252 (counting the legs). Now you have two equations with two unknowns. Can you solve it from here? Stephen La Rocque.> Hi Norman, I like these "head and feet" problems but I try to do them without using equations at all. Imagine that you are a child constructing makebelieve chickens and cows from marshmallows and toothpicks. A marshmallow with two toothpicks in it is a chicken and with four toothpicks in it is a cow. Take your 81 marshmallows and stick 2 toothpicks in each to make 81 chickens. That took 2 81 = 162 toothpicks leaving 252  162 = 90 toothpicks, that is 90/2 = 45 pairs of toothpicks. With each of these 45 pairs of toothpicks I can turn a chicken into a cow giving me 45 cows and the rest are left as chickens. Penny  


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