As of Minecraft 1.14, dispensers with shears can shear sheep with wool whose hitbox is inside the block in front of it.

I would like to know whether an automatic wool farm with free-running sheep would work. But for this, I would need to know what happens if more than one sheep is present at the dispenser.

In the case of multiple sheep in range, will the dispenser:

  1. Randomly select a sheep with wool, and shear it;
  2. Randomly select a sheep, and shear it if it has wool;
  3. Do nothing;
  4. Or some other behaviour?

Relevant links:

Wool Farming Tutorial

  • 3
    i cant provide a technical answer, but I tested it in creative, and I believe that it selects a random sheep and shears it.
    – Millard
    Feb 28 at 22:06
  • 1
    Thank you @Millard! I'm most curious about the case when there is one sheep with wool and one without. Would it try to shear the one without? I'll do some more extensive testing when I'm able. Feb 28 at 22:09
  • 2
    Yeah I tested for that, and it seemed to always sheared the one with wool. I didn't have a case where the dispenser powered and no sheep was sheared. To be fair I didn't do many tests tho. It might be worth more tests. Good luck with your project. =)
    – Millard
    Feb 28 at 22:33
  • 1
    I'm curious, why do you want a free range auto sheep farm? Just for fun?
    – Millard
    Mar 7 at 16:02
  • Mainly aesthetics. I’m wanting to make my farms as “humane” as possible (as much as that concept exists in MC). I ended up going with cells for each sheep colour. The observer-dispenser mechanism doesn’t tile well. Mar 8 at 18:37

1 Answer 1


I dont think it bothers shearing/using durability if the sheep (or in your case, sheep) doesnt have any wool. In the case of multiple sheep within range of the dispenser, it likely picks at random (among the eligible sheep of course, aka the ones with wool).

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