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I have a barn and a coop. Each has several animals in. Because fences keep deteriorating and get in the way, I didn't build any. The animals can roam freely around my farm.

Is there a downside to this? Will the animals eat my crops or escape if I don't enclose them?

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They will not escape or suffer negative consequences, but it will potentially make collecting produce (such as truffles, milk, etc) more difficult due to the increased area that it might 'drop' in.

By fencing the animals into a smaller area, you can easily predict where any produce will appear - though if you wish them to graze (reducing the hay-cost for the day) they will need some long grass in the fenced area.

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    ??? My chickens always return to their coop at the end of the day. As long as you remember to close their door before going to bed, they always lay their eggs in the coop. Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 17:56
  • @BlueRaja-DannyPflughoeft Didn't realise you could close that door Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 17:57
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    I've never seen eggs drop outside of the coop, door open or closed, but having a fenced in area makes it easier to find cows to milk during the day. I use stone fences, they seem to last reasonably long (two seasons?) and are cheap.
    – user86571
    Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 18:36
  • The only disadvantage I've found, and I'm not sure how much of a disadvantage it is, is that sometimes animals will apparently be too far away to find their way back to the barn at their usual 5pm, and they'll sleep outside instead.
    – Kyralessa
    Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 15:32

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