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Yldrania

A Guide to Breeding

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Hey everyone,

 

 

 

 

I've been around in the game for quite a long time now, and have been handling animals and breeding most of the time. While I've had the chance to breed a few 5-speeder lines on different servers, I have now settled down and am getting the first 6-trait horses. I will not claim to know everything about breeding animals, but am hopefully able to help some newer players with their first own lines of animals. 

 

 

 

 

 

Contents

 

 

1.) Which Animal Do I Want To Breed?

 

 

2.) Breeding Pens

 

 

3.) Animal Husbandry

 

 

3.1) Age & Caring

 

 

4.) Breeding, Inbreeding & Traits

 

 

5.) Fo and How Religion Helps

 

 

6.) Enchanted Grass 

 

 

 

 

 

01.) Which Animal Do I Want To Breed?

 

 

 

There are plenty of different types of animals you can breed in Wurm. A full list of animals can be found here.This page also gives you an overview of the required taming skill, and the fighting skill required should it attack you in order to defeat it. It also lets you know which animals can be lead without being tame. Most passive animals (animals that do not attack you) can be lead without having been previously tamed, but all hostile animals as well as some of the passive ones need taming first. I suggest starting with a type of animal that is naturally neutral and can be lead without being tame. The most common animal to be bred are horses. They are the easiest to breed in a way, as they receive names upon being born. That means you will be able to easily see who is the parent of whom and whether horses you wish to breed with are in any way related. This is important to avoid inbreeding, which you can look up in part 4 of the guide. However, if you can keep track of who is the parent of who, you can breed any other animal as well. The only other animal that is named are hell horses, which you most likely should not begin to breed with unless you are already a veteran player with high taming and fighting skill.

 

 

 

I recommend starting with one of the following animals:

 

- Horses

 

- Bulls & Cows

 

- Bison

 

- Sheep

 

 

 

 

 

02.) Breeding Pens

 

 

 

Every breeder needs a meadow or breeding pens. Both work, although I recommend breeding pens for the following reason: On a meadow, which would in real life be preferred, the animals can roam freely. Often, especially if there is a slope nearby, that results in all animals stacking up on one or two tiles, no matter how large the meadow is, thus dramatically increasing the chance of disease among them. With breeding pens, this can be avoided. The typical breeding pens are 1x2 tiles big, and contain 1-2 animals per pen. The fewer animals you have in one pen, the lower the chance of disease. The best thing to do in order to keep them all fed, is to plant seeds on flat ground tiles, creating fields. Animals will feed off of it, and even help your fields gain yield if there are not too many animals on the same field tile. That way you gain animals, and some crops, and keep your animals fat at the same time. If you have animals that eat fish or meat, you will obviously have to provide that instead of fields. 

 

The fence types that surround your breeding pens do not matter, but make sure you have enough space to lead the animal fully into the breeding pen. This is the reason the typical pen size is 1x2, as the animal doesn't follow you instantly but with abouta tile distance behind you. With a 1x2 tile there is no issue. If you decide to use a 1x1 tile as breeding pen, that works but make sure to put two gates on it, best on separate ends, so you can lead your animal straight into the pen without any further issues.

 

 

 

 

 

03.) Animal Husbandry

 

 

 

Good care of your animals is important in order to avoid unwanted deaths among the animals, often caused by disease. You should groom every animal in your care at least once a day. This does not ensure your animals will not catch disease, but it critically decreases the chance, even if you have too many animals on the same tile for a while. Animals can be groomed once every hour, although you will not receive the message that the creature requires grooming until a few hours after the last time you tended to it. 

 

The Animal Husbandry skill is important for breeding. You can gain it by grooming and breeding your animals. It determines the chance of you successfully grooming and breeding your animals, and makes them shy away less often upon trying. It also determines which traits you are able to see. At 20 AH (Animal Husbandry) you can see the first, at 43 the last trait, and the "Bred in Captivity" trait, which does not really tell you more than you already know, unlocks at 83. Further more, it determines how many animals you can care for at a time. Each 10 skill give you an extra animal.

 

 

 

 

 

03.1) Age & Caring 

 

 

 

You can see the age of each animal by its name. Here you can find a list of all ages, and how long the animal will approximately be at that age. Animals that are Aged or older, might die if not taken care of properly, or if you are unlucky. Venerable horses are likely to die within a couple of weeks of becoming Venerable, unless cared for. Young animals, and early adolescent animals will not breed yet. It will tell you that the creature is not in the mood at that time. Just wait a few days and try again. 

