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Revisions:

  • January 2017: Minor updates and corrections to Appendix 2 - Animal weights and passenger size.
  • March 2017: Add more information on baby animal milk consumption and the effect of cows on the Collecting skill in the section "Additional Information on Animals."

This guide provides information and tips for those who want to try large scale breeding and herding of animals. The advantages and disadvantages of running an animal herding "business" are outlined. Several possible herd configurations are examined. Detailed information on animals is included in appendices. Although this guide is in a blog due to its size, comments and questions are welcome.

A Guide to Animal Herding

Herding animals is interesting and can be profitable, too. This guide will give you some tips and warnings so you can avoid frustration and simple mistakes while herding animals. The purpose of a game is to have fun. If you don't think herding animals is fun, don't do it.

While the guide is oriented towards the beginner who wants to try herding animals, an experienced herder may find some useful tips, too. This guide may help you decide whether you want to be an animal herder. It does not purport to cover all possibilities. Caravaneer 2 is a game with enough depth that exhaustive analysis is probably not possible. Some supplemental detailed information that is not essential to the guide is listed in appendices at the end. This is not a step-by-step walkthrough, it is a guide. Combine this information with your preferences to develop your own animal herding style.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Herding Animals

The advantages of being an animal herder are:

  1. Your crew will never drink water again. A pure (or mostly) milk diet will provide more than enough water for your people.
  2. You no longer need to buy food. Food is just another trade good for an animal herder. A good herd produces enough milk to feed your crew, a bunch of baby animals, and some prisoners, and when you get to town, you wonder how much surplus milk you should sell. In effect, your crew is living on forage and water.
  3. A herd provides a steady stream of income, not only milk and wool, but animals can and will be sold, too. Every region has at least one town where milk, wool, or animals can be sold at a good price.
  4. Trading in food products is easier. If you are living on milk, you can safely put a zero on the Supplies Menu for any food trade good and avoid eating your profits.
  5. You can increase your caravan's capacity at low cost by raising your own horses or camels, although this will take some time.
  6. A goat/sheep/cow herd is a mobile animal breeding industry. A herd can produce milk, meat, skins, and wool, just like a town-based industry (except for tallow). Instead of buying an animal breeding industry in one town, you can take it with you and at much lower startup cost. The benefits of a mobile industry are subtle and depend on how many and which other industries you have.

The disadvantages of being an animal herder:

  1. High noticeablity. There is no way to avoid this. To produce enough milk and baby animals requires a large caravan. Twenty animals (including transport) is a small herd. Over 100 animals is not unusual. You won't start off this large, but expect to grow over time, mostly from your own animal breeding. High noticeablity will attract powerful enemies from farther away. Ensure you are strong enough to deal with them and carry plenty of ammunition.
  2. It requires some planning and thinking. Often, when in town, you will want to check your list of animals to determine if any are going to give birth soon. The Transport/Livestock menu will say 0 weeks remaining. Expect to have a birth on your next trip or two. Also, periodically, you will want to "cull the herd" and sell off older or less productive animals. This will improve the efficiency of your herd and bring in nice profits, too.

Additional Information on Animals

The Animals, Carts, and Vehicles pages of this wiki contain much useful information which will not be repeated here. You should look at those pages if you haven't already. Here is some additional information that is useful to a potential herder:

