How does animal spawning work?

  • In what way do animals in Minecraft spawn? It looks to me that they spawn more during the night (but where there are torches) and more kind of around you / around some other human player. Am I right, or does it work some other way?

    Thank you.

    In 1.8, apparently badly... :(

  • Correct answer

    8 years ago

    The Minecraft Wiki shows that there are many variables that affect animal spawnings as of version 1.3.2.

    One in ten newly generated chunks will contain mobs (includes any animal, monster, or utility). They can show up in as many as four 'packs' of the same mob. They will always spawn on the highest point (the blocks that you see if you were flying). Therefore, if the world generator had to choose between spawning an animal on a ledge or inside a cave, it would choose the ledge. The block that the animal spawns on must be opaque (not glass, water, lava, etc).

    Pigs spawn in groups of either three or four. Sheep spawn in groups of two to eight. Cows spawn in groups of four, and can spawn up to twelve. Chickens spawn in groups of as much as three. When chicken eggs are thrown, there is a 1/8 chance of a baby chicken spawning. There is also a 1/32 chance of four spawning instead of one. Before version 1.6, they only spawned when the light level was over nine, now they spawn regardless of whatever light level.


    The block two blocks above the opaque block must be non-opaque (tree leaf, water, lava, glass). Animals (excluding squid) do not spawn in ocean biomes. No animals normally spawn in desert biomes. The spawning of animals is dependent on the world seed. This means that if I make a world with default settings and the seed 'minecraft' and you do that same, the cows and pigs will spawn in the exact same places.

    Very rarely, new animals can spawn in already generated chunks, like monsters. When this happens, as well as when mobs spawn from a mob spawner, the following rules apply:

    • The light level must be nine or more.
    • The opaque must be a grass block (not a dirt block).

    Unlike monsters, animals do not spontaneously despawn, except for wild ocelots and wolves (which can despawn only when they are hostile). They do not despawn even if the player is far from them.

    Note that squids have different spawning criteria then other mobs. They can spawn at any light level underwater. They will also spawn in player made pools and sometimes they will spawn in underground water deposits. It is technically possible for them to spawn in one block of water, but that is not very likely.

    Why is this post CW?

    It says in the spoiler, so that people can edit it as needed, as Minecraft changes over time.

    Everybody on the internet can already edit your posts with the suggested edit system :)

    Then what is the point of the CW?

    Good question! CW was a day 1 feature that predates the suggested edit system. Nowadays it's kind of pointless. Oh, and with this I took the liberty to remove the CW status from this post.

    it's different. community wiki implies for everyone to join in and edit it if they please. on the other hand I don't want other people to edit my own answers because then that wouldn't by my answers any longer. also, in that case one person would get all the reputation (on behalf of everyone that edited and improved his answer). CW exists for a reason.

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Content dated before 6/26/2020 9:53 AM