 

 

 

Caring for an animal is possible by right-clicking it, and selecting Care for. This will make you specially care for that particular animal. What that does is it ensures your animal will live for a long time, much longer than normal animals. I have taken care of a horse that was venerable for a few months, and it still has not died. It is rumored that animals that are taken care of can live forever, although some people believe that they just live exceptionally long. It definitely makes sense to care for pregnant Venerable animals to ensure they do not have a miscarriage and die from that, or die during pregnancy if you want the baby. It also makes sense to care for animals you especially like, that have very good traits or whatever your reason might be. The amount of animals you can take care of are determined by your Animal Husbandry skill. You are able to care for one extra animal per 10 skill you gain. 

 

To stop caring for all animals, type /stopcaring in chat and you will not care for any animal anymore. To stop caring for a single animal, repeat the right-click and Care for process of taking of it in the first place.

 

 

 

 

 

04.) Breeding, Inbreeding & Traits

 

 

 

Breeding animals can be a lot of fun. However, there are few logical restrictions that apply: The animals you breed have to be of the same type and different gender. You might laugh when reading this, but admittedly, I don't think there is anyone who hasn't tried to breed dogs with horses and sheep with pigs just for fun. Sadly, it does not work so we'll have to stick to the good old concept of breeding morally correct. 

 

One thing to watch out for when breeding is Inbreeding. Breeding a child with a parent, or breeding two siblings is considered inbreeding and therefore bad. It can result in bad traits on the newborn animal. Inbreeding is only "valid" as long as the parents are alive. As soon as they are dead, the horses that were previously siblings can be bred without a higher risk for bad traits. This is why a lot of people breed two same good horses a lot of times, and then kill them when they are venerable in order to breed their foals. However, this practise is frowned upon by a lot of players who are morally attached to the animals they are keeping, and I suggest you just get different breeding pairs to start breeding with to avoid the issue alltogether. 

 

Another thing to ensure, is that you don't breed animals that are thin. If an animal is thin by the time it is supposed to give birth, that might lead to a miscarriage. Miscarriages happen rarely but can be caused by old age or too low fat reserves. They can lead to either of three scenarios: The mother might die, the baby might die, or both might end up dead.

 

 

 

Traits are what determines the animal's characteristics, bonuses and the market value of each individual creature. There are good and bad traits, which can increase and reduce the value of your animal. The traits most players look for in the animals they buy are speed traits, a single bad trait may make your animal unsellable already. Nobody wants animals with bad traits and pay money for them. 5-speeders, animals with all 5 speed traits, are the most common to be sold among the community. You can see a list of all traits here. Animals with bad traits are commonly not used for breeding. If you have few animals, I recommend you use them as work animals and hitch them to large carts or wagons for them to be pulled (if you don't care about the negative effects on it), or you kill / release it.

 

If you wish to breed horses with 5 speed traits, it makes sense to breed with horses who only have speed traits, as other traits might take the place of a possible speed trait in your young animal. 

 

 

 

 

 

05.) Fo & How Religion Helps

 

 

 

The God commonly connected to animals, breeding and nature is Fo. A lot of players who wish to specialize in breeding and animal keeping, become a follower or priest of Fo. At first, this does not change a lot, but as you progress as a Fo priest, you gain an important ability: At 60 faith and 30 favor, you are ignored by all animals and will no further be attacked by them. As I do not wish to explain religion in this topic, I will just give you a link: http://www.wurmpedia.com/index.php/Fo where you can check out all important features. Feel free to pass me a PM if you are interested in learning more about the faith, and I'll gladly help you out with more information on this.

 

 

 

This particular faith will allow you to be ignored by hostile animals. This enables you to breed normally hostile animals without having to worry about being attacked every single time. No other religion offers a particular bonus in breeding, but this one is very handy. It will also give you two spells, Humid Drizzle and Genesis, the first of which helps with taking care of the animals by grooming all animals within a 4-tile radius in any direction around you, and the second of which allows you to remove bad traits on your animals.

 

 

 

 

 

06.) Enchanted Grass

 

 

 

Enchanted grass is something that can be created through a meditation skill on the Path of Love. You can read all about meditating and the particular path on the links provided. It is rumored to attract wild animals and have a chance of spawning wild ones, as well as provide a very good basis for your animals to feed on. Grazers can graze on it, and will ultimately turn fat after a while, same as with fields. However, the chance of the animals trampling on the tile and packing the enchanted grass is reasonably lower. 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, let me know if I have made a mistake or if I have forgotten something, but I think that's all for now! Thank you for reading. If you have anything regarding breeding you need advise with, please feel free to message me any time. (Updated 2017)

 

Edited by Yldrania
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A lot of ppl go wrong with keeping horses with undesirable traits. Traits are very hard to breed out. Just kill them, its not worth the time of keeping them.

