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Arael's Chocobo Raising Guide



This is my work-in-progress Chocobo Raising Guide.

As Lastarael retired from FFXI a while ago, I lost interest in continuing a guide for a game that I no longer play. However, since this guide is still fairly in-depth, I'm leaving it up for the information that it can offer to anyone needing help. Good luck on your chocobo raising!

Please do not edit this page. Make comments on the talk page.


CAUTION!
Guide-sign.png This article is a personal guide. Information expressed in this guide is one player's opinion and may be more opinion than fact. Strategies and information contained herein may not work for everyone.

No non-minor changes should be made without consulting the author. Changes or questions should be discussed on the talk page.

Guide-sign.png


Arael's Chocobo Raising Guide


Chocobo raising is a fun, exciting, and challenging part of the game. I've been addicted for quite a while, but just recently (2010) got into serious breeding and racing. I found myself wishing that I'd known more of what I was doing earlier on, saving me time and money (and salvaging my first poor birds); I hope that this guide will help others to be more informed.

I will not be regurgitating everything already covered on the Chocobo Raising page. That should be your most visited page for your first couple chocobos - it certainly was mine!

Also, please refer to the Chocobo Raising Guide, but remember that it is a guide (though much of it is presented as fact), edited by many people (including myself).

This, too, is a guide, and pulls upon my personal experiences as well as the research done by other chocobo breeders. I have not included anything that has been disproven by my experience or that of others, and have tried my hardest to not entertain unfounded theories.

I began compiling this guide when I realized that it was inconsiderate and next to impossible to modify the vast amount of information added by others that I've found to be untrue on the Chocobo Raising Guide.

Please, please, please post your experiences on the Talk page, especially if you've disproven any of the information on this page.

I wrote this guide for people who desire more than just an Emergency Chocobo. If you simply desire a whistle to get you out of a pinch, and don't care how fast the bird is or how long you can ride it, skip down to Emergency Chocobo.


YellowChocoboFeather.png


What You Will Need

  • At least 29 days (and more if you want a good chocobo!)
  • Not a lot of time is required – you can fully care for a chocobo in as little as 6 minutes (choosing "brief" reports and walks).
  • I do recommend, however, checking your chocobo every day. The positive effects of your affection cannot be replaced by any care plan.
  • A lot of patience!!!
  • Research!
  • Use common sense – don’t believe everything you read.


You do not need a Chocobo License to raise a chocobo, but if you don't have it, you cannot ride your bird even with your personal Chocobo Whistle. A level 1 character can raise a chocobo.


Breeding

Color

I've long since wearied of the continuous arguments about how to obtain colored chocobos. Oddly enough, most other FFXI-related websites agree on genetics approach. My experiences have pointed unerringly toward genetics, but I wanted to bypass the theories and go straight to the source.

According to SquareEnix:

  • "The resulting offspring may exhibit the attributes or coloring of its parents." [1]
  • "Each egg is encoded with its own specific genetic information, and some players may come across an extremely rare variety." [2]

SquareEnix definitively links breeds (genetic lines) and colors. [3]

  • Note that in practice color is merely cosmetic; it does not reflect a certain "breed" of chocobo.

Therefore, looking at color from a purely genetic standpoint (and trying not to delve too far into Biology 101)...

  • Each animal inherits two pieces (alleles) of a gene (in this case, color), one from each parent. The overwhelming number of yellow chocobos and the relative difficulty of getting a colored chocobo evidences that the yellow allele is the dominant trait, and other colors are recessive.
  • Colors other than yellow may be dominant over other non-yellow colors, but I don't have enough evidence to make a claim regarding that possibility.
  • Genetically, two yellow parents with heterozygous parentage have a 25% chance of birthing a colored chick.
This means that we bred two yellow birds (yellow phenotype - the external appearance) with recessive color alleles (Cc genotype, with C indicating yellow - dominant - color, and c denoting any other color), both results of mating a color (cc) and a yellow (CC or Cc) bird...
  • We would have a 25% chance of a colored chick (cc) - (All right!),
  • A 50% chance of a yellow chick with recessive color again (Cc genotype) - (Sorry, try again!),
  • And a 25% chance of a homozygous yellow chick (CC) - (Start over!).
Granted, all you see is the phenotype, yellow, so you can't tell if the chick is heterozygous or homozygous.
  • Two homozygous same-colored parents will always birth a chick of the same color.
This means that if we bred two red birds who both had red parents (homozygous, rr), then we have no chance of getting a different color - we're guaranteed a red chocobo!
  • The trick is knowing the color of the parents' parents!
  • Curiosity hasn't killed the mithra... yet.
  • If we got adventurous (or curious) and bred two different colored birds (homozygous - with parents of the same color), say a red (rr) and a blue (bb)...
  • Well... I'm still working on that. This comes back to the possibility of colors besides yellow being dominant to other colors.
  • I can guarantee we won't get a yellow, black, or green chocobo though.
  • I'm currently mixing a line of blue and black birds - I can't wait to see the results! Will I end up with two heterozygous blue parents (with black and blue parents) having a black chick, or vice versa? I'll let you know.

Ok... now that I've bored the heck out of you, I'll be stepping back off my genetic color pedestal now.


It is possible to get a colored chocobo from a bought or quested egg, but the most reliable way is to breed two birds of the same color.


Gender

Gender seems to be random unless you choose a VCS Honeymoon plan that increases the chance of a male or female chick being born (Gourmet and Hiking plans, respectively). That, however, is not guaranteed.

The claim on the Chocobo Raising Guide that it is difficult to receive a chick of a different gender once you've already had one is unfounded. My chocobos disproved that easily; male and female seem to be a 50/50 chance regardless of the gender of your previous chocobos. See the discussion on that talk page for others' opinions.


