Last post I talked about how I rapidly breed and unethically slaughter hundreds of sheep and cows using magic and computers. This post should be a little less offensive … at least once I get past the chickens.

These chickens are actually very happy. Really.

These chickens of which I speak are four chickens housed in glass on top of half wooden slabs that sit above hoppers that receive the occasional eggs laid by these four chickens and feed them into an Extra Utilities transport pipe system that first goes to a single wooden chest and then to a trash can (so that excess eggs are constantly being done away with). In this way, I have more than enough certified not-free-range eggs (though I suppose they would be organic – I certainly don’t enhance these chickens, magically, genetically, or otherwise). Future plans for this VERY ethical chicken farm include a system that feeds excess eggs into a dispenser that shoots the eggs and hatches a few. These chickens will fall into a 1×1 pen, the floor of which will have a gold pressure plate. When these chickens mature and lay eggs, the eggs will cause the gold pressure plate to emit a redstone signal which will then be read by a nearby ComputerCraft Melee Turtle, triggering it into chicken slaughtering action. I’ve used this kind of system  before, and it works pretty darn well. For now, though, all I have is the egg farm.

On to less morally problematic farming. I don’t have Factorization in my current mod pack, so I’m using a purely vanilla solution for an automatic sugar cane farm.

My sugar cane greenhouse.

What I have is a row of eight reeds next to a water channel. Behind these reeds, one block level up, is a line of glass connected to sticky pistons. A block update detector two block levels up at one end detects when the first reed reaches a total height of three blocks. It triggers the pistons into action, breaking the reeds from the middle and sending most of those reeds items into the water channel. A hopper chain receives these reeds and sends them into a vertical dropper chain and finally into a chest. There are lots of ways to customize and optimize this system, but it works for my purposes.

From the source end of the water channel. Glass and sticky pistons on the left, one block up, the back of a piston at the far end two blocks up is a block update detector.

Here you can see the block update detector, the redstone line that activates the sticky pistons, and the chest that ultimately receives the reeds.

For pumpkins and melons, I have only one of each plant in an automatic harvesting structure. I’ve used something like this before. I go this idea from UnbreakingIngot on YouTube. Check out his video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSxYYhZK5eI) if you need a more in-depth explanation of how this structure works. It’s really very simple, taking advantage of the fact  that pumpkin and melon blocks transmit redstone signals, while glass does not. It doesn’t produce loads of items quickly, but I don’t use tons of melons and pumpkins, so it produces enough.

The green grass blocks are where the melon (left) and the pumpkins (right) grow. When one grows, the constant redstone signal from the torches at the bottom of the image are transmitted through the fruit to the line of redstone dust that sits on top of the hoppers toward the center of the image. This activates one of the two pistons, breaking the fruit into its item form which is then sucked up by the hoppers and deposited in the chest at the bottom right of the image. The glass that is pushed forward by the piston breaks the redstone signal and turns the piston back off, retracting the glass.

That’s kind of the theme here, I hope you’re seeing. Like I said last post, I’ve made enormous farms and extremely productive breeding/slaughtering systems in the past that produce more than I can use in an extremely short period of time. What I’ve been trying to do with these systems and structures is find a happy balance where production is fully automated without being excessive.

Finally, let me show you my farming Turtle. This is a very simple ComputerCraft solution that is semi-automatic, meaning you have to initiate it, but it harvests and replants by itself. You can use this for wheat, as I have pictured here, and also potatoes, carrots, gysahl greens (from ChocoCraft), Natura barley, and any other plant that gives you the plant’s seed when you harvest or is itself its own seed (like potatoes).

I can’t play Minecraft without ComputerCraft, anymore. Turtles are so freaking awesome.

The code is really just a series of FOR loops. The only moderately complicated thing about it is alternating its turn direction at the end of each row (go down one row, turn around to the right, come back the next row, turn around to the left). This is handled by a counter variable in the controlling FOR loop. If the counter is even, the Turtle turns one direction, if it is odd, it turns the other. Simple stuff. You can get the code at http://pastebin.com/iX0smK7i. I’m not a professional programmer, so I’m sure the code and my commenting are amateurish, but the bottom line is that it works.

You would think by the preponderance of topics on my blog that I’m a bit obsessed with farming automation. I guess that’s partially accurate. I’m still planning to do a set of comparative reviews of three big farming mods: Pam’s HarvestCraft, Agent’s Agriculture, and Agriculture by Team Metallurgy. Next post, however, we move on to other exciting things.

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