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Stardew Valley allows us to live out the secret farm living dreams that many of us never knew we had. The simplicity of getting up early, feeding your animals, tending to your crops, and fishing to earn a little extra cash gets addictive fast.
Like many good farms, you also have the opportunity of raising chickens on your own idyllic property. But unless you take care of them, you’re likely to notice that your chickens are getting grumpy.
Because I want to ensure your chickens are healthy and profitable, I’ll be explaining to you why your chickens are grumpy in Stardew Valley, and of course, what you can do to fix it.
The Basics of Keeping Chickens
I’m going to start off by giving you some basic information on chicken maintenance. Here’s what I’ll cover:
- Where you can get chickens
- How to feed them
- Where you’ll keep them
- What daily chicken maintenance looks like
Where to get chickens…
When you’re ready, you can buy chicks from Marnie’s Ranch, which is located almost immediately south of your farm. Each chick costs 800 gold.
After purchasing a chick, Marnie sends them to your farm the following morning. You can choose a name for each chick, or just go with the randomly generated name if you’re feeling a little lazy.
Feeding your chickens…
Although your chickens won’t die if you don’t feed them, it’s best for everyone involved if you, well…do feed them. So what do they eat, and how do you feed them?
Like with cows, goats, pigs, and sheep, you’ll feed your chickens hay. There are a few ways you can get them their daily dose of hay: through the silo, by putting bundles of hay in the feeding trough yourself, or letting your chickens out.
Even if you have the silo, which stores hay for you, the food isn’t automatically dispersed to your chickens until you’ve upgraded the coop enough. This means that earlier on, you may still need to walk in and take hay from the feeder in the corner, which you’ll then spread out in the trough for your chickens.
If you open the coop, your chickens can leave and eat grass around your farm, too. They’ll return to the coop themselves in the evening if you leave the coop open.
Sheltering your chickens…
You can’t have chickens at all if you don’t provide a proper shelter for them. That shelter is called a coop.
Like the other buildings on your farm, you can have it constructed by Robin. The starting price for the lowest tier coop is 4,000 gold and will cost you an additional 300 wood and 100 stone. At this level, the coop will be able to hold up to four chickens.
You’ll want to look at upgrading your coop as soon as you can, though. The deluxe coop, pictured above, can hold up to twelve chickens and comes with an autofeed system that will parcel out hay from your silo for you. It saves you a little time.
To get to the deluxe coop, though, you’ll need to upgrade the basic coop to the big coop. This will cost you 10,000 gold, 400 wood, and 150 stone. Then you can upgrade to the deluxe coop, which will cost you 20,000 gold, 500 wood, and 200 stone.
Daily chicken maintenance…
Let’s assume you’ve got three fully grown chickens on your farm. Here’s what your daily maintenance for them would look like.
First, you’d wake up (obviously). You’d get up, go out to your coop, and interact with all your chickens. A heart will appear above their heads. I’m not sure why. One person on our team says you’re hugging the chickens, but I’m not 100% sure if that’s what happening or if you’re petting them.
Collect the eggs scattered around by your chickens, or from the auto-grabber if you have one. With your eggs collected, check the feeding trough to make sure your chickens have been fed. Otherwise, open the door on the coop to let them out so they can eat grass.
I personally built a corral around my coop and plant grass inside it. I leave the door on the coop open all the time, so the chickens can go in or out as they please. They only need to eat from the feeding trough when it’s raining or during the winter this way.
Here’s Why Your Chickens are Grumpy
Now that I’ve filled you in on chickens, let’s get to the reason you’re actually here: to figure out why your chickens are grumpy, and what you can do about it. I’ll discuss the possible reasons below…
1. You didn’t feed your chickens on a given day.
Each chicken needs one unit of hay per day. If you fail to feed them one day, they’ll get grumpy and they’ll start to look thin.
So if you find that your chickens are looking grumpy multiple days in a row, check your feeding trough. You may need to replenish the hay in your silo if the trough and feeder you can pull hay from are consistently empty.
Should you need more hay, you can buy some from Marnie’s Ranch or use your scythe to harvest some grass as long as it’s not winter.
2. You left them outside overnight.
If you do what I do and leave your coop’s door open all the time, this won’t ever be a problem. However, if you close the door occasionally and forget that you’ve got a chicken outside, it will be grumpy that it wasn’t able to sleep in its bed!
You also put your chickens at risk of being attacked if they’re stuck outside overnight. Understandably, being attacked scares the crap out of them, which makes them even more unhappy.
This is an easy issue to fix. Simply leave the door open all the time so chickens can come and go whenever they want. If you’re concerned about them coming back, remember that they return automatically to the coop in the evening.
During the winter, your chickens won’t leave the coop at all. That’s the only time I close the door on the coop.
3. They need some love.
This won’t make your chickens “grumpy” per se, but they’ll like you a lot less if you’re not petting them every day. You’ll know you’ve petted the chicken when a little heart appears above their heads.
To pet them, simply walk up to them and interact with them. You’ll see the heart come up and then they’ll make a happy clucking noise.
Are Chickens Profitable in Stardew Valley?
Before I finish up this post, there’s one last question I think is worth addressing: are chickens profitable?
Yes, they absolutely can be! Take care of your chickens, and they’ll lay large or regular-sized eggs for you every single day. There’s a lot you can do with these eggs.
The easiest thing you can do is simply sell the eggs as-is. A large egg will sell for 95 gold, which isn’t all that bad once you’ve got a deluxe coop filled with the maximum twelve chickens.
I personally make the eggs into mayo, though, because it sells for more money. You’ll get 190-285 gold per jar of mayo, depending on whether it’s normal or gold star-level quality. The drawback is that you’ll need to spend time processing the eggs, which takes 3 in-game hours.
The next time you see your chickens getting grumpy, you’ll now know what to check and how to fix the issue. Keep your chickens happy and healthy, and they can become a very profitable part of your farm in Stardew Valley.
We’ve created other guides to help answer your most pressing Stardew Valley questions, too. You can read our guide about the best crops to grow in the summer of year 1, or peruse this guide about why your trees aren’t growing.