Cooked meat is the best all-around food in the game. To have meat readily available, one must farm animals. Farming animals also provides several other useful items: leather, feathers, wool, and eggs. A manual slaughter farm can also provide a fair bit of experience.
- 1 Video
- 2 Basic farming
- 3 Automated animal farming
- 3.1 Simple and Easy Cooked Meat Farm
- 3.2 Poor Man's Beef Farm
- 3.3 Cruddly's Steakatron 2000
- 3.4 Caleb's Automatic Uncooked Chicken and Feather Farm
- 3.5 Cruddly's Porkatron 3000
- 3.6 Falling Auto-spawn trap
- 4 Semi-automated farming
"Manual" animal farming is a pretty simple loop of steps:
- Round up at least two animals into a pen. Fences are classic, and avoid suffocation.
- Breed them until you have a reasonable number
- Kill most of them, and get resources.
To lead animals around, you need to wield the same food that you can breed them with (or a lead if you have slimeballs): Wheat for cows, mooshrooms, and sheep; carrots, beetroots, or potatoes for pigs; seeds of any type for chickens; and carrots or golden carrots for rabbits. Once you've got them into the pen, start feeding them — as they go into love mode, they'll pair off and produce babies. They will also produce experience orbs. You can breed the animals about every 5 minutes, getting one young for each two adult animals in your herd. The babies will take about 20 minutes to grow up, so don't kill too many adults too fast.
There are natural limits to how many animals you can keep in a given pen — if it gets too crowded, animals will be pushed into the walls of the pen. If those are solid blocks, the animals will then suffocate; if the walls are fences, glass, or other transparent blocks, the animals can be pushed right through them. Usually the latter is better, since you can always hunt down escapees. Crowding through the walls is a particular problem after breeding, as baby animals can push the adults into the walls. If 24 or more animals occupy the same block, they will start taking suffocation damage as well because of the
/gamerule maxEntityCramming. This tends to happen the most with Chickens.
Chickens are a special case, because not only do they breed with wheat seeds, but they also lay eggs, and throwing eggs has a chance to produce chicks. This makes them very easy to multiply in general. The annoyance of having to regularly gather the eggs prompted the development of egg farms, where eggs are gathered to some central place. Hoppers allow the eggs to be automatically stored, and even brought to a dispenser for auto-hatching.
For sheep, you don’t have to kill them to get wool, just dye them as desired, and shear them regularly. They will also need a fairly large pen filled with grass to recover their wool after shearing.
A building to house all of the animals (like a barn) is useful and can be an aesthetic addition to any base.
It is not possible to breed animals if they're compressed within a small number of blocks, meaning that the player can't just put 30 animals within a 1-block space and breed them. However, large numbers of mobs can be placed in 1-block wide by 2-block high space, given that there is a water block for them to stand in. With this arrangement, the mobs will jump up and down, and wheat stacks spammed into the group will randomly interact with a different individual each time, allowing "spam farming." If the adult mobs are greater than 1-block high (as with cows) a 1-block high opening at the bottom of the enclosure will cause the water stream to push the baby animals out as soon as they are born. When more than 50 adults are in the enclosure, new births will rocket out of this opening at high velocity.
Chickens can be fed through a slab in the side of the enclosure, from below through a hole through water blocked by a sign, or from above through a hole in the top center. Other mobs can also be fed through a 1 wide hole in the side of the enclosure without any risk that they will escape. Feeding at twice the rate as you slay your mobs is enough to keep mobs at roughly their current population. Collecting and throwing eggs will increase the number you can slay.