Eggs

That being said, the temperature of your egg could have some bearing on the gender or attributes of the resulting chocobo.

I've seen no pattern of gender resulting from different egg temperatures.

You might hear people say that certain warmth of egg will give you a certain color, certain attributes, etc.

I’d have to do a lot more research on the matter before I’m willing to endorse any such theory.

The only things I know:


Chococards

These are the items that carry the information about the chocobos you wish to breed. You can present two of these and a VCS Honeymoon Ticket to Finbarr to receive an egg to raise.

Note that a Chococard is not the same thing as a VCS Registration Card, which you receive when your chocobo is retired. Chococards can be traded or sold by bazaar; registration cards are EX and cannot be replaced. If you lose a registration card, your chocobo's information is gone forever.


Honeymoon plans

A Chocobo Honeymoon!


A little boy in Jeuno, Finbarr, seems to be as enthusiastic about breeding chocobos as I am! Go to him and pick a plan to have the birds you'd like to breed get to know each other. Don't worry, the entire cutscene is rated G.

With these plans your chick can potentially inherit its parents' attributes!

  • The general consensus among breeders is that only one ability may be inherited per chick.
  • Stat bonuses from plans are largely unreliable.
  • Inheritable abilities and gender are more reliable but still nowhere near guaranteed.


Chocobo stages and colors

Timeline

Egg - Days 1-3

So you have an egg... now what?

"Plant" the egg at a convenient time.

  • The chocobo's day does not turn over at JP midnight, but every 24 hours from the time it was started (not last checked on).
  • I like "planting" mine in the middle of the night, so I can check on it at any time during the day.
It's annoying to have to wait til, say, 12:45 and 1:15 in the afternoon to check your chocobos, especially if you're on a tight schedule.

Location (location, location!)

  • Location is honestly not critical.
  • However, raising your chocobo in a certain city can be advantageous for a couple of reasons.
  • You may receive the story used in learning an ability at an earlier age depending on where you chose to raise your chocobo.
  • Any ability can be learned from any city; the only difference is how long it takes to get the story.
Racer
  • Raising in Sandy grants the probability of an earlier acquisition of the Gallop story.
Digger
  • Raising in Bastok with Zopago grants the probability of an earlier acquisition of the Burrow story.
  • Raising in Windy with Pulonono grants the probability of an earlier acquisition of the Bore story.
Note that Bore is very difficult to learn, requiring a high Discernment level, so it is unlikely that you will learn the story until well after you receive it anyways.
  • Weather also varies between the three cities; I've seen intriguing claims that taking walks in different weather can teach your chocobo to favor that weather, which aids in racing and digging. I haven't yet been able to obtain any definitive results (my only two chocobos with weather preferences other than "likes clear days" were both partial to cloudy weather, and were raised in Sandy) but I like the theory and thought I'd mention it.
  • When raising in Sandy:
  • Rain and wind occur in La Theine, where you go for Regular walks.
  • Thunder and rain occur in Jugner, which you reach in Long walks.
  • When raising in Bastok:
  • Regular walks take you to Konschtat, which has occasional dust storms and thunder.
  • For Long walks you and your bird will trek to Pashhow, where you may see thunder and rain.
  • When raising in Windy:
  • Tahrongi is your destination on Regular walks, where you could encounter dust and wind.
  • You will take your chocobo on Long walks in Meriphataud Mountains, which occasionally has dust storms and hot spells.
  • Remember that you'll want to be checking on your chocobo often (hopefully every day), so make it a starter city that's easy for you to visit or convenient to set as your Home Point.
  • Once you trade your egg you can only care for your chocobo from that nation's stables.

"Watch the egg" trick:

The more you watch your egg before it hatches, the higher the affection level your newborn will have on Day 4.
  • Choose the Watch over care option at least 100 times (yes, 100 times!) over 3 days.
  • This is the only care option while the chocobo is in the egg stage, and unlike other life stages, the egg will have no limit on the amount of active care you can do.
  • Vegetable Paste is hard to find feed for chicks which increases affection by approximately one level per paste. Three will fill a starving chick.
  • The ONLY reason I'm suggesting using Cupid Worms is because the newborn chick will have no stats to lower.
One worm will raise affection at least 3 levels.

An egg that is not checked after being dropped off will hatch at around level 3 affection ("seems to slightly enjoy your company"). Affection is important to your chocobo's development, as I will explain in depth later in this guide, and should be maxed as soon as possible.


Watching the egg will give you three different messages on the three days of the egg stage:

  • Day 1: "Your egg feels the tender warmth of your gaze."
  • Day 2: "The chick inside the egg seems to want out."
  • Day 3: "The chick inside the egg seems anxious to meet you!"


Your newborn chick

Chick - Days 4-18

"Your chocobo is… (fe)male!"

  • You can find the gender of the chocobo as soon as it hatches on day 4.

You will find out if your chick inherited any of its parents' abilities!

You may now name your chocobo.

  • Choose carefully, as you cannot change a chocobo's name after it is chosen.
  • You do not have to name it immediately.
  • I generally wait for adolescence to verify my chick's color before giving it a name (though I hate seeing it being referred to as "Chocobo" the entire 15 days of …er… chickhood).
  • I like to name the chick something related to its color and parentage to aid me in keeping track of who is who, and to make it easier to later sell their Chococards to other breeders.
  • Name your chocobo before day 65 or your VCS Chocobo Trainer will name your choco themselves!
Upon returning after a break from the game I checked on the poor chick that had grown up alone:
  • "But, Lastarael… You still haven’t named it.
  • "I guess it’s up to me to give the poor animal a name, then. From now on, your chocobo will be known as…"
A VCS-appointed name will be one word (ex. Baron, Friend) and seems to be chosen at random, regardless of gender.

