Underground Animal Farm Prototype

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Underground Animal Farm Prototype

Post  spectrumwars on Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:42 pm

Okay, in my current server, I recently finished construction on a large prototype underground animal farm, a concept I call the Tunnel Ranch.

First, here's a view of the above-ground temporary holding pen I corralled the animals in during construction of the underground portions. This also shows the entrance to the dirt ramp down to the tunnels.


Second, here's the bottom of the ramp, which not only is how the animals are brought in, it's how we got grass to grow underground:


Now here's a look down one of the two sheep-pen corridors. There are eight sheep pens off this corridor, and eight off the other, identical corridor, for a total of sixteen pens, one for each color. Each pair across the corridor from each other are mirror images of each other, and each pair on the same side of the hall share one wall between them with an embedded firing line of Snow Golems. More about them later. (Clyde Camlin is a character in a Harry Potter fanfic written by my sister, and in this fanfic he is a wizard who bred multicolored sheep that give Argyle-patterned wool, it's just a silly little in-joke of mine with her that I named this sheep farm "Clyde Camlin's Rainbow Sheep")


Here's the entrance to one pen of sheep. Sheep have trouble going through even an open wooden door, they barely fit through. So while getting them into the pens or moving them from one pen to another, I remove the doors. Two doors in airlock fashion make it very unlikely that any sheep will escape when you don't want them to, and gives space between the doors for a side door into the maintenance access hall to the firing line of Snow Golems.


Inside the sheep pen. Each pen is designed for 4-8 sheep, although you could probably breed a few more in of a color that is in high demand without much risk of them eating the grass faster than it can regrow. Lighting is provided by torches along the wall and two jack-o-lanterns embedded in the floor. The Netherfence embedded along the lower portions of the wall is an anti-glitching feature. Sheep and other passive mobs can push each other inside blocks, especially on SMP servers, and they can suffocate to death inside opaque blocks, but not transparent ones like fences. But the fence does prevent the pushing sheep from pushing the pushed sheep inside the opaque stone block behind it, preventing both losses of sheep from such suffocation glitches and the occasional escape. A single wall of either fence or stone won't prevent all glitches, but a double wall of stone backed by fence does seem to work.


More inside the same sheep pen. This shows the firing line of Snow Golems embedded in the wall, where they have firing slits either side of them looking out onto two neighboring sheep pens. If any Endermen teleport in, before they have a chance to pick up any of the dirt blocks on the floor, they get a snowball in the face from one of the Snow Golems, and promptly teleport right back out again. I find this works better than simply having only a 2-high ceiling, as sheep pushed into the wall will often glitch up a block or two, and we don't want them suffocating in the ceiling, so the ceilings in here are 4 blocks high rather than my usual 3.


One of the pens still under construction. Once you get the hang of it, it goes pretty fast, and since all the pens are the same size and pattern, they are easy to build several of.


A view of the slots for Snow Golems along the firing line, still empty during construction.


And finally, I built this whole facility under a bay from an ocean, and a couple of the pens ended up under ocean a bit deeper than the rest, so there were incidents with sand collapses and flooding during construction. I ended up accepting the hole in the ceiling and turning it into a rather cool skylight, giving at least some of the sheep natural sunlight (and the nightmare of looking up to see Giant Squid squelching along the other side of the glass, but we can't have everything).


There are also one pen each for Pigs and Cows in this facility, but since neither of those species actually eat grass in minecraft, their floors are not grass, but End Stone. Which is what I had laying around, we can use something else in the Dwarf City tunnel ranch. I recommend Sandstone, but I didn't have any on hand when I was building this, having recently donated my stocks of the stuff to another player for use in one of their projects. The cow and pig pens are a bit larger than those for sheep, since to feed a large population of dwarfs, we'll need plenty of meat, and we'll be going inside frequently to breed and slaughter. My chicken coops are basically a smaller version of the sheep pens, and it was in building such chicken coops that I developed the fence-backed-by-stone concept for the walls. Additionally, chicken coops have a neat feature I invented of a single firing slit-style hole high in the wall near the entry door, through which one can throw eggs into the pen (to hatch fresh chickens) without having to open the door and actually go inside. The firing slit is too high for chickens to reach to escape through. This is a view of the cow or pig pen under construction, showing it's greater depth compared to the sheep pens:


It should not be difficult to stack two eight-sheep-pen corridors on top of each other rather than having them side-by-side as in my original design, to save on horizontal space. Provided there aren't any abandoned mineshafts or other inconvenient cave systems in the way, of course.


