Minecraft: Here’s How to Herd Animals

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The basics of Minecraft are gathering animals and using them as a food source and source for other unique materials. To prosper in your world and set yourself up for success in the future. Luring mobs in Minecraft can be a daunting and challenging task, but what about animals? How do you herd animals in Minecraft?

  • Article Breakdown:
  • To herd animals in Minecraft, you can use two methods. Either place a food item they love in your hand or guide them to a specific location using a lead.
  • Depending on the animal you want to herd, luring them in with their favorite food is much quicker than using a lead since each animal will need a separate lead.

What animals can you herd in Minecraft?

The four basic animals you can herd in animals are sheep, cows, pigs, and chickens. You can herd them with three more animals: goats, rabbits, and mooshrooms. These animals can all be herded by placing the food you breed them within your hand. Once in your hand, they will begin to follow you around.

Leads, however, make it so that you can practically herd any animal, even those that reside in water, like dolphins or axolotls. It’ll be hard to keep them alive once they hit land, but technically, it’s possible. Their demise comes from the fact that each animal you want to herd must have a separate lead. It might seem like that isn’t a problem, but they are crafted using string and slimeballs. The string might be easy to obtain, but if you haven’t yet found a slime chunk in your world, acquiring slime will turn out to be challenging.


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Foods for herding animals

As previously mentioned, the same food you use to breed animals can be used to herd them, so let’s check out which food can help you herd each farm animal in your world.

Can you herd cats and dogs?

You can try to herd cats and dogs, but these mechanics don’t work on them. Stray cats and dogs will try to run from you when you start feeding them their favorite food. Once you’ve fed them enough times and tamed them, they’ll follow you no matter what, although I found that holding their favorite food in hand does make them follow you better, or maybe I’m just imagining things.

Why would you want to herd animals in Minecraft?

The primary use of herding animals is to gather them all in one place, usually to make farms. Farms in Minecraft can provide you with plenty of valuable resources that would be hard to obtain in large quantities otherwise. These resources can then help you create other items or use the food to always have a reliable food source.

Meat is one of the best foods you can eat in Minecraft if you cook it beforehand. Some people, like me, don’t like that you need to use a furnace for cooking them since this can take a while and rid you of coal when it can be used for something much better than cooking food. That’s why some resort to eating simple carbs like bread which can be made using only three wheat.


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How to gather animals without a fence?

Animals in Minecraft can jump, and fences are the only things that stop them from doing so. You should decide on enclosing your animals based on the logic that if you can get out, they can also get out. Why would you not want to use a fence for animals, though?

Well, there are multiple answers to this question. For me, the farms just don’t fit the vibe of my builds, while for others, fences may irritate them. Fences are comprised of two things: fences and fence gates. The fence gate does not look different than the fence, and it can get annoying trying to find it. Besides, you always have to close it. Otherwise, your animals will escape. Another issue is that you can’t jump fences.

The solution would be to surround the animals with a 2-block high fence, but another solution that looks more natural and like a real farm is trap doors. To execute this, place the trapdoor and open it up to create that fence effect. You’ll be able to jump them, but the animals won’t.

What happens when your animal farm is too big?

If you make a farm that’s too big, there’s no way of getting around the fact that your farm animals will eventually despawn. Your farms should be less than 20 blocks long and wide. If an animal can walk 20 blocks in a straight line, it’ll despawn. The exceptions to the rule are animals you’ve named using a name tag, but since these can be hard to obtain in large quantities, it’s better to make the farm smaller.

Farm animal crushers

If you don’t like the look of farms or are annoyed with gates and fence gates, the solution to your problems lies in entity cramming. Entity cramming is essentially cramming multiple entities, in this case, farm animals, into one block. There’s a limit to how many entities can stand on that block, and when the limit is exceeded, the entities start suffocating and, consequently, die. These are the basics of how it works, so let’s look at how you can make your animal crusher using the example of cows. Follow the steps down below.

Cow Crusher

What you’ll need: 4 building blocks, 5 stairs, 1 fence, 2 hoppers, 1 chest, and 1 bucket – you can already tell by the number of blocks you need to place that it’s easy to make one.

  1. Make a hole in the shape of the letter L and place two hoppers and one chest in them. Hopper 1 needs to be connected to the chest, and hopper 2 needs to be connected to the first hopper
  2. Place solid blocks on all sides of the second hopper. The blocks should form the shape of the plus sign (+)
  3. Then, place stairs on each solid block beside and above.
  4. Fill the hole with water and place two cows inside. To get the cows into the whole, you can use leads.
  5. On top of the hole, place a fence.
  6. Start breeding the cows using wheat
  7. Once the entity limit within one block is exceeded, the cows will begin to suffocate, and their dropped items will end up in the chest you placed. You can make the chest bigger if you want.


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You can make these crushers with any farm animal you can think of but I don’t want to talk about that now. I want to discuss what you can do with the resources the animals give you. Pigs don’t drop a lot. You’ll only get up to three raw pork chops upon killing it and very few experience points.


Chickens, if you’re not killing them, lay an egg every 5 to 10 minutes. You can use these eggs to make pumpkin pies or cakes. Upon killing the chicken, it’ll drop raw chicken and 1-2 feathers. You can use feathers to make arrows or a book and quill


Cows drop leather and their meat. You can use this leather to make item frames, armor, and books that you’ll need to make an enchantment table.


Sheep are likely the most useful mobs to make farms for. You can choose to shear them to get wool, or you can just kill them and they’ll still drop wool. The wool can then be used to craft beds, carpets, colored wool carpets, and so much more. I found that the best use for wool in my world is for obtaining netherite.

When you make beds and try to use them in the Nether, they will explode. This can help you strip mine and collect ancient debris for cheap and a lot faster.

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