Animals have always been an important part of the dwarf fortress ecosystem. Although you can buy and sell different types of creatures through the Trade Depot once the caravan arrives, a much easier way to control the population of creatures is to use breeding and castration. If you want to know how these mechanics work in the game, we’ve covered everything you need to know below.

Related: How to Trade in the Dwarf Fortress

How does breeding work in Dwarf Fortress?

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Animal husbandry, or the process of caring for and rearing livestock, can be done primarily in-game through the use of barnyard/pasture areas. You can create these zones by pressing the “Z” key to bring up your zone menu. The Corral/Pasture option is just below the Diner option in the window that appears.

Note, however, that barnyard/pasture areas should only be designated on grass above ground or ground mushrooms below ground. Otherwise, your pets will be gradually annoyed by the lack of food.

Once designated, grazing animals such as yaks, elephants, and alpacas can be placed in these areas and will immediately serve as your primary source of income. Additionally, you can also place a birdhouse and birds in the corral/pasture areas to acquire eggs.

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You can also breed creatures by placing a tamed male and a tamed female of the same species in the same paddock/pasture area. As long as they both reside in a designated area, the female will eventually bear offspring after some time.

Breeding is a particularly important mechanic in Dwarf Fortress, as it’s how you’ll primarily create a steady stream of valuable resources, such as meat and leather, without spending money.

How does the gelding work in Dwarf Fortress?

Dwarf fortress gelding

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Castration in the Dwarven Fortress only works on male animals and essentially renders them unable to produce offspring. This feature is especially useful if your animal population has gotten out of hand and you want to get it under control.

Related: The best ways to dispose of trash and corpses in Dwarf Fortress

You will be able to sterilize animals via the citizen information menu, which can be opened by pressing “U” on your keyboard. Once the window appears, go to the Pets/Livestock tab and the neutered option should be available for male animals in the far right column. You will also need to build a Farmer’s Workshop within your base for the sterilization process to work.

It is important to note that once you have neutered an animal, there is no way to undo it. So make sure you have selected the correct creature before casting it.


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