Progress:

  • With good care, your chick may have its highest stat reach Substandard between days 8-15.
  • Your chocobo's highest stat may reach A bit deficient between days 14-21.


Adolescent blue chocobo

Adolescent - Days 19-28

Day 19 is monumental in chocobo raising for anyone hoping for a colored chocobo!

  • If you're wanting a colored bird, then you'll be hoping to see that the tips of the feathers on your adolescent chocobo are a color other than white.
  • On some screens it's difficult to tell the difference between blue and black tips. Enlarge the picture at the top of this section for comparison.
  • If your adolescent has white-tipped feathers, and you're really concerned about having a colorful ride, then you'll have to start over with a new egg.
  • However, color is not everything. It will not affect stats, personality, abilities, or anything besides how you and others see your chocobo. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right?
  • Also, it is possible to dye your adult chocobo's feathers using Chocobucks, but this will only change your bird's color when you are riding it; in cutscenes, including races, it will appear as its original color.

Your chocobo's personality is frozen at day 19.

In this stage your chocobo becomes susceptible to illnesses and injuries, and can now run away from home if it is neglected.

You can start telling stories of the abilities you want your chocobo to have.

  • Generally, the chocobo must have Discernment of A Bit Deficient or higher to learn a story.
  • However, telling stories is a good way to slowly increase your bird's Discernment, if that's your goal at this time.

Progress:

  • With good care, your adolescent may reach Average between days 24-27.
  • Your chocobo may reach Better than average between days 27-33.


Adult - Days 29-128

On Day 29 you will receive the message:

"Chocobo has finally grown large enough to ride!
"Chocobo is becoming one fine bird, if you ask me!"

You may notice that your chocobo looks different than stable chocobos.

They will take on the characteristics of their dominant (highest) stat.


Regular Feet Strength
large feet and talons:
STR Feet
Regular Tail Endurance
more tail feathers:
END Tail
Regular Beak Discernment
elongated beak:
DISC Beak
Regular Chocobo Receptivity
no change:
No change in features


  • This may not reflect the previously frozen personality, as both are dependent on the current highest stat at the time (on Days 19 and 29).

The option to "Give up chocobo raising" is now replaced by "Retire your chocobo."

  • There is no need to retire your bird unless you want to immediately start raising another chocobo.

You can now get your Chocobo Whistle!

  • Re-register your chocobo to take advantage of stat changes. This can be done through the main chocobo menu.

You can also receive a Chococard for your bird for a fee of 300 gil.


Adult black chocobo (with DISC beak)

Progress:

  • As an adult, and with optimal care, your chocobo's stat(s) may be leveling up once every 5 days.
  • Between days 40-50, with optimal care, your bird should have two First class stats.
  • This is assuming you have only focused on either physical or mental stats!
  • If your bird is not progressing as quickly as you hoped, remember that stats are easily improved before Day 64!

On Day 43 you will be told:

"You've done a great job raising this chocobo. Now is the best time to improve its attributes.
"And I must say, Chocobo is beginning to develop quite a distinguished air. You're a natural at this!"
Don't let this go to your head though - I bet even Dietmund heard this line before!

On the dreaded Day 64 you will get the message:

"Chocobo's growth seems to have stabilized. The animal has developed quite a distinguished air.
"And I must say, Chocobo seems quite satisfied. You have raised one fine animal."
Now you can no longer rely on care plans to increase stats.
  • Set your care plan to Basic Care from this point on. While care plans won't increase stats, they will continue to decrease them!
  • Stat increases will slow to a crawl, if they increase at all.
  • The most reliable (though painfully slow) method of leveling stats is to use Chocotrains.
  • If you're going to use Chocobucks to improve your bird, keep it active in the stables until forced retirement on Day 129. The improvement tokens for birds still residing in the stables (R Chocotrains, or Race Chocobo Training Tokens) are slightly cheaper than the Chocotrains that can be used to raise the stats of retired birds.
  • Alternatively, Chocotrains can be bought and sold on the Auction House, but good luck finding the one you want up for sale.
  • Apparently it is possible to learn an ability after day 64, just more difficult.
  • However, I've always had my birds learn their abilities long before this, so I can't speak from personal experience.


Retirement - Day 129

On Day 129 your chocobo will be dragged away... er, forcibly retired... to the VCS's retirement farms.

Of course, you also have the option to retire your chocobo after adulthood.

  • Do this only if you want to start raising a new chocobo immediately!

Upon retirement...

  • You will see a long cutscene memorializing your chocobo's life with you.
  • You will be given your chocobo's VCS Registration Card and a plaque of your chocobo's color to decorate your Mog House:
VCS Plaques in Mog House

After retirement...

  • You can still call your chocobo with its whistle!
  • You may continue to buy Chococards with your bird's information for breeding purposes.

To recharge your whistle or buy Chococards, trade your Registration Card to your VCS trainer.

If you lose it, all traces of your chocobo are gone forever!

You can still race your chocobo after retirement!

  • However, now you can only make changes to your bird's stats through Chocotrains (not the slightly cheaper R Chocotrains).


Statuses

Positive Status

Chick in High Spirits

"High spirits" is a desirable status, as opposed to most others. It can come in many forms:

  • "Chocobo is in high spirits."
  • "Chocobo seems quite (or 'pretty') perky lately. It should be responsive to anything you give it now."
  • "Chocobo has been receiving plenty of affection, and seems extremely happy. It is in excellent condition now!"
  • "Chocobo is so full of energy today!"
  • "Chocobo is so full of energy today! Now’s your chance to get in some rigorous physical training!"
When this physical high spirits status wears you will be told:
"Chocobo has burned through that excess energy and calmed down a little."
  • "Chocobo seems unusually bright and focused today! Now's your chance to get in some rigorous mental training!"
When this mental high spirits status wears you will be told:
"Chocobo seems to have had its fill and has calmed down."

