Best practices for ranching?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by attorneyatlol, Feb 5, 2020.

  1. attorneyatlol

    attorneyatlol Intergalactic Tourist

    I'm starting a new job in March with a fairly long commute, so I'm trying to come up with ideas for new farms to help pass the time on the train with my Switch. Since 1.4 came out, I've pretty much completed my winery farm and my alcohol-free pickle/jam/caviar farm (married to Penny).

    My current idea is to make a farm that focuses on ranching, either Sheep or Pigs. I've done a sheep farm and a pig farm in the past, but neither play-through was very optimized or thought out. This time, I'd like to have a plan. If I do sheep, I'll want to rush Farming 10 to get the Shepherd profession as soon as possible. If I do pigs, I'll want to rush Foraging 10 for the Botanist profession. Either way, my goal will probably be 8-10 Deluxe Barns with around 100 animals.

    One big question I have is what farm type to choose. Part of me wants a different experience than the standard farm, but the optimizer in me wants to make sure I can fit 8-10 barns in a neat and organized way. For example, the forest farm could make sense for pigs because the extra large stumps will help me get to Foraging 10 faster. On the other hand, there isn't a lot of good space for 8-10 barns plus grazing area. The best forest farm layout I've come up with so far resigns itself to feeding my animals with hay and looks like this: https://stardew.info/planner/29-bitter-cattle-sang-merrily/.

    Does anyone have experience with a ranching-focused farm they could share?
     
    • UnexpectedParole

      UnexpectedParole Phantasmal Quasar

      If you want a different farm than the standard, I would look into the combat/wilderness farm. It has a very large area in the south you can use to place the barns and still have them run free to eat grass. To raise foraging quickly I would push to upgrade to the steel axe quickly to get access to the secret woods.

      I think the foraging layout you have shown here is not bad either. I assume you are going to be growing they grass in the sw area and cutting it repeatedly to fill your silos through the year and into winter?

      I would suggest if you want them to feed on grass you can make a few modifications to this layout and accomplish it fairly reasonably. I don't know how it would "look" to you. or if the layout would be too tough to navigate. But if you are doing pigs, then you only need to search for truffle. You won't have to hunt down pigs daily for milkings. So going into one pasture where they can feed and dig up the truflles might work?

      https://stardew.info/planner/21-rich-geese-whimpered-jovially/

      Alternatively you can move the northern road eastward to slide a barn or two in that row. (swap the road with barns from the right).
      and arrange the whole bit into one section. ?
       
      • Elenna101

        Elenna101 Subatomic Cosmonaut

        From my experience, pigs don't produce truffles while standing on grass. (They can produce truffles that spawn in grass, but only when they're standing on a grass-free tile next to a grassy tile). So you may want to consider feeding them with hay regardless.
         
        • WilliamZ

          WilliamZ Phantasmal Quasar

          Honestly you can use any farm, took me a while to notice but leaving space for your animals to graze isn't worth, it's better to slowly go replacing the grass for another barn and purchase hay with Marnie.
          If I had to start another farm to play exclusively with animals I would go with the regular farm for sure, but you can always min/max inside of your greenhouse to profit.
           
          • One More Day

            One More Day Cosmic Narwhal

            Full barns of pigs and sheep are very expensive. A deluxe barn full of pigs is going to set you back a whopping 235,000g, the same of sheep is still a hefty 139,000g. Robin will also want a total of 1,350 wood and 650 stone for each deluxe barn. With sheep, I'd also invest in an auto-collector for each barn too, adding another 25,000g per barn.

            If you go pigs, and want Botanist, a good way to level up your foraging would be to simply chop trees on your farm each day, and immediately replant the seeds they drop, getting both free wood and plenty of XP. It's possible to clear the whole farm, and the rest of the map, within a few days, and have two or three hundred seeds planted, which will soon give you hundreds of pieces of wood each day. As for getting all that stone, it's fairly easy to get several hundred each day just skipping up and down on the elevator and breaking the big boulders for 10 stone per go.

