Why Your Animals Are Grumpy In Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley is a love-able game where you are able to own your dream farm complete with a variety of different adorable farm animals! Though, in true Stardew charm it does not tell you step-by-step how to take care of them. It can be easy to suddenly find yourself surrounded by grumpy critters, producing sub-par items. This guide will tell you exactly how to fix that and get your animals happy once again.

Grumpy Cow in Stardew Valley.
Grumpy Cow in Stardew Valley

Why it is important to keep your animals happy

On your farm you will have the chance to house a wide variety of barnyard animals. These critters all have different uses, produce different items, and can be obtained in different ways. They all require housing (except for your cat or dog) to be built. Overall, your farm animals are a crucial part of your Stardew Valley experience.

But why are your animals so important?

Cat or Dog

All the cat and dog variations in Stardew Valley
All the cat and dog variations in Stardew Valley

In the character creation screen, you will have the option to choose between adopting a cat or a dog. On the first Wednesday or Friday morning of Spring (after earning 1,000 gold) Marnie will present you with your chosen pet. Even if you have not made enough money, it will trigger on the 20th of spring regardless. After this, your cat or dog will be seen roaming around the grounds during the day. Meanwhile, at night they can be found inside your house.

Though this animal does not produce any items for your farm, cats and dogs are incredibly important. This is because by the third year, you can possibly gain a point in Grandpa’s evaluation because of them. All you need to do is have 999 friendship points with your pet, then you get a free point. You need to have over 12 points to obtain a statue of perfection. This free statue will produce between 2-8 iridium ore per day.


These are the only animals that do not have a friendship or loyalty system in Stardew Valley. If you leave your horse outside the farm before going to bed, it will automatically find its way home before morning. There can be a message about your horse wondering where you have been or that it has been patiently waiting for your return. These messages do not affect anything though.

Coop and Barn Animals

Your cows, chickens, etc. are the main reason why you need to focus on making sure your animals are happy. This is because it increases your chances of getting important items from them. There is an increased chance of receiving higher quality items from your animals, like gold or iridium quality. Also, some rarer items (such as rabbit feet and duck feathers) have increased drop rate. Lastly, there is an increased likelihood of receiving large products if the mood of the animals and your friendship with them is higher.

Higher quality items sell for more gold, and can produce higher quality artisan goods. Deluxe goods are used in bundles, and some are loved items for different Pelican Town residents. Large products are also used in bundles in the Community Center.

Once your animals have 150 mood, they unlock the ability to produce large, deluxe, and increased quality items.

  • Large eggs and milk follow the equation of (friendship + mood modifier)/1200.
  • Deluxe products follow the equation of (friendship + mood x mood modifier)/5000 + Daily Luck. If your animals mood is above 200, it is multiplied by 1.5. The highest your chance of receiving a deluxe product can possibly be on a day is 40%. This requires your friendship, mood, and luck are all to be maxed out.
  • Quality items also follow an equation to see what quality they will be between normal to iridium. The formula is ((friendship/1000)-( 1 – (mood/225)).

Furthermore, once your animals mood becomes low enough (around 70 mood), they might not even produce at all.

How to Keep Your Stardew Valley animals happy

Your coop and barn animals have both a friendship rating and a mood score. These can both be checked through interacting with the animal, after they have been pet (the first interaction with an animal in a day). As long as you do not have hay in your hand, a window will open for the individual animal.

Friendship Rating

Your friendship rating is shown by the 5 hearts in the window, these hearts represent the rating. This rating maxes our at 1000 points of friendship. You can increase friendship by petting your animal once a day, milking or shearing them (if applicable), and allowing them to eat grass outside. Things that decrease friendship are if they are not fed, if they are trapped outside their building at night, and if they are not pet by the end of the day.

Note that your animal can only eat grass outside during sunny days in the spring, summer, and fall seasons. Make sure that there is grass nearby the animal’s building because they might not travel to it if the grass is too far. Also, even if you let out your animals during the day to eat, you still need to make sure there is hay available for them inside their building.

Mood Score

Your animal’s mood score is indicated by the message that shows up in the window. Its score is a value anywhere between 0 and 255. If it says your animal looks sad, the score is between 0 and 29. The score is between 30 and 199 if your animal looks fine. If your animal looks really happy today, their score is between 200 and 255.

Actions that increase your animals mood is getting to eat grass outside, petting them everyday, being fed, being outside between 6 PM and 7 PM. Another strange way to increase your animals mood occurs during the winter season. If your animals have heaters, and their mood is already 150+, you (the player) just need to stay awake past 6 PM and it will increase their mood for every 10 minutes you are awake.

Actions that lower your animals mood scores include being outside in the rain or winter (it is best to keep their building’s doors shut completely), being outside past 7 PM, sleeping outside, not being pet during a day, and not being fed during a day. The largest decrease in mood, by 100 points, is not being fed so make sure you are putting hay into the feeding benches. This needs to be done either with an autofeeder if you have upgraded the building enough, or by hand manually.

Inside of a Coop
Inside of a Coop

If your animals are still Grumpy

Having all your farm animals still be upset, even when you think you are doing everything right, is incredibly frustrating. Your dream farm is not supposed to be stocked with a bunch of grumpy chickens not laying eggs! There are a couple of small things that you can try to troubleshoot husbandry, and address any glitches that might be causing your issues.


Even if you are letting your animals outside for grass, you still need to make sure that they have hay inside the barn or coop. Otherwise they might not eat for the day and take a big hit in their mood. Also, if you have an autofeeder you might think that your job is done and you can wipe your hands of the whole process. If only this was the case, you still need to make sure that you have at least one silo built on your farm that is stocked with hay otherwise the animals will not get fed. Which means you are still going to be collecting hay.


This season is already difficult one for your Stardew Valley animals and they automatically have lessened moods/friendship because of the fact that they cannot go outside and eat grass. To counteract this, there is the boost from the heaters you can purchase from Marnie. You will need one in every building, and if you suspect that they are not getting the bonus from the heater you should try moving the heater to a different part of the barn. It should work anywhere inside of the building, but sometimes it is glitchy.

Futhermore, you should be making sure to pet your animals daily during the winter. This is to try to counteract the loss of friendship/mood from the inability for them to go outside.

Barn/Coop Doors

Animals can lose a lot of mood/friendship through sleeping outside at night try and close your animal’s doors only after they have all entered the building. They should all have made their way inside by 7 PM, though I close their doors as one of the last things I do in a day. If you are having trouble with animals not going to bed on time, make sure by entering the buildings physically.

The message from leaving an animal outside at night.
The message from leaving an animal outside at night.

Last Resorts

If you are doing everything you know to do to keep your animals happy, you can install a mod to keep your animals happy for you. This is perfect for the farmer that doesn’t want to stop in to pet every single chicken every day. The mod is called Mood Guard and you can install it here.

Thank you for reading through our guide on keeping your animals happy. If you want to enhance your animals through more mods, check out our Stardew Valley Animal Mods guide.

Meet the author

What initially hooked me into Stardew Valley was how much there was to uncover and learn as you played through it. What got me to stay was how rich the characters' stories were! Abigail, Emily, and Shane will always be my favorites.

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