Topic: Animal Husbandry  (Read 18996 times)


« on: July 06, 2017, 07:03:18 PM »
I have some comments about animal husbandry.  I'm excited to see that in the developer list.  I've amassed quite a collection of animals with my latest character (8 cows, 12 bulls, 6 big dogs, 3 small dogs, 12 regular dogs, variable reindeer - they become food) and I have kept pigs, sheep, etc. in previous characters.  I have some comments for your consideration:

Animal Products
I love the development plans to have more useable materials come from animals. 
  • Hides/Leather
    Obtaining leather from cows/bulls/pigs is great.  The hides for others are also good.  There doesn't seem to be anything special though about livestock hides/skins/leather/furs.  Maybe domesticated animals might have the potential for higher quality hides?
  • Milk
    What good is milk other than to drink?  I'd love to see milk as an option, rather than just water, in current cooking recipes (porridge, stews, etc.).  Also, I'd love new recipes based on milk: butter, cheese.  I can imagine butter and cheese being high value trade items as well as optional ingredients in other recipes.  Also, milk doesn't seem to spoil or go bad.  I've carried around bags of milk for days (during the summer) and keep drinking from them with no problem.
  • Wool
    I look forward to harvesting wool and processing it for making things.  Building gear for spinning wool and eventually a loom would be a great set of higher-tier craftable items.  I also imagine that would really prompt the need to advancing the carpentry skill to build an improved loom grade to allow higher quality wool fabric/clothes.
  • Horns, Antlers, Bones
    I'd love to be able to make my own hunting horn from a bull or ram.  Also using these materials in weapons and other craftable items would be great.
  • Left-overs from Butchering
    In reality, there is a lot of mess left over after a carcass is butchered.  I encourage you to consider adding a blood spot icon where an animal is butchered.  This might discourage a player from butchering animals on their sleeping bunk.  Also, maybe there is a residual carcass mass left over that must be disposed of.  This could create a trash pile that attracts scavengers, crows, bears, etc. unless it it burned.
Comments on Animals
I also have some comments on animals and interaction with specific animals.
  • Neglecting Dogs
    Dogs are a huge help/advantage for hunting large game, and a player can treat them very poorly for their huge help.  I recommend some tweaks to augment their obvious advantages so that the player needs to balance the cost/benefit of keeping a pack of dogs (I currently have 20+ dogs and have stopped collecting them because of the annoyance of naming them all).  A smaller number of dogs could be more manageable for use in hunting.
    For example, I've kept a pack of dogs in a pen for weeks while I go roaming and they always sit in their pen until I wander back.  It could be that dogs leave their pen (dig out, jump over) if they stay starving for too long.  It could be that those escaped dogs then become a feral pack near my cabin.  Another option is to have starving dogs become aggressive until they are fed.  They would attack other dogs, domesticated animals, other animals, humans (including the player) until they are fed (no longer starving).  Also, I've kept dogs in a pen with other domesticated animals (reindeer, cows, etc.) until the dog is starving for days.  Yet, the dog doesn't kill and eat the other domesticated animal. 
  • Rams
    What about ram sizes?  I'd love to search for a big ram in order to harvest his horns for crafting. 
  • Pigs
    Are there male pigs (boars)?  I assumed pigs were female, but I guess they are genderless in the game. 
  • Bulls
    It seems that bulls have different carrying capacities, even beyond the size.  For example, I have normal sized bulls that can carry different amounts of slender tree trunks.  Is there a way to note or differentiate that carrying difference beyond naming the animal?
  • Killing Domesticated Animals
    I can have several animals leashed and can slaughter them in the middle of a pen of animals, and none of the other animals will bat an eye.  I'd recommend that animals become aggressive if they see another domesticated animal be slaughtered. 
    Also, I've totally changed how I kill my domesticated animals after a reindeer went aggressive after my first blow failed to kill it.  It kicked me in the eye, I passed out, and my eye started bleeding.  I woke up to an angry wounded reindeer.  I killed the beast and smoked the heck out of its meat.  I went blind in that eye until it healed weeks later. 
  • Capturing and Domesticating Wild Animals
    This would require traps for some animals that keep them alive and unhurt.  Some domesticatable animals could include capercaillie, ducks, etc..  The birds would require some form of cage or pen to prevent them from leaving.  Maybe the player can clip their wings and keep them in a pen?  Can a player leash a bird?  Maybe feeding birds grain could help domesticate them. 
    Carnivores, even small ones, and larger animals (e.g. reindeer) probably shouldn't be domesticatable. They would require constant attention and feeding to prevent them from becoming feral.
  • Animal Pens and Overcrowing/Animal Compatibility
    Currently, animals can stack on spaces within a pen without penalty.  For example, I can pack 12+ animals in a pen with a 3x3 open space.  I've seen this also happen rarely in towns.  This also allows multiple animals to be tied to trees than there are spaces around the tree.  Maybe make animals so they don't stack?  Would this affect the number of animals that are leashed at one time around the player? 
    Also, there seems to be no issues with animal compatibility.  I can put sheep, pigs, dogs, cows, and reindeer all in the same pen without any penalty.  Maybe some animals are incompatible when in the same pen (or adjacent pens) to others?  That would require the player to better manage the layout of a farm with multiple animal pens.
General Comments about Animal Husbandry
If you are considering a new "Animal Husbandry" skill, there are several activities that can be associated with it.  It could be used for:
  • gathering of useable animal parts separate from hide working (wool, milk, horns, etc.)
  • breeding, if that is going to be incorporated
  • domesticating wild animals - high skill levels needed?
  • butchering
  • creating pens, cages for animals, etc. that goes beyond trapping skill.  This could also be used to create a pen that is separate from just building fences.
  • Using domesticated animals for labor/hauling - loading animals; hitching them to sleds, wagons, carts; building pack saddles or other carrying slings
  • managing several leashed animals at once (currently, unlimited leashed animals at once - maybe limit that number?)

