Discover the Secret to Getting Leather in Minecraft without Harming Cows

Are you an avid Minecraft player looking to expand your knowledge on obtaining leather without harming cows?

This article will guide you through alternative methods of acquiring leather in the game, such as trading with villagers, fishing, and finding it in chests.

We will also explore the concept of building and using a leather farm, highlighting the benefits of having a sustainable source of leather at your disposal.

Grab your pickaxe and let’s dive into the world of leather crafting in Minecraft!

Why is Leather Important in Minecraft?

Leather is important in Minecraft because it is an essential material required to make a variety of game items. Not only does it allow players to make essential items like armor and bags, it is used to make bookshelves, item frames, horse saddles, horse armor, and maps. Leather is also important because it is not as easily acquired as other virtual materials. So a scarcity factor exists, raising the effectiveness and value of leather-made items over other alternatives.

What Can You Craft with Leather?

You craft armor, boots, horse armor, and item frames with leather. Plus, you need the material in all of these recipes though a small amount – typically 2-4 units. Horse armor does not require leather itself but does require a leather workbench to first be crafted.

Leather armor is inferior to other materials like iron and diamond but can be beneficial for early-game protection. However, you will still need to acquire some cows or other hostile mobs for their hides to craft the leather armor you want. It requires 24-56 units of leather to craft a whole armor set and this represents a high amount of leather which is not easy to find otherwise.

How to Obtain Leather in Minecraft?

You can obtain leather in Minecraft by killing cows, mooshrooms, horses, donkeys, mules, striders, hoglins, or rabbits. In vanilla Minecraft, these are the creatures which drop leather when killed. After killing any of the mobs listed which drop leather, when they die, leather is dropped, though the default drop percentage is low.

Players obtain leather in Raid Farm gathering scenarios by killing adult cows. In such an environment, a large number of cows are placed into a small enclosed area. When killed (sometimes by using a water elevator to move them to a separate kill chamber), leather as well as other drops from the cow is automatically gathered by the player’s character without flowing water having to then carry them to a single spot. This farm method of obtaining leather is more efficient compared to hunting and waiting for drops as you continue playing the game.

Killing Cows

Killing cows in Minecraft is the second easiest way to get leather in the game. Both beef and leather can be obtained from cows. Baby cows do not drop leather and have a reduced amount of beef. The optimal path to maximizing leather production is breeding often and killing only adult cows as they drop between 1-3 leather, with a 50% chance for each level of Looting applied. Killing adult cows spawn in both singles and groups in any grassland biome of the Overworld and a few metamorphic biomes such as Grove and Redwood Tropics, not just on the Plains and Sunflower Plains.

The best tool to kill adult cows is a diamond sword as it can dispatch 3 hits. Iron sword is an economical and efficient alternative as it will kill an adult cow in 4 hits. To make killing cows even easier, both diamond and iron swords can be enchanted with Looting, which boosts the amount of leather dropped naturally. A new iron sword used by itself will kill cows with Looting I in three hits (5.7 leather gained per minute), and Looting II in two hits (8.4 leather/minute).

Revealed at Minecraft Live 2021, the lava leather manufacturing block can process these types of blocks to create leather. The leather production process is faster with starter fuel than with an adult cow needing only 40 seconds on average to generate one leather piece. As much as ≤12 leather units can be yielded from one Honeycomb Block. Honeycomb doubles the furnace effective smelting time from 30 seconds to 80 seconds, making it quicker output than from a cow carcass.

Trading with Villagers

Minecraft villagers are some of the most unique mobs in the game. Villagers are mobs that can trade items with players, usually trading items in exchange for emeralds and emeralds for items. Emeralds cannot be used to buy leather, but can be used for trading with leatherworker villagers.

With a leatherworker as a career, villagers will sell items like leather, leather leggings, and leather boots. You can find leatherworker villagers in major villages. Leatherworkers use 3-4 leather pieces to make leather pants and 7-8 to make boots. According to the Minecraft Wiki, leatherworker villagers are identified with brown robes.

