Surviving Mars: Dome Buildings: Ranch

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When you first land your colonist, you need food withing 5 sols. The indoor Ranch provides Turkey at 5 sols, so that will be our baseline.


Goose will be ready 20% earlier at 4 sols, but bring 25% less food. Since you have reserves for that last sol, no need to miss out on that 5% extra food. Also, Goose cost 0,3 more water per hour, for a total of 7,2 extra water per sol. So at the 4th sol, you have payed 28,8 water you could have in the tank.


You could get 2.5 batches of Rabbit during those 5 sols, for a total of 37,5 food and 36 water instead of 60 food. So you exchange 22,5 less food for 36 more water.

This gives an exchange rate of 0,63 base food per water, easily increased to 1 food per 1 water if you have competent workforce. Do note that this won't happen by itself, in the same way that 1 water won't turn itself into 1 fuel.


5 batches of chicken will give you 25 food and 72 water instead of 60 food. This gives the same exchange rate of 0,63 food per water.

Receiving 55 food for 72 more water can be worth considering if you are really short on water. The 12 founders come with 12 food that will last them the full 5 sols, so having 25 food at the end of that period is still solid. Another way of seeing it is that you need to build two indoor ranches to get to 50 food from chicken, and then you can pretend that the 1st Ranch is kinda doing Turkeys at 50 instead of 60 and the 2nd ranch is in fact producing water at a rate of 1,2 per hour, comparable to a Moisture Vaporator... that needs 3 workers.

If you are really efficient and make sure to grow as much as your resources allows, and starting to feel constricted by the lack of water, and have not built any water reclamation spires, then those 72 water can be turned into 36 fuel that can be used to make a cover op to get drones or colonists, or turned into polymers that can be used to increase comfort to get more colonists. And you don't actually need two ranches, producing only chicken with competent workers will yield more than 25 per sol, probably closer to 40 per sol, and that can support 40 colonists.

It's worth mentioning that the chicken also take only 0,3 oxygen instead of the 0,9 of Turkey, so they might be handy if you already have a some food reserves and just want to survive a dust storm.