Updated: Apr 9
One of Minecraft's most interesting mechanics is the ability to utilize food to breed mobs and get more of the resources that they drop. When you're trying to max out on all your resources, it can be a pretty helpful tactic if you're tired of just looking around the map for the same type of mob constantly.
MOBS THAT CAN BE BREAD
As previously mentioned, breeding is only possible for some mobs and not all. It is somewhat intuitive what you can and can't breed. For example, it should be pretty apparent that you can't breed the Ender Dragon and Wither bosses since they're hard to spawn to begin with, and are considered the only boss mobs in the game. You can't breed hostile mobs such as zombies or ender men (except for hoglins), either, since those aren't meant to be domesticated; they're just meant to be farmed through killing. While breeding doesn't work for them, there are ways to maximize resources from hostile mobs through "mob farms."
Although you shouldn't try to remember the whole list, you can place it as a general rule that all mobs that are "domestic" animals, like pigs or cows, are breedable. You can utilize breeding for horses, too, if you want a new means of transportation. Villagers can also be bred, but they're a particular case that will be discussed further on.
How to breed mobs in Minecraft
You start the process by finding two mobs of the same type and putting them in close vicinity. Most people make some sort of fence to keep them in the same place, so you should keep that in mind if you want to use them as a long-term source of resources.
Getting the appropriate food item for the mobs is the next necessary step. Each mob has a specific food that is involved in its breeding mechanic, and you can see a list of the appropriate food here:
Wolves: any meat
Hoglins: crimson fungi
Cats: raw cod and raw salmon
Horses/Donkeys: golden apples and golden carrots
Llamas: hay bales
Sheep, Cows, and Mooshrooms: wheat
Pigs: carrots, potatoes, and beetroot
Rabbits: dandelions, carrots, and golden carrots
Foxes: sweet berries
For other mobs: see https://minecraft.fandom.com/wiki/Breeding#Baby_mobs
After you've set up the mobs to be next to each other and have the appropriate food item in your hand, all you need to do is right-click one of the mobs. The start of "love mode" is indicated by heart particles that appear above the head of the mob you first clicked. To continue the process, you need to do the same thing to the second mob.
Once you feed both of them, you'll hear a different noise depending on which mob you're breeding, and within a few seconds, you'll see a baby mob spawn. To make it grow to a standard size, all you have to do is keep feeding it.
How to breed villagers in Minecraft
Since their breeding mechanics are different than the rest of Minecraft's mobs, villagers will be explained as a separate category in this guide.
Once again, you'll need to find two villagers in a village structure. You can choose to capture them somewhere if you want, but make sure not to place any doors in the structure you're using to capture them, as they can easily open them and run away from you. This place needs to have three beds.
Don't forget - adult villagers have professions assigned to them! When the newly-bred villager grows, they will be assigned to the profession of the nearest workstation. For example, if there's a fletching table next to them, they'll become a fletcher. You can utilize this mechanic to get villagers of a specific type.
Just like with mobs, villagers need food to breed. There are multiple food options to breed villagers, which you can see here:
3 loaves of bread
However, you don't right-click them with it; you throw the food to the ground and let them pick it up. To make them more willing to breed, you can boost their happiness by trading with them. After this step, leave them for a bit and come back in about 15 minutes. When you come back, you'll find that there's a new baby villager spawned!
As a final piece of advice, there are a few other mobs that have special conditions and quirks to their breeding mechanics.
For example, pandas need 8 bamboo blocks in a radius of 5 blocks in each direction.
Frogs and turtles do not breed baby mobs immediately and will instead lay eggs that need to hatch before you see a baby mob.
Wolves and cats/ocelots must first be tamed with bones or fish to be made to breed. They must also be at full health.
Baby sheep grow faster when they are on grass blocks.
With all of that knowledge in mind, you should be equipped to handle breeding mobs in Minecraft!
Good luck, and feel free to reply below if you have any questions!