Leatherworker villagers spawn with an apprentice level or higher with a level of 20 to trade. However, leather workers are excluded from the list of villagers identified in Bedrock edition. This may have been changed since this article was written.


In Minecraft, players can gain leather by participating in fishing activities (level up your character and use your fishing rod to hunt leather boots or get them from fishing fortunes) Leather boots are one of the items that you can obtain from fishing after removing the monster loot from all the loot tables. Players can enchant their fishing rod and use the Luck of the Sea enchantment. It is an enchantment that increases the drop rates of valuable items such as leather books and boosts for the player when fishingfarming. This will make it easier for you to fish leather boots. A Fishing Rod has an item ID of 261. You can craft a Leather Fishing Rod by wrapping your Fishing Rod with a Leather block.

Finding Leather in Chests

In Minecraft Bedrock Edition, you can find leather in the chests of the following buildings and structures:

  • Dungeons: Small, low groupings of mossy cobblestone and cobblestone with a floor made up of cave spider spawners, chests, different types of mossy cobblestone cladding, and damaged clay and diorite walls. Drips with cobwebs and features exposed subterranean flora. When looted, the chest may contain between 0-1 leather pieces.
  • Desert Temples: Pyramids made of sandstone in the desert. If you access the interior trap room with a right turn and jump down, you can access a chest. This contains precious items such as enchanted weapons and tools. This chest, however, follows a specific potential drops list and may contain between 1 and 5 leather pieces.
  • End Cities: Rare, far-reaching, unliving cities made up of end stone bricks and purpur of different colors. These will all appear washed out in color. A good place to loot elytra wings from the building. May have at least twelve shulkers. In their end ship are one to two chests that can contain between 1 and 12 leather pieces.

This is not a consistent way to find leather as you must have the luck to find these structures and are still risking their limited number of appearances per type by trying to farm them for leather. Other chests have a less than 1% chance of having leather available in them, poor distribution of usefulness for the quest for leather.

Is There a Way to Get Leather Without Killing Cows?

There is no way to get leather in Vanilla Minecraft without killing cows, seals, or axolotls. Wandering Traders, Bartering Piglins, and Fishing only drop leather in exchange for emerald or far superior trades. No other currently known Minecraft workarounds permit players to get leather without killing cows.

Alternatives to killing cows for leather: In the actual game world, planting mushrooms enables conversion to leather with substantially fewer overall deaths.

A great alternative is to play modded Minecraft. In Tinkers Construct mod version 1.12.2, players can obtain leather through scorching sheep in a smelter, using emerald as a component of a higher yield production method.

Killing Other Animals

Cows are not the only animals that yield leather when killed. Horses, donkeys, mules, llamas, and piglins will also drop 0-2 units of leather when killed. While killing these animals will provide the player leather, don’t forget that leather armor and horse armor are also unique and useful items for personal defense and transportation. Since leather is at the epicenter of precious crafting materials and is used in such a wide array of crafting recipes, it’s ideal to maintain a breeding herd of cows (or horses, donkeys, or a llama herd).

Bartering with Piglins

Because fluff is frequently part of barter trades, it is possible to obtain owl leather by utilizing items such as gold ingots, gold bars, nether quartz, and blackstone to initiate trade with piglins who bear gold armor in the enjoyable and dangerous Nether.

To initiate trading with piglins, one must use gold bars or gold ingots by either throwing them onto the ground or using the completely cooled lava or sunlight zone. Piglins generally do not attack the player if they are trading with them, hence it is simple to convert these personalized pieces.

. Unprotected and protected piglins have a 5% chance of offering a leather byproduct when trading in full, ranging from leather to nether leather to ice leather. Specifically within 4 months of being hit, they upgraded pigs drop lava leather. Nether leather, which is extremely comfortable in the Nether because it does not burn as easily as other ingredients, falls from piglets. Upgraded piglins in the 3D Java version of Minecraft will sell one piece of water leather for as little as 3 rupees of gold, but they can need up to 7 pieces of gold to do so.