Love the game!


« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2017, 06:10:33 PM »
A lot of interesting points. Some of them will be met in the coming update and with help of modding, like carving horns or left-overs from butchering. The bloodstain is an interesting idea, I like it.


« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2017, 09:08:46 AM »
Yes, a lot of good and interesting points. I, for one, vote against the bloodstains.... I rather enjoy butchering animals on my bed.. thank you!

Turning milk into butter and cheese i believe is possible now with the modding system. Although, someone with more knowledge of the intricacies of modding would have to verify that. Pretty sure it's possible though....

I think animal husbandry in general would be a great addition. But, for me, most interesting is the thought of catching wild birds and taming them. Currently, you can find bird nests with eggs, so maybe it would be possible to have a steady supply of eggs from tamed birds (and feathers for arrows?).

Then once eggs are a steady part of ones diet we need scrambled eggs with сала / bacon!! Yum!
« Last Edit: August 17, 2017, 09:14:10 AM by wolfman00 »

« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2017, 12:10:35 PM »
The Roleplayer Likes these suggestions. All are good.

I know that sheep can be scared and try to run away, though I don't know how, perhaps that mechanic can be expanded on to include other animals.

On a similar note, how about rams and bulls try to do their jobs and protect the herd's females, I mean isn't that one of the reasons that they have those horns.


« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2017, 02:45:56 PM »
In a lot of animals the horns (etc) are used to "protect" the harem against competing males, not predators. Cows have horns and use them to protect calves (and horses form rings around calves to kick predators with their hind legs as protection of foals), but I'm not sure bulls and rams care about anything but saving their own skin.
In fact, many herd animals have the females and young live together, with the males living alone except for the mating period.

« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2017, 05:39:42 PM »
Huh the more you know.


« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2017, 07:20:23 AM »
i assume the boars are male, to balance the sows (in wild encounters). technically it can be a term for all wild pigs, i guess.


« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2018, 04:07:09 PM »
i personally would like to use ropes/cord and a cow/bull to haul tree trunks- its got to be better than doing it myself


« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2018, 05:14:57 PM »
Cows are strong enough to carry logs (at least some cows, but I think all of them). Push the log onto the cow, lead the cow to the destination, get the log (i.e. pull it off).