DF2014:Egg production

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This article is about the current version of DF.

Egg production, like the meat industry, beekeeping industry, fishing industry, and farming, creates food. In egg production, collection and cooking of eggs is the primary activity, as, over time, domestic poultry, such as chickens, can produce much more food as eggs than the same animal produces as meat when butchered (1 egg = 1 meat = 1 meal). When starting out a new fortress, raising poultry can be an excellent way to quickly fill up your food barrels as it requires very little set-up for your dwarves. As a by-product of egg production, older or excess animals can be butchered as part of the meat industry.

Acquiring egg-laying animals[edit]

There are several sources for obtaining egg-laying animals, outlined below.

Embark[edit]

You can buy domestic poultry at embark and even decide how many males and females of each animal you embark with. Since you don't need males to produce eggs, and need only one male to breed, you could embark with three or four hens, and a single rooster. Poultry animals are very economical to purchase at embark, costing only 6 each.

Of the domestic poultry, turkeys produce the most eggs per clutch on average, followed by ducks, then chickens and guineafowl. Turkeys are also the largest poultry animals, and produce the most meat and other products if butchered as part of the meat industry, with geese and blue peafowl only slightly smaller. All domestic poultry become adults one year after hatching, but geese, blue peafowl, and guineafowl grow to full size at one year; other poultry only reach full size after two years.

Migration[edit]

Domestic poultry may arrive at your fortress with a wave of migrants. These animals may be strays or pets.

Trading[edit]

Requires: A trade depot, a trader, a merchant, and some tradeable goods

You can purchase egg-laying animals from a caravan. While human and dwarven merchants will generally bring standard poultry, elven merchants may bring tamed exotic egg-laying animals, which may prove useful for value or defense purposes.

Cage traps[edit]

Requires: Cages, mechanisms, a mechanic, animal training zone and an animal trainer

It is also possible to catch egg-laying animals through judicious use of cage traps. This, of course, involves building cage traps where these animals will walk or fly. Once they are trapped the caged animal (or invader) will be delivered to an animal stockpile and the trap will be reset with a fresh cage.

Cage traps should be built where animals will walk, not where they are when you decide to trap them. Any dwarves sent out to create and arm traps in the animals' midst will scare them away, or trigger their aggression. To successfully trap large animals, form a choke point some distance away from them: build walls, perhaps several z-levels high, to create a continuous barrier to movement.

Leave a small gap one or two tiles wide (depending on how many of the critters you want to trap) and build your cage traps there. If the animals haven't moved off or been scared off by the time you're done, and they're docile enough to not attack once they see your dwarves, use military orders to send a dwarf (or several) around behind the animals and herd them toward the choke point.

Note also that cage traps cannot be built within a certain number of tiles of the map edge, so when planning your funnels and choke points, be sure to leave four or five tiles as a buffer zone.

What wild egg-layers are available depends highly on the biome. In general, most maps have flying birds of one kind or another, but they tend to stay up in the air, where cage traps can't get them. Several underground creatures are egg-layers, and as such are available on every map, such as the crundle, elk bird or the rare and dangerous jabberer.

Egg-laying animals that are caught in a cage trap need to be tamed by an animal trainer at an animal training zone before they can be safely used to produce eggs. Note that you are not limited to standard domestic poultry; some of the most lucrative and prolific egg-layers are reptiles.

Breeding[edit]

Requires: One or more adult females and one adult male of each species, one or more nest boxes, and time

If a compatible male and a female of the same species are adjacent to each other and there is an open constructed nest box for the female to occupy and lay a clutch of eggs in, then sooner or later (and probably sooner) the male will fertilize the eggs laid by the female. A female can lay a clutch of eggs again immediately after the last clutch hatches. A female that cannot claim a nest box will not lay a clutch of eggs.

A fertilized clutch will only hatch if they are left in the nest box undisturbed and their mother is allowed to incubate the eggs. Collecting the eggs, slaughtering or training the mother, or deconstructing the nest box will all prevent the eggs from hatching. A clutch of eggs to be used for breeding should be forbidden to prevent their collection. Even if the eggs and mother are left undisturbed, it is possible that clutch was not fertilized. Eggs that don't hatch after two seasons will likely never hatch. To make sure that the eggs are left undisturbed, make sure that no stockpiles accept that type of egg, and if you cook any meals make sure that that type of egg is turned off in the kitchen sub-screen of the status screen. Alternatively, you can put the nest boxes in a room behind a door and forbid the door to keep your dwarves away from the eggs.

As a large number of free-roaming animals will reduce your game speed, a common strategy is to cage all your young poultry until they mature. Keep in mind, though, that some tamed wild species take more than a year to mature, unlike most domestic animals. For example, it may be excusable to butcher a saltwater crocodile hatchling right away, rather than wait 3 years for it to mature and produce more meat and bones.

