Don’t head over to the market just yet, there aren’t many animals in farmville that are actually worth spending coins on and at the start you won’t be able to buy those anyway. The first animal that makes any sense buying is the saddleback pig at level 35. The arapawa goat that you can buy at level 55 is not as good, it will cost you 200,000 coins more than the pig and harvests for only 200 coins more. Unlike the pig, it can’t be put into a building. But it makes even more sense to buy the largest expansion of your farm and crafting building before you start spending coins on animals if you are looking for fast progress, so they will probably both stay at the market. The ultimate sensible animal you can buy at the market is the belted cow that costs 1 million coins. You can collect 3000 coins from it every day and it can be put into the dairy barn. All the other animals that you can buy for coins are more or less like decorations, they aren’t really worth the money you pay for them or the space you put them on. The only exception to this are the golden chicken, Cornish chicken, Scots grey chicken, Rhode Island red chicken and rainbow chicken, but you can’t buy those for coins and buying them for farmcash isn’t worth it since you can get them for free from mystery eggs from your neighbors. I have never bought a chicken myself but have a super chicken coop full of Rhode Island red and rainbow chickens and lots of scots grey, cornish and golden free range chickens on my farm.
The pets are basically just expensive decorations too, you will probably never want to use the tricks they can learn to help you on the farm since collecting from animals is a lot easier with farmhands that you find in mystery eggs and on the feed from horse stables all the time. But if you love dogs and really want a pet, just go ahead and enjoy. You should treat yourself to a few things that don’t make economic sense now and then if the game becomes more fun for you that way.
At the start of the game it makes sense to collect at least one of every kind of animal off the feed put it on your farm to collect from it once because in addition to the “animal shelter” ribbons that give you 425 XP and 18,500 coins you can get the “Noah’s ark” ribbons that get you another 180 XP and 18,500 coins for collecting from 8 unique animals. This means that they have to be different kinds of animals, they don’t have to be very special in any other way (a regular calf and a brown calf will count as two kinds, for example). The “zoologist” ribbons will get you another 425 XP and 18,500 coins, but to get them all you will have to collect from 5000 animals, so before you get to it you might weed out the less productive ones. Animals that make most sense to keep except for the ones that I already mentioned so far are calves, piglets and mini foals. They only take the space of 1/16th of a plot and give you 80 coins a day. If you compare that to the money you can make growing crops on the same plot, you’ll find that calves, piglets and mini foals give you an astonishing 53,3 coins per plot per hour, 6 times as much as the most profitable regular crop in the game, forget-me-nots that you unlock at level 90.
That doesn’t mean that you should give up growing crops altogether, though. It wouldn’t be possible to fill your whole farm with small animals anyway, since there is a limit of 4000 items that can be placed on any farm, regardless the size. And if you only place small animals on your farm, you’ll exceed this limit quite fast if you have the largest expansion. It just means that you should try to collect and keep every calf that your neighbors find on their farm until you get close to the limit. Remember, animals won’t give you XP directly. But they will give them to you indirectly. If you spend the money you make from them on expansions that will get you more land to put plots on you will still gain XP faster by keeping profitable animals. And I’m not telling you to sell all the less profitable ones right away either. A lot of animals have additional buildings you can put them into. So don’t sell regular foals and horses, cows or chickens right away, because as soon as you put them into the appropriate buildings, they will become more profitable and let you progress faster in the game, too. The same goes for all the animals that can produce collectibles such as chickens and cows, but also sheep, turkeys, swans, ducks and geese. You should always keep enough ducks and geese to produce a few dapple plumes and banded quills for your feather collection. Cats are necessary to get the “cat lady” ribbons and the more you can adopt and find in mystery gifts, the faster you get another 1,400 XP and 18,500 coins for collecting from cats 250 times.
The animal that sells best at the moment is the strawberry pig that will get you an astonishing 15,000 coins. In order to get one you need a friend to share a black or brown truffle with you or you need to be the first to click on a post from a friend who just got a strawberry pig from the truffle market. Other animals that “sell well” are the white-tailed buck and the black pony, although you should only start selling ponies after you have a fully expanded horse stable full of them. Boer goats, lamas, mouflon sheep and turtles get you 95 coins if you sell them straight away. Foals are even better at 120, but you should not collect rare foals only to sell them. Neighbors who breed haflinger, alien or clydesdale foals have paid lots of farmcash for the horses, probably financed with real money, and expect you to treat their rare foals with care and deserve thanks if you manage to get one. They don’t make too much economic sense to keep on your farm since regular foals will take a space of a quarter of a plot, which leaves the turnout at 13,3 coins per plot. This is still 1 and a half times what you get from planting the plot, but then you would get XP, so the normal foals don’t break even if you are looking for very fast progress.
But you might think about keeping rare foals or a few of the other animals just because you like them. Remember, not everything has to be completely efficient until you no longer like it. Maybe a few chinchillas or squirrels are cute?
6 Collections – how to get them and turn them in for rewards
© Conny Streit, 2011