Last edited by spectrumwars on Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:47 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : mislabeled one of the pics)
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Re: Underground Animal Farm Prototype

Post  Blackwind on Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:22 am

That grass in the tunnel looks nice and I hope we use it, it looks great. Why is the cow pen 3 blocks high?
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Re: Underground Animal Farm Prototype

Post  spectrumwars on Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:42 am

Blackwind wrote:That grass in the tunnel looks nice and I hope we use it, it looks great.

Thanks, but it was really there originally only as a way to let grass grow to the individual sheep pens, so the sheep could eat grass and regrow wool after each shearing cycle. I was originally planning to later rip the grass out and replace with smoothstone or stone bricks, but never got around to it. Eventually, I decided to leave it in place just in case the sheep either ate the grass faster than it could regrow, or I needed to expand further and thus would need the grass to grow elsewhere.

Blackwind wrote:Why is the cow pen 3 blocks high?

Because it was still in the process of excavation and construction at the time the screenshot was taken. When finished, it was four blocks high, had an End Stone floor, fences embedded in the walls, and was filled with cows. In that game, I'm currently building a new base half a kilometer away and can't run back to take new screenshots.
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Re: Underground Animal Farm Prototype

Post  Blackwind on Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:58 am

spectrumwars wrote:
Blackwind wrote:That grass in the tunnel looks nice and I hope we use it, it looks great.

Thanks, but it was really there originally only as a way to let grass grow to the individual sheep pens, so the sheep could eat grass and regrow wool after each shearing cycle. I was originally planning to later rip the grass out and replace with smoothstone or stone bricks, but never got around to it. Eventually, I decided to leave it in place just in case the sheep either ate the grass faster than it could regrow, or I needed to expand further and thus would need the grass to grow elsewhere.
Whatever the situation, it looks great.
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Re: Underground Animal Farm Prototype

Post  requiemmc on Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:00 am


Nice setup.

All i can suggest is that You should have the grass blocks under the Fences

Sheep cannot eat the grass under a fence and allows for the grass to propagate from the edges to replace any eaten grass.

The other thing i can suggest is you don't need a 2 brick high fence if you have the fence at least 1 block away from the wall.

Did we want to run some dirt through the main entrance or do as spectrumwars has done and have a separate entrance?






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Re: Underground Animal Farm Prototype

Post  spectrumwars on Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:39 am

I was thinking a separate entrance which we can cover over later. I've left mine open, but as part of our goal of minimizing our above-ground presence, closing the dirt ramp up once we've got at least two of every animal downstairs is probably not a bad idea.

And having the fence one block away from the stone wall would be counter-productive. The whole point of the setup is that animals can glitch through a one-block-thick barrier, whether it's of stone or fence or anything else. I've had chickens glitch through solid stone walls, sheep and pigs escape fenced-in pens, and so forth. Fences backed by stone seem to work. But having stone under the fence was mostly cosmetic, I think dirt under them for grass is not a bad idea, and we can easily incorporate it into the facilities for Dwarf City.
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Re: Underground Animal Farm Prototype

Post  Mimodo on Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:43 am

Well, my friend, we were talking about individual leaders for small jobs... You can get the animal farms set up Wink It's certainly not top priority, but perhaps getting the grass down can be done early, and then the pens made later. Sheep and pigs are really the least important animals. It's a great design, and i look forward to seeing it implemented in the city Smile

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Re: Underground Animal Farm Prototype

Post  Blackwind on Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:40 am

Brendanan wrote:Well, my friend, we were talking about individual leaders for small jobs... You can get the animal farms set up Wink It's certainly not top priority, but perhaps getting the grass down can be done early, and then the pens made later. Sheep and pigs are really the least important animals. It's a great design, and i look forward to seeing it implemented in the city Smile
Brendanan is it okay if I help with the animals farms too? We'll need more than one on building them and it'll give me to time to acquaint myself with the whole idea of which the original people in Dwarf Mining won't need to.
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Re: Underground Animal Farm Prototype

