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11: Ranching

Farmville Walkthrough and Guide

by CMBF  

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Chapter 11: Ranching

Raising animals on your farm can be a much more complicated activity than all of the others combined, both because there are buildings that are involved in the process, and because often it is the younger animals that are worth more than the older when it comes time to harvest them -- but as that is not always the case, it takes careful planning to decide which you will keep, and which you will raise to adult form.  And that is just one consideration -- there are also the unique and rare animals that you will want to collect.

-- Unique and Rare Farm Animals --

Part of the fun in Farmville centers around the special and holiday events that take place, during which in addition to the special activities there is the opportunity to obtain rare or unique animals that are only available for that event.  It is customary for players to put their rare animals on display, both as symbols of their collecting, and to show the longevity of their play.

Most of these animals have interesting appearances so you will likely find yourself wanting to collect them for that reason alone.  Just remember that with the baby forms of these you do not want to place them in the Nursery, because baby animals DO NOT mature into the adult form of that species!

That should be repeated to be sure you understand -- we will use an imaginary example to illustrate this point...  Lets say that there was an event, and one of the animals was a Superstar Horse.  You obtained the Superstar Horse, and you can place it in your Stables and it will breed the Superstar Pony -- which is a unique looking pony and a nice addition to your collection, but it is not a path to additional Superstar Horses.

The reason for that is that if you place the Superstar Pony in the Nursery Barn, it will not mature into a Superstar Horse, but into a Black Horse.  The same is true for cows -- a Green Calf will only mature into a regular Cow.

There are exceptions to this rule -- miniature cream foals will mature in to cream horses, but that is the only exception.  All other foals will mature into black horses.  So why would you want to breed them at all?  To make the baby versions -- which you can share with your neighbors via your feed is a good reason, but the real reason you would want to breed is money.

When you harvest the Superstar Horse it pays you 50 coins each time it is harvested.  But the Superstar Pony pays 500 coins.  That being the case, you would want to have a lot of those around to make extra coin, right?

Breeding Cows Requires a Bull

-- Breeding Animals --

The special buildings that you can build on your farm are the path towards animal breeding.  These consist of:

(1) The Stables (Storing and Breeding Horses)
(2) The Dairy Farm (Storing and Breeding Cows)
(3) The Pig Pen (Storing and Breeding Pigs)
(4) The Sheep Pen (Storing and Breeding Sheep)
(5) The Nursery Barn (Raising baby animals to adult)

In addition to these, there are two other buildings that you can build or place on your farm that are animal related -- the Chicken Coup and the Feeding Trough -- but both of these are not part of the breeding system.  The Chicken Coup is simply a place to store your chickens that allows you to collect or harvest from them in one go, and the Feeding Trough is a building that, when feed is added to it, can attract special animals to your farm that you can then capture.

All of these buildings except for the Feeding Trough can be upgraded using building supplies to increas the number of the designated animal that they can hold.  All of them have some sort of special mechanism in order to actually breed.  Each building is discussed in detail below.

-- The Animal Buildings --

There are a number of buildings that are related to animals in the game, from storage and display to breeding.  Each is listed and explained here in some detail.

(1) The Stables (Storing and Breeding Horses)

In its first form -- which is available after you place it and finish constructing it, The Stables will hold a total of 20 horses plus one Wandering Stallion -- which is the special event that allows you to breed your horses.

Wandering Stallion: Randomly while you are playing the game, you can receive a message that tells you that a Wandering Stallion has been found on your farm.  If you click on it a message is posted to your feed, and one of your neighbors can then adopt it for a day and the Stallion will take up residence in their Stable, and there is a random chance that it will breed with one of the horses inside, creating a baby.

The baby horse is always the type of the mother, and appears in your Gift Box.  You can then place it either on your farm or, if you want to raise it to adult, in your Nursery Barn.  Remember though that any foal save for the cream foal will become a Black Horse, and not the type that it was as a baby.

Before you place your baby horse in the Nursery Barn, check the Appendix to see what its harvest income amount is -- you may want to keep the baby if it pays more than a Black Horse!

One of the cool things about breeding horses in your stables is that every time a baby is created, you have the option of sharing it via your feed, which will allow your neighbors to collect one, and if it is a type that they do not already have, they may appreciate that very much.

