I found this little snippet on another Noah's Ark site (

http://www.abarnett.demon.co.uk/atheism/noahs_ark.html) which in turn got it from Alt.Atheism. Really gives some perspective on what it takes to keep animals fed.

quote:

From The Dallas Morning News, November ?? 1996:What? Rat again?

You thought you had trouble selling your family on the remains of the Thanksgiving turkey. Over at the Dallas Zoo, they're dealing with some tougher-to-push leftovers.

Here's what the zoo offered its residents for Thanksgiving:

* A ton of hay,

* 35 pounds of fish,

* 50 pounds of meat,

* 100 stalks of celery,

* five pounds of red onions,

* 100 pounds of carrots,

* 25 pounds of spinach,

* 15 pounds of kale,

* 10 pounds of mixed vegetables,

* 150 pounds of sweet potatoes,

* 10 heads of cabbage,

* 48 heads of romaine,

* 30 ears of corn,

* four loaves of wheat bread,

* 24 eggs,

* a pound of yogurt,

* 40 pounds of bananas,

* eight pounds of blueberries,

* 170 oranges,

* 500 apples,

* 36 cantaloupes,

* four papayas,

* 250 rodents (the variety pack),

* 6000 mealworms,

* 600 wax worms and

* 7500 crickets.

Let's just take the first item on the list, a ton of Hay. How much exactly is a ton of Hay? Well doing some googling it looks like 1 of those big bales (6' in diameter, 6' in height) is about a ton of hay. Now continuing this suppose we can feed all of the animals on the ship with a ton of hay a day. That means we could feed the whole ship on 314 tons of hay or 314 of those large bales. What is the volume of those large hay bales though?

Ok assuming 6' diameter and 6' in height, that would come to about 20 cubic meters. Now 314 of those would make about 6280 cubic meters for all the hay for all year.

If we use our earlier figure of 41,006 cubic meters, that would mean that ~15% of the ship would go towards hay bale storage. Could 16,000 animals share a ton of hay between themselves for one day (not to mention not everything can eat hay)? Not if you want them to still be alive after a year. That's about a 1/10th of a pound per animal.

If we change hay to be just generic food (yes not all food has the density and weight of hay) and we average out the consumption rates of the animals to 1 pound per day (which is probably far too low). Then the problem should become very clear. It would require 62,800 cubic meters of space for food alone, or 150% of ship capacity. Were there three arks? One for food, one for water and one for animals?