Given chickens, sheep, and cattle, which livestock provides the most efficient (i.e. highest yield) source of food given a 20x20 field.

Does the answer change given different sized field?

Is one livestock type more efficient for any period of time (i.e. Chickens are more efficient for the first 5 years, after that cattle).

  • Chicken. They duplicate like stemcells.. Feb 27, 2014 at 4:39
  • I would also suspect chicken, but not because of their reproduction rate but because their by-product (eggs) is also edible. But an answer to this question should contain some kind of prove.
    – Philipp
    Feb 27, 2014 at 13:04
  • @Assylum But do chicken give you the same amount of food-units per butchered animal as cattle or sheep?
    – Philipp
    Feb 27, 2014 at 13:11
  • @Assylum I just found out that butchering a sheep gives you 200 units of food while a chicken gives you a mere 4. I doubt that chicken reproduce more than 50 times as fast as sheep. But there are still their eggs. I still need numbers for cattle (I don't have any in any of my towns).
    – Philipp
    Feb 27, 2014 at 17:18
  • @Philipp But you can have a lot more chicken on the same space. Feb 27, 2014 at 19:23

1 Answer 1


Farm animals have a lifecycle just like humans. They get born, mature into adults, have children and die of old-age. But in contrary to humans they procreate asexually. A single animal in a pasture is enough to start a livestock industry.

No pasture will produce any meat until its population cap is reached. The maximum cap depends on the size of the pasture, but you can artificially reduce it with a slider in the menu of the pasture. When the cap of the pasture is exceeded, the herdsmen will butcher any excess animals for food. Animals which die of old-age do not provide any resources.

Of all animals chicken have the highest rate of growth. They more than double their number each year. But they also have the lowest yield of food per butchered animal: a mere 6 units.

Cattle and sheep procreate much slower. Sheep double about every 30 months, cattle slightly lower with every 36. But butchering a cow or sheep yields a whole 200 units of food, enough to feed two citizens for a year.

Looking at the production statistics window of a fully-stocked, maximum-size, maximum-workers pastries of chicken, cattle and sheep for a year and adding up the production of each season gave the following results:

              Meat   Other products
 25 Sheep     4580    384 wool
 20 Cattle    3880    110 leather
 66 Chicken    580   3054 eggs

Sheep are the preferred farm animal according to these numbers. They produce the most meat and the most clothing-material as by-product.

Cattle are quite meh compared to sheep. They produce less food and less clothing material. The only reason to have them is when you want some leather for warm coats. When it comes to leather-production, a cattle farm is more personnel-efficient than a hunters lodge, and when you count the whole forest of the hunters lodge as used space, also more space-efficient. Create three cattle-farms for each sheep-farm and you should have an equal supply of leather and wool for your tailors.

Chicken are the least efficient animals to have around. When you add up their egg- and meat production, they are still slightly less productive than cattle, and they have no other by-product you can use. But they have the advantage that they are much quicker to set up due to their high reproduction rate and they already produce food during the setup phase.

  • Doesn't it say in the "produced last season" tab of the building? Feb 28, 2014 at 17:28
  • @bd33 Just did that and updated the answer.
    – Philipp
    Feb 28, 2014 at 20:54
  • ToDo: Spade how the workers affect the population growth, including tools and education.
    – Philipp
    Feb 28, 2014 at 21:03
  • 1
    By those numbers, my 300 chickens was a poor decision :(
    – user66184
    Feb 28, 2014 at 21:19
  • Mathematically, doesn't the fact that chickens' population can explode have a significant effect on the food produced? Also, i'm pretty sure my full size chicken pastures only take 2 laborers. They fill so quick i can basically build a new full size pasture every year
    – DLeh
    Mar 13, 2014 at 17:25

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