  • Donkeys, horses, camels, and cows acquire a small cargo capacity when they are weaned at the age of 4 months and become an immature animal (i.e., the baby bottle changes into a rattle on the Transport/Livestock menu). The capacity will be small compared to an adult animal of the same species. The consumption of forage and water will also be small. The immature animal's capacity constantly increases while in Travel Mode until it reaches adulthood (i.e., when the rattle disappears). Carts can be attached to immature animals thereby increasing their capacity, although you will find that any cart heavier than the small or fiberglass cart won't be practical, at first. The fiberglass cart's 3.5 capacity multiplier and light weight gives a big boost to a young animal's capacity.
  • Only adult female animals produce milk. Females that are pregnant or nursing produce more milk. (On "hard" difficulty, only pregnant females produce more milk.) Milk production starts increasing as soon as they are pregnant and grows gradually. (Looking at the Caravan Menu - Log of your milk production over a 6 month period clearly shows this effect.) Animals with longer gestation periods increase milk production more slowly than animals with shorter gestation periods. The maximum increase in milk production can range from 20% to 50%, depending on species. Warning: the milk your baby animals drink is not shown on the Log on the "Consumed" graph. Also, the Log seems to show milk produced as 4 times your actual daily production. The milk (kcal.) your baby animals consume is included in "FOOD CONSUMED" on the "Caravan - Overview" screen.
  • Milk production drops quickly and dramatically if an animal does not get enough forage or water. This will reduce your caravan's food (milk) supply, and your people will suffer. The lesson here is treat your animals better than you treat your people. Your (healthy) people can survive on 90% rations and water for long periods of time and as low as 70% for short periods without suffering great distress.
  • It is possible for an animal to be pregnant, pass into old age (i.e., the cane appears), and give birth to a healthy kid. However, the mother's milk production will not be as high as a normal adult.
  • Baby camels, goats, and sheep start producing wool at birth and produce as much wool as an adult animal.
  • The weight of an adult animal will vary slightly over time, up and down. The change is small, a few percent. This may be due to the small amount of damage it incurs when traveling. Your caravan's veterinary skill usually heals this damage before you notice it.
  • If you use the Collecting skill to gather forage while you are traveling, each animal adds 1 to 2 points to your caravan's Collecting skill. Use 1.5 skill points per animal as a rough estimate. Because of rounding of displayed numbers, one can't be more specific. The species and the age of the animal doesn't seem to matter. Even babies that don't eat forage will add the 1 to 2 Collecting skill points. (Update: each cow adds 3 to 4 points to the Collecting skill.)

The following tips will help you manage your herd so you can enjoy the benefits of being a herder.

Tip 1: Name all your animals

This may be the most important tip to make managing your herd easier. Scrolling though a list of 50 to 100 animals to find the ones you want to sell (or move) is facilitated by every animal having a unique name. This is much easier than trying to identify an animal by gender and weight alone. The animals you sell will keep the name you gave them in the market where you sold them which helps you avoid buying them back. Use whatever naming system is comfortable for you. The author's naming system is listed in Appendix 1 as an example (only).

Tip 2: Favor the females

The females produce the milk and the kids which are your food and profits. A good starting herd has 3 (or more) females before you add 1 male. Horses and camels are an exception. Since these are your primary cargo carrying animals, you can put the males to useful work. When the time comes to cull the herd, sell off unneeded males. For goats, sheep, and cows, you can sell the males as soon as your females are pregnant. You can breed replacement males from your herd. If you have difficulty finding enough females in the markets to get you started, you can start your herd with fewer females knowing that you will soon be adding females by breeding your own.

Tip 3: Don't get upset if some animals die in battle

In battle, stray bullets will occasionally hit your animals. An adult horse or camel is big enough to take a bullet or two in battle and survive. Goats, sheep, and baby animals are much smaller. One bullet is likely to kill them if they get hit. Just accept this as part of the cost of doing business. It won't be a total loss. You will get some meat at the end of the battle (but no skins).

Tip 4: Quantity can beat quality

Horses, camels, and cows fetch the highest prices per animal when you sell them. However, it takes two and one-half years for one animal to grow through gestation to adult. In the same time period, a goat or sheep (and her kids) could produce over 100 adult animals and collectively sell for more money while providing a steady stream of income and milk. (On "hard" difficulty, a goat or sheep might produce fewer than 40 adults. This may still be worth more than one horse, camel, or cow.)

Tip 5: Learn as you go and grow

Start your animal herd slowly with just a few animals. It may take some practice using the Supplies menu, deciding when and where to sell your animals, etc. If you start your animal herding business buying 20 goats and sheep, you may find yourself quickly overwhelmed. A small herd gives you the opportunity to ease into the process and improve your caravan's veterinary skills to keep your herd healthy. Your herd will grow on its own as your animals breed and at much lower cost than if you bought them. It also gives you time to grow powerful enough to defeat all those enemies your herd will attract.

Tip 6: Cull the herd

From time to time, review your herd and make a list of those animals you want to sell. As your travels take you to a good selling place, sell them. You don't need to make a special trip just for selling. Try to keep your herd at a size you find manageable.

