Coopmaster or Shepherd: Which is Better and Earns Money?

Do you need help picking between Coopmaster and Shepherd in Stardew Valley? Each has its valuable benefits, but follow this comprehensive guide to know the profession fit for short and long-term purposes that might work for you.

The player in Stardew Valley becoming Coopmaster or Shepherd.
In Stardew Valley, you can progress your ranching profession either to Shepherd or Coopmaster.

So, you’re now a Rancher on your growing farm in the peaceful countryside. Leveling up and picking against the Tiller profession is easy enough to settle for you. But what if you have to choose between Coopmaster and Shepherd?

Stardew Valley is a simple game with complex mechanics for giving permanent perks. For example, if you choose Profession A from a list of nine other available professions, you’ll get a specific advantage that you can’t find on another skill. However, you won’t experience other talent-exclusive benefits unless you change them overnight.

This dilemma creates a long-term relationship between you (the player) and the Statue of Uncertainty. You have the same problem, but it involves being a Coopmaster and a Shepherd.

Which one’s better for short and long-term goals, and which brings more money?

Explaining the “Rancher” Profession

Before choosing between talents, grinding for experience points and leveling up is necessary. Being a full-time rancher means you have to reach Level 5 in Farming by doing crops-related tasks (in your first year). However, you may also start building a low-profit coop for the sake of leveling up.

Nonetheless, there’s no problem if you push for barn and coop animals at your early game in Stardew Valley. After selecting the Rancher profession over Tiller, every animal product costs 20% more in sell value. 

If a regular white and brown chicken egg sells for 50g, you’ll get 60g instead. Here’s the math:

50*0.20= 10


The bonus profit grows the higher the base price of an item is. Here’s a complete list of every animal products’ base selling price with the rancher buff, silver, gold, and iridium quality:

Animal Products (Coop)Normal QualitySilver QualityGold QualityIridium Quality
Chicken Egg60g75g90g120g
Dinosaur Egg350g437g525g700g
Duck Egg114g142g171g228g
Duck Feather300g374g450g600g
Golden Egg600g750g900g1200g
Large Egg114g142g171g228g
Ostrich Egg720g900g1080g1440g
Rabbit’s Foot678g847g1016g1356g
Void Egg78g97g117g156g
Animal Products (Barn)Normal QualitySilver QualityGold QualityIridium Quality
Cow Milk150g187g225g300g
Goat Milk270g337g405g540g
Large Cow Milk228g285g342g456g
Large Goat Milk414g517g621g828g

Coopmaster or Shepherd: Benefits Comparison

After reaching Level 10 in Farming, you can choose between Coopmaster and Shepherd. 

Here’s are the buffs you’ll get for each talent:

Befriending coop animals are faster than normal.Befriending barn animals are faster than normal.
Normal and Ostrich Incubator time cut in half.Wool production in Sheep is faster.

The “What-ifs” of Being a Coopmaster or Shepherd

Selecting the Shepherd buff seems pretty underwhelming for most advanced players. If it’s for the increased pig efficiency on digging up Truffles, this profession can be perfect for a lucrative business in Stardew Valley. 

There’s no need to collect tons of wool except for crafting creative clothes. Also, its selling price isn’t impressive, which explains why Shepherd falls short here.

Coopmaster, on the other hand, has the potential to make your farm sustainable. You only have to build a coop and buy a chick from Marnie’s shop. Once your first chicken lays eggs, you’ll experience profit growth within half a season.

Shepherd: The ‘Long-Term’ Winner

The insides of a typical barn with auto-grabbers and auto-feeders.
Automation is a powerful concept in Stardew Valley that applies to barns.

Speaking of efficiency and having advanced automation, Shepherd wins. It’s the primary leverage it has against the coop buff. 

There’s no room for auto-picking eggs, but there’s the auto-grabber for milking cows automatically.

A typical barn in Stardew Valley costs 6000g, 350 pieces of wood, and 150 pieces of stone to build. It takes seven by four farmland tiles and can house up to four cows. Add another 3000g, and you’ll have two healthy calves that will grow and produce milk in the adult stage.

The in-game screen when building the barn for becoming a Shepherd in Stardew Valley.
Here’s the space you’ll need in building a barn (resources not included).

Once you hit Level 10 in Farming, the Shepherd profession can help you develop a healthy relationship with them faster! As always, more hearts is equivalent to higher quality cow milk (throw in another 1000g for a Milk Pail).

Sure, you’ll start with 125g for regular milk, but you can either do upgrades to get Sheep and Pigs or turn it to cheese for another 86% value!

Although there are a lot of barn animals out there, Pigs are among the most reliable in Stardew Valley for long-term profits. It will take you another 53,000g (deluxe barn and two pigs), 1,000 pieces of wood, 500 pieces of stone, and six days of waiting time to have them on your farm.

Sounds boring?

While waiting for the upgrade, you may want to start fencing your barn with enough spaces outside for your pigs. They will begin to dig the rare Truffles, which costs 625g. 

But what if you want to lose a little while earning a decent profit within a couple of days?

Coopmaster: The ‘Short-Term’ Winner

When it comes to selling value, Coopmaster wins. Should you still pick between coopmaster or shepherd?
A comparison of the selling values of every coop and barn animal product (999 each).

There may be tons of hassle when dealing with poultry animals, but here’s where you can profit the most. A single Ostrich egg – the most expensive animal product in a coop – can sell for up to 1440g. In comparison to an iridium quality truffle, it’s only 1250g.

Sure, the biggest and most valuable egg is only available weekly than most milk, but there are different types of egg for quick money. You’ll get a profit range of 60g – 1440g for a single coop animal product you sell. If you have many coops housing chickens, you can increase the extra cash that’ll be handy for farm improvements.

However, the catch of being a Shepherd is manually dealing with your rabbits, ducks, dinosaurs, and chickens. Are you willing to spend the whole day befriending them faster? Remember, you have better odds of piling up money, and you can do it every day, but the cost is hard work.

Building a deluxe coop in Stardew Valley will take 34000g, 1200 pieces of wood, 450 pieces of stone, and nine days of waiting time. It takes six by three farmland tiles and houses up to 12 animals. 

An in-game screen of building a coop for the Coopmaster profession in Stardew Valley.
This is the necessary space you’ll when building a coop.

Since collecting drops every day is challenging enough, consider getting auto-petters to improve your relationship with the coop animals without interacting with them.


This final verdict may sound cliche to most comparisons among professions, but can you blame if both Coopmaster and Shepherd have significant impacts on your game? Each talent works well on a specific farm layout or even complements the benefits of another skill.

As always, choosing between the two depends on the preference. Every Stardew Valley player has considerations as well, which finalizes the decision. 

If you have the money and still want to test different professions for yourself, this Statue of Uncertainty guide will help you.

Meet the author

Stardew Valley is perhaps the most chill game out there. If you're a new player and hoping to join Pelican Town, we've got your back with all the basics.

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