Tethering in pastures new

John D. Mahony
  • The Mathematical Gazette, June 2018, Cambridge University Press
  • DOI: 10.1017/mag.2018.54

Setting animals to pasture

What is it about?

This is a simple extension of the very well known "Goat tethering problem", which involved finding the rope length required for the goat to consume only half the grass in a circular field when tethered at some point on the boundary. In this problem there are three animals set to pasture on an elliptic shaped island full of grass and each animal must be allowed to consume only one third of the available grass without encroaching on the pastures of the other two.

Why is it important?

The problem is important in that it provides a relatively simple example of just how sums encountered at senior school level can be employed to solve an entertaining (and possibly practical) problem.


John D. Mahony (Author)

An interest in this problem was triggered by an earlier, interesting problem that involved the pasturing of an animal subject to constraints on its movements; this article seems to be a logical extension of the earlier one.

The following have contributed to this page: John D. Mahony

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