Rabbits and Chickens

A Maths Starter of The Day

Rabbit Chicken

A farmer has some rabbits and chickens.
Altogether they have 50 heads and 146 feet.
How many rabbits and chickens are there?

Topics: Starter | Algebra | Problem Solving | Simultaneous Equations

  • L. Mangham, Hylands School, UK
  • Wednesday, April 23, 2008
  • "Good timing! Just the starter I needed for my simultaneous equation topic. Thanks."
  • The Best Maths Class Ever 7cd/M2, King Alfred's College, Oxfordshire
  • Thursday, April 23, 2009
  • "We all tried our best to find the answer by guessing. But our teacher showed us how to use simultaneous equations to get the answer quickly. A tough question for a year 7 class."
  • M T, 8b/Ma1 Harris Academy Purley
  • Tuesday, March 02, 2010
  • "My class was just introduced to constructing and solving linear equations at the time, and I constructed a linear equation to find a solution for this starter. I let the number of rabbits be represented by x. Then 4x + 2(total heads-x)= total number of legs."
  • Simbarashe Mukumbira, Mazowe High School
  • Friday, April 22, 2011
  • "This maths stater was just the thing I wanted before I wrote my algebra test."
  • Joan Morgan, All Saints Academy Plymouth
  • Monday, April 15, 2013
  • "Excellent starter improves students thinking skills !!- Thank you."

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This starter has scored a mean of 3.6 out of 5 based on 109 votes.

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There are 23 rabbits and 27 chickens in the field.

Extension question: How many rabbits and chickens are in a field if the number of legs is three times the number of heads?

Note to teacher: Doing this activity once with a class helps students develop strategies. It is only when they do this activity a second time that they will have the opportunity to practise those strategies. That is when the learning is consolidated. Click the button above to regenerate another version of this starter from random numbers.

Laptops In Lessons

Teacher, do your students have access to computers?
Do they have Laptops in Lessons or iPads?

Whether your students each have a TabletPC, a Surface or a Mac, this activity lends itself to eLearning (Engaged Learning).

Laptops In Lessons

Here is the URL for a concise version of this page without comments or answers.


Here is the URL which will take them to other simultaneous equations.





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