It's possible to get "high spirits" status when not at top affection level.

It's possible to retain this positive status for days on end.

Coming down from high spirits does not necessarily indicate that something is wrong.

High spirits may increase affection gained during active care.

High spirits can decrease the amount of energy expended during care.

  • 'Physical' high spirits decreases the amount of energy used on walks and possibly races.
  • 'Mental' high spirits may decrease the amount of energy used on stories.
  • Note that you will not be allowed to use an active care option that would normally require more energy than your chocobo has left.
For example, even if your chocobo used about 30% energy on two long walks while in "physical" high spirits, you can’t undertake another long walk with the remaining 40% energy because the normally required energy is approximately 50%

Per Square Enix:

"Two new beneficial statuses "bursting with vitality" and "sparkling with intelligence" have been added. When a chocobo is affected by these, not only will training programs yield better results, but the chocobo will also be more receptive to physical and mental stimulation." [4]
This seems to have been replaced by:
  • "Now's your chance to get in some rigorous physical training!" and
  • "Now's your chance to get in some rigorous mental training!"


Negative Statuses

Negative statuses…

Sick chocobos can still learn abilities!
  • Do not affect energy
  • Can go away on their own, even after 1 day.

With negative statuses…

  • You can care for chocobo as usual (including walks and races) without exacerbating the condition.
  • Your chocobo can still learn abilities
  • One of my chocobos learned Gallop the day she hit Average DISC, while ill, bored & restless!   →


So what do negative statuses do?

  • Some seem to decrease affection faster than usual (such as with boredom or lovesickness).
  • May or may not influence the outcome/potency of choco’s care plan.
I've seen claims that sick chocobos “level up” more slowly but have not seen evidence of this myself.
  • My chocobos with various (and sometimes multiple!) negative statuses have leveled up as expected (and before).


Remedying negative statuses

  • Chocobos cannot die, so if you can’t afford the food to treat illness it will eventually go away on its own
Note that it may get worse before it gets better.
  • Negative status conditions cannot be remedied on the same day. You must wait for the chocobo’s day to turn over to see a result.
  • Feeding the suggested remedy will most likely result in chocobo being healed the next day.
  • You only need to feed one.
  • I personally have never had a chocobo fail to recover after receiving the recommended treatment (or a Celerity Salad).
You’ll see me refer to Celerity Salads a lot in this section. In my opinion, they are the best (though most expensive) option for curing any negative status. In addition to remedying any status, and multiple statuses at once, they give a bonus affection and DISC increase (thought to be +4 DISC).
"I have discovered that if I feed the chocobo the medicinal grass/paste until the VCS trainer says something to the effect of “I hope it gets well soon”, then it will get well by the next update. If I only feed it one piece and the trainer does not comment, it always needs more medicinal feed the next update and has often become even more sick."
  • As I stated above, I’ve never had a chocobo fail to recover after feeding one of the suggested remedy.
  • I have, however, received the message "I hope it gets well soon" when feeding non-medicinal foods (such as carrots) to a sick chocobo.
  • "I hope it gets well soon" is not an indicator of a negative status being healed.


Chocobo’s random illnesses are just that - completely random.

Exceptions:
  • Your first chick crying beginning Day 7 as part of the Chocobo Whistle Quest
  • Upset stomach as a result of being overfed the day before.

I’ve heard that chocobos with higher Discernment or Receptivity have a lower chance of negative statuses but I have seen no evidence of this whatsoever, myself. All of my chocobos have run into quite a few negative statuses regardless of their stats.


Negative Status Effects

Ill Chocobo

Ill

"Chocobo seems to be a bit under the weather. A clump of Tokopekko wildgrass should fix it right up, though."

To remedy: Tokopekko wildgrass or Celerity Salad.

May go away on its own, or deteriorate into "very ill."


Very Ill

"Chocobo is very ill. We need a clump of Tokopekko wildgrass in order to help it."

Occurs sometimes when ordinary sickness is left untreated.

This negative status effect is cured when you are told: "Chocobo's fever has gone down."

To remedy: Tokopekko wildgrass or Celerity Salad


Chick with a Stomachache

Sick

(AKA) Stomachache

"Chocobo seems to have a stomachache. You should probably feed it better."

This is rather misleading. Later the NPC will tell you:
"Your chocobo seems to have a stomachache. A clump of Garidav wildgrass might help it feel better."

This is supposedly caused by overfeeding. Despite all my testing (which involves stuffing more and more feed down the throats of my poor experiment chocos) I've never had this occur on the next day.

I have, however, had a chick which hatched with a stomachache.

To remedy: Garidav Wildgrass or Celerity Salad.


Injured Chocobo

Injured

"Your chocobo's leg seems to be slightly wounded. A clump of Gausebit wildgrass might help it heal."

Your chocobo has the possibility to be injured when directed to:

  • Carry Packages
  • Deliver Messages
  • Exercise in a Group
  • Exhibit to the Public (don't ask me how)
  • And likely other Tier 2 and 3 care plans.

To remedy: Gausebit Wildgrass or Celerity Salad.


Spoiled

"Chocobo has been behaving quite spoiled as of late. You should discipline it more often."

You'll know when your bird has recovered from this status when you see the message:

"Chocobo has become more responsive to commands lately."

To remedy:

  • Scold your bird (ONCE) and return affection to max with greens and/or walks…
When scolded, "Chocobo hangs its head in shame."
  • OR feed a Celerity Salad. Bonus to DISC, and affection increases; no greens necessary.


