23a:Animal trap

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This article is about an older version of DF.
For information on other types of traps, or trapping non-vermin land animals see Trap.

Animal traps are special traps used to catch live vermin or fish from the river, not (large) land animals. Creating an animal trap requires a dwarf with the trapping labor designated, rather than carpentry or metalsmithing, despite the fact that they are constructed at a carpenter's workshop or a metalsmith's forge. You may want to build separate workshops or forges to construct animal traps if you do it large scale, for if you do not have an unoccupied dwarf with the trapping skill active, work will grind to a halt as your carpenters and smiths wait for the construct animal trap job to be finished before they can get to their tasks.

Animal traps are stored by default in animal stockpiles when empty or containing an animal. They can be used for trapping animals in two ways - either by defining a Capture Live Land Animal task at the Kennels or by building them as an Animal Trap.

When used via the kennels, a dwarf with the Trapping labor enabled will pick up an animal trap and head to an area with nearby vermin, usually a food stockpile. If he finds one he will bundle the animal into the trap and drop it. The trap will then be retrieved by a dwarf with Animal Hauling enabled and dropped in an animal stockpile.

When used via the build menu, the traps are constructed by a dwarf with the trapping labor enabled, using either a wooden or metal trap created previously from a Carpenter's shop or Forge. Once constructed, examining it with q will allow you to set the bait to be added to the trap. Set traps can be baited with nothing (z, the inactive state), meat, fish or a large gem (which does not work). Once placed and baited, you simply have to wait for an animal to walk in and trigger the trap. Meat used as bait can and will rot, releasing miasma, if the trap is not triggered first. Traps are not guaranteed to successfully capture an animal. The bait will be stolen if the trap fails to go off, but the trap remains set and simply needs rebaiting. The chance of a trap successfully capturing a vermin varies based on the trap's quality - 50% for base-quality, 65% for well-crafted, 75% for finely-crafted, 85% for superior, 95% for exceptional, and 100% for masterwork.

In order to catch cave lobsters, purring maggots, or fire snakes, the animal trap must be built directly over the cave river, chasm, or magma flow. Normal fish cannot be captured using this method - instead, you must use the "capture live fish" command issued from the fishery. Live captured fish should be placed in a filled aquarium or pond as soon as they are caught - if they are not, they will die within about 16 days and turn into raw fish to be cleaned at a fishery.

Baiting with large gems is non-functional - the "bait trap" job will cancel due to "need large gem" whether or not you have any, and even if the bait were somehow added to the trap (e.g. via memory hacking), no creature would ever set it off. Baiting should be done with care if you have recently butchered any large animals, as an entire stack of meat or fish will be placed into the trap rather than just a single unit.

Once an animal is caught in a built and baited trap, the game will pause, zooming to the trap, and you will receive an announcement telling you what you caught. The trap will automatically be slated for removal, and one of your dwarves will deconstruct it and move the trap containing the animal back to the animal stockpile. Unlike a normal cage trap, the animal trap must be manually rebuilt and baited.

At the moment, the most important creature to capture is the purring maggot, which can be milked.

The sorts of small animal that these traps can catch aren't butcherable and, aside from milking purring maggots, provide no raw materials. A few vermin can have substances extracted from them, and others can be tamed as pets.

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