How to feed animals in Dwarf Fortress

Animals and firewood in Dwarf Fortress.

Animals and firewood in Dwarf Fortress.

Animals can be somewhat of a surprise in Dwarf Fortress. Even though they're one of the most interesting systems in the game, most players still ignore animals. If you're someone who wants to look after them, we've put together a guide on how to feed animals in Dwarf Fortress.

Feeding animals in Dwarf Fortress is not as straightforward as it might seem, so take our tips into account whether you're an experienced player or new to the game.

And while you are here, feel free to check our Dwarf Fortress mining guide and out Dwarf Fortress farming guide.

Animals and dwarfs are in the building next to the water in Dwarf Fortress.
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How feeding animals works in Dwarf Fortress

Different types of animal require unique approaches to feed them. For example, carnivorous animals can not be fed manually. They can feed themselves using any meat from the stockpiles (keep in mind that eggs also count as meat).

And the second type of animal in Dwarf Fortress, Herbivores, require a specific approach to feed them.

Feeding herbivores in Dwarf Fortress

Herbivores, also called Grazers, are the most common animals in Dwarf Fortress. Among the main Herbivores are pigs, goats, horses, cows, ships, and other domestic animals. The only way to feed them is to put them in a pasture. Herbivores can eat grass and find food for themselves there.

How to build a pasture in Dwarf Fortress

Animals and dwarfs are in the building in Dwarf Fortress.
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First, you should open the Zone menu and select Pen/Pasture from the various options. The Pen/Pasture has a horse icon near it, so you can use it as a navigation point. Once you select this option, you should find the area where you will build the pasture. Unfortunately, not every area in the game is suitable for creating pastures. The perfect location for constructing a pasture should include two resources: grass and cave moss.

How to select pasture size

Also, you should consider a pasture size while building it. If you are eager to get horses or cows, you should take into account that they require a lot of food and free space. Simultaneously, pigs and hares require nearly zero free space, so you can use even a small pasture for them. And if you build overcrowded pastures, animals will start fighting between themselves.

How to assign animals

Once you build the pasture, you can assign animals and feed them there. First, select your pasture and open the info tab. Here, you need to select the option with a Rabbit on the icon. Doing it will open the menu so you can add or remove Herbivores from the pasture wherever you want.

That’s all there is to feeding animals in Dwarf Fortress. Even though this process might seem pretty challenging, you can do it in a few minutes even if you are a beginner. The only difficulty is finding the appropriate area for constructing a pasture. While you are still here, make sure to check our guide on how to get, farm, and get rid of water in Dwarf Fortress.

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