Breeding is not only reliant upon the Wandering Stallion -- if you obtain a Stallion of any type through one of the games or special events, you can place that in your Stables and it will have the same the same random chance to breed as the Wandering Stallion, but of course it is there for as long as you want it to be!

Placing a Stallion in your Stable also halts any further Wandering Stallion visits to your farm.

The Stable scan be upgraded to hold a macimum of 40 horses, through four upgrade efforts, each of which requires specific materials -- Boards, Bricks, Nails, Harnesses, and Horse Shoes.  These can all be obtained from gifting by your neighbors or through Special Delivery Packages.

The Diary Farm for Storage and Breeding

(2) The Dairy Farm (Storing and Breeding Cows)

Like The Stables, your Dairy Farm starts with a capacity of 20 cows -- but unlike the Stables it does not have to be built -- when it is placed it is ready to begin use.  It can be expanded and features the following capacities:

Stage 1 -- Dairy Farm -- Capacity = 20 Cows 1 Bull.
Stage 2 -- Big Dairy Farm -- Capacity = 30 Cows 1 Bull
Stage 3 -- Huge Dairy Farm -- Capacity = 40 Cows 1 Bull

Obtaining a Bull to place in your Dairy Farm is necessary if you wish to breed babies.  A Calf is always the same type as the Cow that is its mother.

As with horses, some baby cows pay a higher harvest value than a regular cow, and as with the Stables, any calf you place in the Nursery Barn and raise to adult form will appear as a regular cow, and NOT as the special type that it was as a baby.

(3) The Pig Pen (Storing and Breeding Pigs)

In addition to storing your pigs, the Pig Pen is also the place you go to obtain Truffels, and through the use of Potions, breed your pigs as well, but breeding does require a boar.  The Pig Breeding program is similar to the Sheep Breeding program -- both of which were added to the game in 2011, and both of which allow you to breed specially colored animals.

Like the other buildings the Pig Pen, once placed, can be expanded, with the same basic numbers in capacity.

(4) The Sheep Pen (Storing and Breeding Sheep)

The Sheep Pen is unique to the new British Farm Expansion, and so far is only available there.  Like the other buildings its capacity is expandable, and similar to the Pig Pen it uses Potions for breeding.

While sheep have been around in the game for a very long time, the ability to breed them -- and the Sheep pen building -- are all very new.  Using potions and different lines of breeding allows the gamer to create interesting types of sheep -- and the process of breeding and bloodlines is to be an integral part to the process, which is why Farmville will be adding a Family Tree tracking page to the menu for this building.

Breeding sheep requires a Ram and a Ewe -- the Potions simply shorten the time it takes to complete the breeding process and produce a lamb.  An unusual aspect to Sheep Breeding is the ability to give the resulting lambs as a gift to a friend, or raise it to adult form yourself.

(5) The Nursery Barn (Raising baby animals to adult)

This is the building that is used to mature baby animals -- you place them inside, and they age up one at a time.  Like most of the other buildings it places as a kit purchased from the Market -- you complete building it with Boards, Bricks and Nails, and its initial capacity is 20 animals.  It can be upgraded to hold 40.

When a baby matures, the adult for is placed in your Gift Box, while the baby disappears from the building.

(6) The Chicken Coop

A storage-only building, while you cannot breed baby chickens using the Chicken Coop, it is a necessary component in the creation of eggs, which are randomly harvested from it when its timer completes.  In addition to harvesting normal and special eggs from your own Chicken Coup, you can feed the chickens in the Coups of your neighbors, and obtain eggs that way too.

Chicken eggs act similar to special gift boxes -- unique items that can only be obtained form eggs are found in them when you open the egg.  Each egg type has a specific set of items associated with it, and the items list changes every so often, with some items being retired from the game.  Actively collecting eggs is therefore a good idea, at least until you have obtained any special items or buildings that can be awarded through them.

The Feeding Trough Lures in Mystery Animals

(7) The Feeding Trough

This is a special building that you purchase from the Market and place on your farm.  It does not require building parts, and it is not expandable.  Once you have placed it, you can add Animal Feed -- which you acquire by visiting the farms of your neighbors and feeding their animals via their Feeding Trough.