Reasons to cull the herd:

  1. They are aging. It is best to sell your animals before they reach old age. You will get a better price for them.
  2. You have too many baby males. Try to keep your baby animals until they are weaned before selling them. The cost of keeping them is just some milk. Weight gain is rapid at this age and the increase in selling price is worth the wait.
  3. There seems to be a limit on the number of times an animal will get pregnant that is unrelated to its age. The limit may be 4 times, although some animals will get pregnant only once or twice. If you have females in your herd that seem to have reached their limit on the number of pregnancies, consider selling them to make room for more productive replacements. Don't sell too many or your milk production will be too low to sustain your people and your baby animals.
  4. You have too many animals. Goats and sheep breed quickly. After a year, you may find that you have more than you need or can manage. Sell the excess males and the older females. Expect to completely turnover your entire goat/sheep herd every 1 to 2 years from your own animal breeding.
  5. You need the space, now! In a pinch, you can slaughter excess animals at any time. You can then sell the skins and meat (or eat it). This reason applies to goats, sheep, and cows.
  6. When you capture animals in battle, review them immediately. If you decide to keep them, be sure to name them. If they are not worth taking along due to speed, age, or excessive damage, then slaughter them immediately.

Tip 7: Maintain your caravan's travel speed

In other words, any animal that has a speed lower than the cargo carrying part of your caravan needs to be carried in a cart (or vehicle) or slaughtered or sold. (The "cargo carrying part of your caravan" would be people, donkeys, horses, camels, or vehicles. Cows are not recommended for carrying your cargo due to very low speed.) When a new baby is born (as indicated by the pop-up message in Travel Mode), open the Caravan menu and assign the newborn as a passenger if it is slower than your normal speed. Doing it immediately will maintain your travel speed.

Some people may argue that the space you use carrying animals can be more profitably used to carry trade goods. Possibly. It depends on your location, the cargo capacity of your caravan, and the number of people you need to feed. Herding animals diversifies your options for profitability while providing the additional advantages listed above. The key is to strike a balance: too many animals limits cargo space, too few animals increases the cost of your food supply and reduces your profits from animal sales. Appendix 3 contains more detailed information on animal milk production.

The herd animals (goat, sheep, cow) are slow. Slower speed means you need more forage, water, and food to get from town to town. This will eat into your profits, literally. To carry animals, you need carts or vehicles. Not because of the animal's weight, but because animals require a lot of passenger space. Animals are different sizes. The amount of passenger space needed to carry an adult animal is given in the following table:

Adult animal Passenger spaces required for each animal
Goat 2 to 4 spaces. Most are size 3.
Sheep 2 to 5 spaces. Most are size 3 or 4.
Cow 3 to 8 spaces. Most are size 5 or 6.

All newborn animals require only 1 passenger space. Since animals are only born in Travel Mode, this fact makes it easy to find space for these newborns between towns. Newborns don't need to be put in a cart as they are small enough to fit on the back of an animal. A newborn sheep on the back of a 4-month-old horse may look strange, but it is feasible.

The assumption is that the game is rounding the passenger space size of the animal as it rounds all numbers displayed. If you are interested, a more detailed examination of species and weight to passenger size is in Appendix 2. As you grow in experience as an animal herder, the sizes of animals will become second nature for you.

Note: Animals that are carried are not shown on the Caravan Menu - Overview Weight Chart. (This is the pie chart that shows your cargo by category.) However, you will notice that carried animals reduce your Maximum Load as shown on the Caravan Menu - Overview just like when you are carrying people.

Warning: Animals grow when you are in Travel Mode. Young animals can grow and add to their passenger space requirement. If the cart or vehicle in which it is riding does not have enough space, the animal (or someone else riding in the same cart) will start walking. There is no pop-up message telling you that this happened. What you will notice in Travel Mode is a sudden drop in your caravan's speed and an increase in your Maximum Load. Some advance planning when carrying animals can avoid this problem as it will take months for an animal to increase its passenger space size.

Tip: If you are concerned about having animals starting to walk: when in Travel Mode, keep your mouse centered on your caravan, and you can see your speed in the upper left-hand corner and notice when it changes.

Tip 8: Combinations of animals, carts, and vehicles

Comparing cart sizes and animal capacities with the passenger space needs from the previous tip produces a limited number of good herding configurations.

Donkey caravan:

Donkeys have trouble with anything heavier than a one passenger cart. So, combining the herd animals with donkeys is not practical, unless you are willing to suffer a reduction in speed. As this violates Tip 7, it is not recommended for extended periods of time.
You could become a donkey herder. Donkeys don't appear to have a limit on the number of pregnancies, but they have long gestation periods and take a long time to grow to maturity. This is primarily an early game option. Look at it as a time to train your caravan's veterinary and mechanic skills and to learn how to use the Supplies Menu to keep your newborn animals from starving to death.

