A herd of cattle on a farm consists of a quarter of cows and a quarter of oxen, plus 48 goats. Three goats have been exchanged for hay and straw, so that the herd still consists of 120 animals. How big was the herd originally?
You gave away 3 animals and are left with 120 so you had 123 originally. ...somehow... ( I wonder how you can have 1/4 cows (or oxen) of 123 ?)
Do you have the correct numbers in your Q?
Was that what "word assignment" meant?
Since this task serves a statistical survey of the agriculture minister of our federal state, half cows and oxen are allowed and desired.