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As a long time breeder myself, I think this guide is quite comprehensive, and super handy for anyone starting out with animal breeding, to help avoid a lot of the confusion and headaches that can sometimes accompany the process.  Great job! :)


 


Also, I agree with Omar.  I never keep any animal that is born with a strait up bad trait.  I consider things like strong willed and keen senses to be like, neutral traits, and will sometimes use them to breed.   But only if it be, for example my only viable male amongst a herd of females. 


Edited by Atheline

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Thanks for the advise! 


 



 


 Animals with bad traits are commonly not used for breeding. If you have few animals, I recommend you use them as work animals and hitch them to large carts or wagons for them to be pulled (if you don't care about the negative effects on it), or you kill / release it.



 


Added to the Breeding section!


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When discussing Fo you might also want to mention the benefit of the Fo HumidDrizzle and Genesis spells.


 


Excellent job writing this up. Please consider adding it to Wurmpedia as well.


 


~Nappy


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Yeah, Genesis (and to a lesser extent, Humid Drizzle) were the main carrots for me, since I wanted to be a horse breeder.  I do enjoy very much being neutral to most animals, but I like that for exploring more than for Breeding (though I did raise 5 speed hell horses on Deli for a while)


 


 


>"I have taken care of a horse that was venerable for a few months, and it still has not died."


See also The Story Of Saraflea as horses that are Cared for can live for YEARS.

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Posted · Hidden by necroe, May 17, 2015 - Duplicate post
Hidden by necroe, May 17, 2015 - Duplicate post

you could add  that to stop caring for 1 particular animal you just try to care for it again.


 


and im pretty sure cared for animals are supposed to never die of old age,since the caring for animals was added as a replacement to all animals on deed never dying of old age as one of the first on the long list of failed changes to stop "animal hoarding"


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you could add  that to stop caring for 1 particular animal you just try to care for it again.


 


and im pretty sure cared for animals are supposed to never die of old age,since the caring for animals was added as a replacement to all animals on deed never dying of old age as one of the first on the long list of failed changes to stop "animal hoarding"


 


dont need to believe me check the release notes for the changes.


 


http://www.wurmpedia.com/index.php/Wurm_Server_Release_Notes_2011#110527_Breeding.2C_spawning.2C_caring.2C_coloring

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I remember that change. There was a few weeks when animals on deed did not die and purely a stopgap measure while Rolf overhauled the breeding system.    For several months before that, venerable animals would die as usual but no one could breed anything at all due to animal counts and players were alarmed all of their breed stock would die off before the new system was implemented.   Cared For was added to ensure they could keep at least a FEW of their best breeding stock even if there were long delays to get breeding working again. 


Edited by Brash_Endeavors

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Excellent Guide, Yldrania - on behalf of all future breeders, who will not realise how difficult it was to get the knowledge: Thank you for taking the time to do this and pull it all together  - this must go on Wurmpedia.


 


One thing I have observed, due to frustration of breeding two 5speeds and ending up with a 3 or 4 speed foal, is that parent horses with the least or no 'extra' positive traits make the best breeders, as the 'extra' traits tend to take up the speed slots.  Would be pleased to know if others have experienced this?


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It will also give you two spells, Humid Drizzle and Genesis, the first of which helps with taking care of the animals by grooming all animals within a 4-tile radius in any direction around you, and the second of which allows you to remove bad traits on your animals.

 

Added to the Fo section.

 

 

To stop caring for a single animal, repeat the right-click and Care for process of taking of it in the first place.

 

Added to the Care section.

 

 

 It is rumored that animals that are taken care of can live forever, although some people believe that they just live exceptionally long.

 

Added to the Care section. NOTE: I have had a venerable horse that had a carer die just recently. It might have been a bug, or the carer might have stopped caring for the animal in question, that I do not know, but I am a supporter of the long-but-not-forever theory due to that.

 

 

If you wish to breed horses with 5 speed traits, it makes sense to breed with horses who only have speed traits, as other traits might take the place of a possible speed trait in your young animal. 

 

Added to the Traits section! NOTE to Baloo: I have experienced the same thing. For me it doesn't matter because I want the war traits in my horses, but you are right, it should be included in the guide.

