|This article is about an older version of DF.|
Pastures are a feature that was released with version 0.31.19 and are activity zones that the player creates to hold tame animals, especially grazing animals. Herbivorous animals now require grass, cave moss or floor fungus to graze upon, and larger herbivores require a greater amount of grass to feed themselves. Some animals require special dietary needs (bamboo etc) rather than grass to graze. Using pastures allows herbivorous animals to be restricted to areas that they will have access to graze.
A pasture is defined using - to draw a rectangle, and then animals are selected to graze. Having pressed to define a zone, highlight the pasture and press (+), select the animal(s) you wish to pasture using / and pressing . Once all animals are selected, finish by pressing and idle dwarves with animal hauling will lead the animals to pasture.
Any tame animal may be assigned to a pasture. You can also assign pastures inside and use them to put animals that do not need to eat in certain areas. If there is fungus or moss on your indoor floors the animals will consume that in place of grass.
Grazing animals and pasture size
Grazing animals use the [GRAZER:<value>] token to signify how much grass they need to eat. This is an inverse number - the value in grazer signifies how much hunger is reduced when eating a unit of grass. A creature with ten times the grazer value needs one tenth the amount of grass (and hence, pasture land) as a creature with a small grazer value. If you started your fortress in an undead biome you may need to assign more space for a pasture as much of the grass is dead. Animals will not eat dead grass and will only eat the still living patches.
Animals which graze are typically good livestock candidates, as many of them produce wool or milk, and the only creatures which can produce both wool and milk are grazers. Creatures with larger sizes consume more grass, but also produce more meat when butchered.
Each time unit adds one point to hunger. An animal takes an average of one turn per ten time units, and takes one time unit to eat grass. If there were an unlimited amount of grass on a tile, even animals with [GRAZER:1] would be able to feed themselves, however there are at most 4 bunches of grass. Therefore, a creature of standard speed and agility with [GRAZER:3] would not be able to survive, and creatures with [GRAZER:4] require a constant source of grass (in other words infinite sized pastures) to survive. In practice, anything with [GRAZER:20] or less is completely incapable of feeding itself. Because of this, the larger creatures like dralthas are virtually impossible to keep fed, and elephants are incapable of feeding themselves fast enough to stave off starvation.
If grazing animals consume all the grass on a tile, the tile will be reverted to the base layer material. This may be sand, clay or soil In this way you receive a visual clue as to the size of the pasture required. Grass does not grow back on mountain biomes.Bug:4164v0.31.21
It is possible to overcrowd a pasture. Animals may become enraged and start fights. This is similar to a dwarf throwing a tantrum and can be solved by enlarging your pasture or keeping fewer animals in it.
Another possibility is to split a large pasture which holds many animals into several smaller pastures, with the pasture size reflecting the amount of grazing the animal needs to survive. Animals will only fight each other if their pasture is sharing the same tiles as the creature they are fighting with[Verify].
This can be used to safely get rid of immigrant pets or cat infestation (pasture them outside fortress to serve as early warning system and meatshield or pasture them inside a room that then gets accidentally filled with magma).
Note that while a pasture is a quick way of placing animals exactly in one defined area, it does not restrict the movement of an animal if they are threatened by an enemy - the animal will flee as normal, and will trigger an animal hauling task to re-pasture the animal once it leaves the border of the pasture. This is important as the announcement of an ambush may trigger a flood of animal haulers rushing to the pasture and into the face of the enemy.
List of grazing animals
|Milkable||Shearable||Minimal Pasture Size|
|Elephant||12||5,000,000||Cannot Self Feed (Graze Value <= 20)|
|Rhinoceros||20||3,000,000||Cannot Self Feed (Graze Value <= 20)|
|Giant Bull Moose||23||4,257,750||29 x 29|
|Draltha||24||2,500,000||29 x 29|
|Giant Moose Cow||38||2,554,650||28 x 28|
|Water buffalo||60||1,000,000||Yes||18 x 18|
|Giraffe||60||1,000,000||18 x 18|
|Yak||85||700,000||Yes||16 x 16|
|Gigantic panda||92||1,160,900||N/A (only eat bamboo, will starve without it)|
|Cow||100||600,000||Yes||14 x 14|
|Unicorn||100||600,000||14 x 14|
|Bull Moose||114||525,000||14 x 14|
|Horse||120||500,000||Yes||13 x 13|
|Camel (both)||120||500,000||Yes||13 x 13|
|Giant capybara||133||523,350||13 x 13|
|Mule||150||400,000||12 x 12|
|Cow Moose||190||315,000||11 x 11|
|Donkey||200||300,000||Yes||10 x 10|
|Elk||200||300,000||10 x 10|
|Muskox||210||285,000||10 x 10|
|Llama||333||180,000||Yes||Yes||8 x 8|
|Deer||428||140,000||7 x 7|
|Reindeer||461||130,000||Yes||7 x 7|
|Panda||462||130,000||N/A (only eat bamboo, will starve without it)|
|Warthog||600||100,000||6 x 6|
|Elk bird||600||100,000||6 x 6|
|Alpaca||857||70,000||Yes||Yes||5 x 5|
|Pig||1,000||60,000||Yes||5 x 5|
|Sheep||1,200||50,000||Yes||Yes||4 x 4|
|Goat||1,200||50,000||Yes||4 x 4|
|Mountain goat||1,200||50,000||4 x 4|
|Capybara||1,333||45,000||4 x 4|
|Gazelle||3,000||20,000||3 x 3|
|Hoary marmot||6,000||10,000||2 x 2|
|Groundhog||20,000||3,000||1 x 1|
|Cavy||75,000||800||1 x 1 (can feed up to 3 cavies)|
|Rabbit||120,000||500||1 x 1 (can feed up to 5 rabbits)|