Horse caravan:

Horses can handle medium carts. Horses with a cargo capacity over 128 can use a large cart. You can be a horse herder. In which case, keep a few fiberglass (preferred) or small carts around to increase the carrying capacity of your immature horses. The increase in the horse's carrying capacity will pay for the cart over time. If necessary, you can store excess carts in any town where you have enough storage capacity: 20 kg. or 40 kg. per cart.
You can build a horse/goat caravan. If you decide to do this, buy a metal wagon or two for your largest horses. The extra passenger capacity is useful when carrying the larger goats (sizes 3 or 4). The loss in capacity from having the metal wagon instead of a large cart is only the difference in the weight of the two carts: 65 kg. A large horse pulling a metal wagon is only for carrying animals and cargo. It would not be able to carry 6 people as their combined weight would exceed its Max Load.
A horse/sheep caravan is not recommended due to the size of sheep. Many adult sheep are size 4, and very few are size 2.

Camel caravan:

Camels can easily use the large cart. Large camels (over 200 capacity) can haul the metal wagon. The serious herder will want to have a few metal wagons on hand. If your desire is to be only a camel herder, realize that camels have a long gestation period. Camel milk is the lowest price milk, so any excess milk will provide little income. The advantages are that camels live a long time before they reach old age, and a small herd can produce enough milk to feed your people without having to carry other animals. You will get some wool, too. Keep a few fiberglass carts around to boost the capacity of your immature camels. You may find that your immature camels quickly outgrow the fiberglass cart and can progress to a medium cart. (Excess medium carts can be stored in any town where you have enough storage capacity.)
A camel/goat caravan is easy to manage and produces abundant amounts of milk. If you prefer wool to milk, a camel/sheep caravan is possible with some additional planning and metal wagons since sheep are larger than goats. You will get a lot of wool. Of course, you can also be a camel/goat/sheep caravan and have the best (and worst) of both.
A camel/cow caravan is theoretically possible. Many metal wagons and large camels are required. I have never tried this since I haven't found enough small cows and large camels at the same time for this to be practical. Cows require a lot of passenger space and are heavy. One cow can fill a metal wagon, and the larger cows are too big to fit in a metal wagon. Cows also take a long time to grow to adult. Cow herding is best left to the owners of Umi Alphas.

Igelkott caravan:

An igelkott/goat caravan is possible. You will, probably, need to breed your own goats in either a horse or camel caravan beforehand to find enough passenger space size 2 goats for this to be practical. If you have an igelkott/horse caravan, your options are the same as a pure horse caravan. The igelkott has the same net passenger capacity as a medium cart, excluding the driver. Animals cannot drive a vehicle.
A pure igelkott/goat caravan won't be able to produce enough milk to feed your crew completely.

Umi Alpha caravan:

This is the herder's ultimate caravan. You can carry goats, sheep, and cows with relative ease. The passenger and cargo capacity of the Umi Alpha is large enough to provide a lot of flexibility if you have a few of them. An Umi Alpha "filled" with 10 goats/sheep or 5 cows would only use 6-20% of its cargo capacity for the animals. You can use the Collecting skill to help feed your herd. After applying the 5% speed reduction for Collecting, a vehicle caravan is still the fastest group on the desert (excluding the occasional wind-powered pirate group), and speed doesn't affect fuel consumption. A vehicle caravan will produce much less milk than a horse or camel caravan, but forage and water consumption will also be much lower. If you have a large crew, it is difficult to completely feed your crew from your herd, but it is possible. (You might choose to only partially feed your crew from your herd.)
Since you travel with your food supply, you could add some low maintenance Sand Gliders to your Umi Alpha caravan for additional cargo and passenger capacity and use the Collecting skill to help feed your herd. (Sand Glider speed seems to be exempt from the 5% speed reduction for Collecting.) Sand Gliders are for thrill seekers who like the unpredictability of the wind. If the wind stops, you can always start walking as each Umi Alpha can carry up to 3 Sand Gliders. (Each Sand Glider takes 10 passenger spaces, but its weight is only 120 kg.) Just be careful on long distance trips between towns and always take along some extra water. (Note that a Sand Glider carried in an Umi Alpha can carry a person as a passenger and still be carried by the Umi Alpha. Assign the Sand Glider as a passenger in the Umi Alpha, then assign a person to the Glider.)
If you have only one Umi Alpha due to your storyline choices, you can have an Umi Alpha/Igelkott/horse caravan, and use the Umi Alpha to carry only the largest animals.

Tip 9: Rearrange your animals when needed

If the arrangement of your caravan is unimportant to you, ignore this tip.

