The world of Minecraft offers its players a plethora of endless choices when it comes to how they want to go about their adventure.
While some players may choose to skip over starting their own farm, there are plenty of reasons to raise your own livestock.
Sheep are useful for both their wool and meat, making them necessary for any Minecraft farmer.
What Do Sheep Eat In Minecraft?
Sheep eat wheat in Minecraft, which can be found by harvesting ripe wheat or destroying the hay bales that can be found in villages.
By feeding them wheat, you can either age a young sheep or prepare an adult sheep for mating.
When using wheat to breed sheep, a sheep cannot breed again for five minutes after the baby sheep spawns.
If your sheep both have a natural fur color, the baby will most likely spawn with one of the parents’ colors.
You can use dyes to change the color of your sheep’s coat.
If the parent sheep are compatible colors, then the baby will spawn whatever color the two parents’ colors combine to be.
For example, breeding a red with a blue sheep will result in a purple baby sheep.
However, breeding a natural brown sheep with a natural white sheep will result in either a brown or white baby sheep.
Sheep are capable of spawning anywhere in a grassy biome that has at least two blocks’ worth of space above their spawn point.
About 95% of the sheep that will spawn in your world will be adults, leaving only 5% of sheep spawning as babies.
Almost 78% of them will be white, adult sheep.
Adult black, gray, and light gray sheep each make up 4.75% of the sheep spawned.
Meanwhile, adult brown sheep only make up 2.85% and the rare, natural pink sheep only make up 0.1558%.
The spawn rates for baby sheep reflect similar proportions on a smaller scale.
Most baby sheep spawn white at 4.0918%, whereas pink baby sheep only make up 0.00082% of all the sheep that spawn in the world.
Sheep may seem dumb, but they’re incredibly useful in Minecraft.
When Were Sheep Introduced To Minecraft?
Sheep weren’t originally a part of the world of Minecraft, but rather, were introduced in Java Edition Classic 0.28.
Just a couple of days before the release of the early update, sheep had been showcased on Notch’s Tumblr blog, The Word of Notch.
When sheep were first added to the game, they would drop mushrooms when they were slain by the player.
Sheep would eat grass blocks and turn them into grass blocks, allowing them to regrow their wool.
Fans were elated to have another mob in the game, especially one that was as peaceful as sheep.
However, sheep quit spawning naturally shortly after they were released during the 0.31 20091223-1 update.
This update was littered with just as many bugs as it brought features and fixes.
That’s why the 0.31 20100203 update followed it only a couple of months afterward, allowing sheep to spawn naturally into worlds once again.
With this update, sheep were also given the ability to spawn without wool, quit dropping mushrooms, and quit eating the grass around them.
However, the update accidentally made it so none of the sheep spawning had wool when they’d first spawn.
In the 20100211 version of Minecraft, the sheep were given idle sounds and their own hurt sounds.
Before being given their own sounds for when they were in pain, sheep just sounded like a player getting hurt.
The 20100212-1 version of Minecraft fixed the problem of sheep spawning without wool and made sheep one to three gray wool when the player would hit them.
The color of the wool wouldn’t change until late June of 2010 when the 20100627 update was released.
The variety of sheep colors wouldn’t expand until Java Edition Beta 1.2, which was the same update that brought Minecraft dyes, squid, bone meal, and lapis lazuli blocks.
Gathering Wool From Your Sheep
When you’re looking to get wool, you have two options.
You can either kill the sheep and get a limited amount of wool and mutton, or you can shear the sheep to get an endless amount of wool.
Players who intend to play in the world for a long time should consider raising sheep of all different colors.
Both breeding and slaughtering sheep are ways to gain experience points, which can later be poured into enchanting tools, weapons, and armor.
To gather wool without killing your sheep, you are going to need shears.
To make shears, you will need to have gathered at least two iron ingots.
You can also make a new pair of shears from two damaged pairs of shears at your crafting bench for no cost to your experience points.
The durability remaining on the shears is added up, and the new pair of shears receives an extra 5% durability.
You can also find shears being sold by novice-level shepherds in the villages that spawn around your world.
Shepherds have a 40% chance of selling shears for two emeralds in Java Edition, but they will always sell shears in Bedrock Edition.
If you don’t have any emeralds, there is a 12.3% chance that you will find a pair in a shepherd’s chest near their farm or bed.
Although shears may be a pain to obtain, they offer you much more wool per sheep.
When you kill a sheep, you only have the chance to receive one wool.
When you use shears, you receive anywhere between one and three blocks of wool.
As soon as the sheep grazes, they are able to regrow their fur and be sheared again.
If your sheep is dyed, they will remain that color even after they are sheared.
How To Dye Your Sheep
Those who are looking to have a large variety of wool options will need to dye their sheep because sheep only naturally spawn in white, light gray, gray, brown, black, and pink.
Through dyes, you can unlock wool blocks that are colored orange, magenta, light blue, yellow, lime, cyan, blue, purple, red, and green.
To dye your sheep, hold dye in your hand and press either the use key or interact button.
If your sheep is already sheared, then you cannot dye it.
In the Java Edition of Minecraft, sheep will always appear white when they’re sheared.
By choosing to dye your sheep, they will remain that color permanently or until you decide to dye the same sheep.