When breeding chickens or other animals in a fenced-in pen (with a fence gate) and you get a large amount of them, it can be difficult to leave the pen without animals escaping before you close the fence gate. A way to deal with this is to go to the opposite side of the pen as the door / gate, pull out some the appropriate food (wheat, seeds, carrots) wait until the animals crowd around you, then putting the food away by switching items and quickly running to the gate. Since they're no longer following you, the animals will not be fast enough to get to the other side of the pen when you do. If using fences to enclose the animals, you can place carpets on the tops; only the player will be able to jump onto the carpets to get out. Other options, depending on animal type, include pillars or trapdoors with ladders, leading to bridges or tunnels out of the pen. A very simple option is a tunnel to a small pool in the pen. Since mobs do not swim down in water, they'll never enter the tunnel.
Automated animal farming
Most of these farms include a killing mechanism, a cooking mechanism for the meat and an item collector, usually a hopper. The cooking mechanism and killing mechanism are often combined, in the form of lava or fire.
Lava Blade Cooker for Cows, Pigs and Sheep
This design uses a sticky piston water gate to control the amount of animals to be cooked. They will be dropped through a "lava blade" which enables their meat to be cooked efficiently. Note that this DOES NOT WORK ON CHICKENS AND RABBITS.
Simple and Easy Cooked Meat Farm
This is an easy farm to set up that only requires the user to breed animals and press a button. It is reusable and has very high efficiency. All cooked meats and other drops are collected automatically, and can be easily piled into a chest for collection by the player later. This farm works for cows and sheep.
- Construct a holding area with flowing water for the adults
- There should be a collection area for the baby animals that has a 1 block high entrance and a sign to block the water flow from the adult area
- The collection area should be only 1 block in area, and the floor should be a hopper running to a chest
- A dispenser needs to face into the collection area, and it holds a bucket of lava
- Two separate redstone wires need to go into the dispenser
- On one redstone wire, you need three repeaters set to 4 ticks, 4 ticks, and 3 ticks. On the other wire, you need one repeater set to the default 1 tick
- Both of the leads connect up to specifically a stone button
- Lead cows into the adult area with wheat before having flowing water in the area
- Breed them until you have as many as you want. The larger the area the more you should breed, but be careful of taking too many as it can impede the progress of the babies to their collection area
- Add the flowing water into the adult area
- Breed away and watch the babies be swept into the collection area
- After breeding as many babies as you want, let them grow into adults in the collection area
- Once they are all adults, press the button. Watch the lava dispense, then retract, cooking and killing the animals, providing drops and cooked meat, all while leaving your drops unharmed!
Poor Man's Beef Farm
An easy and simple way to farm raw beef. This farm utilises water currents and fall damage to kill cows for beef. Cows can be bred within the farm itself, making the farm a renewable source for beef.
- Build a 12x12 fenced area.
- Build 4 upward facing dispensers at all 4 corners and fill them with water buckets.
- Hook all the dispensers up with redstone.
- Dig a hole of 13 blocks deep in the center of the fenced area.
- Build a hopper collection system at the bottom of the hole
- Lead your cows inside by holding wheat.
- When the farm is full of cows, activate the dispensers.
- Kill off some of the cows for beef while leaving some for breeding and re-population.
- Breed the remaining cows until the farm is full again and repeat the process.
Cruddly's Steakatron 2000
- Start with a double chest. This will be the front. To dress it up, you can put two item frames on the front, with a raw beef on the left and a steak on the right. This will help you remember which button to push to kill the cows. Optional: use an anvil to rename one of the chests "Meat locker" and place it first.
- Behind the chest, use a 2×2 grid of hoppers pointing forward into the chest.
- Above the chest, place a 2×2 of glass or other transparent block.
- Make a rear wall of glass.
- For each side, add a two pillars of opaque blocks 3 high to be the walls.
- Make the top front block on each side a dispenser pointing inward, with a button on its front side. Put a bucket of water in the top left one, and a bucket of lava in the top right one.
- Place signs inside at ground level on the 4 internal walls of the blocks. This will hold the killing liquid above the heads of the calves.
- Make stairs running up to the roof for the left side. Add a roof of a ring of stairs around the outside and attaching four trapdoors to the bottom of the side stairs directly above the internal space.