Using cage traps judiciously (or taking advantage of the animals elves trade) can sometimes snag you a breeding pair of a wild animal. Tame something unusual and start something crazy, like a cave crocodile farm!

Capture[edit]

Through the use of expeditions a player can capture animals not otherwise available. For example raiding a goblin settlement may yield beak dogs which, curiously, lay eggs.

Egg collection[edit]

Requires: A tame adult female egg-laying animal, a nest box, and food hauling

Once you have at least one tame adult female egg-laying animal, you need to build a nest box to begin production of delicious and filling eggs. Every so often, the adult females will claim a nest box and lay a clutch of eggs. Then, a food hauler will collect the eggs and move them to a food stockpile. Food hauling is an unskilled labor, so any dwarf in the fortress can do it. Egg collection is a great way to use those peasants that otherwise just move boulders around the fortress.

Eggs must be cooked into prepared meals at a kitchen before they can be eaten by dwarves.

Egg-laying animals[edit]

Outdoor Animals
Animal Body Size (max) Maturation Time (years) Max Age (years) Number of Eggs Egg Size** Notes
Adder 150 0* 15-20 3-10 16
Albatross 8,000 1 40-50 1 305
Alligator 400,000 1 60-100 10-30 80
Alligator snapping turtle 80,000 0* 30-70 5-10 70
Barn owl 500 1 10-20 3-6 32
Beak dog 150,000 1 10-20 5-10 1600 Domestic in goblin civilizations.
Not tameable until v0.44.07.
Black mamba 5,000 0* 10-15 10-30 50
Blue peafowl 4,000 1 15-30 6-8 102 Domestic
Bushmaster 8,500 0* 12-24 10-20 22
Buzzard 1,400 1 10-20 2-3 60
Cassowary 50,000 1 40-50 3-6 550
Chicken 3,000 1 7-15 4-15 62 Domestic
Common snapping turtle 30,000 0* 30-50 5-10 50
Desert tortoise 5,500 1 80-100 3-5 40
Duck 1,000 1 7-9 8-13 52 Domestic
Eagle 4,000 1 20-30 1-3 142
Echidna 10,000 1 10-20 1 1
Emperor penguin 30,000 1 20-50 1 465 Not tameable
Emu 35,000 1 15-25 5-15 805
Giant adder 201,049 0* 15-20 3-10 16
Giant albatross 256,320 1 40-50 1 305
Giant alligator 3,268,000 1 60-100 10-30 80
Giant anole 200,629 0* 5-7 1-2 10
Giant barn owl 203,500 1 10-20 3-6 32
Giant black mamba 235,100 0* 10-15 10-30 50
Giant bluejay 200,700 1 10-20 2-7 11
Giant bushmaster 259,845 0* 12-24 10-20 22
Giant bushtit 200,035 1 1-2 5-13 1
Giant buzzard 209,804 1 10-20 2-3 60
Giant cardinal 200,350 1 10-20 2-5 9
Giant cassowary 560,000 1 40-50 3-6 550
Giant chameleon 201,049 0* 5-10 40-50 10
Giant cockatiel 200,629 1 15-30 2-8 11
Giant crow 203,500 1 10-15 4-6 21
Giant desert tortoise 238,645 1 80-100 3-5 40
Giant eagle 228,040 1 20-30 1-3 142
Giant echidna 270,500 1 10-20 1 1
Giant emu 450,100 1 15-25 5-15 805
Giant gila monster 214,020 1 20-30 2-12 32
Giant grackle 200,840 1 10-20 1-7 12
Giant great horned owl 214,020 1 15-20 1-5 51