            And for both energy and farming skill, I suggest planting lots of parsnips in spring, and getting them watered with basic sprinklers as soon as you hit Farming 2. You have no other need for copper and iron, beyond your tool upgrades, and unless you want to repair the minecarts, there's no real need to reach the gold levels either. Parsnips are pretty much the cheapest way to "buy" XP in spring, and they're great energy for all that chopping too, because you'll quickly exhaust your salmonberries. As summer hits, you need to start assembling the cash for all the infrastructure, so I'd spam blueberries in summer and then cranberries in fall, getting your Farming up to 10 as well. In terms of real world time, crops watered by sprinkler are much faster for getting cash than going fishing.

            Alternatively, rather than go through the tedious process of chopping it all, you could just buy stone and wood from Robin, but that's another 26,500g per barn at year 1 prices that you need to find, although that's actually less than it sounds, once you get a field of a few hundred watered crops going. But at that point, you really do want to buy all the resources in year1, or that will rocket to 132,500g per barn in Year 2. If you do buy, and particularly if you're doing pigs and not sheep, you would also need to find a way to get your foraging up to 10.

            And for which farm, I'd say the fishing, foraging and mining farms are all too small and awkward shapes, while the monster farm is just annoying to get attacked all the time. For my money, that leaves either the standard farm or the four corners farm that was added in 1.4.

            Once you have the first full barn or two up and running, the truffles or wool they produce will quickly help fund the subsequent barns.

            Also, 100% agree with this, just feed pigs on hay.


            Whatever you do, it sounds like fun, good luck
             
            • WilliamZ

              WilliamZ Phantasmal Quasar

              *snip*
              Also I forgot to mention, on my previous gameplay I used animals all the way and never had problem with farming XP so I don't think that you need to grind to lv10 farming, get lv6 to unlock the cheese machines and you're ready to go.
              @One More Day I can't argue that autograbbers are expensive, but a regular farm uses a ton of iridium sprinklers, while the barns limit itself to the size, a mature barn will have no problem in payback that 25k for the auto, but animals isn't the kind of gameplay that someone plays to become rich so I don't see the point in worry about it.
               
              • UnexpectedParole

                UnexpectedParole Phantasmal Quasar

                I admit to not having a ton of pig experience. So that gets them back to the originally posted set up with the SW corner used for growing / scything grass for hay then doesn't it? I mean sure, you'll want to supplement with buying from Marnie, but the more you can raise on your own and store in the 4 silos the better right?

                Does pig happiness figure into the quality or quantity of truffles found?
                 
                • attorneyatlol

                  attorneyatlol Intergalactic Tourist

                  If this is the case, I have fewer qualms about doing the pig farm on the forest map. Since I'll be running through the pens to collect truffles anyway, I can pet the pigs at the same time and won't try to maintain their happiness with grass. The next question is how much space do the pigs need to produce truffles? I want to keep them as tightly packed as possible to keep my petting/gathering routes efficient, but I don't want to limit their spawn rate by not providing enough space. With the layout I linked above, I would have 48 pigs within a 78-square enclosure, 36 pigs within a 57-square enclosure, and 24 pigs within a 36-space enclosure. Is that sufficient space for all potential truffles to spawn in a given day? Do pigs walk over spaces that have truffles? Maybe a lot of them will just spawn outside the fence? Someone on Reddit suggested that pigs need at least 6 tiles of vertical space, but his anecdote was from 1.2, so who knows if that matters.

                  After mulling it over, my newest idea for a forest pig farm would be this: https://stardew.info/planner/6-brave-hawks-married-jovially/. This gives my pigs more space to dig truffles without messing up my petting/gathering routes too much. I lose something because pigs and truffles would now be able to hide behind barns, but the limited real estate doesn't give me much of a choice.
                   