Tip 9: Rearrange your animals when needed

Every animal and vehicle you buy or capture and every animal born in your herd is added to the end of your caravan. You may want to rearrange your animals to make it easier to manage your herd, e.g., grouping the animals by species, gender, or size, moving animals you plan to sell to the end, etc. I like to use a goat as a type of "bookmark" to break up a long list of horses or camels, and vice versa.

In Battle Mode, your caravan is lined up on your side of the map. When the first row is filled up, animals/vehicles are placed near the two corners on your side of the map in several additional rows, depending on how many animals and vehicles you have. When both of these corners are filled, the excess will simply not appear on the map. The missing animals and vehicles are those at the end of your caravan. This default arrangement may not be to your liking. You may want your metal wagons or vehicles to be closer to your people at the start of a battle because of the protection they can provide, or you may want the vehicles out of the way since they can restrict movement and block your line of fire.

If you want to change the order of your animals and vehicles in your caravan, you have to be in a town with a Market. It does not need to be a Transport store or Livestock Market. Some preparation is needed before you get to town. Here is how you do it:

  1. Look at the order of your caravan on the Battle Mode map. On the screen, count the number of animals at the front of your caravan that you want to keep at the front of your caravan. Write down the number. (The front of your caravan is the direction your animals and vehicles are facing.) Different species of animal, different carts and vehicles all have different sizes and "wrap-around" in the corners depends on the size of your caravan and the size of the Battle Mode map. Therefore, it is easier to count on the Battle Mode map rather than trying to calculate the space occupied by your caravan.
  2. Then count how many animals need to be moved out of the way so you can have the animals and vehicles you want near you. Write that number down, too.
  3. Fight and win the battle.
  4. Go to town.
  5. Open the caravan Livestock/Transport menu. Scroll down the list of animals the number of animals you counted from #1 above. Remember the name of that animal.
  6. Scroll down further until you get to the animal that is after the animal found in #2 above. (This animal is #1 plus #2 from the beginning of the Livestock list.) Remember the name of this animal.
  7. Save your game. In case you make a mistake and accidentally sell an animal, you can restore your game.
  8. Go to the Market.
  9. Select the animals between the animals found in #5 and #6 above. These are the animals that will be moved to the back of your caravan. Click on them as if you were going to sell them. It is much easier to find the animals if they each have a unique name. The effect of clicking the animal is to move forward all of the animals and vehicles that were after the clicked animals.
  10. Click on the animals in the sell window to cancel the sale. This moves the animal to the end of your caravan although it won't appear that way on the Market screen. The order you click on them is the order they will be in at the end of your caravan: the last clicked with be the last animal in your caravan, the second to last clicked will be the second to last animal in your caravan, etc.
  11. Exit the marketplace.
  12. Verify the new order on the Battle Mode map during your next battle.
  13. If not quite right, repeat steps 1 to 12.
  14. If you only want to rearrange or move animals or vehicles, just follow steps 7 to 13. This will put them at the end of your caravan.
  15. After you complete this procedure, check the Passengers Menu. You may need to assign some passengers again as some may "fall out" of their carts when the animal is clicked for "selling."

It may take a couple of tries to get the exact order you want. Fortunately, you won't have to do this often (most likely after you have sold many animals) since your caravan will usually be bigger than the Battle Mode map and new animals will be left off the map. I suggest practicing this procedure when you have 20 or fewer animals, and not waiting until you have 100 animals and 5 Igelkotts for your first attempt. With practice, you will get better at rearranging your caravan. I am usually able to get the right order on the first or second time through steps 1-12. The tricky part is that animals and vehicles can be easily moved forward via this method, they can't be moved backward, except to the end. Trying to intermix animals and vehicles is also tricky. You don't need perfection in the order of your caravan, just "good enough." If you need to move a vehicle out of the way to the end of your caravan, the same procedure can be used.

Tip 10: Experiment and have fun

This guide does not cover all possible combinations of herd and caravan configurations. Take some time to experiment and explore the game and its options. You will find a style and mix of animals and vehicles that suits your preferences, game goals, and strategy. For example, you may want to be a herder only as a middle game option to rapidly increase your caravan's veterinary skills since breeding many goats/sheep is cheaper than buying animals.

Herding animals is easier on "normal" than "hard" difficulty, due to the effects on pregnancy limits and milk production. However, the higher prices of animal breeding industries on "hard" difficulty makes herding an attractive alternative to buying an animal breeding industry.

