While it’s easy to get carried away trying to feed the entire world from your single mega farm, a major part of Stardew Valley is raising animals. Unlike your pets, which you don’t need to feed, animals will need to be fed to keep them happy (though animals in Stardew Valley do not die from not feeding them). So how much grass do you need for animals in Stardew?
While technically you don’t need any grass at all, most Stardew Valley players find smartly placed grass a great way to save on hay expenses and keep your animals happier. If you decide to use grass keep in mind each animal will eat roughly the equivalent of one patch of grass per day.
What’s interesting is that this won’t just come from one patch but will often be from “nibbling” on several different grass patches. You will need 3-4x the number of planted grass patches as you have animals, spaced out in a way that gives it room to grow if you want the grass to be sustaining.
Read on for the best strategies to set up your grass optimally for happier livestock who make you grow broke a little less quickly 🙂
How Much Grass Do I Need to Plant to Feed All My Animals in Stardew Valley?
Generally speaking each animal will eat roughly one full patch of grass per day. However, they don’t eat it completely off one space. If you pay attention to spreading wild grass you might notice some squares are completely thickly covered, some seem fairly covered, but not as big, and in some squares there’s just a hint of grass beginning to grow.
Animals feed in Stardew by taking one section of a square and then moving on to graze somewhere else. That means they might take 1/3 off one square of grass, 1/3 off another, and then graze off yet another.
A general rule of thumb for grass starters is 3 for every single animal, but how you space them out matters a lot. Because if it’s all placed by the barn the animals might wipe out an entire section, which makes it hard to grow out more grass.
The way you space them out makes a difference in how effective the grass will be in spreading and how effective it will be at feeding your animals without needing additional hay or grass planting.
Keep in mind the minimum of 3 grass starters per animal minimum, and then jump to the next section to see what your options are for the best min-max grass layouts for animals in Stardew Valley.
How Should I Lay Out My Grass in Stardew Valley?
There are three main strategies for laying out grass in Stardew Valley in a way that will help your grass last longer and still provide all the natural feed that your animals need to stay healthy and producing.
The 3-1 Grass Method for Grass Setup
The 3-1 grass method is one where you use fence posts or lightning rods (my personal preference) to create a pasture that not only provides grass for your animals but helps to guarantee that respawning of grass will continue to happen so overly hungry animals won’t clear cut your pasture in a day or two.
This 3-1 design can be a great way to pace out the grass and make sure even as the animals graze that some more will continue to grow. This is a viable method that makes a lot of sense and works well from a practical standpoint to fill out grazing areas.
Warning: Don’t put these fence posts or lightning rods too close to the barn door, especially if you have a lot of pigs since I have seen animals blocked out of the barn doors due to truffles and posts – and this can trigger the rare potential occurrence where your animals disappear due to getting caught by (assumed) wolves while outside for the night.
The Outside-In Stardew Method
This was the first method I used, and it seems to work relatively well most of the time. Every great once in a while there is an animal or two that just acts stupid and doesn’t get to grass to eat, but for the most part as long as you plant enough grass this will work. This is also a method that works well if you let your animals graze openly instead of keeping them in pens.
Basically imagine a big U with the bottom heavily planted and spread out. This creates a large amount of grass that most animals must move a decent distance to eat, and allows grass to grow in from each side and keep re-growing at the bottom. This is a simpler and more basic method of the corner up and while it can work consistently, it is a bit easier to pull off with open grazing or especially large animal pens.
The Corner-Up Method
This is one of the best methods for planting grass in a fenced-in area for your animals, especially if you don’t want to use standalone fence posts or lightning rods to prevent your animals from completely clean clearing the entire pasture of grass. This
You can find this post from user intoxiqued on Redditt that actually goes over this process fairly thoroughly, including three screenshots that follow step by step explanation to help show the idea behind the setup.
This does a great job of showing the Corner-Up method for efficiently and effectively creating grass that continues to grow and provide long-term food for your animals without further investment and is probably the best way for using grass to feed your livestock in Stardew Valley without having to make more purchases.
It is a much more well designed version of the bottom up, actually taking into account how animals work in the game in how they graze and decide on what grass to feed from throughout the day.
Using the smart planting technique of having a lightning rod or fence post on some grass is a great way to make sure you have grass keep spawning out for your animals to eat. While the amount of grass your animals eat can be wildly inconsistent, especially when fenced in versus allowed to free roam a large area, by following the grass designs in this article you will have no problem setting up a ranching area that will keep your animals happy in Stardew Valley.
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Proud to embrace the locally created moniker of “Corrupt Overlord” from one of the all time great Lords of Waterdeep runs, Shane is one member of the Assorted Meeples crew and will be hard at work creating awesome content for the website. He is a long-time player of board games, one time semi-professional poker player, and tends to run to the quirky or RPG side of things when it comes to playing video games. He loves tabletop roleplaying systems like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Werewolf, Fate, and others, and not only has been a player but has run games as DM for years. You can find his other work in publications like Level Skip or Hobby Lark.