Using a Leather Farm

Players can acquire leather from a handful of non-cow animals like mooshrooms, hoglins, striders, and horses. However, because these create less leather and are much harder to farm, a farm or a mechanism that can automatically kill the mob is not an important part of acquiring their leather. Here are a few options for leather farms of varying efficacy that may help while attempting to get leather from animals that are not cows.

  1. Horse Farm: Passive horse farms work by putting 2 horses in a small space together. When they reproduce, one of the foals turns into an adult, and then you can kill it to acquire itemId:lead:0 leather.
  2. Strider Farm: This is a passive farm since striders do not spawn in the nether and only naturally spawn in the nether wastes biome. You may be able to trap and breed them in the overworld, then transport them into the nether. Incredibly inefficient as adult striders will spawn with saddles.

How to Build and Use a Leather Farm in Minecraft?

A leather farm, also called an animal farm, is a building designed to maximize the production rate of leather and other rare animal products in Minecraft. Leather farms raise Cows, Pigs, and/or Mushrooms and then use automatic dispensing mechanisms to kill the animals and collect the items. The best way to generate leather from a leather farm is to rear and kill Cows because despite the mooshroom’s guaranteed leather drops, weapon durability is a limiting factor and regular cows produce more leather over the long run.

Leather farms can be as simple or as complex as desired, offering copious opportunities for personal creativity and customization. Basic animal farms can be as simple as a fenced-in area at a spawn point effective for generating horses, pigs, villagers, or any other animal. A simple pit and locking gate next to a nearby forest can be build for leather, but expanded into a full-scale agricultural FB farm.

Finding a Suitable Location

The first thing you need to do to get leather passively without killing cows is to find a suitable location featuring cows. As you can move cows around by having them follow you while you are holding their preferred wheat, this is the most active part of the process. Cows can easily be located and relocated from Plains Biomes, which make this biome type an ideal place for starting the process of moving cows.

After relocating the cows, the area surrounding their enclosure should be flattened and enclosed to prevent them from escaping. Grass should then be planted and water provided in the shape of a pond or small canal. Remember, make sure cows are not pushed as the risk of killing/making cows hostile or losing them is high, even one two-block drop can result in the animal’s death. Second is to encase the animal with safety rails and roof, and fence the area to prevent their escape through a gate left open by mistake.

If you are struggling to find cows, using a Spawn Egg creates creatures in Creative Mode, allowing users to spawn in cows at any time.

Building the Farm

The industriousness of the Leather farm depends in large part on the building layout, type of mob farm, and the hopper system. A leather farm will need the following 3 basic categories of buildings.

  • Spawn Building
  • The spawn building is where the 2 strays are stored. The level of automation or manual involvement in this step will depend on the chosen system. Be sure to have a double chest or large hopper system here, as the first collection point before automatic transportation.

  • Killing Chamber
  • Make sure the killing chamber collects leather and distributes it correctly to the collection system. Whether it is the final destination or the starting point for its journey to a dispensary, make sure it is accessible in the farm layout and not missed when doing walkthroughs.

  • Collection Building
  • Don’t jam this area under the spawn building or near the killing chamber. The collection building is where you add as simple or as complex an automated collection, transportation, and dispensary system as necessary.

Using the Farm

To get leather in Minecraft without killing cows, you can hook up a leather farm. To do this, you will need to locate cows in the wild (or your starter cows if they have been fenced in areas that can be developed into farms) and then lure them through a funneling system to a pen where they can regenerate and mature.

Once you have a sustainable population in the pen, you can take full advantage of them by collecting the leather they shed every 5 minutes and extra leather when you need to increase the area of your farm. Also, you can make a bunch of cows in a very convenient area and keep them inside a fenced area with enough space to grow. In the farm land, build an endless breeding facility to get baby cows faster. The baby cows will grow, eventually turn into adult cows hence producing more leather for you.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Leather Farm?

There are two main benefits to using a leather farm:

  1. You are doing zero net harm to the environment (assuming you use all the parts of a cow when you kill it), and likely even helping the environment.
  2. You can get more leather than Minecraft’s normal spawning rate.

