how to get meat in dwarf fortress

How to Get Meat in Dwarf Fortress: A Guide to Sustaining Your Colony

Dwarf Fortress is a game that simulates the management of a dwarven settlement. One of the most important aspects of the game is food production, as without it, your dwarven society will quickly starve to death. Meat is a vital component of any dwarven diet, providing essential nutrients and protein. However, obtaining meat in Dwarf Fortress can be a challenging task, especially for new players. In this article, we will explore the different ways to get meat in Dwarf Fortress, from hunting to animal husbandry, and answer some frequently asked questions about the game.

How to Get Meat in Dwarf Fortress

There are several ways to acquire meat in Dwarf Fortress, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the most common methods:

1. Hunting

Hunting is perhaps the most straightforward way to obtain meat in Dwarf Fortress. Your dwarves can hunt wild animals by assigning them to a hunting area. To do this, select a zone using the i key and then press the H key to designate it as a hunting area. Your dwarves with the hunter labor enabled will then seek out prey within this area.

There are a few things to keep in mind when hunting. First, make sure the hunting area is easily accessible, as dwarves will not go too far from their base to hunt. Second, be aware that hunting can be dangerous, as wild animals can fight back and harm your dwarves. Make sure your hunters are well-equipped with weapons and armor.

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Another thing to keep in mind is that hunting success rates can be affected by the number of available wild animals in the area. If your hunters are not finding enough prey, try expanding the hunting area or breeding animals in captivity for release into the wild.

2. Fishing

If your dwarven settlement is near a body of water, fishing can be a reliable source of meat. To fish, you will need to build a fishing zone using the r key. Your dwarves with the fishing labor enabled will then automatically seek out and catch fish.

Fishing can be an excellent way to supplement your food supply, especially early in the game, when hunting might be riskier. However, fishing success rates can also be affected by various factors, such as water depth and temperature, so you may have to experiment with different fishing zones to find the most productive ones.

3. Animal Husbandry

Animal husbandry is the practice of breeding and raising animals for their meat or other products, such as milk or wool. Animal husbandry is an excellent way to ensure a steady supply of meat, as you have more control over the process than with hunting or fishing.

To begin animal husbandry, you will need to capture or buy some live animals. You can then assign a dwarf with the animal caretaker labor enabled to look after them. Make sure you have enough grazing space and that the animals are well-fed and secured from predators.

Breeding animals can take some time, but it can be a lucrative venture. Depending on the type of animal, you may be able to sell their offspring or use them for other purposes, such as war animals or as a source of milk.

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4. Trading

If hunting, fishing, or animal husbandry is not yielding enough meat, you can always try to trade for it with other dwarven settlements or human traders. Meat can be a valuable commodity, especially if you have a surplus of other goods to offer in exchange.

Trading can also be a way to obtain exotic meats that are not readily available in your biome. However, keep in mind that traders may not always have meat available, or it may be too expensive for your budget. Be sure to stockpile some other food sources in case trading or other methods of meat acquisition fail.


Q: How much food do dwarves need in Dwarf Fortress?
A: Dwarves need about two units of food per day to sustain themselves. Keep this in mind when planning your food production and storage.

Q: How can I keep meat from spoiling?
A: In Dwarf Fortress, meat will spoil if not stored in a cold or cool environment. You can build an underground storage cellar or use an ice block to keep meat fresh for longer.

Q: Can dwarves eat raw meat?
A: Yes, dwarfes can eat raw meat, but they have a chance of contracting parasites or other diseases. Cooking meat is always recommended.

Q: Can I feed my dwarves vegetarian meals?
A: Yes, Dwarf Fortress allows for vegetarian diets. You can grow crops, fruits, and vegetables and prepare them as meals for your dwarves. However, keep in mind that some dwarves may prefer meat or other types of food, and a lack of variety might affect their happiness and productivity.

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In Dwarf Fortress, acquiring meat is an essential part of running a successful dwarven settlement. Whether you prefer hunting, fishing, animal husbandry, trading, or a combination of methods, ensuring your dwarves have enough to eat is vital. Experiment with different strategies and keep in mind the factors that can affect success rates, and you should be well on your way to a thriving meat supply. Happy hunting!

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