Tutorials/Bone meal farming
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A bone meal farm can be created by connecting a farm of choice to a composter via a hopper or minecart with hopper, to produce bone meal, or using skeleton farm, since skeletons drop bones, which can be crafted into bone meal.
Most plant farms can be used to generate bone meal. The most efficient farm type to connect the bone meal farm with is a cactus farm, as this can generate a lot of bone meal per hour if the farm is big enough. Additionally if you have other farms you can make leftovers, such as seeds go into the composter.
Using a composter
Right-clicking a composter is very inefficient. Luckily, the game allows us to connect a composter to a hopper: add a hopper on top of the composter to make a queue of items, and add one at the bottom to keep it running after it gets full by collecting the bone meal.
This is a design that uses parallel composters. When you have a very efficient upstream farm, this is what you need.
Items can be inserted into the composter by placing a hopper on top of a composter. The farm starts by adding unwanted compostable items into the chest on the top left (see picture). The items in the chest occasionally drop into a minecart with a hopper that travels along a track over the hoppers above the composters. The items are taken out of the hopper minecart and into the composter which automatically gets composted. When the composter is fully fertilised the bone meal is taken into the bottom chests.
Alternatively, you can do without a rail by using a large chest with two hoppers below, connected to two different composters. The hoppers will divide the input evenly. You can even scale this up to connect to another level of chest-spreader, so you can have 4, 8, 16... composters running in parallel.
Bonemeal gambling is an unusual way of farming bonemeal, and it relies on iron input:
- Right-click grass using bonemeal. This will generate lots of flowers and grass.
- Shear all the grass and flowers.
- Insert the compostable items into a composter farm as seen above.
- Collect your bonemeal. There is a 98% chance of regaining the original amount of bonemeal as before and a 2% chance of regaining the original amount plus an additional layer in a composter.
Note: If your composter farm has more than 1 composter, you may need to start off with more bonemeal. For example, if the farm has 5 composters, you would need to start off with at least 5 bonemeal. (You may need a few extra)
A skeleton farm can produce bones, which can be crafted into bonemeal, as well as other stuff that skeletons drop, such as bows, arrows, and armor.You can also gain XP from them. For more information, read Tutorials/Spawner traps and Tutorials/Mob farm. A spawner trap is the most efficient, since only skeletons are spawn:
- Find a dungeon with a mob spawner that spawns skeletons, or build a dark place for the skeletons to spawn. Note that zombies, creepers and spiders can spawn too.
- Make a water stream for the skeletons to fall down to where you want to kill them.
- Kill the mobs yourself, with a mob grinder, etc. to get their drops and XP.
You may put a hopper below the block where the mobs die, so you can collect their drops and put them into a container, or an item sorter.
Flower-based automatic bone meal farm [Bedrock Edition only]
[This design is not currently working in 1.16]
In Bedrock Edition it is possible to make a profit from bone mealing one-high flowers (except wither roses). A source flower is placed on a grass block, one block above a 7x7 platform of grass. When bone meal is applied to this flower it generates between 10 and 16 new flowers, which when collected and placed in a composter will on average produce 1 bone meal and some additional layers in the composter. This process can be automated by moving the grass platform with pistons to break the flowers. The flower items can then be collected and fed into a series of hoppers above composters.
This process can create approximately 2500 additional bone meal per hour using the automated bone meal farm shown below.