# Algebra in farming

I was never good at math.  The times tables baffle me. I know it’s just straight memorization, but all those repetitive numbers just get jumbled in my head. I can usually do one or two problems, but give me one of those speed tests where you have to solve 100 problems in a set amount of time, and all the problems start looking the same to me and I have to start *counting* to keep things straight. Which means I fail all of those because one just can not count quickly enough to pass them.

But I had a marvelous math teacher in 7th grade. Wonderful. Mr. Bordelmay. He taught me in remedial math. Those same stupid speed worksheets, over and over. But what he noticed was that while I was failing the speed tests, I was always aceing the extra credit questions – and they were complicated word problems requiring logic to solve. He went to bat for me and got me moved from 7th grade remedial math to 8th grade algebra, skipping pre-algebra entirely. Like he once told me, as soon as I was permitted to use a calculator in my math, I did just fine!

So why is today’s math problem stumping me? I must be over-thinking it.

I need to worm my rabbits. I have seen evidence of worms in their droppings. The information I can find on line told me I wanted Panacur for rabbits, at a concentration of 18.75%, administered at one click per 2.5 kg of rabbit weight.

OK, that’s not bad, except I can’t find Panacur at that strength anywhere local, and I’m not paying for shipping from England. I can, however, find Panacur at a concentration of 10%.

So the math problem should be easy. What measurement of Panacur 10% do I need to use to replace one click of Panacur 18.75%?

Except then I need to know what a click is. The instructions don’t say. There is a photo of the syringe in question, it looks like there are 16 indentations on the handle of the syringe. So, it’s reasonable to think that each indentation would cause a “click” sound when you hit it while depressing the syringe. So the next step gives me the number of grams in the syringe tube (5 g) divided by the number of clicks (16). That’s .3125 g (313 mg) of Panacur 18.75% per click.

OK, I could do the math now. What measurement of Panacur 10% do I need to use to replace 313 mg of Panacur 18.75%?

The answer is 599 mg of Panacur 10%! Woo-hoo!

Now, that’s 599 mg of Panacur 10% per 2.5 kg of rabbit. And I only know what mine weigh in pounds. *Sigh* More math.

And even after I know the dose per rabbit, I need to be able to *measure* that amount. I need a scale that measures milligrams, which I don’t have. Or I need to know how to convert the milligrams into millilitres so I can measure it into a syringe.  That requires knowing more things than I know. And it requires even more math.

At this point I should have just ordered the stuff from England. It would have arrived before I could figure out the math for the dosage of the stuff I bought locally!