Giant grey parrot 202,800 1 40-60 1-5 40
Giant hornbill 217,525 1 35-40 1-4 50
Giant iguana 228,040 1 10-20 40-50 15
Giant kakapo 221,040 7 60-120 1-4 52
Giant kea 207,010 1 30-50 2-5 62
Giant kestrel 201,750 1 10-20 3-6 32
Giant king cobra 242,160 0* 15-25 10-30 5
Giant kingsnake 210,510 0* 20-30 5-12 20
Giant kiwi 217,525 1 20-50 1-2 450
Giant loon 242,160 1 25-30 2-4 152
Giant lorikeet 201,400 1 15-30 2 11
Giant magpie 201,400 1 10-20 2-5 11
Giant masked lovebird 200,629 1 10-15 4-5 7
Giant monitor lizard 933,000 1 20-30 15-25 70
Giant oriole 200,280 1 10-20 3-7 8
Giant osprey 214,020 1 20-30 2-4 60
Giant ostrich 857,700 1 35-45 10-15 2000
Giant parakeet 200,840 1 15-25 2-4 11
Giant peach-faced lovebird 200,419 1 10-15 4-6 9
Giant peregrine falcon 113,292 1 12-15 3-4 46
Giant platypus 214,020 1 10-20 1-3 11
Giant pond turtle 203,500 0* 40-100 1-15 6
Giant puffin 205,252 1 15-20 1 30
Giant python 1,700,000 0* 10-20 10-30 50
Giant raven 208,404 1 20-40 3-7 52
Giant red-winged blackbird 200,350 1 10-20 2-4 11
Giant saltwater crocodile 6,440,000 3 60-100 20-70 100
Giant skink 203,500 0* 15-20 10-30 10
Giant snapping turtle 414,000 0* 30-50 5-10 50
Giant snowy owl 214,020 1 10-30 5-10 62
Giant sparrow 200,210 1 5-10 2-7 3
Giant swan 270,500 1 10-25 5-7 340
Giant tortoise 300,000 1 100-200 5-10 82
Giant vulture 263,430 1 10-20 1-3 60
Giant white stork 221,040 1 20-40 1-7 110
Giant wren 200,280 1 5-7 3-10 5
Gigantic tortoise 2,478,000 1 100-200 5-10 82
Gila monster 2,000 1 20-30 2-12 32
Goose 4,500 1 10-24 3-8 152 Domestic
Great horned owl 2,000 1 15-20 1-5 51
Grey parrot 400 1 40-60 1-5 40
Guineafowl 1,500 1 10-15 4-15 42 Domestic
Hornbill 2,500 1 35-40 1-4 50
Iguana 4,000 1 10-20 40-50 15
Kakapo 3,000 7 60-120 1-4 52
Kea 1,000 1 30-50 2-5 62
Kestrel 250 1 10-20 3-6 32
King cobra 6,000 0* 15-25 10-30 5
Kingsnake 1,500 0* 20-30 5-12 20
Kiwi 2,500 1 20-50 1-2 450
Kobold 20,000 12 150-170 1-2 1100 Forms crude civilizations, not tameable
Little penguin 1,500 1 20-30 2 53 Not tameable
Loon 6,000 1 25-30 2-4 152
Monitor lizard 100,000 1 20-30 15-25 70
Osprey 2,000 1 20-30 2-4 60
Ostrich 90,000 1 35-45 10-15 2,000
Penguin 4,000 1 20-30 2 125 Not tameable
Peregrine falcon 600 1 12-15 3-4 46
Platypus 2,000 1 10-20 1-3 11
Puffin 750 1 15-20 1 30
Python 200,000 0* 10-20 10-30 50
Raven 1,200 1 20-40 3-7 52
Saltwater crocodile 800,000 3 60-100 20-70 100
Sea serpent 9,000,000 6 150-175 1 6100 Aquatic, cannot lay eggs due to a bug.Bug:4105
Snowy owl 2,000 1 10-30 5-10 62
Swan 10,000 1 10-25 5-7 340
Turkey 5,000 1 7-10 10-14 87 Domestic
Vulture 9,000 1 10-20 1-3 60
White stork 3,000 1 20-40 1-7 110
* This creature cannot be fully tamed by dwarves, and thus will require frequent training.
** Egg size does not currently affect food quantity.