Bored & Restless Chocobo

Bored

"Chocobo seems bored and restless. You should have it compete against other chocobos sometime."

Your bird is no longer bored when the trainer tells you:

"Chocobo seems to have more zest for life nowadays."

To remedy:

  • Choose to Compete with others once during active care.
I've heard that you have to do this multiple times; I've never had this behavioral treatment fail after implementing it only once.
  • Can also be remedied by Celerity Salad.

Boredom can occur at any time after your chocobo hits adolescence.

My research shows that the likelihood of boredom is not affected by care plan or active care.

Be aware that boredom will eat into your affection levels rapidly.


Lovesick

"Chocobo has been acting strange lately. Its head is in the clouds and it will hardly eat anything..."

When asking about its condition the trainer will tell you

"Chocobo seems to have its head in the clouds lately... It must be in love with another chocobo."

When your bird has recovered from this condition you'll be told:

"It seems that Chocobo was in love, but it is feeling better now and its appetite has returned. Everything should be alright."

To remedy:

  • This status requires a Celerity Salad. This is the only known cure.
  • Previously it was thought that the chocobos "wanted" to be bred
(i.e. have their card traded to Finbarr with a honeymoon plan).
I and many others have disproven this theory.
This will not fix your problem... sorry.

This status can clear up on its own, or last for weeks and seriously decrease your affection level. It only occurs after adulthood, thankfully. No teenage romances here.

Per SE: [5]

"Previously, a chocobo being in love would only negatively affect the success rate of its training. However, now this status will sometimes benefit the chocobo."
...Yeah, I haven't discovered any benefit from this status whatsoever. If you've noticed anything, please note it on the talk page.


Run Away

A severely neglected adult chocobo may choose to run away from the stables.

"I'm really sorry, but Chocobo has run away. Someone was supposed to be taking care of it...

"I think it just wants attention, though…
"It should come back if we wait a while."
(Don't worry - it comes back. Free food and shelter is hard to pass up, right?)

But, while your choco is gone, you cannot feed or care for it. It will get no benefit from care plans.

This status can last for days on end.

You can still "Ask about Chocobo's condition" while it's gone:

"Chocobo ran away from the stables the moment I turned my back… It must have been upset about something. All we can do is wait for it to come back now."
Lonely Chocobo

This is a status effect that you can prevent!

If you receive the message:
  • "Chocobo seems lonely. You should go out with it sometime.
  • "Your chocobo is not receiving enough affection, and seems very depressed.
  • "You should pay more attention to your animal."
…then you need to take immediate action before your bird runs away!

To remedy:

  • Wait for your chocobo to return.
  • Then, greens combined with lots of walks and watches are a good start to repairing your relationship with your chocobo.
  • If you have your chocobo on a care plan that greatly decreases affection it might be a good idea to downgrade to Basic Care for a couple of days.

Note that loneliness can go away on its own ("Chocobo doesn't seem lonely anymore") but usually returns soon after.


Attributes and Abilities

Affection

Let's start off with affection. According to SE:

"Affection [is] the most important part of chocobo raising. Greatly affects the success of care plans." [6]

Without your attention your chocobo's progress will be seriously stunted!

The keys to keeping affection high are:

Low levels of affection can occur even if you check your chocobo every day.

I used one poor bird for experimentation:
  • She was not fed nor treated for negative statuses, but was taken for walks and watched over every day, and kept on Basic Care.
  • After becoming bored and restless, she dropped 1-2 affection levels per day without treatment.
  • Boredom ended after 6 days, when she became depressed (poor thing!).

Affection can be measured in eight ratings, but seems to function on an unknown point scale similar to stats.

  1. Does not seem to care about you.
  2. Seems to be able to endure your company.
  3. Seems to slightly enjoy your company.
  4. Seems to like being around you.
  5. Seems to like you pretty well.
  6. Seems to like you a lot.
  7. Seems to want to be with you all the time.
  8. Seems to regard you as its parent.


Personality

A chocobo's personality is determined during chick phase and set permanently at day 19.

Easygoing - Default personality; no dominant stat.

"It has a very easygoing personality, making it easy to care for."
Was previously "It does not have much of a personality, making it easy to care for."

Ill-tempered – STR is highest stat

"It is rather ill-tempered, making it ideal for military use."

Very patent – END is highest stat

"It is a very patient chocobo, making it ideal for carrying goods."

Quite Sensitive – DSC is highest stat

"It is quite sensitive, making it good with people."

Enigmatic – RCP is highest stat

"It has a rather enigmatic personality, making it difficult to know what the animal is thinking."

From what I've seen, personality does not affect the process of raising your chocobo.


Weather Preferences

Weather likes and dislikes can help or hinder a bird when racing.

For example, a chocobo who dislikes rainy weather can get stuck in the mud during a race:
"Oh no! It looks like we have an accident on the field! One of the birds has its feet caught in some mud! Can it get back on track in time!?"

In addition, diggers get much better digging results when digging in weather that their chocobo prefers, and can dig up very little in comparison when in their chocobo's disliked weather.

The default weather preference is "likes clear days."

It may be possible to train a chocobo to like a weather condition other than "clear," though this is quite obscure. I'm currently doing testing on this theory.

  • The idea is that if you take your bird out for walks during desired weather it may have a slight chance to like or dislike that weather condition.
  • Only Regular and Long walks offer the possibility of changing weather preferences, as the zones for Short walks do not have any weather.
  • So far all of my chocobos that developed a weather preference did so between days 30 to 40, on the day following a walk or two in that weather. It seems to be quite random, as it has only happened with four of my birds thus far.


Stats

Chocobos have four named attributes, two of which affect their physical statuses and two that govern their mental statuses.

