Stardew Valley Farm Animals 101: A Beginner’s Guide

Hello, fellow farmers! Today, we will discuss the basics of raising animals in Stardew Valley. This guide will cover the construction of coops and barns, sources of animals, and a brief analysis of their functions. It is especially suitable for beginners.

An ostrich standing in a barn
Ostriches are farm animals raised in barns.

Part 1: Building Coops and Barns for Your Animals

Before raising animals, you need to prepare suitable housing for them. There are two types of buildings: coops for chickens and barns for larger animals. Both can be built at Robin’s shop, with construction taking two days. From the moment you begin construction, you will need three nights to complete the building. For example, if you start on the 1st, the building will be ready for use on the 4th. All buildings that require construction time follow this pattern.

Keep in mind that Robin does not work on festival days, so the dates may vary. After the initial construction, you can upgrade your buildings twice. Coops can be upgraded to big coops and deluxe coops, while barns can be upgraded to big barns and deluxe barns.

The three-tiered construction costs for coops are 4,000, 10,000, and 20,000 gold, while the costs for barns are 6,000, 12,000, and 25,000 gold. Both also require large amounts of wood and stone. If you buy all materials, a deluxe coop will cost 55,000 gold and a deluxe barn will cost 69,500 gold. Since the return on investment for animals is relatively low, it’s better to focus on large-scale animal farming once you have a stable financial foundation.

A basic coop or barn can house four animals. Big coops and barns can hold eight, while deluxe coops and barns can accommodate 12. Each upgrade increases capacity by four. However, the cost of upgrading increases incrementally. Building multiple four-capacity coops and barns may be more cost-effective if you’re short on funds.

Upgrading to a big coop adds an incubator, while upgrading to a big barn allows some barn animals to become pregnant. Upgrading to deluxe versions automates the addition of hay, which must be used in conjunction with a silo. Silos can also be built at Robin’s shop and provide convenient hay storage and automatic feeding. Hay inside the silo cannot be directly taken out, but if you have animals and the feeding trough isn’t full, you can retrieve hay from the feed hopper.

Part 2: Types and Sources of Animals

Coops can house six types of animals, while Marnie’s shop sells chickens, ducks, and rabbits. The animals available for purchase are unlocked through building upgrades, but the animals themselves do not require specific buildings. Deluxe coop animals can also be housed in regular coops.

Chickens are unlocked with the coop, costing 800 gold each. Initially, there are white and brown varieties. After reaching 8 hearts with Shane, blue chickens become available. If you’re not satisfied with the color, you can cancel the purchase before placing the chicken in the coop and try again.

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Big coops unlock ducks, which cost 1,200 gold each. Deluxe coops unlock rabbits, costing 8,000 gold each. The big coop also adds an incubator that can hatch chickens, dinosaurs, void chickens, and golden chickens using their respective eggs.

Barns can house five types of animals, with cows, goats, sheep, and pigs available for purchase. Cows are unlocked with the barn and cost 1,500 gold each. They come in two colors, but their products are the same. Big barns unlock goats, while deluxe barns unlock sheep and pigs.

Barn animals can give birth to offspring, even if there’s only one animal. However, the probability of pregnancy is quite low. On average, an animal takes over three years to become pregnant once.

Ostriches can also be raised in barns, using ostrich eggs to hatch them. To obtain an incubator for ostriches, you need the recipe from the Island Field Office. Alternatively, you can find one through Secret Notes or high-quality treasure chests in the volcano.

Part 3: Caring for Your Animals

Animals have two important metrics: affection and mood, which determine their productivity. The primary ways to increase these metrics are feeding and petting. If you don’t feed or pet your animals, they won’t produce anything, and you’re better off not having them.

Animals purchased or hatched start as babies and need time to grow before they can produce goods. Animals don’t eat on their first day, but they need hay or grass daily afterward. Animals that don’t eat won’t grow or produce, and their affection and mood will decrease. Feeding is essential.

On sunny days, animals can graze on grass outside the farm, while they must eat hay indoors during rainy days and winter. Keeping the feeding trough stocked with hay is crucial. Petting animals also increases their affection and mood, while neglecting to pet them has adverse effects, similar to not feeding them.