Appendices

Appendix 1: The author's animal naming system

Appendix 1: The author's animal naming system

The author uses an informational naming system:

  1. Any female animals bought are given a number at the end of their name. For example, "horse 1", "horse 2", "goat 1."
  2. Any male animals bought are named with "m" (for male) and a number. For example, "horse m1", "sheep m1." This is redundant, but it makes identifying animals easier. (Since the species is obvious, I sometimes omit it from the actual name. I am including the species name here to help illustrate how my system works.)
  3. From time to time, as more animals are bought, just continue increasing the number assigned in the name. I use the same naming system for any animals captured in battle that I intend to keep as if they were bought animals. Animals that I intend to sell as soon as possible, due to small size, older age, or undesired gender, I will rename "sell" when I review the animals after the battle.
  4. Any animals born in the herd are given a name based on the mother's name. I alternate numbers with letters. For example, "goat 1" gives birth to "goat 1a", "goat 1b", and "goat 1c" - 3 kids. Later on, "goat 1b" gives birth to "goat 1b-1" and "goat 1b-2" - 2 kids this time. Later, "goat 1b-2" gives birth to "goat 1b-2a" and "goat 1b-2b" - 2 kids this time. And so on. After several generations these names can get long. At that point, I rename all the animals in one species as if they were newly bought. A good time to rename animals is after you cull the herd. The advantage of this system is that I know right away which animals are nursing. The names of the babies in the herd identify their mothers. This helps to prevent accidentally selling the mother.

In travel mode, a pop-up notice appears when an animal is born. The name of the mother is identified only if she gives birth to more than one kid. For this reason, I keep a list of "weeks of pregnancy" remaining for the females in my herd. When a female gets to zero, a birth will occur soon. When the pop-up appears, I open the caravan menu and verify that the female is no longer pregnant. I immediately rename the newborn animals, assign them as a passenger if necessary, then resume traveling.

Appendix 2: Animal weights and passenger size

Appendix 2: Animal weights and passenger size

This data was collected by breeding and examining hundreds of animals. Obviously, I haven't seen every possible combination of age and weight, so some information is incomplete. Use this information for guidance and be aware of the gaps between passenger space sizes. In general, male animals tend to be heavier than females, but there are heavy females and light males. I can't tell whether male animals take up more passenger space than females of the same weight since that would only be noticeable near the boundaries between passenger sizes and that is difficult to detect. If there is a difference, it is very small.

The adult weight of an animal is closely correlated with its birth weight. There is some variability especially when more than one kid is born at the same time. A better correlation is its weight when weaned and its adult weight. As you gain experience with herding animals, you will be able to accurately estimate an animal's adult weight and cargo capacity by looking at its weight and capacity when it is only four months old. This may help you make a sell or keep decision earlier. The price of an animal is closely correlated to its species, weight, cargo capacity, and where you sell it (the town and type of store). Its health and life stage (baby, immature, adult, old) have a smaller influence. Females fetch a higher price than males of the same weight.

Goats
Weight passenger spaces needed
over 93 kg 4 spaces
67 to 93 kg 3 spaces
40 to 66 kg 2 spaces
less than 40 kg 1 space
newborn kid 1 space

Adult goats of size 4 are rare. About 20% of adult female goats will be size 2. Adult male goats of size 2 are very rare but do occur.

I have seen a few baby goats that were size 2 (over 40 kg.) before they were weened. Statistically, this represents less than one per cent of the goats raised.

Sheep
Weight passenger spaces needed
over 100 kg 5 spaces
79 to 100 kg 4 spaces
57 to 77 kg 3 spaces
34 to 55 kg 2 spaces
less than 34 kg 1 space
newborn lamb 1 space

Some sheep will be size 2 (over 34 kg.) before they are weaned. As you can see, sheep require a little more passenger space than goats of the same weight. Adult sheep of size 2 are rare.

Cows
Weight passenger spaces needed
over 621 kg 8 spaces
542 - 619 kg 7 spaces
459 - 540 kg 6 spaces
376 - 458 kg 5 spaces
292 - 372 kg 4 spaces
209 - 291 kg 3 spaces
127 - 208 kg 2 spaces
less than 124 1 space
newborn calf 1 space

Cows are heavy. They have a higher ratio of weight to passenger space than sheep or goats. Adult cows of sizes 3 or 8 are rare. Size 3 adult cows seem to be cows that are severely wounded. Of the few size 3 adults I've found, they all grew above size 3 after their wounds were healed.