Subterranean Animals
Animal Body Size (max) Maturation Time (years) Max Age (years) Number of Eggs Egg Size** Notes
Cave crocodile 600,000 3 60-100 20-60 80
Cave dragon 15,000,000 0* Immortal 1-3 6100
Crundle 10,000 0* 10-20 5-20 60
Elk bird 100,000 1 10-20 2-10 60 Grazer, may starve itself to death while incubating eggs.Bug:4637
Giant cave swallow 200,000 1 10-20 2-3 2100
Helmet snake 50,000 0* 40-60 10-30 50
Jabberer 4,500,000 1 10-20 1-2 5100
* This creature cannot be fully tamed by dwarves, and thus will require frequent training.
** Egg size does not currently affect food quantity.


Megabeasts
Animal Body Size (max) Maturation Time (years) Max Age (years) Number of Eggs Egg Size** Notes
Dragon 25,000,000 0* Immortal 1-3 6100
Roc 20,000,000 1 Immortal 1-2 201000
* This creature cannot be fully tamed by dwarves, and thus will require frequent training.
** Egg size does not currently affect food quantity.


Animal people[edit]

Animal People*
Animal Body Size (max) Maturation Time (years) Max Age (years) Number of Eggs Egg Size** Notes
Adder man 35,075 0 60-80 3-10 16
Albatross man 39,000 1 60-80 1 305
Alligator man 235,000 1 60-80 10-30 80
Anole man 35,045 0 60-80 1-2 10
Barn owl man 35,250 1 60-80 3-6 32
Black mamba man 37,500 0 60-80 10-30 50
Bluejay man 35,050 1 60-80 2-7 11
Bushmaster man 39,250 0 60-80 10-20 22
Bushtit man 35,002 1 60-80 5-13 1
Buzzard man 35,700 1 60-80 2-3 60
Cardinal man 35,025 1 60-80 2-5 9
Cassowary man 60,000 1 60-80 3-6 550
Cave swallow man 35,050 1 20-30 4-5 11
Chameleon man 35,075 0 60-80 40-50 10
Cockatiel man 35,045 1 60-80 2-8 11
Crow man 35,250 1 60-80 4-6 21
Desert tortoise man 37,750 1 60-89 3-5 40
Eagle man 37,000 1 60-80 1-3 142
Echidna man 40,000 1 60-80 1 1
Emu man 52,500 1 60-80 5-15 805
Giant tortoise man 185,000 1 60-80 5-10 82
Gila monster man 36,000 1 60-80 2-12 32
Grackle man 35,060 1 60-80 1-7 12
Great horned owl man 36,000 1 60-80 1-5 51
Grey parrot man 35,200 1 60-80 1-5 40
Hornbill man 36,250 1 60-80 1-4 50
Iguana man 37,000 1 60-80 40-50 15
Kakapo man 36,500 7 60-80 1-4 52
Kea man 35,500 1 60-80 2-5 62
Kestrel man 35,125 1 60-80 3-6 32
King cobra man 38,000 0 60-80 10-30 5
Kingsnake man 35,750 0 60-80 5-12 20
Kiwi man 36,250 1 60-80 1-2 450
Loon man 38,000 1 60-80 2-4 152
Lorikeet man 35,100 1 60-80 2 11
Magpie man 35,100 1 60-80 2-5 11
Masked lovebird man 35,045 1 60-80 4-5 7
Monitor lizard man 85,000 1 60-80 15-25 70
Oriole man 35,020 1 60-80 3-7 8
Osprey man 36,000 1 60-80 2-4 60
Ostrich man 80,000 1 60-80 10-15 2000
Parakeet man 35,060 1 60-80 2-4 11
Peach-faced lovebird man 35,030 1 60-80 4-6 9
Peregrine falcon man 35,300 1 60-80 3-4 46
Platypus man 36,000 1 60-80 1-3 11
Pond turtle man 35,250 0 60-80 1-15 6
Puffin man 35,375 1 60-80 1 30
Python man 135,000 0 60-80 10-30 50
Raven man 35,600 1 60-80 3-7 52
Red-winged blackbird man 35,025 1 60-80 2-4 11
Reptile man 50,000 12 60-80 1-3 1600
Saltwater crocodile man 435,000 3 60-80 20-70 100
Serpent man 50,000 12 60-80 1-3 1600
Skink man 35,250 0 60-80 10-30 10
Snapping turtle man 50,000 0 60-80 5-10 50
Snowy owl man 36,000 1 60-80 5-10 62
Sparrow man 35,015 1 60-80 2-7 3
Swan man 40,000 1 60-80 5-7 340
Vulture man 39,500 1 60-80 1-3 60
White stork man 36,500 1 60-80 1-7 110
Wren man 35,020 1 60-80 3-10 5
* Animal people cannot be tamed, but they can join civilizations during worldgen and later arrive as visitors.
** Egg size does not currently affect food quantity.'


Vermin*
Animal Body Size (max) Maturation Time (years) Max Age (years) Number of Eggs Egg Size** Notes
Anole 90 0 5-7 1-2 10
Blue jay 100 1 10-20 2-7 11
Bushtit 5 1 1-2 5-13 1
Cardinal 50 1 10-20 2-5 9
Cave swallow 100 1 10-20 4-5 11
Chameleon 150 0 5-10 40-50 10
Cockatiel 90 1 15-30 2-8 11
Crow 500 1 10-15 4-6 21
Grackle 120 1 10-20 1-7 12
Lorikeet 200 1 15-30 2 11
Magpie 200 1 10-20 2-5 11
Masked lovebird 90 1 10-15 4-5 7
Oriole 40 1 10-20 3-7 8
Parakeet 120 1 15-25 2-4 11
Peach-faced lovebird 60 1 10-15 4-6 9
Pond turtle 500 0 40-100 1-15 6
Red-winged blackbird 50 1 10-20 2-4 11
Skink 500 0 15-20 10-30 10
Sparrow 30 1 5-10 2-7 3
Two-legged rhino lizard 1,000 1 2-3 10-30 40
Wren 40 1 5-7 3-10 5
* Vermin cannot currently be used for egg production in fortress mode.
** Egg size does not currently affect food quantity.'

Bugs[edit]

Aquatic egg-laying animals will not claim a nest box. It doesn't matter if the box is built underwater or on land. Bug:4105