Being on a fairly old server, all the villages within reasonable distance to my base have long since been depopulated for reasons unknown. The closest village I have found with living inhabitants is over 3000 blocks distant. Since I can't imagine trying to transport in villagers from that distance, what is the solution?
How can I get villagers to respawn in the existing villages, or, If I create a new village how do I get villagers into it?
1: Find and secure a zombie villager (slightly harder now that they no longer spawn from dungeon spawners, so you will have to find one "in the wild," as it were.) On average, about 5% or one out of every twenty zombies should be a villager variant.
2: Hit it with a splash potion of weakness.
3: Feed them a golden apple ("use" it on them with a right-click, don't just toss it to them as an item). Not the enchanted or "Notch Apple" kind, just a regular golden apple will do.
4: Wait a few minutes. The zombie villager will be "cured" and turn into a regular villager.
5: Repeat steps 1-4 a second time so you have two cured villagers.
6: Make a "village" consisting of valid "houses" (i.e. wooden doors with a clear "inside" and "outside"; see the link in my sig for more details) -- approximately three times as many houses (doors) as you want there to be villagers in your village. Keep it well-lit and fortified so zombies don't kill off your populace.
7: Make a vegetable farm in the village to supply the villagers with food. Use carrots or potatoes, and I have heard (though not confirmed) that potatoes are best because they grow slightly faster than carrots. Don't use wheat, as it can cause issues clogging up the villagers' inventories, and beetroot doesn't work at all (they will farm it, but can't eat it.)
8: If at least one of your villagers is a farmer-class (brown robes, no apron. Any profession within the class will do: Farmer, Fletcher, Shepherd or Fisherman. It doesn't have to be an actual "Farmer" type), then skip to step 12. Otherwise, continue with the following steps:
9: Feed the villagers (at least three bread or 12 carrots or 12 potatoes each -- just toss it at their feet this time, and they will pick it up; don't try and "use" it on them like you did with the golden apple and the zombie villager) and/or trade with them so they become "willing" to breed.
10: Wait a few minutes. Once the villagers are "willing" they will go in and out of active "breeding mode" in irregular intervals until two of them come together and produce a baby. Once a baby villager is spawned, both "parents" will lose their willingness and must be fed or traded with again in order to produce further offspring. After breeding, villagers have a five-minute "cooldown" period before they may enter breeding mode again, but I believe that their willingness can still be restored immediately.
11: Repeat steps 8-10 until a brown-robed villager is born.
12: Once you have a brown-robed villager in your town, you're done! The farmer will tend crops at the farm and share food with other villagers, who will then become willing and continue breeding, without further intervention on your part, until the population cap is reached.
3000 isnt really that far i have built rails further. You can transport them by rail or if sea is available even boat. Two people/mobs can share 1 boat these days. ( you can also boat on land but very slow.)
It's a lot easier to bring em by rail through the nether. Portal at your base and at the village, matching nether-side portals either way up in the nether ceiling or deep down at bottom of nether, either way you can probably dig a long straight and level rail tunnel with a minimum of cave/lava/open spaces where pigmen and ghasts can bother you.
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