For the first point, at a minimum a cow must die to create a leather farm. Those who prefer leather farms without killing a cow are currently limited to using Mushrooms to make Mushroom Stews. Since they don’t involve raising cows, mushroom farms can be a type of vegan leather farm. They still require a mushroom cow to be killed to make a cow-placing contraption out of its drops.

After that point, a farm costs a lot of additional leather which has to be harvested to run. So the farm can be scaled slowly and ethically by running with very few cows at first, and you can be sure no cow in such a farm had its life disrupted post-leather farm creation.

For the second point, in the Java edition a cow only drops 0-2 leather vevery time you hit it and then to the repeat, whereas with a cow farm the set of cows can keep spawning a new cow. And in the Bedrock edition, cows do not spawn and respawn but are instead taken from a fixed resource pool in the world which will eventually run out if you kill too many cows.

Sustainable Source of Leather

Cows can be good sources of leather in Minecraft without killing them, SoloLearn’s online course on ‘How to grow Leather in Minecraft’ states. By always breeding more cows, the player will have a sustainable source of leather. For example, to create a cow farm one has two cows, left-clicking on the cows with wheat to breed them, and right-clicking on the baby cow 5 minutes later this will grow into an adult cow.

Efficient and Time-saving

Another way to get leather in Minecraft without killing cows is to use it from passive mobs killed by environmental damage. This method is efficient and time-saving because animals generally spawn faster than they can die from some environmental causes. These causes can be fire, magma blocks, cacti, poison, and drowning. Using these causes is a way to get leather without the dependency of being near or having bred the animals.

Generally, nearly 300 passive mobs, after which Minecraft ceases to spawn any new mobs, is enough to successfully get some leather. Efficient and time-saving though this method generally is, it is sometimes unavoidable to spend a little extra time doing whatever the environment-damage-inducing cause may be.

Note that the more mobs spawned, the more likelihood certain animals, such as rabbits or sheep, are killed than cows due to Minecraft’s (Bedrock) mob priority system. This reduced the effectiveness of this method for getting leather quickly. Another issue is that there is no surefire way to spend a certain amount of time to do damage, sit back, and have the leather items present themselves. If you decide to burn down a whole forest, you may end up spending a lot of time running away from the fire and other mobs that the fire will spawn.

Can be Automated

The process to get leather in Minecraft without killing cows cannot be automated by the user in survival mode as there is no way to duplicate leather through automation. The smelting of a leather piece to turn it into rabbit hide, drying it into rabbit hide, then mixing it in a barrel with water to turn the rabbit hide back into leather is a time-consuming process that leaves most of the leather in its final incarnation.

However, large enough iron and gold farms can provide large numbers of name tags which lets you trade with villagers to get leather. Mob farms can give the opportunity for leather armor to spawn and burn to give a small chance additional opportunity for leather, however, the yield is significantly less than cow farming.

The Questing Beast’s channel on YouTube has an excellent walkthrough of how to set up a trident killer farm which will produce leather.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you get leather in Minecraft without killing cows?

Yes, there are alternative ways to obtain leather in Minecraft without harming any cows.

What is the best way to get leather in Minecraft without killing cows?

The most efficient way is by trading with a leatherworker villager. They have a chance to offer leather as part of their trades.

How can I get leather in Minecraft without killing cows in survival mode?

You can find abandoned mineshafts and dungeons that may contain leather in their chests. Alternatively, you can fish for leather in the game.

Is there a way to get leather in Minecraft without killing cows in creative mode?

Yes, you can use the /give command to add leather to your inventory without harming any animals.

Are there any other sources of leather besides cows in Minecraft?

Aside from trading with villagers, you can also find leather by killing horses, donkeys, mules, llamas, and hoglins in the game.

Can you get leather from animals other than cows in Minecraft?

Yes, some other animals in Minecraft, such as horses and llamas, also drop leather when killed. However, they are not as easy to come by as cows.

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