Although you won't normally be carrying these animals, these are the relevant passenger sizes:

adult camel: 10-13 passenger spaces
adult horse: 7-10 passenger spaces
adult donkey: 4-6 passenger spaces

While writing this guide, it occurred to me that with a few Umi Alphas, you could become a donkey herder again and carry your donkeys in the vehicles. I have never tried this, but it may be more profitable than it first appears to be since it avoids the pregnancy limits of the other species. The large number of Transport stores in The Federation and Qubba provide many choices of where to sell the donkeys although the donkey milk won't provide much income. For those who supplement their Umi Alphas with Sand Gliders, a donkey herd would walk faster, if the wind stopped, than cows, sheep, or goats. On "hard" difficulty, a donkey herd will actually breed faster than horses, camels, or cows. You won't get milk from the immature donkeys, but the adults will be pregnant most of the time increasing their milk production.

Appendix 3: Milk production analysis

This appendix examines animals as milk-making machines based on their consumption of water and forage.

Appendix 3: Milk production analysis

Animal milk production has some variability. This appendix gives some data on how much water and forage each species of animal consumes to produce 1 kg. of milk. In the game, all milk is 89% to 90% water. This helps you to see how much of the water your animal drinks is simply converted into water content to feed your people. For example, donkey milk is 89% water. A pregnant donkey can convert 2.9 kg. of water into 1 kg. of milk which contains 0.89 kg. of water. This conversion process reduces your need to carry water for your people which frees up some container and cargo space. Notice the increased efficiency in milk production for pregnant/nursing animals. These animals not only produce more milk, they use less water to produce each kilogram.

These figures are for healthy adult animals. Undernourished or severely wounded animals will produce much less milk. (Severely wounded animals will also have their cargo capacity reduced.) Animals you buy or capture in battle are usually not at full health. The numbers are for animals that are pregnant and/or nursing kids, as noted. If you are managing your herd properly, your animals will be pregnant or nursing much of the time. The ranges are wide because milk production increases throughout the pregnancy and declines while nursing. Within a species you will see some variation among animals. In general, the larger the animal, the more milk it will produce although the ratios won't change.

The water to forage ratio is fairly constant for a species regardless of the animal's age, size, gender, or pregnancy. Variations that you see may be due to rounding of displayed numbers. Combining the water and forage numbers can give you an estimate of the cost to produce one kilogram of milk. For example, if you use an overall average cost of 2.00 per forage and 0.50 per water, and an average animal ratio of 3 water to 1 milk, the cost to produce milk is 4.50 per kg.

These figures are approximate. Your results may deviate slightly. Warning: On "hard" difficulty, nursing females do not produce more milk. On "normal" difficulty, nursing females milk production gradually declines.

ratio of water (kg.) consumed to milk (kg.) produced
pregnant/nursing not pregnant/nursing Ratio of water consumed to forage consumed
donkey: about 2.9 - 5.5 to 1 about 6.0 - 6.3 to 1 about 2 water for each forage
horse: about 2.5 - 5.0 to 1 about 4.9 - 5.1 to 1 about 2 water for each forage
camel: about 0.9 - 2.4 to 1 about 1.7 - 2.5 to 1 about 1.2 water for each forage
goat: about 0.85 - 2.1 to 1 about 2.0 - 2.1 to 1 about 1.8 water for each forage
cow: about 1.3 - 1.6 to 1 about 1.6 - 1.7 to 1 about 1.65 water for each forage
sheep: about 1.9 - 2.5 to 1 about 2.5 - 3.1 to 1 about 2 water for each forage

The 0.85 for the goat is not an error. I did have one goat that produced milk that contained more water than it consumed in water. It was pregnant and nursing on "normal" mode.

Note that donkeys and horses have similar numbers. Although horses consume more per animal, they also produce more milk and carry more cargo. From a herder's point of view, a horse is just a big, fast donkey.

Camels, goats, and cows are the best milk-making machines. They produce the most milk from the least water and forage. Sheep and cows have the smallest increase in milk production efficiency when pregnant/nursing. I did some calculations of the ratio of animal weight to milk production, but the numbers were not useful because milk production changes during an animal's pregnancy.

