Why are my Villagers not breeding in Minecraft?

Updated to 1.20

Breeding is a unique and helpful feature that enables similar mobs to mate and give birth to new versions of themselves as their offspring. Other than regular mobs like Cows and Pigs, also Villagers can breed and reproduce.

There is a possibility that many new Minecraft players who are experiencing the game for the first time will need help getting Villagers to breed, because there are few reasons that could make it difficult.

So let’s learn what the requirements are to breed your villagers and the possible reasons why they could not.

why are my villagers not breeding

What are the requirements for Villagers to breed in Minecraft?

Villagers need the following conditions to breed:

  • the population limit must not be reached
  • breeding mode must not be on cooldown
  • It has to be day time
  • the Villagers need 3 empty Beds
  • they need enough food to get into willing mode
villagers willing mode
Two Villagers in willing mode

7 Reasons why your Villagers could not be breeding

Here are 7 possible reasons why your Villagers are not breeding in Minecraft:

1.  Not Enough Beds

To make your Villagers breed, they must have access to a spare, unclaimed Bed. Meaning, if you are planning to make two Villagers breed, they have to be capable of detecting 3 unclaimed Beds nearby.

While it is true that they won’t use the Beds for breeding in front of you, the Beds still need to be there for them. Moreover, these Beds need to have 3 empty blocks above them.

2.  Not Enough Food

Villagers need a lot of food compared to other breeding mobs. They ideally want 12 food items in their inventory to go into the “willing mode”. More on the food that they like below.

3.  You’ve Hit Population Cap

The Minecraft game has set a maximum number for the total population of Villages in the Bedrock Edition, limiting the number of Villagers for that given Village. You will know if you hit the population cap if you see Villagers in willing mode and with an unclaimed Bed, but who also don’t breed.

4.  You’ve Hit the Breeding Cooldown

Cooldown is a game mechanism that restricts the usage of features and abilities by making players wait for them to recharge/reset. Breeding in mobs also has a cooldown, so if you try to breed Villagers during the cooldown, your Villagers won’t breed. In this case, you just need to wait.

5.  You Are Trying at the Wrong Time

Mobs in Minecraft are programmed to follow a pre-defined routines that they must follow. This routine follows the day-night cycle of the Minecraft game world. According to this routine, Villagers will only breed during the day.

6.  You Placed the Food in the Wrong Place

Minecraft mobs are very dumb to an extent. If you place food near the Beds, you can get the best results as the food will be in the line of vision of the mobs. You can also drop the food off in front of the Villagers. So when the Villagers eventually walk by or over the food, it will get added to their inventory.

Related topic: How to reset Villager trades in Minecraft?

7.  You Didn’t Provide a Shelter or Structure

Having a building or structure is not mandatory. However, making an effort to make some will eventually pay off. Because:

  • It protects them from other mobs
  • they will remain in very close proximity, which increases their chances to breed
  • it will protect their offspring

This whole step is optional, however it will increase your chances, that’s for sure.                 

What Food Do The Villagers Need?

In order to get into willing mode, Villagers will need 3 Bread or 12 of wither Carrots, Potatoes and Beetroots.


minecraft beetroot

Only mature and fully ripe Beetroots can be offered as food to Villagers. However, you can collect Beetroot and harvest them from your Village gardens. Once fully mature, the Beetroots leaves will emerge from the ground.


Unlike other foods here, Bread can’t be grown or collected; it needs to be bought or crafted. You can buy it from Villagers, or you can craft it yourself by combining 3 Wheat.

minecraft bread recipe


Another vegetable that is grown by Villagers, you can harvest fully ripe and mature Carrots and offering them to villagers to make them breed. Pick Carrots that are sticking out from the ground.


Potatoes can be harvested by Villagers as well. Fully mature potatoes will have a full bush of leaves sticking out of the ground. However, be careful, as some potatoes are poisonous and practically useless.


Breeding Villagers is more complex than simply feeding them one food item. It depends on a variety of things, such as the time of day, whether or not there are Beds available, etc. As a result, there could be a few reasons why newer players cannot breed their Villagers. If this is the case, it is essential to remember that you are not alone.

However, now that you know the possible causes of your failure to breed your Villagers and the conditions to breed them, we hope you won’t face any difficulties in breeding them anymore. Thank you very much for reading the article this far and I hope I’ll see you again around here. See you and take care!

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