Once you have placed enough feed into the Trough -- it requires 20 in total to fill it -- there is a chance for a random special animal to wander on to your farm and be caught in it.  When an animal wanders in, the system sends you an email notifying you of the event -- this is a time-limited event as well, so if you do not respond within a certain number of hours, the animal will leave, having eaten two or three servings of feed in your absence, and you do not gain anything from the event.

When an animal is present, the window at the top of the Trough is lit green, and when you click on it, if you did so in a timely way, you could capture the animal.  You are given the option of sharing it with your neighbors via a post to your feed as well.

The Feeding Trough is one of the only ways to obtain certain rare animals -- like Elephants and White Turkey -- but the types of animals that appear changes every so often, so it is a good idea to read the player boards on the main Farmville site to learn when this happens.

(8) The Duck Pond

At the present time you cannot breed ducks -- though word is that this is planned to be added to the game at some future date.  The Duck Ponds are actually a relatively new feature in the game having been added in early 2011, and like the other buildings, they are expandable. 

Their unique function is the ability to select a number of ducks to be on display in the pond -- thought they can hold many more ducks than they can display, the addition of the ponds make having ducks in the game a much less cluttered process.

(9) The Beehive

Purchased from the Market, the Beehive is a kit-building, meaning that once you place it, you must add materials to actually build it before it can be used.  In addition to the standard Boards, Bricks, and Nails, the Beehive requires Smokers and Beeswax, as well as a Queen Bee and Worker Bees. 

The Queen Bee is obtained through an event in which a neighbor finds one while harvesting crops and posts that to their feed -- from which you obtain it by claiming it.  Bees can be purchased or obtained from Special Delivery Packages -- and as you add them once you reach specific numbers the graphical representation of your hive will change to show that you are expanding it.

At the present time the only thing that you acquire from harvesting the Beehive is coin and, randomly, bags of fertilizer, but those two are not the primary motivation for having and increasing the size of your Beehive.

The reason that you want to have a Beehive and expand it as much as you can is because having it turns on the random chance of pollination during harvesting.  If you crop gets pollinated while you are harvesting, you get special pollinated seeds in the Market that you can plant, which will then provide a greater chance for Bushels!

-- Basic Ranching --

The first thing that you should grasp is that you do not have to have animals on your farm.  You can choose not to!  Most farmers do have them, and chances are you will as well, because they can be a decent source of income.

In Farmville you do not raise animals for slaughter -- instead you harvest some sort of resource from them.  For sheep that would be wool, obviously.  For ducks, feathers, and for cows, milk.  Chickens give eggs, and many animals do not appear to give any resource at all, but can still be harvested for coin.

At its very basic level, your ranching activities will consist of animals placed on your farm.  Whether you place them in groups or they are scattered around makes no impact on the coin you gain from them, or their growth pattern.

You do not have to actively seek out animals for your farm -- you will end up with them as a natural course of playing the game, as many of the special and holiday events include them.  Chances are good that you will be gifted some by friends, and of course you can get a practically unlimited supply of baby and adult animals simply by reading your friends feeds and grabbing them from there!

Starting the process by collecting free animals is the best way to do it -- you will probably be surprised though at how quickly you build a large collection of them, which will naturally lead you to the advanced side of ranching!

The Sheep Pen is for Advanced Breeding

-- Advanced Ranching --

The core to this side of the process are the buildings.  At a very minimum you are going to want at least one of each of the following:

(1) Chicken Coop
(2) Pig Pen
(3) Sheep Pen
(4) Stables
(5) Dairy Farm
(6) Nursery Barn

Those six buildings will take you considerable time and effort to buy and build, and then you will want to expand them, which will take more time, effort, and resources, but the pay-off is significant, and once you have that infrastructure in place, your ranching income can easily equal a third or more of the passive income that you earn on your farm!

Breeding is not part of the vocation, it is usually a natural byproduct of the act of keeping the animals in the buildings, and though some decision making will be involved with breeding sheep and pigs, horses and cows will take care of themselves!

While many animals can be bred, at the time that this guide was written (Summer 2011) you cannot breed Elephants, Goats, Dragons, Unicorns, Ducks, Turkeys, Seagulls, Cats, Dogs, or Seagulls. but all of those exist in the game.

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