- Lead your cows inside by holding wheat and standing on top opposite the stairs with the trapdoors open, then close all trapdoors and get down. Kill any remaining cattle by hand. This will be the last time you have to manually kill cattle.
- Stuff some wheat into your meat locker.
- Grab wheat from your meat locker, go up the stairs, open a few of the trapdoors, and feed all the cows. Close all trapdoors when done.
- Decide whether you want raw beef (useful for trading with village butchers) or cooked steak (useful for eating). Press the appropriate button, wait for the adults to die, then press the button again. Lava takes moments, water takes minutes. Of course, if you are desperate for experience, you can open the trapdoors and slaughter by hand.
- Grab your produce from the meat locker and walk away.
If you ever need to lead some cattle away to elsewhere, leave the trapdoors open, hit the water button until a sufficient number have escaped.
Caleb's Automatic Uncooked Chicken and Feather Farm
In order to make an Automatic chicken farm, you must first make an egg collector that then shoots those eggs in a holding pen until they are ready to be killed then drown them. You could also use lava but that would require more precision. Video tutorial coming soon.
Cruddly's Porkatron 3000
- Auto BBQ
- Cooking selection
- Behind the top hopper (2 blocks above the chest), connect another hopper and then connect a hopper to the top of the chest, which will select between modes.
- To the left of the “selector,” place a solid block, and place a lever on the block. When the lever is down, it will produce raw meat. When flicked up, it will produce cooked meet
- Behind the collection hopper, connect two more hoppers in a line.
- Use these hoppers to create a 2 deep containment pit. It is advisable to use glass on the right side to make it easier to check if the pigs have died.
- Remove the rear lowest wall block to extend the hopper line and place a gate. On the outside of the block to the left of the gate, place a lever to control the gate.
- Behind the gate, place a redstone repeater and place a solid block above it. This creates a gap that baby pigs can pass through, but adult pigs cannot.
- Finishing up
- Behind the slaughterhouse create a 2 deep containment pit. From this pit have steps wind their way clockwise to level with the top of the slaughterhouse. Wrap the stairs in walls and roof suitable for pig containment and leading them to the pit. Glass will make it easy to see the piglets later.
- Place a downward facing dispenser in the rear top of the containment pit and put a bucket of water into it. On the outside of the block to the left of this dispenser place a button.
- In front of the dispenser, at the bottom of the top block, place a trapdoor. In front of the trapdoor, on top of the block at the top front of the “slaughterhouse” place a gate, and ensure the walls for pig containment connect neatly with the dispenser, trapdoor hole, and gate.
- On the top of the dispenser place another gate.
- Extend the area behind the previous gate for 3 blocks and create stair access from the right side.
Lead your pigs via the operator stairs and gate into the slaughterhouse using carrots, potatoes, or beetroots.
Note: It is advisable to briefly note these instructions on signs next to the machine.
- Select options: raw or cooked. Open side gate, close top gate. This will allow piglets to escape and be unable to re-enter the slaughterhouse.
- Open the trapdoor. Feed / breed the pigs, close the trapdoor, then, still holding the carrots, proceed to the rear of the machine to entice piglets out of the slaughterhouse. Once all piglets are out, put the carrots away.
- Return to the operator gate and look out to the left of the machine for the drowning button and press it. Wait until all pigs have died and press the button again to retract the water.
- Close the side gate, hold your carrots again, and open the top gate to entice all piglets into the slaughterhouse. Once all piglets are in, close the trapdoor and collect your food from the chest. Note that if using the cooked option, there will be some delay whilst the furnace slowly cooks all the food. Best to come back later and collect the finished product then.
Adult pigs cannot fall through a single trapdoor. A single water source dispenser will not drown in any block more than 1 square away. It is possible to use redstone dust to relocate all controls to the front of the machine or the operator gate area if so desired. It is also possible to use an inverter circuit to ensure the top gate and side gate are always in opposite states.