Appendix 4: Animal Aging and Breeding

Appendix 4: Animal Aging and Breeding
animal gestation period age when weened age when adult old age generation
donkey 54-55 weeks 4 months 2 years 20 years 158-159 weeks
horse 44-51 weeks 4 months 1 year 6 months 20 years 122-129 weeks
goat 20-24 weeks 14 weeks 30 weeks 12 years 50-54 weeks
camel 57-62 weeks 4 months 1 year 6 months 29 years 135-140 weeks
cow 37-41 weeks 4 months 2 years 11 years ? 131-135 weeks
sheep 19-20 weeks 3 months 7 months 7 years ? 47-48 weeks
  • The gestation period is how long the animal will be pregnant before giving birth. The numbers are the range of values that have been observed in the game. Other values that have not yet been observed may be possible.
  • Old age is the youngest age at which the cane will appear. The game has some variability, and some animals will not reach old age until years after this age. The old ages for cow and sheep are estimates based on more limited data. Old age information is only useful when buying animals. It is unlikely that you will keep any animal born in your herd long enough for it to reach old age.
  • Generation is the sum of gestation period and age when adult, in weeks. It tells you how long it will take to breed the next generation of animals. The lower the number the faster your herd will increase in size. Note that only goats and sheep have the potential to give birth to multiple kids in each pregnancy. This will accelerate the increase in your herd's size. If you are breeding animals primarily for sale, goats and sheep are your best choices.

Appendix 5: Best places to sell animals

Spoiler warning: If you want to discover this information yourself, do not read this appendix. It is not difficult to discover this information in the game, but it does take some time.

Appendix 5: Best places to sell animals

Lago in Alkubra pays the most for all animals except camels. However, you will notice a price drop if you sell many animals of the same species at one time, depending on how many Lago already has. Prices will continue to drop as you sell more animals. (Ten of a species seems to be the point at which prices drop. Expect 50% price reduction after 20 animals. This price drop effect happens in the other towns and regions, too.) If you sold many animals, expect to wait several months for Lago to get rid of your animals.

Mimb pays the most in Janubi, about one-half the Lago price.

Ozbet is the best camel selling town in Alkubra or Janubi with slightly higher prices than Lago or Mimb.

In The Federation/Qubba regions, there are more Transport store options, but prices are lower:

  • Ausz appears to be the best for horses, at one-half Lago price, with Tara'koona and Valentingrad next best at about 20-25% lower than Ausz.
  • Ausz and Gamel Met are the best for cows, at one-half Lago price. Expect 25% lower prices in other towns.
  • Donkeys fetch about one-third of the Lago price in the Transport stores of Smerd, Nirgendwo, and Milloshigrad. Qubba, Patrolton, Goedewil, and Valentingrad are about 10% less than that trio of towns.
  • Generally, sheep and goats sell for about one-fourth of the Lago prices in various towns. Shop around for the best prices. You may find a higher price in the Market or General Store in a town than in the Transport store. This last point applies to all animal sales in this region. When it has a Theoretical Negative Forage Statistic, Shosta will pay more than Lago for goats sold in its Market, but the goat meat from a slaughtered goat will sell for more than the living goat.

I've not had camels in The Federation/Qubba regions, so I can't give information on pricing. If the reader has camels in these regions, they can easily discover this information.

Is it worth a special trip to Lago just to sell animals? The answer is "No." Unless you are in the Tribal or Alkubra regions, the cost of moving your caravan will eat up your profits. Selling a few animals is best done at any convenient town with a reasonable price. This is why I suggest you keep a list of animals you are planning to sell. It is better to sell your animals in small numbers to avoid driving down prices. Animals are just another trade good for the animal herder. Like trading in goods, selling a variety of species helps to keep prices higher.

However, if you combine your trip to Lago with trading along the way, it may be worth the trip if you have many animals that you want to sell. Plan your trip well, and try to trade in goods not found in Alkubra, like fuel, salt, candles, cement, etc. This would also apply if you are picking up or dropping off people at the Fort Mitchell Police Academy: combine animal selling with your trip.

Buying animals is less predictable than selling. When you visit them, some markets may not have an animal of the species or gender you are looking for. Bargain prices are occasionally available for damaged animals, and your high veterinary skill should heal them quickly. Watch out for the "old age" animal. It is best to save the game before buying animals so that you can load the save if you purchase an undesirable animal. The animals you breed yourself tend to be better than those you can buy. This may be due to the fact that you will keep your own animals healthy and well-fed all the time.

Where you can find animals for purchase:

  • donkey: all regions
  • horse: all regions except Tribal
  • goat: all regions except Northway, Qubba, and The Federation
  • camel: all regions except Tribal and Alkubra
  • cow: all regions except Tribal
  • sheep: all regions except Northway, Qubba, and The Federation

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