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Two villagers in "love mode", breeding
A baby wolf with its parents.
Notch-twitter.png If you hold food in your hand, they follow you around. If you feed them, they enter "love mode". Two animals in love mode = babies.
Notch on breeding animals[1]

Breeding is a game mechanic that allows animals of the same species to breed with each other to make new animals.


A cow following the player

Each type of "domestic" animal has a food item used to lead and breed it. (There are a few special cases, described below.) Once an animal notices a player holding its food, it will follow the player until either the player is out of range, the player stops holding the item, or it begins the breeding process. This includes baby animals. Note that animals are uninterested in food lying on the ground. One item per parent is needed to breed a single baby.

Love mode[edit]

If an animal is fed its food, it will enter "love mode", preparing to breed with another animal of the same species that is also in love mode. Animals that are in love mode emit heart particles constantly. When both animals are fed, they will path-find towards each other, up to eight blocks away. The two animals will "kiss" for about two and a half seconds, and then a baby animal of the same species spawns either in between the parents or on the same blocks as the parent that was spawned first, which ends love mode for the parents. Once the parents breed they also drop a small amount of experience. They will not be able to enter love mode again for about 5 minutes, and they may only breed once per item given. However, they can still be herded with the appropriate material, as can the baby.

After the baby animal has spawned, it will follow its parents for 20 minutes before growing to full size. The growth of baby animals can be slowly accelerated using the animal's breeding item. Each use takes 10% off the remaining time to grow up, with the exception of horses where different breeding items speed up the growth by different amounts.

Breeding foods[edit]

Mob Items Other

The following can also be used for growing a baby horse, and for healing:

Sheep can grow faster if they eat grass.



Tamed Wolf (dog)
Tamed wolves must be at full health before being fed to breed. They must be fed to restore HP.
Meat cannot be used to tame a wolf. Only Bones can be used to tame wolves.

Fish can also be used in the Bedrock Edition.

Tamed ocelot (cat)



Unlike other mobs, Turtles do not have the babies immediately, they lay eggs instead which take a few days to hatch.


A group of villager children "playing tag."

Villagers do not have a food item; they will breed of their own accord (and in their own time) depending on the available houses, or at least "registered doors", (See the village page for full details.) and whether or not they have bread, carrots, potatoes, or beetroots in their inventory, or have been trading with the player. When they breed, they will produce a smaller Villager but unlike most baby animals, these don't have big heads, similar to cats. Baby Villagers will run around the village and will "play" tag. A baby villager killed by a zombie may produce a Baby Zombie Villager, depending on difficulty.

Breeding formula[edit]

A player may want to know how many mobs they will need in their farm to reach a certain goal, for example: to make a full-powered enchanting table with bookshelves (46 leather needed) or for full leather armor (24 leather), in case you have cow farm. So there is a formula to calculate how many mobs you will need to have at your farm, by the starting number and if you wait until all the mobs become mature (this does not apply to villagers):

Xn+1 = Xn + floor(Xn/2) where Xn is the number of mobs at generation n.

Alternatively, if you start with X0 mobs and want to reach a population of at least N, it can be achieved in ceil(log(N/X0)/log(3/2)) generations.

Baby animals[edit]

An example of how a bred sheep will be a mixture of its parents' colors when possible.

Baby animals are smaller variations of their parents, having small bodies, relatively big heads, higher pitched sounds, and faster walking speeds. Lambs cannot be sheared for their wool, chicks do not lay eggs, and calves and mooshroom calves cannot be milked. Baby animals will follow one of their parents (within 8 blocks) until they grow up. (If the parent dies or there is none, they will pick a nearby adult of their kind.) Tame puppies and kittens will follow their owner if the parent is absent or sitting, and puppies will attack aggressive mobs just as a mature dog would. They do not drop loot or experience if killed (excluding baby zombies and baby zombie pigmen).

When lambs are born, they will usually be the color of one of their parents, chosen at random. However if the parents have 'compatible' colors (meaning that their corresponding dye items could be combined into a third dye), the lamb will be a mix of the parents' colors (see Dye). This holds true even if one or both of the parents have just been sheared before breeding and have not yet grown their coats back. This is a handy way to obtain wool of a color for which you do not have a dye. In Bedrock Edition, however, lambs will not combine the colors of their parents.

Baby animals can be manually spawned by using spawn eggs on a grown animal. This does not work on zombies or variants.

