How to breed horses and mules in Minecraft to start your own farm

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How to breed horses and mules in Minecraft to start your own farm
It doesn't take long to breed horses in Minecraft.Mojang; William Antonelli/Insider
  • You can breed horses in Minecraft by feeding Golden Apples or Carrots to two tamed horses.
  • To craft the Golden Apples or Carrots you need, you'll need Gold Ingots or Nuggets.
  • You can also breed a horse with a donkey to produce a mule, which can't be bred further.
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You can be almost anything in Minecraft. A powerful warrior, a fearless cave-diver — or even just a simple farmer. And if you want to build a farm, you'll need some farm animals.

Horses are one of a few animals in Minecraft that you can tame and breed. This means that as long as you start with two horses, you can end up with hundreds. You'll just need enough apples and carrots to feed them all, along with a lot of gold.

Here's a guide to breeding horses in Minecraft, including how to take care of the baby foal once it's born.

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How to breed horses in Minecraft

There are a few steps that you'll need to take before you can start breeding. First, you actually need to find and tame two horses.

Tame two horses

Horses spawn randomly in plains and savannas, usually in herds. And some villages will keep horses in stables and pens. You can take any of these horses — there's no gender in Minecraft, so you don't need to worry about grabbing a male and female.

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To tame a horse, you'll need to approach and "use" it (right-click or left trigger) while you're not holding anything, which will let you climb onto its back. The first few times you do this, it'll probably buck you off after a few moments. Keep doing this until hearts appear above the horse and it stops bucking you off. It can take a while, so be patient.

How to breed horses and mules in Minecraft to start your own farm
You'll find horses grazing in herds.Mojang; William Antonelli/Insider

Once you've tamed a horse, you can tie it to a Lead or put a Saddle on it. This will let you quickly move it somewhere — for example, inside of a fenced area.

Tame two horses and keep them together somewhere.

Quick tip: You can craft a Lead by combining a Slimeball with four pieces of String. You can't craft Saddles — you'll need to find them in treasure chests, or by killing a Ravager.

Craft Golden Apples or Carrots

To get your horses in the mood to breed, you have to feed them some special treats: Either Golden Apples or Golden Carrots.

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You can find Golden Apples inside of treasure chests all across the Overworld and Nether, but you can also craft them. Place a regular Apple in the center of your Crafting Menu, then surround it with eight Gold Ingots to craft a Golden Apple.

Golden Carrots, luckily, aren't as expensive. You can craft them by surrounding a regular Carrot with eight Gold Nuggets.

How to breed horses and mules in Minecraft to start your own farm
Surround the apple or carrot with gold.Mojang; William Antonelli/Insider

Quick tip: You can get Gold Nuggets by mining Nether Gold Ore, by smelting golden items, and inside of treasure chests. Crafting nine Nuggets together or smelting Raw Gold and Gold Ore will get you Gold Ingots.

Feed your horses

Once you have two horses and at least two golden foods, you're ready to breed.

Get your horses near each other and feed a Golden Apple or Carrot to each of them. Hearts will appear above their heads, and in a few moments, a baby horse will appear.

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How to breed horses and mules in Minecraft to start your own farm
You'll earn an achievement the first time you breed a horse.Mojang; William Antonelli/Insider

The baby horse (or "foal") will follow its parents wherever they go. It takes about 20 minutes for a foal to mature into an adult horse, but you can speed the process up by feeding it apples, sugar, wheat, or hay.

Tips and tricks for breeding horses in Minecraft

In Minecraft, horses can come in seven different colors, and have five different types of "markings" on them. This means that there are 35 different types of horses in the game.

When you breed two horses, the game rolls dice to decide what the foal will look like. Most foals will share their color and markings with one of its parents, but there's about a 29 percent chance that it ends up with a completely random appearance. So if you want a horse of a certain color, you'll want to breed two horses with that color.

Every horse in the game also spawns with random health, movement speed, and jump strength statistics. When you spawn a foal, the game decides its stats by averaging the stats of its two parents, along with a totally random imaginary horse. This means that the better your parent horses are, the better the foal will be — but breeding a perfect foal is almost impossible.

Lastly, horses don't only have to breed with other horses. If you breed a horse with a donkey (follow all the same steps), you'll end up with a baby mule. Mules can't breed with any other creature.

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How to breed horses and mules in Minecraft to start your own farm
Mules both look and act like donkeys.Mojang; William Antonelli/Insider
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