Stardew Valley

Animal Care Guide | Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley features a variety of animals that require care. In the natural course of things you can receive a cat, dog and even a horse, but this isn’t where your animal ownership needs to end. It’s possible to raise chickens, cows and even pigs, should your farm be capable of housing them. Doing this comes with it’s own responsibility however, because you’ll soon learn than unhappy animals aren’t likely to be forthcoming with their resources. It’s up to you to look after them, be it through correct housing, feeding or petting. Much like anything Stardew related, it’s once you’ve put in the time and effort will you see rewards. How then, should you go about caring for your little livestock? Join us as we guide you through the essentials of caring for your animals.


Preparing for Animals

Stardew Valley Silo

Very basic care has to start with food. This is something we can all agree upon in the wider world, and it continues to be true in Stardew Valley. Before you even consider building a Barn or a Coop to house your animals, we recommend you make yourself a Silo or two. This can store any grass that you have cut on your farm and turn it into hay, which in turn is used to feed your animals on days when they cannot go out, such as when it rains or in the winter. Do yourself, and indeed your animals, a favour and take 100 Stone, 10 Clay, 5 Copper Bars and 100g over to Robin at the Carpenter’s shop and she will build one for you. Better still make a couple.

This isn’t just for show or a happiness gauge either. Unfed animals will not produce any items, whereas fed animals will keep popping out the loot you require, so it’s worth looking after these little ones. Each Silo will hold 240 hay, which is more than enough to keep a small amount of animals going for a good while, and you need not stop with one. Build a couple of these early on in the game and both your animals and future you will thank you for it.


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Animal Buildings

Stardew Valley Coop

Once you’ve set up your stock of feed, you’re going to want to buy some animals, but don’t get too ahead of yourself now! First you’ll need to get yourselves some buildings to house them, after all you’d rather not have them all live in your house with you now would you? Different animals will require different buildings, so it’s wise to determine which ones you would like first…

Coop Animals

  • Chickens
  • Ducks
  • Rabbits
  • Dinosaurs

Yes that’s right, you can get Dinosaurs. Anyway, if you’re looking to get Coop animals you’ll need to first build one. That being the case, grab yourself 300 Wood, 100 Stone and 4000g and take it to Robin at the Carpenter’s Shop and she will build you one, although it will take her three days to do so. Once you have it you’ll be able to determine it’s positioning, and whilst it’s important to put it in a convenient place, it’s worth remembering that you can return to Robin if you want it moved. This first iteration of the Coop will allow you to raise Chickens, which produce Eggs of varying value. If you want further animals you’ll need to upgrade.

The first of these upgrades is the Big Coop, which will cost you 400 Wood, 150 Stone and 10,000g, allowing you to own Ducks and Dinosaurs. These will both produce their own Eggs, along with Feathers from the Ducks. The Big Coop also gets you an incubator, allowing you to hatch your own Chickens, Ducks and Dinosaurs. Further to this, you can upgrade again into the Deluxe Coop for an additional 500 Wood, 200 Stone and 20,000g. This will net you an auto feeder, which removes the need for manual feed placement, and it also allows you to own Rabbits, which are a source of both Wool and Rabbit’s Foot.

Barn Animals

  • Cows
  • Goats
  • Sheep
  • Pigs
  • Ostriches

The other animal building you can place is a Barn, which houses a different collection. This operates in a similar fashion to the Coop, having three versions which allow you to house different types of animals. The first Barn will set you back 350 Wood, 150 Stone and 6000g and allows you to house Cows and, as of patch 1.5, Ostriches, which produce Milk and Ostrich Eggs respectively. Following this you can upgrade into the Big Barn, which sots 450 Wood, 200 Stone and 12,000g, and allows you to house Goats that produce Goat Milk. Finally you can upgrade into the Deluxe Barn for 550 Wood, 300 Stone and 25,000g, which gives you the ability to own Sheep and Pigs, producing Wool and Truffles, and also comes with an Auto-Feeder. All of this is also accomplished by speaking to Robin in the Carpenter’s Shop.