There are 16 different dyes for players to choose from.
You can also use items such as ink sacs, bone meal, cocoa beans, and lapis lazuli as replacements for black, white, brown, and blue dyes, respectively.
There are only two dyes that you can obtain by searching through chests, which are green dye and yellow dye.
You can find yellow dye in a mason’s house and green dye can be found in desert house chests.
You can craft the rest of the dyes at your crafting table using ingredients such as flowers, sea pickles, and cacti.
Mixing dyes at your crafting table will also result in you getting a variety of colors like orange, magenta, light blue, or pink.
When dyed sheep were first introduced to Minecraft, their offspring would spawn in as white and would have to be dyed by the player.
Dyed baby sheep were not added to the game until the Java Edition Beta Pre-Release 3 version of the game.
While you could raise a bunch of white sheep and dye their wool afterward, you’ll save resources by dying sheep.
Hidden Easter Eggs With The Sheep
There are two rare Easter Eggs that you can find in the world of Minecraft when interacting with sheep.
An Easter Egg in a video game is a hidden feature that is meant to delight the player, and the Minecraft sheep Easter Eggs are quite a pleasant surprise.
One of the most well-known Easter Eggs in Minecraft is unlocking your own rainbow sheep.
The wool of the sheep cycles through all the available colors in a similar way to primaries.
However, this effect is strictly for visual purposes and doesn’t change the color of wool that you’ll receive from the sheep.
When sheared, the rainbow sheep simply drops whatever color of wool that it was before it became a rainbow sheep.
To unlock your rainbow sheep, you will need a fresh name tag and to name the sheep “jeb_”.
The name tag is used to name your peaceful mobs and keep them from despawning.
You have the chance to find name tags in chests found in dungeons, woodland mansions, and mineshafts.
In the Bedrock edition, you can also find name tags in buried treasure chests.
Master Librarians will sell name tags for 20 emeralds.
The easiest way to find name tags is by fishing.
Out of the 5% chance you have of getting a treasure when reeling in a catch, you will get a name tag ⅙ of the time.
The second Easter Egg involving sheep is referred to as the Evoker Easter Egg or the “wololo” Easter Egg.
This game secret occurs when an Evoker isn’t in combat and there are blue sheep within 16 blocks.
The Evoker will cast a spell that causes orange particles to fly up from the blue sheep and then changes its color to red.
It’s a reference to the game Age of Empires.
Keeping Your Sheep Safe From Wolves
When you begin raising sheep in Minecraft, you may find that you lose many members of your flock to wolves if your sheep aren’t in a secure space.
Wolves will hunt sheep regardless of whether they’re tamed or not.
Wolves will attack any sheep or any mob that is aggressive towards their pack or owner that is within 16 blocks of them.
Unlike many other mobs, wolves are incredibly agile and are willing to take leaps that could potentially cause them damage.
When building a pen or pasture for your sheep, there are a few things that you can do to keep your sheep safe from wolves.
The first step in keeping your sheep safe is to ensure the security of your pasture’s perimeter.
By using any fence or wall of your choice, you create a perimeter that keeps your flock inside and other mobs out.
You will also want to make sure that there is no way for mobs to climb their way in through blocks that may be on the same level as the top of your fence.
Always make sure that your fence is at least one block higher than surrounding blocks or remove blocks surrounding the outside of your fence or wall.
Because of wolves’ ability to leap, make sure to remove blocks that are close to touching the top of your fence or wall as well.
When building your farm, you should consider the biome that you’re located in.
Avoid setting up your farm in wooded and mountainous biomes that wolves like to spawn in the most.
Another way to keep wandering wild wolves out of your pastures is by adding llamas to your pasture.
Wolves will flee up to 24 blocks away if they see a llama, which is similar to real-life llamas.
Farming Your Sheep Efficiently
By farming sheep, you can collect plenty of wool and turn that wool into flooring or a variety of crafting projects.
Wool can be used to create beds, banners, carpets, and paintings.
When trying to set up the perfect wool farm, start by creating individual pens for different colored sheep.
Your sheep will need at least a three-by-three-block space to walk around in, which means that your perimeter will need to be five blocks by five blocks.
Although the smaller pens may look uncomfortable, they make it easier for you to harvest wool quickly.
The limited area for potential wool to drop is lower to such a small area that it ensures that the resources will magnetize themselves closer to the player.
Before you dye any sheep, make sure that there are at least two sheep in each pen.
You will need a total of 16 different pens for each of the colors of sheep.
When placing your pens, you may be tempted to place the pens against each other to limit the amount of space you need to clear.
However, you should leave a 1-block walkway between each of the pens to allow for easier access.
Once your sheep have been dispersed among the pens, you can begin dying them.
After dying your sheep, be sure to have plenty of wheat on hand to breed as many sheep as you feel necessary.
To make the grass in the sheep’s pens grow faster, place light sources like torches or sea lanterns at the corners of the pens.
The constant light source allows the grass to grow overnight, meaning that your sheep will have faster access to more grass.
For Minecraft players who want to take their house design to the next level, having a large quantity of a variety of wool colors is necessary.
Sheep’s wool offers a pop of color that helps break up all the green, brown, and gray of Minecraft.