A proposal came up for discussion in a saga in which I play:
To trap, buy and otherwise acquire predatory animals whose coats are highly valued. Fox, ermine, mink etc. To take them into our covenant (Underground caverns, magic aura 5), and imprison them in a part of those caverns in little hutches, with spells used constantly to pacify them. To breed them, and use animal magic to speed the growth of those pups so that the next generation can be bred as quickly as possible. To use constant magic to ensure health and glossy coats to get the best value from this. To butcher said animals in the covenant, taking the meat for our own usage, and the skins for sale.
My position on this issue is that such constant usage of magic will quickly lead to the creatures after a few years (several generations) acquiring might and powers. Making them monsters that are potentially dangerous and should be treated respectfully. That butchering magical animals inside the covenant might warp the aura, which is already tainted infernally by a haunting.
I am also of the opinion that our neighbours and the church might object to such a scheme, and we have enough contact with said neighbours that it cannot be kept a secret, and said neighbours could quite easily crush us if they believed we were actually evil sorcerers.
However the rest of my covenant seem to be of the opinion that I shouldn't worry so much and that if the animals do become monsters with high might this can be only a good thing as that means vis for the covenant.
From reading your title I had imagined pigs and cows with pointy hats and wands.
Clearly the animals are going to take warping points and warp. As they warp they will gain virtues and flaws from their magical exposure. The rules do not ever say that gaining might is inevitable or even likely as a byproduct of warping.
Depending upon the nature of your fellow players, I think that your characters shouldn't worry about it as it looks like it will lead to some really cool stories if it happens. It would be a shame to miss them just because the magi are too cautious. I love it when stuff goes down at the covenant.
It might be useful to mention that this is taking place in the Rhine Gorge and that two of the last four covenants to be founded nearby were burnt out by Church lead mobs for being squitty.
I agree with you both, that warping is going to happen, and it would make good stories. It could cause tainting as well, but I believe in the Medieval mindset you would not be doing anything "Infernal" by using God's bounty and killing animals for a useful purpose. In fact I think the current theory would be something along the lines of God put fur on animals so that people could harvest it and be warm.
If the magi insist on being cautious, they could create an outbuilding for the storage of the animals.
If the aura is already Infernally tainted, the warping could lead to some nasty warping effects, leading to gory pelt harvesting (perhaps the animals refuse to die when skinned), or the pelts continue to bleed....
Calebais (page 92) has a section on Awakening Animals.
While animals in your Caverns might get warping ,
they are unlikely to spontaneously develop Might Scores or an Intelligence Score.
If you check Effects of Warping on page 168
This will take 05 points to reach a score of one.
As the Aura rating is 05 , the warping will come from magic used on them.
The flaw will reflect the effect used on them.
In this case Creo Animal is being used to mature the animals quickly.
The Sigil of the caster will also have an effect , but this is normally cosmetic in terms of game play.
A flaw gained by warping may accentuate this.
The flaw is likely physical , Poor Eyesight (page 58 ) because you are in a cavern might be one result.
Yes , you won't be raising the animals in the dark , but it might be thematic.
Very true, you can have some spectacular warping effects without any Might, or Vis potential.
But careful breeding would (could) (arguably) prevent this. Out of every litter, you use a couple small spells to determine the best "breeding stock". The rest are enchanted for their pelts, but their enchanted bloodline never goes back into the population, only "normal" animals.
Thus there is no foundation for "generations of magic" causing warping. Might happen anyway, but you're not making it easy.
The old priest used to practice animal husbandry, until they caught him at it one night...
Personally, I would say go with it: the animals will definitely become interesting to your saga, and the stories that result should be a lot of fun. Eating the meat might cause some problems on all sorts of levels, from poisoning/Warping the covenfolk, to possible issues with Parma...hmm, that would definitely be interesting. There are also a lot of possibilities for customization of effects on your animals: after all, it should be possible to influence certain colors and patterns in the coat magically, then claim the effects are from luck and skill. As long as you aren't too overt, the prices you could ask for might increase substantially.
One thing that might make a difference is social status.
Seemingly unclaimed woodland areas might belong to a noble.
Certain types of animals can only be hunted by nobles.
This is not just restricted to deer , iirc.
(i don't have a list to hand of what animals are "fair game")
Trapping and breeding some animals may be a crime.
If your product is too good , you may be offered Favour by a Noble.
They might wish to see your breeding pens and obtain some breeding stock for themselves.
Rather than just random Warping , why not spend some Lab Time Experimenting.
Expending some initial Vis to improve stock quality could be a plus.
The thicker pelt an animal has in winter would be the preferred type for clothing.
Magi have no problem with temperature control after all.