Together with Zugs we have worked on a complete overhaul of the animals with new complexities and more depth. The age, weight and gender of each animal you own is simulated and the animal types in vanilla has been replaced with real life breeds. It has however, not been possible to change the visual appearance of the animals so they will still look the same irrespective of age, gender and weight. But the visual model ingame corresponds to the correct breed. Each breed has its purpose. Some breeds are meant for meat production, while others are specific breeds for milk, wool and egg production. Horses are designed different than the other animals (see below section).
The breeds currently implemented are:
- Limousin – The “Carcass Breed”. The Limousin is an expensive but feed efficient animal meaning it will grow very quickly and give a great price at market.
- Saler – The Saler is a cheaper option for starting farmers and is known for their high marbling carcasses that can return a decent investment at market.
- Holstein - The Queen of milk production. This breed requires a lot of feed and is expensive to buy upfront, but produces the most milk.
- Ayrshire - Low feed consumption and price per head are both two well worthy tradeoffs for lower milk production for this breed.
- Brahman - A heat tolerant specific breed with marginal feed requirements. They are known for their gain potential and good carcass yields. The heat tolerance is currently not modelled in Seasons.
Limousin, Saler and Brahman are beef breeds where you buy steers (male animals) for further fattening. They will not breed or produce milk (as they are male animals). Holstein and Ayshire are dairy breeds so you buy female heifers at 2 years age. They will start to produce milk once they have given birth. Cows are artifically inseminated and requires no action from the player. The gestation period for cows are 9 periods.
- Dorset - A large breed of sheep that grows moderately fast, has modest wool production and requires a medium amount of feed as an adult. Is relatively prolific and good for 25-40 kg (50-85 lbs) lambs.
- Merino - A medium breed that is used for wool production. It grows slowly, is not very prolific, but doesn’t require a lot of feed as an adult.
- Suffolk - A large breed of sheep that grows extremely fast, produces a modest amount of wool, requires a lot of feed as adult, is prolific and slow maturing. Good for 45-65 kg (100-140 lbs) lambs.
- Dorper - A medium sized breed that grows fast, but produces no wool. Very prolific and fast maturing. Requires little feed as an adult. Great for 40-45 kg (85-100 lbs) lambs.
Although there are differences between the different sheep breeds all sheep are bought as ewes (females). The ewes can get pregnant during the autumn and will give birth 5 periods later. Wool will be sheared during spring.
- Yorkshire - Known as the “Mother Breed”, this breed of pig is a very fast growing animal but requires a high amount capital for the initial purchase.
- Gloucestershire Old Spot - The Old Spot is a slower growing animal, but is much cheaper to purchase initially. Very hardy and great for the starting farmer.
- Spotted - Known for their carcass quality, the Spotted grows relatively fast and can be purchased for a modest amount.
- Berkshire - The Berkshire is a fast growing animal that requires a modest amount of capital to purchase. Is known for their flavorful meat.
Yorkshire and Spotted are bought as females for breeding, while Old Spot and Berkshire are bought as young male animals for fattening. Like cows the pigs are artifically inseminated and can have around 2 litters every year.
- White Leghorn - This is the bird of choice if eggs are at the top of your priorities. This breed requires less feed than any of the other breeds.
- Cornish Cross - This meat breed is extremely fast growing and has a fast turnaround in profit. It requires a lot of feed. Male birds are bought.
- Rhode Island Red - The Rhode Island Red is a hybrid breed (both eggs and meat) and requires an amount of feed in between that of its laying and meat counterparts.
- Rooster - This male bird is primarily used for reproduction and will work to fertilize eggs produced by your chickens and produce chicks. Note: You do not need a Rooster to produce eggs.
The productivity in the base game is again replaced with a health indicator. The health increases with time as all the needs of the animals are fulfilled. Note however that if not properly fed the decrease in health can occur quicker than the increase.
The food throughs can in Seasons 19 only contain 48 hours (game time) of food, meaning it is best to check up on your animals every day.
Food intake of each animal depends on their age and their weight. Weight gain also depends on their age and weight and on what they are fed. To maximize weight gain the best feed has to be provided. The annual amount of feed needed in each animal pen is shown in the menu for the pen. This feed amount takes the growth of the animals into account, but assumes that the health of the animals stays constant. With increasing health the growth will also increase so keeping some reserves might be good.
Cattle can produce either manure, or slurry (liquid manure), but not both. What they produce depends on whether they have straw. This aligns better with how real farms are run. Not using straw will cause a slight decrease in productivity, but slurry is much easier to handle and worth more to a farmer than manure.
Care for the health of the animals has become of utter importance. Keeping them overnight in a trailer will kill the animals (i.e. they will die at midnight) due to lack of food, water, and movement.
Hens lay eggs. To get chicks, get a rooster. Ideal is 1 rooster per 8 hens. The chance of breeding decreases with less roosters. If the hen is brooding no eggs are produced.
Raising animals for meat production is now possible. As animals gain weight and age, their growth rate decreases, while feed intake generally follows weight. The key to maximizing profits is to find the balance point between optimal weight and age of the animals. Price per kg is higher for younger animals and weight gain will slow down as an animal ages.
The horses are in Seasons treated different than the other animals. We have redesigned them into a different type of gameplay: a livery stable. The gameplay tries to emulate a farm that provides housing and basic care of a horse for its owner.
A horse can be brought to the farm in exchange of no money. It has to be fed, cleaned and ridden every day. Depending on how much care it gets, an income is provided every day. Some breeds require more riding to earn the same amount of money as other breeds. Horses also provide more money when they are very fit.
The grazing mod from Farming Simulator 17 has been integrated directly into Seasons 19. Animals in pens that have grass will consume the grass as replacement for the grass in the trough. Be careful, as the grass in a pen can be completely eaten already. This depends on the size of the pen, on the amount of animals, and the time of year.
The changes of the animal pens into placeables that plant their own grass, together with more engine changes, allow for automatic detection of the grass. No map changes are required. The only requirement is that the animal pen has grass.
If you decide to provide other feed in the trough, the animals will stop to graze and rather eat the better feed. For sheep this does not matter as hay and grass are equally good food. For cows the effectiveness of only feeding grass (e.g. grazing) is in Seasons increased to 60%. It might be cost effective to let the dairy cows graze during the dry period (when they are not producing milk).
The animals require a lot of attention. Daily feeding, daily watering, maybe even daily riding. The water requirements of the animals have been updated to be more to realistic standards. To make it easier for players to have water in the troughs, a new water pump can be placed near the animal pen: it will automatically keep the water level of the water troughs at a minimum of 15%. The water cost is subtracted from your account.