                  • WilliamZ

                    WilliamZ Phantasmal Quasar

                    I don't know, but when I had pigs and let my farm open, sometimes I find truffles in a lot of odd places nowhere close of their barns, also you can build barns on the grass area of the farm and get rid of the tree stumps by placing a floor over it, I like to put gravel patch for example, so it looks natural.
                    Just another thing, you don't need to have a graze area for your coop in a endgame layout, just build one when you're overflowing with money, or start one coop with the barn and get rid of the fences later, let the animals trapped all the time (sounds cruel but it is just a game).
                    I played a little with the planner and got this layout, I don't remember the exact number of Silos that you need to have but I think that I'm still missing some, the problem of small maps are organizing the silos since they are massive, unless you moded their apearence.

                    [​IMG]
                     
                    • One More Day

                      One More Day Cosmic Narwhal

                      You don't need a bunch of silos.
                      In your picture you have 15 barns, which is a maximum of 180 animals. At 1 hay per animal per day, that's less than 1 full silo per day. You don't need more than one until you go above 20 barns. Assuming you have deluxe barns with autofeeders, you keep all the hay in a chest, which can hold 36,000 pieces, and then just top the silo up each day.
                       
                        WilliamZ likes this.
                      • attorneyatlol

                        attorneyatlol Intergalactic Tourist

                        How do you get hay into a chest after all of your barns are upgraded with autofeeders? Or do you just have to stockpile in advance?
                         
                        • ShneekeyTheLost

                          ShneekeyTheLost Black Hole Surfer

                          You buy it from Marnie in bulk, then drop it in the chest.
                           
                          • UnexpectedParole

                            UnexpectedParole Phantasmal Quasar

                            Build the coop to only level 2. -or I just place a level 1 coop or barn for production space and the access to the silo. I find I'd rather have 1 extra barn than many, many extra silos. But that is just me.
                             
                            • attorneyatlol

                              attorneyatlol Intergalactic Tourist

                              OK so looking at it more, sheep take a long time to pay for themselves, especially without shepherd profession, so it looks like cows will be my starter animal until I hit shepherd.

                              I also don't want to plant a lot of crops; part of the upside to ranching is you never have to bother with watering can or hoe upgrades or sprinklers. So I'll just plant enough for personal use plus bundles and level farming skill with cows until shepherd. Once I hit shepherd I'll switch to sheep.
                               
                              • UnexpectedParole

                                UnexpectedParole Phantasmal Quasar

                                Goats are pretty decent for eating the cheese. I think they are better than cows. But I'll admit to not having calcualted the time for payoff.

                                I agree sheep are a bit meh until you get shepherd. Once you get shepherd sheep become much more useful. Sounds like a plan. Let us know how it turns out.
                                 
                                • WilliamZ

                                  WilliamZ Phantasmal Quasar

                                  I own a sheep farm and I make 60k per week using rancher with 5 barns, with the update that loom may give two cloth instead of one I was going to change my profession to artisan to see if it would net me more money, but I got bored (again) with Stardew.
                                   
                                  • Elenna101

                                    Elenna101 Subatomic Cosmonaut

                                    Regular cow cheese is 230g, 345g if you're getting gold quality cheese from large milk.
                                    Goat cheese is 400g, 600g at gold quality. But you only get it every other day, meaning you get 200g or 300g a day.

                                    So cows make more money than goats overall, not even taking into account the fact that they cost less to get.
                                     
                                    • ShneekeyTheLost

                                      ShneekeyTheLost Black Hole Surfer

                                      Cows are pretty darn good as a reliable source of income, but you're going to make more money with Pigs than Sheep. Botanist perk absolutely guarantees iridium quality truffles, and the Gatherer perk gives you a 20% chance of getting a second one. Iridium quality truffles are worth 1,250g/ea. With the extra 20% gains from Gatherer and the higher (and guaranteed!) prices that Iridium truffles command, you'll do better overall with pigs, even acknowledging that you won't be gathering any over the Winter. Truffle Oil, with the Artisan Perk (and why not since you won't be using sheep) is technically worth 1,491g/ea, but that would be an awful lot of Oil Makers for a marginal increase in profits.

