Domestic animals are creatures that can be used by dwarves one way or another without taming or training, usually for security or food. Distinguished by having the [COMMON_DOMESTIC] tag in the raws, they can be bought at embark or traded for with caravans. Wild versions of domesticated animals (horses, muskoxen, etc) can be tamed and used normally.
Every embark starts with two free domestic draft animals which pull the wagon to the fortress site. These can be any of the animals in the list below with the [WAGON_PULLER] tag (Horses, Yaks and Water Buffalos) which are available at embark. Note, the two animals may not be from the same species. Embarking with a sufficient quantity of goods can result in multiple wagons, each of which comes with another two animals. A fortress has no use for wagons after embark except to be deconstructed for wood, so these animals can be slaughtered or kept for breeding and making your dwarves happy as pets.
With the exception of the two free draft animals, the player may choose which gender of animals purchased at embark. Only one male is necessary for breeding. Depending on the animal, you may wish to limit breeding altogether.
 Comparison of domestic mammals
When butchered, all adult domestic mammals yield one skull and one raw hide. All milkable mammals give the same value milk and appear to be milkable at the same frequency. The embark costs shown apply to both adults and juveniles of either sex. All domestic mammals reach adolescence at 1 year and adulthood at 2 years, except cavies, which take half as long. All grazing animals require a pasture; the lower the 'grazer' value, the larger the size of the required pasture.
|Animal||Embark cost||Pet value||Size when full-grown*||Total edible†‡||Bones‡||Horns + hooves||Milkable?||Shearable?||Grazer§||Notes|
|Cavy||2||3||800||0||0||0||No||No||75,000||Commonly called guinea pigs|
|Cat||11||20||5,000||14||4||0||No||No||-||Adopts owners. Hunts vermin. Beware Catsplosion!|
|Dog||16||30||30,000||37||11||0||No||No||-||Trainable as war dogs or hunting dogs, which can also be bought for 31☼|
|Mule||101||200||400,000||34||13||4||No||No||150||Sterile in real life; all male in Dwarf Fortress|
|Sheep||51||100||50,000||27||8 or 10¶||4 or 6¶||Yes||Yes||1,200|
|Water Buffalo||101||200||1,000,000||70||20||6||Yes||No||60||Extreme grazing requirements. Difficult (impossible?) to keep alive while tame.|
|Yak||101||200||700,000||42||16||6||Yes||No||86||Extreme grazing requirements. Difficult to keep alive while tame.|
- * Gives a crude estimate of ability in combat, and thus danger to hunters. This number comes from the raws, so it might also be a better estimate of butchering results than the dodgy numbers from this wiki.
- † Total of meat, fat, and offal.
- ‡ Maximum reported in infoboxes in this wiki, April 2011. Strongly influenced by individual attributes, especially for larger animals. Use with caution!
- § A lower number means the animal needs to graze more often, and will thus need a larger pasture. Cats and dogs have the [CARNIVORE] tag and do not graze or require pasture.
- ¶ The higher number is for rams.
 Comparison of domestic poultry
All domestic poultry have a pet value of 10 and cost 6☼ at embark. Blue peafowl, geese, and guineafowl reach adolescence at six months and are full-grown after one year; ducks, chickens and turkeys reach adolescence at one year and are full-grown after two years. When butchered, all full-grown poultry yield one skull; those that yield bones also yield a raw hide. However, domestic poultry are much more efficient when used for egg production than as a meat source; over the lifetime of an average hen, many more meals can be produced from the eggs. This is especially true for ducks and guineafowl.
|Animal||Min. eggs||Max. eggs||Avg. eggs*||Egg size‖|| Years til
|Max Age||Size when full-grown||Total edible†‡||Bones‡|
- * Estimate based on mean of minimum and maximum clutch sizes.
- † Total of meat, fat, and intestines.
- ‡ Reported in infoboxes in this wiki, April 2011. Might be influenced by individual attributes. Use with caution!
- § A yield of 2 meat, 2 fat, a skin, and a skull has been reported for butchering a guineafowl. This seems to be rare.
- ‖ Egg size does not currently affect food quantity