Post  sret on Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:57 am

I'm sorry? Sounds like you're saying Dwarf Mining made us familiar with this new guy's animal farming system. o.o
If you meant acquainted with the project, then helping him build animal farms is not gonna do it. xD
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Re: Underground Animal Farm Prototype

Post  Mimodo on Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:17 am

Haha, we need more than one person to do the building of everything. Just he has the design for the animal farms, so he'll have to show everyone how to make them

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Re: Underground Animal Farm Prototype

Post  spectrumwars on Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:15 am

I'll happily accept any help digging out the animal pens. It does take quite a while and is a lot of work: I filled three double chests with cobble and one with dirt and gravel just from digging the animal pens and associated small farms, even after deducting all the cobble used to make the tools I dug it out with (did the whole thing with stone tools, too). I went through an awful lot of coal and wood, plus all the netherfences from two netherfortresses we'd cleared and all the wood fences I managed to collect from two abandoned mineshaft systems. Found more coal than I used, even counting that used for torches on top of that used to smelt cobble into smoothstone for a consistent look. But once we get the first pen or two done, the pattern is easy enough to replicate on the others.
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Re: Underground Animal Farm Prototype

Post  sret on Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:36 am

Digging help shouldn't be a problem, this project involves so much digging and plenty of people wanting to do it (if you don't, you need to rethink why you're even here). I'm personally always more than willing to help out with any digging needed.
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Re: Underground Animal Farm Prototype

Post  Blackwind on Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:53 pm

sret wrote:I'm sorry? Sounds like you're saying Dwarf Mining made us familiar with this new guy's animal farming system. o.o
If you meant acquainted with the project, then helping him build animal farms is not gonna do it. xD
It probably came off as extremely confusing but everything aside I want to spend a lot of time on farming.
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Re: Underground Animal Farm Prototype

Post  Mimodo on Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:48 pm

Probably need a small wheat farm in with the animal farms, to keep numbers up

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Re: Underground Animal Farm Prototype

Post  spectrumwars on Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:29 pm

Brendanan wrote:Probably need a small wheat farm in with the animal farms, to keep numbers up

Yes, I have a two-module auto-harvesting wheat farm with some sugarcane in there as well, plus a pumpkin farm with a little wheat, down the side corridor from the pig pen. Once we breed enough sheep to populate all the sheep pens, they don't need further wheat, content to munch the grass in their pens, although if we need large amounts of wool of specific colors fast for a particular project, we might want to breed up that pen or something. Pigs and Cattle and Chickens, however, will need constant feeding to keep breeding replacements for any we kill for their meat, leather, and feathers.
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Re: Underground Animal Farm Prototype

Post  Supacreator on Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:09 am

whatever, it all looks good. let's just get it done
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Re: Underground Animal Farm Prototype

Post  Brendanan on Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:07 am

Supacreator wrote:whatever, it all looks good. let's just get it done

You have no idea how far behind you are, do you :p We have these farms in place, and are working on a massive cave with a small island in the middle to replace the current ones

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Re: Underground Animal Farm Prototype

Post  sret on Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:26 am

Looks like we really need to update the forums for new people =P
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Re: Underground Animal Farm Prototype

Post  spectrumwars on Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:09 am

Supacreator wrote:whatever, it all looks good. let's just get it done

Yeah, the farms were built and finished months ago. They proved a bit bothersome to maintain, however, with the sheep somehow still managing to suffocate in the walls and escape their pens despite the anti-glitch measures in place. When the Version 1.3 update hits, and I get my laptop back from the shop a few days later, the other server I also play on (and help administrate) will be starting a new map using the Huge Biomes option, so I'll be building yet another version of this farm system, at least the fourth one I've dug, and the third one done single-handedly. I'm going to try to come up with a better anti-glitching system for the animal pens, based on glass blocks or panes rather than fences, I think. If successful, we may be able to use them for new backup animal pens under or near Farm Island here in Dwarf City.
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Re: Underground Animal Farm Prototype

Post  Supacreator on Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:58 am

ha! i feel dumb now Razz guess I'll stop posting on the forums untill I know what's up lolz
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Re: Underground Animal Farm Prototype

Post  Brendanan on Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:19 am

hahaha... look for the farm caves thread, and read up on that... That's actually a recent one :p Also the museum kind of thing. Come up with ideas and whatever for that while you can

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