how to feed animals dwarf fortress

How to Feed Animals in Dwarf Fortress

Dwarf Fortress is a complex simulation game that involves managing a fortress of dwarves in a dangerous fantasy world. One of the key aspects of managing your fortress is ensuring that your animals are well-fed and taken care of. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the various ways to feed animals in Dwarf Fortress, including crops, grazing, and animal husbandry. We’ll also answer some frequently asked questions about animal feeding in Dwarf Fortress.


One of the main ways to feed your animals in Dwarf Fortress is by growing crops. To grow crops, you’ll need to create farms and assign your dwarves to work on them. There are several crops that can be grown in Dwarf Fortress, including plump helmets, sweet pods, and cave wheat.

Once your crops are harvested, you can designate them for animal feed by creating a stockpile that is specifically designated for animal food. You can create a food stockpile by pressing ‘q’ and selecting the stockpile option. From there, you’ll need to select the ‘food’ option and set the stockpile to only accept animal feed.


Another way to feed your animals in Dwarf Fortress is by letting them graze in pastures. This method is particularly useful for herbivorous creatures like cows and sheep. To create a pasture, you’ll need to designate an area of your fortress as a grazing area.

To do this, press ‘p’ and select the ‘zones’ option. From there, select the ‘pasture’ option and use the cursor to designate the grazing area. Once the pasture is set up, you can assign specific animals to graze there by selecting the ‘animals’ tab and designating which animals should graze where.

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Animal Husbandry

Animal husbandry is another option for feeding your animals in Dwarf Fortress. This involves breeding animals to produce offspring that can be used for their meat or milk. To start breeding animals, you’ll need to acquire a male and female of the same species.

Once you have a breeding pair of animals, you can assign them to a pasture or a specific room in your fortress designated for animal husbandry. From there, you’ll need to wait for the female to become pregnant and give birth. Once the offspring are born, you can designate them for slaughter or milk production.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much food do animals need in Dwarf Fortress?

A: The amount of food that animals need varies depending on the species. Generally, herbivorous animals require more food than carnivorous animals. You can check how much food each animal needs by going to the ‘z’ menu and selecting the ‘animals’ tab.

Q: Do animals need to drink water in Dwarf Fortress?

A: Yes, animals need to drink water in order to survive. You can create water sources, such as wells or pools, in your fortress to provide your animals with a source of water.

Q: Can animals be trained in Dwarf Fortress?

A: Yes, animals can be trained in Dwarf Fortress. Training animals can improve their performance in tasks such as hauling or combat. To train an animal, designate a specific dwarf to train them using the ‘z’ menu.

Q: Can animals in Dwarf Fortress get sick?

A: Yes, animals can get sick in Dwarf Fortress. You can prevent sickness by ensuring that your animals are well-fed and have access to clean water. Additionally, you should isolate sick animals from the rest of your herd to prevent the spread of disease.

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Feeding your animals in Dwarf Fortress can be challenging, but it’s essential for maintaining a healthy and productive fortress. By utilizing a combination of crops, grazing, and animal husbandry, you can ensure that your animals are well-fed and taken care of. If you have any further questions about animal feeding in Dwarf Fortress, be sure to consult the ‘z’ menu and read up on the game’s extensive online wiki.

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