Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Real-Life Math of Animal Keeping - The Meek Moose Adds it Up

So- admittedly, I have a *few* pets. We've got my baby, Jackson.

He's not really a baby anymore though.  He's seven.  Still.  How can you resist?  I was there the day he was born.  I held him when he was still wet.  And I visited him every day and cuddled him until his eyes opened.  So we are bonded, he and I. *sigh* He'd eat my chickens though, if I let him. Bird Killer. And the mice aren't safe either...

I have found that the type of math that seems to encompass Jackson's life a this point is weight.  I am constantly trying to decide if he looks fat.  Or, fatter, I should say.  I was doing really well with only feeding him dog food until the Boyzilla arrived on the scene.  However, Jackson and Xavier have a complete wink wink under the table deal going on with each other.  Which, of course, means Jackson's belly keeps expanding, though his dog food bowl remains "full".

We have begun to try to take "measures" (oooo-punny) to keep his weight under control by limiting his portions.  This doesn't take care of him trailing behind the boy for scraps though.

I also have 2 Betta Fish.  The left hand side is the female- Treasure.  And the right hand side is the male- Jewel.  They were named based on the concept that in Thailand they are called Jewels of the Sea.  or something like that.

With these two, I find I am constantly determining liquid volume and air pressure.  There is this special stuff you put in the water to make sure it's safe for the Bettas every week when you clean their bowls, and you have to measure it out based on how many gallons your tank holds.  Treasure is swimming in a two and a half gallon goblet, and Jewel is hanging out in a one and a half gallon bowl.  I think I'll be upgrading him when I return to school, so they can be all symmetrical.  Aha!  Another math tie in.

I also recently put in air bubbler stones, to keep their water from getting a film on the top.  I constantly have to twiddle with the knobs to get both bubblers going at once.  And I know there is math going on there with how much is being pushed down which tube to get the bubbles going.  I just haven't figured it out yet.  I probably curse at least once a day over those bubblers.  I want need them to bubble equally.  Because, you know... I'm me.

And temperature is also a factor with these guys.  A lot of folks think you can just throw them in a bowl, and they're good- but it turns out, they prefer warmer water.  I mean, they are from Thailand, so that makes sense.  Alone in the bowl without a heater, they rest at the bottom.  Sluggish.  Add in a water heater and they get nice an happy around 75-78 degrees.

I also put live plant bulbs in their bowls and wait for them to sprout.  The package says 21 days- so it's fun to plot it out on the calendar and then check to see if they grew on time or not.  Sometimes one of the bulbs ends up being a dud.  But usually at least one plant grows.

Back in January I got two mice for my classroom.  I bought a brown one and a white one so I could name them after characters in a favorite book.  So this is Mr. Ages and Mrs. Frisby. Now- I do not like wild mice. They are different.  Wild mice move like snakes.  These two were $4 bucks each and don't move like that.  I can deal.

Names aside, they are both girls.  I do not do rodent testicles.  Just no. And I don't want babies.  So they are both girls. End of that story.

What's so mathy about mice?  They are serious engineers. So our picture on the left is before I cleaned their tank today.  And then on the right, that's what it looked like when I first put them back in.  It will not stay like that for long.

I tried to take some stop motion film for you so you could see them getting busy. It's not brilliant, however. But I liked the idea, so I'll do another one another time, to get a real good one.

Here's a picture though of what they've managed to do after three hours.  And I've managed to rearrange my room completely too- which a whole other real-life math post...

They've removed the bedding from under the stones and sunk them down.  Wild mice naturally live under the roots of trees, so my pals here are natural burrowers.

Now- my glory, my loves, my chickens!

Free Range Action Shot.

I took a video for you this morning.  And yes- I am completely out of shape/breath after walking up a hill for an acre to get to their coop.  Forgive me.

So tons of measuring with chickens.  Designing their new coop is going to be a grand adventure in perimeter and area.  I'm looking forward to it though.

I had to go get them another bag of food today- 50lbs is not easy to lift, let me tell you.  But it's very easy to make new friends in the chicken feed aisle at the tractor supply!  Just be honest, say you have no idea what you're doing, and someone always feels bad for you and attempts to educate you in under three minutes.

Of course, the biggest piece of math that comes in to play with all of my animals is time.  The passing days of the calendar and their life spans.  Daily schedules for feeding.  Free range time for the chooks.  Outside time for Jackson.  Once you have a pet, you become one with the clock.

What kind of real-life math are you up to?  Let's hear about it!  Link up with Jamie too!

May the math be with you, 

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  1. Oh, I just love this post and your videos of all of your animal friends! You are like Snow White, with all of the animals greeting you each day! I really want to do a linky where our pets post something one of these days. Don't let anyone steal that idea though, it's a gold mine! :-)

    Mrs O Knows

  2. "I do not do rodent testicles!" .... I'm dying over here!!! Thanks so much for linking up! We do hope you can join us again in the future!

    Jamie aka MissMathDork

  3. Your betas get a lot more attention than mine. Poor Blue swims around his little bowl, no heater, no bubbles, no water testing, no girlfriend in another bowl. I better go thank him for not dying on me!