 

 

I think that's it with additions for now! Thanks for your amazing feedback! 

As for adding it to Wurmpedia, I would love to, and have contacted several people about receiving an account, but have so far not received response from anyone. If I get an account, I would love to follow up with your suggestion and add it there.

Edited by Yldrania
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great work :) only thing I'd remove is hens/roosters, they cannot be bred  :D


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Good guide. Just one thing


 


In section 2



 


The best thing to do in order to keep them all fed, is to plant sprouts on flat ground tiles, creating fields.



 


Sprouts create trees and bushes, I think you mean seeds.


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Qow - what a great writer and editor! Well done Yldrania !


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great work :) only thing I'd remove is hens/roosters, they cannot be bred  :D

 

You are right, I haven't actually bred them before so I totally missed that. Thank you! Removed.

 

 

Good guide. Just one thing

 

In section 2

 

Sprouts create trees and bushes, I think you mean seeds.

 

Edited, my bad again. I did mean seeds but damn, the words are so close!

 

Thank you again everyone, especially Baloo for the compliments :)

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A very useful guide, although a few things I would add are:


 


1. Sheep could be a good start, as shearing them also gives AH skill as well as the grooming (although I don`t know how high a skill you need to effectively shear, as a fail gives 1ql wool and no skill). I`ve noticed that the younger sheep seem to have a shorter timer between shearing. I`m assuming that because they produce less wool per shear, that their wool regrows to their 'ready to shear' point quicker.


 Hell horses don`t need to be tamed to be bred, and you don`t need fighting skill unless you plan on killing them. Definitely not for beginners though, as they can`t be groomed, they need 50 taming to even consider taming a young one for caring/equipping, and they can be randomly aggressive (especially if hungry) which means acquiiring your initial 'wild' pair can be dangerous if they attack while you`re towing them home to a pen. If they are already safely penned then there isn`t any trouble with breeding them.


 


2. Personally, I use 2x2 pens of enchanted grass for each breeding pair (partly because that`s a nice layout for fitting into the deed). It means I can easily keep track of who is breeding with whom (particularly useful for the animals that aren`t named), and when a baby pops out, there is enough room for the three of them.


 


3 Animals can be groomed once per hour even though they don`t say they need grooming. For myself, I start a timer when I groom the first animal, and have the animal pens round the edge of the deed so I basically walk in an easy circle for every session.


 Deaths can also be caused by pregnant animals having a miscarriage. This can be caused by lack of food or too many animals on deed upsetting the ratio. Be aware that mobs do spawn on deed in underground tunnels, and count towards the creature ratio.


 


3.1 I`ve had a cared for horse survive for over two years, and it only came to an end after an unfortunate accident where it fell into a lit oven. So cared for seems to grant a very long lifespan.


 


4. If you intend breeding naturally aggressive animals such as wolves or bears, then both animals must be tamed in order to breed, otherwise a fight breaks out. And don`t leave a tamed hostile in a pen with an untamed hostile.


 The length of the bloodline plays a part in how many traits can be supported. I tend to breed a good male and female, then kill the parents, allowing me to extend the bloodline by then breeding the children together without the danger of bad traits from inbreeding.


.


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A very nice guide. I personally have nothing to add. Thank you very much for taking the time for this. Might help me when I breed myself in the future.


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acquiiring your initial 'wild' pair can be dangerous if they attack while you`re towing them home to a pen.

 

If you are searching for a couple wild hell horses to start breeding with, take a cart and some extra ropes and look for young or adolescent hell horses.  hitch them to your cart and drag your original cart horses along behind you with your extra ropes.  that way you can make it all the way back home with them without being attacked.

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- Sheep

 

Sheep added to the list of recommended animals. I feel like the part with the hell horses doesn't need to be explained because I mentioned that hell horses aren't for newbies, and by the time they are experienced enough to approach hell horses they won't need this guide anymore. 

 

In response to your second point, the recommended standard is 1x2, although your point is definitely a good one. However, you are one of a couple of people who use 2x2 pens, and there are way more using the 1x2, so I will leave it to people to read your comment and perhaps do it that way. Again, this is a newbie guide and for someone who just gets into breeding, I would definetely recommend the 1x2 pens just for having space for more animals to begin with.

 

 

Animals can be groomed once every hour, although you will not receive the message that the creature requires grooming until a few hours after the last time you tended to it. 

 

Added to the Animal Husbandry section. 

