In Harvest Moon: Back to Nature all animals have a hidden affection score. The maximum amount of affection points any animal can have is 255 and for every 25 points they’ll go up a heart level. You can see the heart level for each of your animals in the start menu.
Only the first action you take each day in this videogame will raise their affection levels. That means, for example, that if you brush your animal once its affection will go up. If you continue to brush that animal several more times that day you’re wasting your time because it has no effect at that point on their affection levels.
The new affection points you get from say brushing or talking to your animals don’t get added to the total until the start of the next day.
The only exception to these rules is if you attack your animal with a tool such as the axe. This will immediately lower its affection and you can repeatedly attack them and repeatedly lower their affection level without having to wait until the start of the next day.
You will begin with the dog and it starts out with 10 affection points. The following activities affect your dog’s affection points.
Your dog also has a second hidden Intelligence stat in this videogame that starts at 0 and can never decrease. When he becomes an adult you will be able to purchase a ball that you can use to play with your dog. If you throw the ball, the dog barks, gets the ball and returns it to you its intelligence will go up by 3 points. Your dog’s intelligence can only go up by 3 points per day no matter how many times you throw the ball. The higher your dog’s intelligence the better he will do at the Dog Race Festival.
You never have to feed your dog. It takes a minimum of 60 days to get your dog’s heart level to 10. It also takes a minimum of 85 days to get your dog to maximum intelligence.
During the spring of your first year in Harvest Moon: Back to Nature you can visit Yodel Ranch and receive a horse. The horse starts out with 10 affection points. The following activites affect your horse’s affection points.
Talking to your horse will have no effect on its affection levels.
Your horse also has a hidden stamina stat in this videogame. His stamina starts at 0 and can never decrease. When your horse becomes an adult you will be able to ride him. Every time you jump up onto your horse his stamina will go up by 3 points. His stamina will only increase once per day no matter how many times you jump onto him. The higher your horse’s stamina is the better it will do in the Horse Race Festival.
You never have to feed your horse. You can also use your horse as a mobile shipping bin when it becomes an adult by throwing items into the bags on the sides of its saddle. These items will get shipped with everything else. The idea is I guess that your horse takes the items to the shipping bin for you.
If your horse doesn’t have a total of 8 hearts by the end of the first year Barley will come and take it away.
It takes a minimum of 60 days to get your horse’s heart level to 10. It also takes a minimum of 85 days to get your horse to maximum stamina.
You can buy chickens from the Poultry Farm for 1,500g each. Chickens start out with 10 affection points and the following activities affect their affection levels:
It takes a minimum of 24 days to get a chicken’s heart level to 10. You can buy food for your chickens in this videogame at the Poultry farm. One unit of chicken feed costs 10g. You can also throw corn into your windmill to have one unit of corn converted into 10 units of chicken feed. If you leave your chickens outside then you don’t have to feed them. You can also put the chicken feed in any of the chicken stalls as long as you put as many units of food as you have chickens. For example if you have two chickens you can put the feed in stalls 2 and 5, it doesn’t matter.
After you purchase one chicken in Harvest Moon: Back to Nature there’s no need to ever purchase another. You can put an egg in the incubator and after 3 days it will hatch. After another 9 days the chick will mature into an adult chicken.
Chickens lay eggs when they have at least 1 heart or 25 affection points. If you fail to feed a chicken then it won’t lay eggs for the next two days.
If your chicken wins the Chicken Festival then they will start to lay gold eggs. You can also get Saibara to make you the Mayonnaise Maker. You can put eggs into the Mayonnaise Maker to get small, medium, large or gold mayonnaise based on how high your chicken’s heart level is. The higher your chicken’s heart level, the better mayonnaise you will get. Gold eggs get made into gold mayonnaise.
You can buy a cow for 6,000g at Yodel Ranch. Cows start out with 10 Affection points and the following activities affect their affection levels:
Brushing or milking your cows has no effect on their affection levels for some strange reason in. It takes a minimum of 48 days to get your cow’s heart level to 10 but this requires constant perfect weather and a field with enough grass. 60 days is a much more reasonable minimum amount of time to reach the maximum heart level.
A pregnant cow in this videogame takes 21 days to give birth to a calf. The calf takes 15 days to grow into an immature cow and then another 14 days to mature into an adult cow. Because it takes so long and because pregnant cows give less milk I recommend just buying all your cows. You won’t have to buy the pregnancy potion or loose the milk while the cow is pregnant.
You can place the fodder in any of the feeding bins in the barn as long as there are as many units of fodder as there are cows. If you fail to feed your cow it won’t give milk for two days.
If your cow wins the Cow Festival it will start to give gold milk. You can also have Saibara make you the Cheese Maker which will take your cow’s milk and turn it into cheese which sells for more.
You can buy a sheep for 4,000g at Yodel Ranch. Sheep start out with 10 Affection points and the following activities affect their affection levels:
Brushing your sheep and cutting their wool has no effect on their affection levels oddly enough. It takes a minimum of 48 days for your sheep to reach a heart level of 10 but this again requires perfect weather and a field with enough grass. A minimum of 60 days to reach the maximum heart level is a much more likely amount of time.
If you give your sheep the pregnancy potion in this videogame it will take 21 days for a new sheep to be born. Lambs then take a total of 15 days to mature into adult sheep that can have their wool cut.
It takes 7 days for a sheep to regrow its wool after it has been cut and if you fail to feed your sheep you’ll set this back by one day. You again can put the fodder in any of the bins as long as there are as many units of fodder as you have sheep.
If your sheep wins the Sheep Festival it will start to give gold wool. You can also get Saibara to make you a Yarn Maker where you can make yarn out of your sheep’s wool which sells for a lot more.