For beginners, simply knowing to let animals graze on sunny days, feed them hay on rainy days and during winter, and pet them daily (along with providing heaters during winter) is enough. Feeding, petting, and collecting animal products are the primary tasks when raising animals. However, doing these tasks for a large number of animals can be time-consuming. Later in the game, you can reduce the workload with silos, auto-grabbers, and auto-petters.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Does leaving the coop or barn door open affect animals’ affection and mood? No, leaving the door open does not impact their affection or mood. Even during rainy days or winter, it’s fine to leave the door open, as it won’t result in animals being taken by wolves. Just ensure the animals are not left outside.
  2. Should I fence in my animals? Animals won’t trample or eat crops, so fencing them in is not necessary. Fencing does not affect their affection, mood, or chances of being taken by wolves at night. Whether or not you fence them in is up to personal preference and may be done for aesthetic reasons or to limit their roaming area.
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Part 4: Animal Products and Their Uses

Each animal produces at least one type of product, while some produce two. We can categorize them as common products and high-quality products. Animals produce either a common product or a high-quality product each time.

Chickens produce an egg every day, with large eggs being the high-quality product. White and blue chickens lay white eggs, while brown chickens lay brown eggs. Eggs can be sold for money, but their primary use is in Bundles and cooking. For cooking purposes, any egg will do, so just keep some regular quality eggs.

Ducks produce every two days, making their income lower than chickens. Their high-quality product is duck feathers. Duck eggs and feathers are required for Bundles, and duck eggs can be used interchangeably with chicken eggs in cooking. There’s no need to keep extra duck eggs. Duck feathers are a favorite gift for Elliott and Leah but can be substituted with rabbit’s foot.

Beach and riverland farms can raise ducks for decoration. Dinosaurs produce a dinosaur egg every seven days, but their income is very low. They can be kept as pets. Dinosaur eggs can be donated to the museum or used to make Dinosaur Mayonnaise, which is used in the Movie Theater Collection Bundle, shipping catalogue, and crafting Dinosaur Pants. In other words, you’ll need a maximum of five dinosaur eggs per save file, which should be sufficient from drops by monsters.

Void chickens produce a void egg every day. Their early game income is higher than regular chickens but falls short in the late game. Overall, they’re still not as profitable as regular chickens. Void eggs are a favorite gift for Sebastian and Krobus, so you can keep one for gifting purposes.

Rabbits produce every four days. The common product is wool, and the high-quality product is rabbit’s foot. Both are required for Collection Bundles. Rabbit’s foot is a universally loved gift, except by Penny. It’s easy to mass-produce, and since many villagers have hard-to-obtain favorites, gifting rabbit’s foot is a convenient option.

After completing 100% of the game, you can raise gold chickens. Although their income is high, there’s not much need for money at this point, so they’re mainly for fun. Cows produce milk every day, with the high-quality product being large milk, also required for Collection Bundles.

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Milking requires a milk pail purchased from Marnie. Milking also increases affection, and once you reach Farming Level 10, you can buy an auto-collector. Milk can be turned into cheese with a cheese press, and large milk can be turned into gold-star cheese. Cheese isn’t worth much when sold, but it’s useful for restoring health.

Goats produce goat milk every two days, with the high-quality product being large goat milk. Their income is lower than cows. Goat milk can be turned into goat cheese and gold-star goat cheese. Their health restoration is the same as regular cheese, so there’s no need to raise them in large numbers.

Sheep and pigs are more important. Sheep produce wool every three days by shearing. With the Shepherd profession, you can reduce this to every two days. If their affection is over 900, it’s reduced to one day. In this case, the income from sheep is double that of cows. While their income isn’t very high, with an auto-petter and auto-collector, all you need to do is provide grass, saving you real-life time.

Pigs produce truffles when they’re outside the barn. Truffles can be turned into truffle oil using an oil maker. Both truffles and truffle oil are required for Collection Bundles. Truffles are considered for aging items, and their quality is affected by the Foraging skill. Each pig can produce at least one truffle per day. As their affection increases, so does the probability of producing more truffles. Theoretically, each pig can produce up to three truffles per day. In practice, if you check regularly, you can reach an average of 2.5 or more truffles per pig per day. An iridium-quality truffle sells for 1,250 gold, making pigs’ daily income very high. However, this also requires a lot of attention and effort, making pig farming a high-maintenance, high-income endeavor. Pigs can’t dig up truffles on flooring, but truffles can spawn next to the pigs, so they might appear on flooring or outside fences.

Finally, there are ostriches. Ostriches have decent income, but you need to complete Ginger Island’s Qi’s Walnut Room to obtain an incubator. They are a more late-game animal and are mainly kept as pets. We won’t go into detail about ostriches here.

Raising animals involves many details, and there’s much more to discuss. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section, and we can consider adding more information in future updates. That’s it for this tutorial. Thank you for watching, and we’ll see you in the next episode.

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