How To: Create an Automatic Animal Harvester in Minecraft

Create an Automatic Animal Harvester in Minecraft

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Harvesting items from animals no longer requires wasting precious time chasing after them. During last Saturday's Weekly Workshop, we built a few different kinds of animal harvesters that worked in different ways, but for this guide we will be building the most compact and easy to use harvesters we made over the weekend. 

How to Create an Automatic Cow, Pig, and Sheep Harvester

The cow, pig, and sheep harvester is an easy way to collect dropped items from any one of the three animal mobs at a time or all at once. For the sake of demonstrating an example, I will first use sheep in the harvester.

Step 1 Build the Frame

(1) Build a platform out of whatever solid block type you want that is about 5 by 8 blocks big. Dig a hole two blocks deep in the middle of the front of the platform. , (2) Encase the platform in glass two blocks high as seen above. Do not obstruct the hole in the front.

Step 2 Build Piston Water Controllers

(1) Remove two glass blocks in the center of each side of the glass frame. Place two regular pistons on either side of the hole and activate them with redstone torches. , (2) Behind the two extended pistons build a two block wide container and fill it with water. , (3) Connect the redstone torches together with redstone and run the redstone wiring to the front of the machine. (4) Connect this wire to a lever in the front. (5) Build a second piston water controller on the opposite side of the harvester exactly as you did with the first. Connect its redstone torches with redstone. Connect the redstone wiring of the two piston controllers together. (6) When you flip the lever the water will flow out and into the harvester. This will sweep up wool, hide, and meat collected from your animals and move it into the hole you placed in the front of the machine.

Step 3 Add Your Mob and Harvest Their Items

(1) For the sake of ease, I have added a two gate to a section of the harvest's glass wall in order to lead sheep into the harvester. , (2) If you wish, you may choose to replace the first level of glass with stone slabs in order to make sheering the sheep easier. , (3) To use the harvester for sheep, lead your sheep or other animal mob into the harvester. Once you do this, you may harvest them through the gap in the wall. Unfortunately, there is no way at this time to automate the sheering process for sheep. (4) Once you have sheered your sheep or slain your cows and pigs, activate the machine. Watch as their wool flows to the front of the harvester with ease. (5) You can now flip off the switch and collect the loot the machine moves to the front.

(1) Here I have replaced the sheep in the harvester with cows. , (2) The main difference is that I kill the cows instead of sheering them!

How to Create an All-In-One Cow, Pig, Sheep and Chicken Harvester

With this harvester, we will combine two types of harvesters: one for pigs, cows, or sheep and another for chickens. This way the amount of energy spent in collecting their dropped items is cut in half. 

Step 4 Build the All-In-One Harvester Frame

(1) Build a platform of glass about four blocks directly above your cow, pig, and sheep harvester. It should be four blocks above ground and roughly the same area as the cow, pig, and sheep harvester. Cover this top platform with fence gates. (2) Surround the top frame with glass as seen above.

Step 5 Fill the Top Platform with Water 

(1) Fill in the top frame with water and remove the glass that sits below the fence gates. You will notice that the water does not fall through the gates. (2) Open each of the fence gates. This is so that when chickens sit in the water, their eggs will falls through, while they themselves will not. , (3) Place or lead your chickens into the top section of the harvester.

Step 6 Complete the Cow and Pig Harvester

(1) With your chicken harvester built above your cow, pig, and sheep harvester, the chickens eggs will fall into the bottom harvesting mechanism and all of your items will collect in the front of the lower harvester. (2) Here you can see chicken eggs and cow meat exiting the front of the machine.

Now that you have a method for automating all of your animal harvesting into one convenient machine, you can spend more of your day exploring the landscape, hunting monsters, or in quality time with pet wolf.

Thank you to everyone who came to last Saturday's Weekly Workshop, we hope to see you again next week!

If you have any questions about this article or suggestions for future How-To's let us know in the comments section below.

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This is awesome! I would have never thought of doing this with cows and sheep. I had a similar set up with chickens for their eggs (I love making cakes!). I didn't have it as fancy with sticky pistons though. The sticky pistons make it a lot easier to get your items, so I'm definitely going to use this set up next time.

Thanks for the great tutorial Jon!

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