The Truth Behind Chocobos
For the people of Vana'diel, chocobos are reliable traveling companions and the most accessible mode of transportation. In recent years, demand for chocobos has exploded in response to the activities of adventurers, but surprisingly little is known about the way chocobos live and are raised.
The Vana'diel Chocobo Society (VCS) takes up the task of educating choco-gals and choco-guys and dispatching them to chocobo stables across Vana'diel. Below, VCS President Hantileon answers some of our questions regarding chocobo raising.
The Start of a New Life
Q: I heard that chocobos can see as soon as they are born. Is this true?
A: By the time chocobo chicks break out of their shells, they are already covered in down and can see clearly. They can even stand on their own two feet and take their first unsteady steps after a single day has passed. When chocobos still ran wild on the Quon continent, they needed to be able to run from carnivorous prey in order to survive.
Even so, chicks are still very weak, and require a warm bed, soft food, and most of all, loving care. This is why the Vana'diel Chocobo Society contacts the chocobo's owner immediately after it hatches and asks the owner to give the new chick a name. The chick's name is always used while it is being cared for in order to create a stronger bond between owner and chocobo.
Some names are fairly common, as they are often passed on from parent to chick. Many owners also tend to reuse the names of chocobos they have cared for in the past.
Caring For Chocobos
Q: Gysahl Greens are the most well-known type of feed preferred by chocobos across Vana'diel, but what else does their diet consist of?
A: Chocobos enjoy other types of greens, in addition to root vegetables such as San d'Orian carrots. The stables often use carrots as feed due to their high nutrition. Meat, such as that of the cupid worm, is also essential for building strong bones and muscles. Other than that, we sometimes gather medicinal grasses in the field for the chocobos. These grasses tend to be very bitter, however, and the chocobos do not enjoy their taste.
The VCS takes great care to provide the chocobos with a balanced diet, particularly during the growth stage of chick to young chocobo. We also discuss with the owner what types of goals they have for their chocobo, and gradually alter their feeding patterns in response.
Q: Besides feeding, what other types of care do you consider important?
A: As I mentioned earlier, the most important element to raising a good chocobo is loving care. Call your chocobo by its name and spend time outside together.
It is also important to scold your chocobo on occasion to keep it from behaving in a spoiled manner.
Also, don't forget that chocobos love to run. We take our chocobos outside and race them against each other on a daily basis. This invigorates them and builds their strength.
Raising a Winner
A: "How does the VCS train good chocobos?"
Q: The VCS provides a variety of experiences for chocobos while they are still young, such as digging for treasure and delivering messages and packages. Creating and enforcing a schedule that allows the chocobo to try out a multitude of tasks builds courage and wits. A courageous chocobo can carry its owner even to dangerous areas, and a quick-witted chocobo can cleverly react to dangerous situations, so these attributes are important to foster.
Also, even if they look the same at first glance, chocobos' bloodlines and abilities differ from each other. Therefore, we take great pains to provide each chocobo with a schedule that fits its unique attributes and brings out its strengths without making unreasonable demands.
We at the Vana'diel Chocobo Society are listening to chocobo owners' opinions, and are currently formulating a plan to introduce a new method of chocobo raising. This plan is designed to create chocobos superior to previous breeds, and we hope that the adventurers look forward to the introduction of the new system as much as we do.
-Quoted from the Vana'diel Tribune's "Report from the VCS"
Illustration by Mitsuhiro Arita