                                      So my suggestion is to go Artisan instead of Shepherd, start your cows off, skip goats unless you want the bundle completion and just have more cows, and enough Cheese Presses to keep up with them. Cheese with Artisan is worth 322g/ea, or 483g/ea as gold-star from the Large Milk. Furthermore, you can *age* cheese in a cask. It takes a week to age cheese from Gold to Iridium (or two weeks from base to iridium). So you'll need seven casks per cow if you want to keep up. A Big Barn can house 8 Cows (again, we're simply using this as a stopgap measure before pigs) which means it needs 56 Casks to keep up. Iridium quality cheese sells for 644g/ea. That's actually more profit than gold-star wool from sheep or cloth if you went Shepherd instead of Artisan, and unlike the sheep's wool, you can absolutely guarantee your iridium products.

                                      A Deluxe Barn with 12 Cows producing milk daily would need a total of 84 Casks to keep up with the supply of cheese, which is doable. It would be producing a reliable 7,728g/day, rain or shine.

                                      A Deluxe Barn with 12 Pigs would be producing truffles on any non-rain and non-winter day. You have a 20% chance of getting a second truffle with Gatherer, and they're all guaranteed to be of Iridium quality with Botanist. So, let's calculate the daily take from the pigs assuming they produce, then divide out the odds of them not producing to give you a daily average. We're also just going with the iridium quality truffles, since the oil makers seem to be too clumsy to set up. But since you've already got the Artisan perk for the cheese, it would be a (marginal) increase in revenues. So, each pig produces daily, at 1,250g/ea for a total of 15,000g. Then there's the chance of a 20% bonus truffle, so 15,000 * 1.2 = 18,000. Then you have an entire season (winter) in which they don't produce, which is a quarter of the year. So 18,000 * 0.75 = 13,500g/day average, not taking into account weather.

                                      A Deluxe Barn with Sheep in it, assuming Shepherd to guarantee daily wool, would be more difficult to precisely calculate due to the fact that you can't guarantee iridium outputs. So we're going to fudge a bit in favor of the wee woolies and just assume every wool produced is going to be Iridium quality to see if they're at least in the neighborhood. I fully acknowledge that there is going to be a margin of error in these calculations, but let's highball it to see if they can at least come in reach of comparing with the other options. With Shepherd, the sheep produce wool daily, and assuming iridium (and Rancher since you've got Shepherd) that's 816g/ea for a total daily output of 9,792g/day consistently, rain or shine. However, if they are all Gold star wool, that drops the price per each to 612g/ea or a daily take per Deluxe Barn of 7,344g/day. At that point, they're actually less profitable than cows.

                                      In other words, Sheep only come in second place behind pigs if you have the Botanist perk and only break ahead of cows if you either aren't willing to age cheese or if you get more iridium than gold quality wool and nothing of lesser quality.

                                      For consistency's sake, I would rather go with one barn of Cows for consistency, then the rest of the barns full of pigs for profit, if I was going ranching.
                                       
                                      • One More Day

                                        One More Day Cosmic Narwhal

                                        Due to the way the game manages and calculates truffle spawns, and adding the extras from the Gatherer profession, a 5 heart pig will produce, under optimal conditions, an average of three truffles for every day that they go outside. That's 3,750g per pig per day. A full barn of them will earn, on average, a whopping 45,000g per sunny day. With Botanist, you can expect pigs to make about 3 million per full barn per year, without making oil. That's about five times better than cows.
                                         
                                        • WilliamZ

                                          WilliamZ Phantasmal Quasar


                                          snip
                                          Wouldn't be better in a animal themed farm to start as a rancher and reset to artisan later? I think that the increased friendship rate will be better than small income since you're not mass producing yet. Also this is a old debate but for pigs, woun't be better to sell then in the night of fall 28 and purchase new ones again? I believe that the profit margin is very low for the trouble but it got me curious.
                                          And just for curiosity sake, with sheeps per day I get 2 silver wool from 5 barns that I turn into cloth.
                                           

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