I have a breeding area filled with chickens. What I'd like to do is set up the area such that any eggs laid therein are automatically shuffled out of the pen to a place where it's easy to pick them up.

My current thought is that because chickens float I could replace all the grass with water. Then any eggs would float to the bottom of the lake. However from there I'm a bit stuck, as I don't know how to collect them once they're at the bottom. I'm thinking a water current of some kind, but how do I accomplish that at the bottom of a lake?

Any other ideas?

  • 2
    Signs to stop water flow, and then water to push eggs?
    – Domocus
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 0:48
  • 1
    Please do not prefix titles with tags. Tags are for the tags, and they can go in the title when they fit (see the comment by Jeff:"it's fine to put whatever you think makes sense in the title organically, so long as it is not in brackets at the start of the title.". Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 4:53

5 Answers 5


I've always held water containing the chickens up with signs, so there can be air below it. Then place another stream of water below this to carry the eggs to wherever you want them.

C C C   <-chickens
WWWWW   <-chicken pool water
-----   <-signs
WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW <-collection stream

This should allow the chickens to float, but the eggs will sink into the collection stream. Let me know if this works out, haven't done this in several updates.

  • 3
    I built one of these recently and it still works in 1.0.0. The water only needs to be one layer thick.
    – Kevin Reid
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 3:14
  • Thanks for confirmation. Yeah 2 layers of water in the pool is unnecessary, fixed.
    – Cory J
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 3:31
  • i would suggest to add hoppers or droppers at the bottom of the lake instead of signs with air. (or both methods) this automatically collects everything and makes sure the eggs dont de-spawn after 5 minutes of intensive digging and exploring. Commented Jun 12, 2013 at 12:39

I have used the following approach, which requires no signs, and only one water source per "slice". This is a cross sectional view (or a slice), you can repeat this pattern as many times as you want.

DC C CD         <-chickens
DWFFFFD         <-chicken pool water
DDDDDFFFFFFF    <-collection Stream 
DDDDDDDDDDDDD   <- Collection point on top of last D in this diagram
D -> dirt
C -> Chicken 
W -> Water Source
F -> Flowing Water
  • Very nice! I like that it doesn't leverage signs.
    – fbrereto
    Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 16:46

In Minecraft 1.5.1 you can use the new equipments to collect eggs easier,


(where the hopper faces)

So when Chickens lays eggs the hopper collects it, then transfers it into the chest.





W = Water
X = Any Solid Block
F = The Flowing Water
C = Chicken

Chickens will automatically try to float. Rarely though, a chicken will miss a beat an fall under block such as ice. Adding an air hole will make them come right back up. Because it is still possible for it to fall under again, another airhole is crucial. If you have a chicken SPAWNER then you can seal off all airholes, and make sure that one block is a GRASS block. This will make them spawn and be pushed underwater through the tube and drowned. You will also have to greatly extend the drop. The final drop collector should be no more then seven blocks long.

Things to know:

  • Chickens can fit in 1x1 spaces.
  • Water flows seven blocks until it stops, or drops one block.
  • Water cannot flow on itself, which means if water is flowing, it will not flow OVER another block of water.
  • Chickens will not be killed by fall damage as they float just before landing.
  • Chickens can be spawned in the nether.
  • Water will evaporate in the nether.
  • Chickens drop eggs while alive, and feathers and raw chicken when killed.
  • Chickens drop cooked chicken when kill by fire.
  • Chickens drop 1-3 experience ONLY if you deal at least one damage to them.
  • Chickens have the same amount of breath that you have.
  • Chickens will only spawn on grass in well lit areas.
  • Chickens will only SPAWN on the first time you create a world, or with spawners.
  • Chickens will no longer despawn, nor will any other mob.
  • To breed a chicken, get two chickens, and give both of them one wheat.
  • A chicken egg will not spawn an adult chicken, but a baby chicken.
  • Baby chickens grow to adults after about twenty minutes.
  • Wheat?! You mean that chickens are bred with seeds. Were in previous versions chickens bred with wheat? @Helpful Friend
    – John
    Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 10:54

Try putting a hopper on the bottom of the lake with a chest below(try to leave a distance of a block between those two,I don't remember exactly if you need the distance. Anyway the hopper will take the eggs and will put them into the chest below. Otherwise,if you haven't put the chest,the hopper will fill up faster and you will need to go take the eggs more often. I have other suggestion for your chicken house:knowing that items slide on stairs,you can put chickens to stay on some stairs that lead(downwards) to a hopper.

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