Reading and working on this wiki has been extremely inspiring. I can be a bit absent-minded at times, so I think it would be a good idea to write down my ideas - both for my own benefit and because it might inspire someone else in turn. So I'll launch right on into it!

Automatic Chicken Breeder/Grinder

If there can be a singular definition for "cruel and unusual punishment", I think this must be it. Chickens are wonderful creatures, in Minecraft. Unlike any other passive mob, they reproduce by two separate methods. You can feed a pair of them Wheat, setting them into breeding mode, or you can gather their eggs and... "hatch" them. The second method, being their unique feature, can be automated.

Step 1: Breeding Chickens can be placed into a 3x2x3 (XYZ) pit with a pair obsidian pipes to collect the eggs they lay. These eggs are routed into a dispenser in the wall of the pit. The dispenser is wired to a redstone clock, causing it to periodically launch eggs at the wall, where they hatch into more chickens. This process can be continued indefinitly for massive numbers of chickens.

Step 2: Grinding Water source blocks can be set in the pit so that the current pushes the chickens against a single block in the pit of the wall. this block is attached to a sticky piston, creating a gate which can be opened. Beyond this gate is nothing less than certain doom. I've been playing with a variety of methods for the chickens' torturous demise.

  1. The most practical method is the tried and true "lava blade" grinder. Chickens slain by this method will drop their meat already cooked - a very convenient outcome, I would say. However, this is almost too conventional and, therefore, boring.
  2. The method that I find most interesting at the moment is "electrocution". Ever since I installed IndustrialCraft 2, I've wanted to observe what effects uninsulated wires carrying high voltage will have upon chickens. My theory: any contact with the wires will result in an unsatisfactory mark on their official testing record, followed by death.

Well I have to go for now. I will undoubtedly continue later.

Update Work is coming along slowly on this project, but I've been making some progress. Funny, it seemed such a simple thing. I've set up automatic Egg collection with an Obsidian Transport Pipe and two Redstone Engines, feeding into a Dispenser. The Dispenser is wired into a redstone clock, as planned. The clock can be disabled with a switch, for when I run out of Eggs and don't want to lag my game. I have uninsulated copper wires surrounding the coop, but the setup could use a little work. If I run the Obsidian Transport Pipe with Electrical Engines from Forestry, then that will increase the range of the pipe. Egg collection might be more challenging though, if I want the chickens to live.

The setup isn't complete so, naturally, I have a few plans for improvement:

  1. I'd like to use a simple Gate in place of the switch, setting it to run the clock when there are Eggs to hatch and stop when the Dispenser runs empty.
  2. I'll add a Diamond Transport Pipe to sort out the drops, then I can use the same delivery system for both the drops and more Eggs when the next generation hatches.

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