Lateral thinking in a field of cows

Been a little riddle currently going around the family. Is really easy but one to try out on your friends and family.

There are 40 cows in a field and 28 chickens. How many didn't?

Hope you all enjoyed.

• I suppose I should point out that riddles must first go on the riddle sandbox. Related meta post: meta.puzzling.stackexchange.com/q/5276/25860 – Areeb Aug 23 '16 at 11:35
• Ordinarily done with wolves and sheep. – Juan Tomas Aug 23 '16 at 14:00
• This reminds me of that old joke: "What's the difference between a duck?" To which the answer is: "One leg is both the same!" – Shufflepants Aug 23 '16 at 15:48
• Makes MUCH more sense with wolves and sheep. – axavio Aug 23 '16 at 19:28
• @Marius, a better question might be "what kind of cows do you have?" – Gareth McCaughan Aug 30 '16 at 10:05

Is this right?

The answer is 20 I think

Reason:

40 cows in a field twenty 8 chickens
20 ate chickens
How many didn't? the other 20.
It's all a play on the sounds of the words, more than the words themselves... I came to this thought due to the lateral thinking. y'know... it's not what it seems originally.

• Huh for some reason, the original accepted answer has disappeared. It did say the same thing as your current answer – Areeb Aug 31 '16 at 22:21
• Strange. Maybe they deleted it? – ObviouslyJake Aug 31 '16 at 22:22
• probably, it's weird though. Also somehow Stack Exchange thinks 20-6=15 – Areeb Aug 31 '16 at 22:23
• Yeah, this is right. Have marked you for it :D – ajrthegreat Sep 1 '16 at 7:48
• Awesome :D Rep Whore Jake is on a roll ;) – ObviouslyJake Sep 1 '16 at 8:32

39

Because:

Twenty-eight is a name (number) of a cow, so there is one cow that chickens. A moment later you ask how many cows did not chicken. The answer is thirty-nine.

Another option, if you expect the person saying the riddle is poor at English:

12

Because:

Twenty-eight cows chicken. A moment later you can ask how many cows did not chicken. The answer is, the other ones than the twenty-eight, which is twelve.

• Pray tell, what does it mean for a cow to chicken? – immibis Aug 24 '16 at 5:01
• This is almost better than the answer ;-) – ajrthegreat Aug 24 '16 at 9:13
• @immibis unless you're being sarcastic, to chicken means to back out of something because you're scared – Areeb Sep 1 '16 at 15:48