 

 

Another thing to ensure, is that you don't breed animals that are thin. If an animal is thin by the time it is supposed to give birth, that might lead to a miscarriage. Miscarriages happen rarely but can be caused by old age or too low fat reserves. They can lead to either of three scenarios: The mother might die, the baby might die, or both might end up dead.

 

Added to the Breeding section.

 

In response to your 3.1 point, I think I have covered that point by saying that caring leads to an exceptionally long life - immortality, as it is rumored by some players. 

 

As for your 4th point, again this is a breeding guide, which will most likely not be used by players experienced enough to breed hostile animals. I will add this to the Wiki page if I end up getting an account, but I don't think it is required in the guide.

 

 

 

Thank you for your great suggestions and additions!

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Dear Baloo ~  I have certainly noticed what  you mentioned.  This is the primary reason why I choose to stay at 50-ish AH, and very happy to do so; never expect to have any issues with any animals doing things this way.  For example:  horses need only the 5 specific speed traits, and there is no real reason for anything more other than personal preference.  I also keep seals, and since they are not the kind to be hitched or ridden, they really don't need the carry more trait.  So I like to substitute strong and healthy, or tough bugger on these creatures.


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One thing I have observed, due to frustration of breeding two 5speeds and ending up with a 3 or 4 speed foal, is that parent horses with the least or no 'extra' positive traits make the best breeders, as the 'extra' traits tend to take up the speed slots.  Would be pleased to know if others have experienced this?

 

This is happening to me continually. IDK if it's because my AH is 70.xx, and maybe I'd have better luck if I was at, say, 77.

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05.) Fo & How Religion Helps

 

 

....

At 60 faith and 30 favor, you are ignored by all animals and will no further be attacked by them.

 

 

This could give false bravado.   :D

 

Priests with 60 faith and 30 favor are ignored by normal animals. They will also ignore your pet if you have one. This does not include hyenas and 'monsters' like dragons, trolls, lava fiends, goblins or scorpions.

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Dear Baloo ~  I have certainly noticed what  you mentioned.  This is the primary reason why I choose to stay at 50-ish AH, and very happy to do so; never expect to have any issues with any animals doing things this way.  For example:  horses need only the 5 specific speed traits, and there is no real reason for anything more other than personal preference.  I also keep seals, and since they are not the kind to be hitched or ridden, they really don't need the carry more trait.  So I like to substitute strong and healthy, or tough bugger on these creatures.

 

Dear Atheline - I don't think that keeping AH around 50 helps any - just means you can't read more than 6 traits i think, but could be wrong - which means you will only read the first 6 traits and these could include 'extras' as they can be listed in any order, not just speed traits first...  I also keep seals too but just for the cuteness factor and to use a bit of useless deed with clay tiles scattered over it - agreed seal traits are somewhat ridiculous, but then all creatures are standardised in Wurm...

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Dear Atheline - I don't think that keeping AH around 50 helps any - just means you can't read more than 6 traits i think, but could be wrong - which means you will only read the first 6 traits and these could include 'extras' as they can be listed in any order, not just speed traits first...  I also keep seals too but just for the cuteness factor and to use a bit of useless deed with clay tiles scattered over it - agreed seal traits are somewhat ridiculous, but then all creatures are standardised in Wurm...

 

I don't think it works like that.  I kept Neome as close as possible to 50AH (my Fo priestess is higher) just because I wanted "only 5 speed horses" as I felt they might be easier to keep all speed traits without losing one to Keen or Fierce etc, but one of her favorite riding horses is a gift from Alyeska   which has 7 traits (Fantasygold), and she reads all seven of that horse's traits just fine. Anyone with 41AH can read all of that horse's traits. The only traits you need higher skill to read, are "corrupted" and "bred in captivity".  Back in 2011/2012 or so there was a weird breeding glitch where horses had excessive traits and I think 7-8-9 trait horses were more common back then, but anyone with 41+ AH could read all of them (the other two traits were not on Freedom till much later).    Also traits are listed in a very specific order, not random, they appear in order of difficulty so "Fierce" will always be at the front of the list, "spark" at the end, etc. Most of the speed traits come in the "early middle" and  viewable by 26AH but you need 41AH to see all negative traits too. Horses will always list traits in a consistant order.  

 

 

*** Not everyone agrees staying at 50AH is better for keeping all speed traits without losing some to random neutral traits, some high level Animal Husbandry breeders that I respect, say what really matters is making sure both parents ALWAYS have the EXACT same traits, so that 7 or 8 trait horses are easy & consistent as long as there is no deviation between the parents traits.  

Edited by Brash_Endeavors

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Hi Brash - thx for the correction. :)

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