Falling Auto-spawn trap
You will need:
- A light source, such as torches or glowstone
- A redstone loop
- Water buckets
- Step 1
Choose any place and put fences here, the fenced area can be bigger, but it's recommended to be big. In this tutorial, the fenced area is small.
- Step 2
Make a 2x2 hole. It's recommended to be deep, but if it's smaller, read the optional part later.
- Step 3
Place a trapdoor and open it.
- Step 4
Place four hoppers.
- Step 5
Place four more hoppers and make a hole in the wall.
- Step 6
- Step 7
Make a redstone loop.
- Step 8
Close the hole in the wall, where the redstone loop is.
- Step 9
Close another hole in the wall. If you have a little hole or you want cooked steak, read the optional steps.
- Optional steps
Place two signs.
This design can shear 100+ sheep in a minute.
First you need to make a flowing water wheat farm, but with higher sides and about 12 blocks wide.
- Create a dirt/grass platform 5*8 blocks. The outside grass blocks, built around this platform, act as walls, built up 3 blocks so the sheep don’t jump out.
You can use any solid block (can’t use fences or glass panels as sheep get stuck), but you need a way for the grass to grow in the farm - otherwise the sheep won’t regrow their wool. Build an extra level around with grass blocks.
- Build another level, same dimension (5*8), with the smaller length touching the previous platform. One block above that, place a piston facing down. This will allow you to manage the water flow.
- Cover the water area with a solid block and have redstone repeaters facing the pistons. Connect them up with a line of redstone and drag it to the other end of the structure. Use a lever to turn them on and ensure all the pistons go down and are powered. If not you may need a few redstone repeaters to keep power going. When all the pistons are powered you can put in the water blocks behind the pistons and ensure the water flows down the first level, but stops just before the hole.
- You will need a bridge 2 blocks high and 5 long with half-slabs at the other end. This is where your sheep will fall into. Build a 3 block high wall around this area and at the end, place half slabs. The half slabs allow you to gather the wool without gates and stops the sheep from jumping out of your farm.
- On one side of your sheep farm, the water supply to make the sheep bounce. Build a 3*4 outline using solid blocks that connects to your outer wall, but one block below. Below this, build 2 pistons between the water blocks and the sheep platform. Ensure there is a block below the water holding area. Next connect up the pistons with redstone.
- One level below that build 2 rows of sticky pistons that face upwards in the middle of your sheep collecting pit. Place grass blocks on these.
- Point repeaters to all the pistons and connect up with redsone.
- Move all your levers and redstone paths for easy access, ensuring the lines don’t switch up and power something they shouldn’t, then label them. You should now have one switch powering the water source, another that raises and lowers the platform at the bottom, and the last that turns on and off the water source which makes the sheep bounce. Test to ensure they are all working then go get yourself some sheep!
Warning: If the gathering switch is turned on, ensure the harvesting/other water is off. If they are both on together sheep will bounce over each other and escape.
Remember, if one water is on, the other must be off. The procedure is as follows:
- Lower the platform
- Turn on water torrent
- Wait until all the sheep are in the hole
- Turn off the gathering switch
- Turn on the harvesting switch
- Grab your shears, right click and point to a sheep. As they bounce, you will collect wool. Ensure you get all sheep by moving around a bit.
- Turn off the water and raise the platform.
- Jump in and collect all the wool.
- The solid blocks can be switched around to make different designs. The only important ones are the grass blocks in the center.
- This design has been tested with 100 sheep successfully but with that many problems arise. If some of your sheep are missing, they may have glitched through a wall or suffocated due to the maxEntityCramming gamerule.
- Max time between harvesting: Unknown
- Max number of sheep possible: Unknown
- Max number of water levels you can create: Theoretically infinite
- If you would like it to be wider, you can mirror the design and have two water bodies joining together. However this is the widest combination because you have to be able to control the water.
- As you can now use Shears in Dispensers, fully automated wool farms designs are now available.