Strength and Endurance are referred to as Physical stats.

Discernment and Receptivity are known as Mental stats.


Strength (STR)

  • Determines a chocobo's running speed.
  • In Chocobo Racing the level of STR sets the chocobo's maximum speed.
  • Your chocobo can run at max speed until it runs out of Endurance, at which time it drops to the lowest running speed.
  • The following care plans increase STR:
  • Take a Walk
  • Exercise Alone
  • Carry Packages
  • Deliver Messages
  • Active care options Take a Walk or Compete with Others may increase STR.
  • Other chocobo raisers have said that they saw an increase in STR following these activities; I haven't, so I can't state this as a fact.
  • Vomp Carrots can increase STR slightly.


Endurance (END)

  • Determines how long you can ride your chocobo.
  • In Chocobo Racing:
  • The level of END sets the amount of time your chocobo can run at max speed.
  • This is the most difficult stat to increase; it is the only one that does not have its own specific high-level care plan.
  • The following care plans increase END:
  • Take a Walk
  • Exercise in a Group
  • Carry Packages
  • Active care option Take a Walk may increase END.
  • Others claim to have seen an increase in END following a walk; I haven't, so I can't state this as a fact.
  • Vomp Carrots can increase END slightly.


Discernment (DSC)

  • Aids your chocobo in learning abilities.
  • In Chocobo Racing:
  • Affects how well your chocobo paces itself (i.e. uses its END)
  • Affects the timing of item use during the race
  • Increases the chance that your chocobo will leave the gate on time
  • The following care plans increase DSC:
  • Listen to Music
  • Interact with Children
  • Exhibit to the Public
  • Dig for Treasure
  • Active care option Tell a Story increases DSC by approximately 1 point by my calculations.
  • Zegham Carrots and Celerity Salads can increase DSC slightly.


Receptivity (RCP)

  • Determines how well your chocobo communicates with other chocobos.
  • In Chocobo Racing:
  • Affects your chocobo's ability to avoid accidents and attacks from other jockeys
  • In Chocobo Breeding:
  • Thought to influence the likelihood of passing abilities on to chicks.
  • I have noticed no correlation between Receptivity and abilities of offspring.
  • My chicks always inherit an ability (seemingly at random) and on all of my chocobos RCP is the lowest stat.
  • The following care plans increase RCP:
  • Listen to Music
  • Playing with Chocobos
  • Exhibiting to the Public
  • Acting in a Play
  • Active care option Tell a Story may increase RCP by approximately 1 point or less by my calculations. I've only observed this happening once, when my adult chocobo had mental High Spirits status and was inspired by a story.
  • Zegham Carrots can increase RCP slightly.


Scale

You may have noticed the attribute scale listed on the chocobo raising page. While my testing has shown me that it is generally correct, along with the scale used to chart the attribute points from Care Plans, please recognize that this is a hypothetical, player-created point system. Square Enix did not release any sort of point scale.
F Poor 0-31
E Substandard 32-63
D A bit deficient 64-95
C Average 96-127
B Better than average 128-159
A Impressive 160-191
S Outstanding 192-223
SS First-class 224-255


There is a theoretical cap of 637, which the two mental and two physical stats all share.

The highest you can get each stat (assuming you want one stat at First-Class, and the rest at the highest possible level) is SS/A/B/C.

If you were aiming for a balanced chocobo, the best you could do is A (or more likely, B)/B/B/B. This, however, is not feasible; in fact, the Balanced Chocobo has its own section in my guide.


Abilities

Your chocobo can learn two abilities, either through Telling Stories that the NPCs give you, or through breeding using the VCS Honeymoon Plans.

  • I, personally, have never had a chocobo born through Matchmaking without inheriting an ability from one of its parents. It might not be the ability you're hoping for, but your chick should inherit one ability.
  • Lethe Consomme and Lethe Potage can be fed to erase an undesired ability. You may need to feed more than one to get rid of the ability. Which ability, if you have two, is likely random.
  • When telling stories, some level of Discernment is required to learn the desired ability.


Auto-Regen

  • Increases the rate at which your chocobo restores energy.
  • This is the least understood and likely the most pointless of the six available abilities. It's thought to have an effect on Chocobo Racing, possibly regenerating Endurance during the race. Reports of other chocobo raisers suggest that it does not, in fact, help with energy involved in active care or care plans.
  • This ability is learned by telling the Story of a Happy Chocobo, which you receive from participating in the Compete Against Others active care option, and winning three races.
  • Can be learned when telling the story with DSC at A bit deficient or higher.


Bore

  • Adds the following types of items to digging results:
  • Common: ores; logs; plants/fungi; bonecraft-type materials (shells, scales, horns, and skulls)
  • Less common: seeds; clothcraft-type materials
  • This ability is learned by telling the Story of a Youthful Chocobo, which you receive after meeting Pulonono for the third time on a walk.
  • Windy - Short walks
  • Sandy and Bastok - Long walks
  • Can be learned when telling the story with DSC at A bit deficient or higher.


Burrow

  • Adds the following types of items to digging results:
  • Beastcoins
  • Common: seeds; logs; plants/fungi; clothcraft-type materials
  • Less common: ores
  • Bastok - Short walks
  • Sandy - Regular walks
  • Windy - Long walks
  • Can be learned when telling the story with DSC at A bit deficient or higher.


Canter

  • Increases your chocobo's Endurance; adds one level of END during racing, and increases the time you can ride your chocobo with your Chocobo Whistle by five minutes.
  • This ability is learned by telling the Story of a Curious Chocobo, which you receive after meeting Brutus for the third time on a walk. You can only meet Brutus on Long walks.
  • Can theoretically be learned by telling the story many times with DSC at A bit deficient (possibly only with mental high spirits), but Average DSC or higher makes it a lot easier. Canter is the most difficult ability to learn. Your best hope is for your bird to be born with this ability, if you're planning for a racer or riding chocobo.


