A lead (also known as a leash) is an item added in the 1.6 update for Minecraft. They can be used to tie any passive mob (including baby villagers) to a fence post. It is crafted with 4 string and a slimeball.
The Main use of the lead is to tie horses up to keep them from running away, but any mob that the lead holds will do the same thing. Simply right click the mob with the lead in hand, and you will "rope" the mob. While roped the mob will follow you much like animals following a player with their desired food, i.e. pigs with carrots, sheep with wheat, chickens with seeds. The lead will expand up to its maximum length of ten blocks before "breaking" and being dropped for reuse upon collecting. During this time the mob is free to roam once again.
Multiple mobs may be roped at one time, and it is not currently known to have a limit, though it has been proved to be at least seven mobs.
A less intened use of the lead is to be used as a gallows. Some players will build tall fence posts and tie mobs to the very top, forcing them to suspend in the air. The mobs will bounce up and down, and if the are close enough to the ground, will repeatedly hit the ground until dead, simulating the appearance that they are being hanged.
- Prior to update 1.6.1, looking away from the animal connected to the player's lead, caused the lead to become invisible. Looking at the mob made the lead reappear.
- Killing mobs tied to fence posts causes the lead to disappear with the mob.
- All peaceful mobs can have leads on (sheep, cows, etc.). It is a good way to make a farm.