Because I slaughtered all the animals near my home base (in a swamp) and animals are no longer spawning. I had to go a chunk away and literally push a few animals through a tunnel to get some animals near me (I'm hoping they breed in 1.9). I've played the 1.8 world for days and days and days and days and animals are not spawning.
Seems like they spawned somewhere else and are limiting local spawns. Either that or there is some other factor like the presence of other animals, that is affecting it as well.
I've done a week's worth of experimenting with animals, and I can, without a doubt, say this:
1) Animals will not despawn/respawn anymore, except for Squids. Chickens, Sheep, Cows, and Pigs all do not despawn/respawn.
2) If you have two of the same animal in the same spawning area/chunk (Still debate about if spawning patterns are related to a single chunk, or a "spawning area"), and only two of them, they will slowly respawn. This can be seen as a pre-breeding test.
3) Eggs from Chickens will despawn after a certain amount of time.
4) Once you've killed all of the animals in a certain spawn area, they will not respawn in that area.
5) Sheep don't regain wool D:
That's pretty much it. Grow melons, things are boss.
However, I'm not totally convinced that they don't respawn, since I have heard some folks claim they saw a new animal spawn, or that old animals up and disappeared for no reason.
They do respawn. I had cleared the land and sea of terrestrial animals for several hundred meters on a new, post official, 1.8 map. They were all gathered into my dungeon/farm, counted, and separated into small breeding groups. After that I built some walls and fences above ground around my orchard.
When I came up from my mines to collect some lumber, there were a pair of chickens and a pig romping about. I slaughtered the chickens and drove the pig into the dungeon/farm. None of the previous animals had escaped, these were new ones that had spawned in the grasses of the orchard.
It certainly wouldn't be enough of a spawn rate to sustain anyone. In the time period that it had taken for the new animals to appear I had been forced to eat at least 32 cooked fish.
I'll add that my dungeon/farm is under the ocean next to my surface structures, and all animals are contained in tightly closed pens over 24 blocks away from and over 32 blocks below the space the new ones appeared in. With over 4 sets of closed doors between them (herding animals without a catch pole or leash is terribly annoying by the way).
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More Ocean Life: Kelp, Coral, Crabs and Jellyfish; Coconut Palm trees for beaches and islands. Terrain Generation Changes: Which biomes and world-building features are most in need of change?
They do respawn and I think most ppl realize this now... BUT the real issue is the slow spawn or the lack of one mob spawning and getting all of another. SOOOO many ppl are reporting issues with no sheep or no chickens or like in my case no wolves. There is no way to fix that lack of one mob on our end unless someone updates a mob spawner mod which I personally would rather not use but may be forced to if I want pet wolves.
The mob trap farming ppl have figured out how to get the baddies spawning but no one seems to be doing the math and the work on friendly mobs :sad.gif:
I played a survival game on a deserted island map with no other land anywhere close for at least 8 hours...so more than a few minecraft days. Not a single animal spawned on my island. In the old days once that baby was torched up I shoulda had all sorts of animals showing up but alas none....it was a rough go of fishing at first while I developed my wheat crops.
On the one hand, this added an interesting new twist. What was I going to eat with no animals? On the other hand, after the first few spawns of spiders/skellies I also had the problem of bad guys not spawning on my island either. Deep in the cave below they were still showing up but not on the island itself either. Also not a squid to be seen and these have also been abundant in other maps.
So without any scientific backing I will say the spawning of animals definitely seems different in 1.8. But I'm confident it will get tweaked in due time so it's not that big a deal, imho, as I'm assuming it's part of the work in progress on 1.9.