Gallop

  • Increases your chocobo's Strength; adds one level of STR during racing, and increases the speed of your chocobo in the field as well.
  • This ability is learned by telling the Story of an Impatient Chocobo, which you receive after meeting Hantileon for the third time on a walk.
  • Sandy - Short walks
  • Bastok - Regular walks
  • Windy - Long walks
  • Can be learned when telling the story with DSC at A bit deficient or higher.


Treasure Finder

  • Increases your chocobo's chance of finding something in The Chocobo Hot and Cold Game by adding another level of hint ("Kweh!?") designating how close you are to the chest.
  • Thought to increase the chance of finding items on walks during chocobo raising.
  • This ability is learned by telling the Story of a Diligent Chocobo, which you receive by completing the Lost Chick quest.
  • Can be learned when telling the story with DSC at A bit deficient or higher.


Plans and Care

Active Care

Energy for Active Care

A chocobo's energy, which limits the active care you can provide each day, is a curious thing.

  • Energy resets to full each day, minus the amount of energy consumed by the care plan.
  • There is no difference between amount of energy restored when some energy is left from the previous day versus if the energy bar completely drained the day before.
  • There's no need to Rest your chocobo to restore energy.
  • Use basic care if you want the choco to have almost 100% energy the next day for whatever reason.
  • Randomly and rarely your chocobo may begin a day with less than the energy expected.
  • I recommend caring for, then watching your choco until the energy bar is completely depleted to keep affection level high (and save money on greens).

Care plans and active care drain a chocobo's energy an approximate amount per day (with the exception of Rest).

I say "approximate" because the amount of energy expended – or perhaps the amount available – varies slightly from day to day. I still haven't determined the factor affecting this variation.

Energy is affected by:

  • The chocobo's life stage
  • High spirits
  • Green Racing Silks, a level 1 body piece bought with Chocobucks. It is Rare/Ex, but can be sent between characters under the same account (so send them between mules who are simultaneously raising chocobos!). This piece decreases the amount of energy expended in active care by an unknown amount - possibly by half! Like other elements of FFXI, this does not allow you to undertake a care action that you would not have had the energy to do without them, it simply cuts down on the energy expended. I highly recommend these for any serious chocobo raisers.

Energy does not seem to be affected by:

  • Stats (within the same stage of development, at least)
  • Any negative status effect
  • The previous day's energy
  • Hunger level or the amount fed the day before
  • Weather on walks

For example, I raised two chicks simultaneously with the same parents, plan, nation, and (at the beginning) stats.

Chick care plans (Listen to Music, in their case, and Take a Walk on other chicks) drained 2-5% of energy to begin with.
With 97-95% of energy in the two weeks of …uh… chickhood, they could do 3 (short) walks per day and anywhere between 1 and 8 watches following.
Why the fluctuation in energy that allowed for the difference in amount of daily (active) care? Please leave your theories on the talk page. I have no clue.


The Basics

When caring for your chocobo, you can now (after a much-needed update) choose "Brief report," "Detailed report," and "Skip the report." Every 7 days of sequential reports it will prompt you to make the choice again. This way you don't have to, say, sit for hours watching the same long cutscenes and pressing the same button repeatedly when catching up on 80 days of missed care from your first chocobo.

You cannot change a scheduled plan for the current day.
The "next program" will be what was set on the (chocobo's) previous day.
  • Remember that the clock your chocobo is on does not correspond with JP midnight, as so many other "wait 1 earth day"s do.

In my opinion, anything done with your chocobo's chococard, whistle, racing form, etc. - basically, anything not done with your chocobo while it's in the stables or in Kamp Kweh, where you can interact with it – does not affect your chocobo's statuses, stats, care, etc., with the exception of purchasing Chocotrains.

For example, calling your bird with your chocobo whistle doesn't affect it's active care energy, or statuses.
Your chocobo will not get stronger from carrying you, smarter from digging for you (though your digging skill could go up), and won't learn weather preferences from being called with its whistle.


Watching Over Your Bird

"Watch over" affects affection a very small amount, especially after adolescence.

Walks are much better for increasing affection – the longer the better.
Use Watches when there is no energy left for any other desired active care option


Take a Walk

Walks

The longer the walk, the more affection you receive...

Brisk vs. Leisurely walks:

SE: A "leisurely" walk will show the usual event scene, while a "brisk" walk will display only text.
  • This choice will not affect the benefits received from the walk itself. [7]


Walks MAY increase STR and/or END.

  • Stat increases are reportedly less than 1 point per walk.
  • Note: I have never, in my years of chocobo raising, observed a walk increase any stat other than affection. Others, including the person who taught me the basics of chocobo raising (and to whom I owe this obsession… er, interest), have apparently observed walks increasing STR and/or END. I can't regurgitate this as fact, however, until I see it with my own eyes. Sorry Chibs! <3


Chocobo makes a friend!

Making friends!

