Caring for Your Animals

When you begin your life in Echo Village, your farm will have one livestock barn. On Spring 9, Neil will stop by and deliver a free cow to your farm, along with a Pitchfork, Milker, and Brush. You can buy more animals from him at his Animal Shop in the open market plaza area Monday through Thursday.

To raise chickens, you'll need to wait until Spring 25. Rebecca will give you a walkthrough on how to use your construction workshop to build things, and after that the blueprint for the Coop will be available in her shop inventory. You need to build a Coop before Neil will sell normal Chickens at his shop.

Each barn can hold a maximum of 10 animals, and will contain an animal notebook inside that gives you access to your animals' profile information. The Animal Information notebook inside the Barn displays data relating to cows, sheep, Alpacas, Yaks, and Llamas, while the same notebook in the Coop covers your Chickens and Silkie Chickens:

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Feeding

Every day your animals need to be fed. You can buy Fodder and Chicken Feed from Neil's shop. All of your livestock animals will eat Fodder, and all of the poultry will eat Chicken Feed. You can grow your own Fodder by planting Grass Seed into fields, but there is no way to make your own Chicken Feed.

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Chickens in this version of Harvest Moon do not forage for food, so you must feed them every day. Place Chicken Feed into their feed troughs inside the Coop. If you want to feed the chickens outside, you will have to build a Chicken Feeder and place it near your Coop, then put Chicken Feed into the outdoor feeder every day. It's easier to feed them indoors though, since once they return from being outside for the day they'll just eat from their indoor feed trays. You do not want to leave chickens (or any livestock animal) outside overnight, else their stress will increase. Chickens will only lay eggs when inside their Coop.

You also need to feed your baby animals, both livestock and poultry.

Livestock animals can be fed by placing Fodder into their Barn feed trough, but on sunny or snowy days you can let them outside to graze on grass. Grass Seed can be bought from the General Store for 20 G a bag. The type of field you grow the Fodder grass in will not matter, as Fodder only takes two days to mature, regrows every day, and does not have a Star Rank.

You will need one mature grass per livestock animal you own. When a grass plant has been eaten 30 times by an animal, it will go away. The description on the bag of seed indicates that you can cut it with your Sickle (to make your own Fodder) for 30 days, but it actually means it can be harvested 30 times; Fodder won't wilt away after 30 days if it is left untouched. Grass is not season-specific and will grow all year long.

Since Fodder grows back ever day, you can harvest and ship the excess Fodder that you don't need. You can earn 60 G per piece of Fodder (480 G per 8-square field per day).

When feeding your animals indoors, one piece of food will take care of 5 animals. Uneaten food will eventually become Barn Dirt, which you pick up off the ground by using the Pitchfork. Barn Dirt does not have any special purpose, so you can ship it for 10 G a piece.

Care and Attention

Taking good care of your animals will increase their Friendship Points and keep their stress level low. The happier the animal is, the more money you'll earn for shipping its products.

Friendship Hearts

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Inside the Animal Information notebooks, on your Nintendo 3DS lower touch screen, you'll see the friendship hearts. The more hearts your animal has, the higher the Star Rank of the items it will produce. You'll also have a better chance of winning the seasonal animal festivals with contest entries that have maximum heart levels.

Each heart on its friendship meter is 100 Friendship Points; a half heart is 50 points and a full heart is 100 points. The maximum number of hearts you can have is 10, or 1000 FP. Daily interaction with your animals (or no interaction) will increase or decrease their Friendship Points. Each type of animal you own will react to your affection a little bit differently; for example, Suffolk Sheep are a little harder to increase hearts with than regular Sheep.

You can earn some additional friendship by utilizing the animal friendship object combos: Moomoo Friendship, BaaBaa Friendship, or CluckCluck Friendship. Having a combo set in the same area as your animals will increase your earned Friendship Points by 1. For example, you'll earn +2 FP for milking your cows instead of only +1 FP. For the animal births, you'll earned +30 FP with the mother livestock or poultry animal instead of +20 FP.

You can also decrease your animals' friendships by neglecting them. When an animal loses a lot of hearts, the Star Rank of the item it produces will decrease.

Stress

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The blue bar on the animals' profile screen will display the amount of stress they have. The more blue bar there is, the higher the animal's stress level is. Stressed animals will become sick and could possibly die if left untreated.

The bar has a maximum of 100 stress points. Once the bar reaches 50 points (50% full), the animal has a 10% chance of becoming sick the next morning. At 70 points this increases to a 30% chance of becoming sick. From 80 to 90 points there is a 50% chance and anything above 90 stress points is an 80% chance. Even if the animal has a full 100% blue stress bar, there is still a slight chance (20%) that it won't be sick the next day.

Many of the activities that decrease animal friendship will also increase animal stress.

When an animal becomes sick, its stress will automatically fill to 100 points. Sick animals will remain inside their barns and will not exit the barn during the routine pet herding. To cure the sickness, buy Animal Medicine from Neil's Animal Shop for 840 G each.

You don't have to heal the animal right away; it will take several days of neglect before the animal will die. Silkies will die after three days if you don't use the Animal Medicine, and Chickens will take four days. Suffolk and Alpacas take five days to die, Sheep will die after six days of sickness, Jerseys take seven days, Cows take eight days, Llamas take nine days, and Yaks take 10 days before they kick the bucket. If Neil's shop is closed on the day your animals become ill, there's no need to panic. Your animal will be fine as long as you buy and use the medicine before their time is up.

If you do allow your animal to pass away because of a curable illness, you will lose friendship with your remaining animals and -1000 FP with each of the villagers.

Ideally, you do not want any blue displayed on the stress bar. If you do see stress appear, there are things you can do to decrease the bar:

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Lifespans

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Your animals will die eventually; it isn't something you can avoid. The more hearts of friendship your animals have, the less chance that they'll die when you awake in the morning. There is always a small chance that the animal will pass away when they are at least two or three years old. Chickens, Sheep, and Suffolk have a minimum natural lifespan of two years, while the other animals have three years. All of the animals have a maximum lifespan of eight years.

If your animals have 10 hearts of friendship, then you should expect:

You will learn about an animal death in the morning when you wake up. Neil will visit your house and tell you about the passing. Only one animal can die per day. If you had saved your game the night before going to bed, then you can reload your save game to see if your animal survives the night. An animal that is dying of natural causes may survive if it hasn't reached its eighth year of age, but if it is because of an uncured sickness then there's nothing you can do.