Cows, like many other mobs in Minecraft, eat Wheat. When you feed a Cow some Wheat, red hearts will appear above its head. This means that it is in love mode, and can be bred to make baby Cows.
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How to Get Wheat to Feed Cows
You can find Wheat commonly growing in Villages. If you harvest it, the Villagers won’t mind, as they’ve got tons of Wheat Seeds to plant more. You also have fairly high chances of finding Wheat in Village Chests. As such, be sure to loot Villages thoroughly. You can also find Wheat in the Chests of other locations:
|Type of Structure||Possible Amount of Wheat||Appearance Rate|
|Dungeon||1 to 4||34.1%|
|Igloo||2 to 3||55.3%|
|Pillager Outpost||3 to 5||72.5%|
|Shipwreck||8 to 21||42.1%|
|Underwater Ruins||2 to 3||81% to 85%|
|Woodland Mansion||1 to 4||34.1%|
On top of finding Wheat, you can easily grow it yourself. Just use a Hoe on some Dirt to turn it into Farmland and plant Wheat Seeds in it. If this block is within 4 blocks of some water, it will eventually grow into Wheat if it gets enough sunlight during the day.
Note that in the Bedrock Edition of Minecraft, Wheat Seeds are just called “Seeds.”
What Happens When You Feed Wheat to Cows
When you feed Wheat to an adult Cow, it will enter love mode. If there are 2 adult Cows close to each other, they will breed if they are both in love mode. This will cause the Cows to nuzzle briefly before separating. A few seconds later, a baby Cow will spawn next to one of the parent Cows.
You can also feed Wheat to baby Cows to make them grow faster. Every time you feed a baby Cow 1 Wheat, they will grow 10% closer to adulthood. Normally, it would take a baby Cow 20 real-world minutes to fully grow. However, this time can be drastically reduced by feeding them Wheat. This is also something that is true about feeding many other animal mobs that eat Wheat.
Where to Find Cows
If you’re playing the Java Edition of Minecraft, you can find Cows pretty much anywhere with grass and open space. Specifically, Cows will spawn in all biomes except Snowy Plains, Meadows, and Wooded Badlands. They will only spawn if the light level is above 7 and if there are at least 2 blocks of free space to accommodate their bodies. When these criteria are met, between 1 to 4 Cows can spawn on grassy Dirt blocks. About 5% of Cows will spawn as baby Cows.
In the Bedrock Edition, there are some differences to Cow spawning. While the biome and physical space parameters are the same, Cows will only spawn if the light level is above 9. Furthermore, Cows will only spawn in groups of 2 or 3. However, the chance of Cows spawning as babies remains at 5%.
You can also potentially find Cows in the pens of Villages. If you have a Lead, you can even leash penned Cows and bring them to your farm. Furthermore, if you use a pair of Shears on a Mooshroom, it will turn into a regular Cow.
What Cows Are Good For
There are a couple of resources that you can get from Cows, which makes them a great choice for farming. Firstly, each adult Cow drops 1 to 3 Raw Beef as well as 0 to 2 Leather. Raw Beef can be cooked into Steak, which is one of the best food items in the game. Additionally, Leather is needed to make Books and other important items. To make Bookshelves to enhance your enchanting, you’ll need a ton of Books, therefore a Cow farm could be a great solution.
Alternatively, you can also use empty Buckets on Cows to get Milk Buckets. Milk, when consumed, will remove negative status effects, so having some on hand can be a real life-saver if you get poisoned. On top of that, you can also use Milk Buckets to make a Cake, which is another excellent food item.