Baby animals may also be spawned using the /summon command with a negative Age tag; for example, using /summon sheep ~ ~ ~ {Age:-100} will spawn a baby sheep at your position, that will mature in 100 ticks. For zombies, the IsBaby:1 tag is used instead.


Icon Achievement In-game description Actual requirements (if different) Availability Xbox points earned Trophy type (PS)
Xbox PS Bedrock Nintendo

Repopulation Breed two cows with wheat Breed two cows or two mooshrooms. Yes Yes Yes Yes 15G Bronze


Icon Advancement In-game description Parent Actual requirements (if different) Internal ID
The Parrots and the Bats Breed two animals together Husbandry Breed a pair of one of these 11 mobs. Other breedable mobs, if any, are ignored for the advancement. minecraft:husbandry/breed_an_animal
Two by Two Breed all the animals! The Parrots and the Bats Breed pairs of each of these 11 mobs. Other tamable mobs, if any, are ignored for the advancement. minecraft:husbandry/bred_all_animals



Java Edition
1.0.0 September 9, 2011 Jeb tweets that animal breeding is pushed to 1.9.
September 25, 2011 Notch also tweets an image of dozens of sheep crowded together, saying "They won't stop breeding!!!"
Beta 1.9 Prerelease 2 Introduced breeding. Animals could breed instantly, without any "cooldown".
No baby animals yet; all animals were born fully-grown.
All sheep were born with white wool, irrespective of their parentage.
October 3, 2011 Notch tweets the first image of a baby cow and baby pig.
Beta 1.9 Prerelease 3 Baby animals added for pigs, sheep, chickens, cows, and mooshrooms.
Animals will now enter "love mode" when fed with wheat.
Interestingly, snow golems could also enter love mode before this update.
Beta 1.9 Prerelease 6 Baby sheep can now be either of their parents' colors, even if they were dyed.
1.2.1 12w03a Wolves can now be bred with any type of meat.
12w04a Cats (tamed ocelots) can now be bred with raw fish.
12w08a Baby villagers and kittens are now the only baby mobs that have a head the right size for the body.
1.3.1 12w22a Breeding will now give experience.
1.4.2 12w32a Zombies that infect baby villagers will now create baby zombie villagers, which are faster than normal zombies, do not age, and survive in sunlight.
12w36a Pigs are now responsive to carrots, chickens to seeds, with cows and sheep still breeding with wheat.
1.6.1 13w16a Added horses, donkeys, and mules, all of which can breed to produce foals.
1.6.2 pre Baby zombies and baby zombie pigmen will now spawn naturally among regular ones.
1.8 14w02a Baby mobs can now be grown faster by being fed. Each feeding reduces the remaining time to maturity by 10%, having no effect if only 9 seconds remain. 28 feedings will reduce the remaining time to around a minute, from the initial time of 20 minutes. In addition, baby sheep will reach maturity one minute sooner for every time they consume grass.
January 27, 2014 Dinnerbone tweets an image of many cows, presumably testing the breeding system.
14w26c Wheat's acceleration of baby horse growth has been reduced.
14w27a Added rabbits, which can be bred to produce baby bunnies.
pre1 Chickens can no longer be bred using melon seeds, pumpkin seeds or nether wart.
1.9 15w31a Chickens will now use melon seeds, pumpkin seeds and beetroot seeds to breed, in addition to wheat seeds.
15w35a Baby zombie villagers will now retain their profession.
15w46a Baby rabbits are now smaller.
1.10 16w20a Added polar bears and cubs. Unlike other mobs, polar bears will attack any player if a cub is nearby.
Added husk variant, including its baby form.
1.11 16w39a Added llama and llama baby.
1.13 18w07a Added turtles and baby turtles.
18w10d Baby zombies will now burn in daylight.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.6.0 Introduced baby animals. Breeding has not been added yet. Babies naturally spawn.
0.8.0 ? Introduced breeding.
0.11.0 build 11 Mobs must be touching to breed (previously they could breed with any mob in an 8 block radius, regardless of obstruction).
Added baby zombies.
0.12.1 build 1 Villagers can now breed.
Breeding is now done through a Feed button.
Legacy Console Edition
TU7 CU1 1.0 Patch 1 Added breeding.
TU11 Added a message when the user tries to breed an animal when the spawn limits have been reached.
TU12 Added baby villagers.
TU14 1.04 Baby mobs can now be spawned by using Left trigger on an adult form of that mob using a spawn egg.


Issues relating to "Breeding" are maintained on the bug tracker. Report issues there.


  • Any two animals of the same species are able to breed with each other, even if one animal is the parent of the other.


See also[edit]


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