Minecraft’s Rotten Flesh: A Complete Guide

Rotten flesh is one of the most common items in the game, but it’s one that many players tend to ignore unless they are out of food. In this guide, we’ll explain all of the ways to get rotten flesh as well as all of the things you can use it for! This will work for all versions of the game, including:

  • Java Edition (PC)
  • Bedrock Edition (Playstation, XBOX, Windows 10, Nintendo Switch)
  • Pocket Edition (PE)
  • Education Edition

All Uses of Rotten Flesh in Minecraft

Rotten flesh is very easy to obtain, so it’s a good idea to put it to work! It works in a pinch as a food source, can be used for the wolf mod, and can be traded with Cleric Villagers.

Using Rotten Flesh as Food

While rotten flesh is not a very good food source, it’s helpful in situations where you’ve run out of food and need to survive until you’ve returned to your base. This is particularly helpful in caves and while mining, but applies to overworld exploration as well.

A player with four hearts of health and slightly more than half of their hunger bar.

In the image above, I have 5.5 hunger remaining. Consuming one piece of rotten flesh restores four hunger, which is equivalent to two bars on the hunger bar. This leaves me with 7.5 hunger total. 

Eating a piece of rotten flesh fills two segments of the hunger bar, but has the chance to apply the hunger effect.

However, eating the rotten flesh can give players the hunger effect for 30 seconds. You can tell that the hunger effect is applied because the hunger bar will have a greenish hue and an icon looking like a piece of meat on a bone will appear on-screen.

The hunger effect turns a players hunger bar green and puts the hunger effect icon somewhere on-screen.

As a note, eating multiple pieces of rotten flesh does not cause the time to stack. If a piece of rotten flesh inflicts the hunger effect, the timer will reset to 30 seconds. On all difficulties other than peaceful, the hunger effect increases how quickly the player’s hunger bar runs out. 

Feeding and Breeding Wolves

Unlike players, wolves are immune to the hunger effect. They can eat rotten flesh to heal from damage.

An injured dog in Minecraft will have a lower tail.

You can tell that this wolf is hurt because its tail is lowered. Wolves will also whine when they have low health, so keep an ear out for that. Interacting with it while holding a piece of rotten flesh feeds the rotten flesh to it, healing it and causing its tail to rise.

Healing a dog with rotten flesh will cause its tail to raise.

Rotten flesh can also be used to breed tamed wolves. Feeding two full-health wolves rotten flesh will cause them to enter love mode. They will then come together to make a baby wolf.

Two wolves can be bred together using rotten flesh.

The baby wolf can be fed rotten flesh to help it grow more quickly.

Feeeding a baby wolf helps it grow into an adult more quickly.

 Trading with Clerics

Clerics use a brewing stand as their job block.

A Cleric Villager next to their Brewing Stand job block.

Novice-level Clerics will trade 32 rotten flesh for one emerald.

A Novice Cleric Villager trading 32 rotten flesh for one emerald.

How to Get Rotten Flesh in Minecraft

There are four different ways to obtain rotten flesh. The most common of these is by killing certain mobs, but they can also be obtained from looting chests and two other rarer ways.

Mob Drops

Six total mobs can drop rotten flesh. This number does not include the Zombie Horse, as it cannot be naturally obtained in Minecraft.


The most common of these is the Zombie, which can drop two rotten flesh at most upon death. Enchanting your sword with the Looting III enchantment can increase this number to five.

A Zombie dropping rotten flesh upon death.

Zombie Villagers

The second mob that drops rotten flesh is Zombie Villagers, which have the same drop rates as the regular Zombie.

A Zombie Villager dropping rotten flesh upon death.


Husks, a Desert variant of the regular zombie, will also drop at most two rotten flesh. With Looting III, it can drop up to five upon death.

A Husk dropping rotten flesh upon death.


Any Drowned will drop between zero and two rotten flesh without Looting III and up to five with Looting III.

A Drowned dropping rotten flesh upon death.


A Zoglin will drop up to three rotten flesh without Looting III and up to six with. A Zoglin is created when a Hoglin, which typically drops raw pork chops, passes through a Nether Portal into the Overworld.

A Zoglin dropping rotten flesh upon death.

Zombified Piglins

Similar to the Zoglin, a Zombified Piglin is created when a Piglin crosses into the Overworld by walking through a Nether Portal. They occasionally drop one rotten flesh, with Looting III allowing them to drop up to four.

A Zombified Piglin dropping rotten flesh upon death.

Chest Loot

Eight locations contain chests with rotten flesh. While it’s not a sustainable way to get rotten flesh, they’re a good way to get some with little effort. 

LocationAmount of Rotten FleshJava ChanceBedrock Chance
Dungeon ChestBetween 1 and 8 Rotten Flesh57.8%57.8%
Desert Temple Chests Type 1Between 3 and 7 Rotten Flesh28.7%28.7%
Desert Temple Chests Type 2Between 1 and 8 Rotten Flesh59%59%
Igloo Basement Chests1 Rotten Flesh55.3%55.3%
Jungle Temple ChestsBetween 3 and 7 Rotten Flesh55.4%55.3%
Shipwreck ChestBetween 5 and 24 Rotten Flesh32.2%32.2%
Small Underwater Ruins Chest1 Rotten Flesh59.6%59.6%
Temple Chest in VillageBetween 1 and 4 Rotten Flesh89.3%89.3%
Woodland Mansion ChestBetween 1 and 8 Rotten Flesh57.8%57.8%

Fishing Loot

Rotten flesh is considered a junk item when fishing. With an unenchanted rod, the chance of catching a piece of rotten flesh is around 1%. 

Fishing has a 1.0% chance of catching rotten flesh in Minecraft.

A fishing rod with Luck of the Sea reduces this chance to 0.4%.

Gift from a Cat

When a player sleeps at night, their tamed cat may move towards their player and sleep near them. After waking up, there is a 70% chance of the cat giving the player a gift. This will not occur when sleeping through a thunderstorm or when the cat has been ordered to sit.

A Tamed Cat sleeping with their player at night.

When a gift is given, there is a 16% chance that it will be rotten flesh.

A Tamed Cat gifting their player with one rotten flesh.

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