Purchasing Animals

Stardew Valley, Purchasing Animals

You have enough stock to feed them and places to house them, so now it’s time to actually buy some animals! At a basic level this is likely to be Chickens or Cows, but either way you’ll want to head to Marnie’s Ranch to purchase them. Upon picking your animal – shown above – you’ll be asked to pick it’s home, which can be achieved by clicking on the appropriate building. It’s worth noting at this point that the colour of the animal will be mentioned when positioning them in buildings – remember this, because their produce will correspond to the bundles required for the community centre. Different animals will take different amounts of time to produce items, as noted in the dialogue box above, so it’s worth bearing this in mind, and they’ll also take a little time to grow into adulthood before doing so. So if they don’t start producing straight away don’t worry!


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Building Animal Friendship

Now, you cannot just dump your animals down and expect everything to start flowing nice and smooth. As any experienced farm hand will tell you, a happy animal nets the best produce. The same is true of those in Stardew Valley, and as such you should pay attention to the following tips if you want to keep them popping loot on a regular basis:

Feeding Your Animals

In order to keep your animals producing tasty and useful items, you’ll need to feed them every day. Access to fresh grass is the ideal way to keep this happening, and it’s easy to achieve at the start of the game. Grass will grow outwards if you leave it alone and there is no debris in the way, although you can also buy grass starters from Pierre’s store, and even craft them yourself using 10 fibre, albeit after unlocking the recipe. It’s worth noting however that grass only grows in Spring, Summer and Fall, so be sure to cut some up and store it in your Silo before Winter hits.

Petting Your Animals

Feeding isn’t the only way to care for your animals. If you take some time out of your day to pet them, their happiness will increase. A heart will appear above them when you do so, and you’ll be able to see a small screen showing you just how happy they are, with the aim being 5 hearts out of 5. Keeping their hearts full will increase the chance of getting superior items from them.

Milking & Shearing

Not exactly sure how happy we would be with someone cutting our hair off on a weekly basis, but the animals in Stardew Valley sure seem to like it. Cows can be milked daily, Goats every other day and Sheep can be sheared every 3 days, though this can be reduced by picking the Shepherd skill at Farming skill level 10.


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Animal Care Tips

Stardew Valley Animal Happiness Gauge

Animal Happiness Levels

Depending on how you treat your animals, their happiness will change. There are three possible levels for this, as follows:

  • Really Happy
  • Fine
  • Sad

There are a few different factors that influence these happiness levels. Feeding, petting and milking or shearing, noted above, will all keep your animal happy. It’s also worth noting however, that ensuring your animals are in their Coop or Barn before 7pm is also critical, because they’re likely to sleep after this time. Leaving them outside then, will lead to them becoming unhappy, and also leaves them vulnerable to wild animal attacks. Additionally, in the winter months you’ll want to buy a heater, pictured earlier in this article, to ensure that the animals are kept warm. Remember, happy animals produce higher quality items.

Useful Items

Assuming you’re keeping your animals happy, they’ll begin to produce items for you. These will normally be left on the floor of the building you’re keeping them in, but you will need some items from Marnie to take advantage of some of these. The Milk Pail is, as you might imagine, essential for collecting Milk. So too are the shears for collecting Wool. Once you reach level 10 Farming, Marnie will sell an auto-grabber which can collect these items if you place them within your buildings, however be aware that this means you will not gain the happiness that comes from manually doing these tasks.

Animal Births

Once an incubator is installed in your Coop, you will be able to hatch your own Chickens and Ducks, which is the only way to gain more outside of purchasing them. It’s worth noting that other animals, such as Cows, can become pregnant and give birth, should you have the space to accommodate more. If you wish, you can turn this pregnancy feature off in the animal’s information screen.


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