Unlike many other mob drops in Minecraft, you cannot get Scutes by killing creatures. The only way to get Scutes is by raising a baby Turtle to adulthood. This can best be done by farming Turtles.
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How Scutes Drop From Turtles
The only way that a Turtle will drop a Scute is when they grow into an adult. Each baby Turtle that reaches full maturity will drop 1 Scute. Since it’s much easier to breed Turtles than it is to find wild baby Turtles, you should do the former to get more Scutes.
How to Breed Turtles
To get Turtles to breed, you will have to feed them a specific item, like when you breed other animals. For Turtles, you will need Seagrass in order to get a mating pair to enter love mode. When you feed 2 Turtles 1 Seagrass each, and they are close enough to each other, they will nuzzle for a few seconds. Afterward, when they separate, one will have a slightly bigger stomach. Follow this one, as it’s the Turtle carrying the eggs. When they reach their home beach, they’ll lay some Turtle Eggs, which will hatch into baby Turtles in about 4 to 5 in-game days
How to Get Baby Turtles to Grow Faster
Like their parents, baby Turtles love to eat Seagrass. Every 1 Seagrass that you feed a baby Turtle will get them to grow 10% closer to adulthood. As such, 10 Seagrass fed to a baby Turtle should be enough to fully mature them.
Tips for Raising Baby Turtles
Both Turtle Eggs and baby Turtles are quite vulnerable. Turtle Eggs can be broken if they are jumped or stepped on by mobs other than adult Turtles. Furthermore, babies are the prey of many monsters and animals in Minecraft. Common foes like Zombies, Drowned, and Skeletons will purposely kill baby Turtles. However, wild Ocelots, wild Wolves, stray Cats, and Foxes will also attack baby Turtles.
Due to such threats, you should make some sort of enclosure around your breeding area to keep everything safe. You can pretty easily do so by making some fences and walls.
What You Can Use Scutes For
You can potentially sell 4 Scutes to certain Villagers for 1 Emerald, which would be a great way of getting lots of Emeralds if you have a thriving Turtle farm. Expert-level Leatherworker Villagers are one type who has this trade option. However, Expert-level Cleric Villagers can as well, albeit with differing odds. In the Bedrock Edition of Minecraft, clerics have a 50% chance to possess this trade, while in the Java Edition, the odds are 66%.
What You Can Craft With Scutes
In terms of crafting, the only item you can make with Scutes is a Turtle Shell. To do so, use the same crafting recipe as you would for a helmet, but use 5 Scutes as the crafting material. In other words, fill the top row of a Crating Table with 3 Scutes and then place 1 on the left-middle slot and the last 1 on the right-middle slot.
The primary use of a Turtle Shell is as a helmet. Turtle Shells offer the same amount of Defense Icons as an Iron Helmet (1 icon). Though there are some traits that make Turtle Shells better than Iron Helmets, such as the difference in durability. An Iron Helmet can take 165 points of damage while a Turtle Shell can take 275.
As another point of reference, a Diamond Helmet has 363 points of durability. To top it all off, wearing a Turtle Shell will grant you the Water Breathing status effect, which lets you stay underwater for another 10 seconds without drowning.
In addition to using a Turtle Shell as an excellent helmet, you can also use it to make a Potion of the Turtle Master. On a Brewing Stand, place the Turtle Shell on the top slot and some Awkward Potions on the bottom slots. This will give you as many Potions of the Turtle Master as there are Awkward Potions. This interestingly-named potion will grant you the Slowness and Resistance effects. The former will decrease your movement speed by 60% and the latter will increase your damage reduction by 60%.