You'll meet Hantileon, Zopago, and Pulonono on walks in the areas surrounding San d'Oria, Bastok, and Windurst, respectively. They are all raising chocobos the same age as yours.
  • On your first chocobo in Sandy, Hantileon will introduce you to Ice. On your next chocobos he will be raising Sea, Sky, and Sun, respectively.
  • On your first chocobo in Bastok, Zopago will be raising Chaos. His following chocobos will be Devil, Ghost, and Night.
  • On your first chocobo in Windy, Pulonono will have Melody. Her second chocobo will be Poetic. I no longer have a mule in Windurst, so I haven't met her later chocobos.
  • On long walks you'll meet Brutus and Fantastic. His next birds will be Lightning and Sparkling, and his fifth will be Wonderful. If I recorded his fourth chocobo's name, I can't find it.
It is possible to meet NPCs multiple times on multiple walks in one day.
Once you meet a trainer three times, he or she will tell you a story that you can use to teach your chocobo abilities.
Meeting Dietmund on a Long Walk
On long walks you may meet Dietmund, the previously-abusive owner from the Chocobo's Wounds quest, who will offer some advice on raising chocobos.
  • Some players report never having seen Dietmund on a walk, so I'm curious as to if you meet him only if you've unlocked BST. I have no records indicating that any of my mules have encountered him. If you have information on this, please post it on the Talk page.


Chocobo finds an item on a walk!

Finding items!

If your chocobo finds an item on a walk you will see a sparkle and watch your chocobo turn toward that spot.
To receive the item that your chocobo found, Watch your chocobo.


Though the energy requirements for even the same type of walks varies from day to day, as discussed above, here are some general guidelines (with the assumption that your energy bar starts out at full):

  • Chicks can generally take 3 walks per day and have enough energy for 1-8 watches.
  • Adolescents can take 2 regular walks with energy left for watches, and occasionally may fit in a short walk as well.
  • Adults can take 2 long walks and can then range between having no energy remaining for even one watch, or still being able to fit in a story and several watches – regardless of either positive or negative status effect(s)!

So,

  • Short walks at chick...hood... may take up approximately 30% energy.
  • Regular walks at adolescence consume under 50% energy.
  • Long walks in adulthood take up to 50% energy, but often a bit less.


Chocobo learns an ability through storytelling!

Tell a Story

  • Unlocked at adolescence.
  • Even if you have not received a story (or have learned all received stories) you can select this care option and choose "Random chitchat." (Apparently you have something interesting to say.)
  • Can slightly increase DISC and affection.
  • By my calculations DISC increases around 1 point per story - but I'm a psychology major, not a math major. I would welcome anyone else's input on these numbers.
  • It takes 10 or more stories to increase affection a full level.
  • Learning a story (or after having learned two abilities, being "inspired" by a story) increases energy a variable amount, ranging from 10% to (reportedly) full.


Compete Against Others

  • This care option becomes available at adolescence.
  • Not really necessary unless your chocobo is "bored and restless." (Takes up energy that could be used going on walks or telling stories.)
  • Outcome (win or loss) is not based on stats, energy, affection, hunger, or anything else that I've been able to think up. It seems to be completely random. In fact, an adult experiment chocobo of mine (at F/F/F/F) won her very first race.
  • Increases affection slightly - confirmed.
  • Reportedly increases STR. I've not seen this, myself, so I can't state this as fact.
  • You must win three races (not consecutively) to receive the Story of a Happy Chocobo.
Compete Against Others


Scolding your chocobo

  • This active care option is available from hatching. It is one that I never use. Why?
  • Lowers affection! You'll later need to make that up with further care or food.
  • Drains a small amount of energy.
  • This is a remedy for a spoiled chocobo.
  • You will be told "Chocobo has been behaving quite spoiled as of late. You should discipline it more often."
  • A better remedy is a Celerity Salad.
  • Scolding can also be used to wake a sleeping chocobo.
  • Only use this active care option ONCE. It will take effect the next day. Repeated use will send your affection plummeting.


Care Plans at a Glance

Basic Care

This is the default care plan.

Contrary to popular belief, this plan does not increase stats!

  • An experiment chocobo of mine kept on Basic Care from birth to well past day 64 retired with all stats still at Poor.


Sleeping chick - how cute!

Rest

There's no good reason for this plan.

  • It is not proven to cure status ailments.
  • The day of this care plan you will be unable to provide active care besides Watch over and will be unable to feed your chocobo.

You can now Scold the chocobo to wake it from resting, but this lowers affection and takes some energy.

This will completely restore energy for the day following this care plan...

but Basic Care leaves you with almost 100% energy and the ability to do active care for that day.


Everything else...

At the current time I'm not going to detail all of the other possible care plans – they can be found at the Chocobo Raising page and also have their own individual pages.

I will detail the best care plans to use for your own chocobo goals in the Uses section.


Note on higher tier Care Plans

Tier two and three care plans (available upon reaching adolescence and adulthood) can fail!

Failure in Carry Packages plan
  • Ex. Dropping packages during Carry Packages.
  • Ex. Scaring children during Exhibit to the Public.
  • Ex. Getting lost during Deliver Messages.
  • Ex. Failing to find any items during Dig for Treasure.

This results in less gil in your pocket and a (temporarily) disappointed chocobo, but I've been unable to discern if there's any other consequent of such care plan failure.

It seems to occur most often when the stat being raised by this care plan is low, so expect care plans to fail more often at the beginning.

Failure in Dig for Treasure plan
For example, when first starting to train for Discernment, your chocobo will find few items when digging for treasure. As your bird's DSC increases, it will find more and more treasure for the slave drivers - er, trainers - and you will receive full payment for your chocobo's hard work.



Kamp Kweh

Kamp Kweh

If you can find a partner, go to Kamp Kweh as often as possible until late adulthood! This can grant you a surprising number of stat increases. Even as an adult, you can get stat bonuses from a chick. However, don't continue to go after your highest two stats have met your goals. This can cause stats to decrease.


More information on this form of care is available at Kamp Kweh.


Feed

You can feed a chocobo a number of different items (by trading the item to the trainer) which will have varying effects on your chocobo's development, stats, and statuses.


Notes about Feed

Slight Effects of Feed

  • Be aware that chocobo feed is not some sort of magical power-leveling tool. You won't give your bird a few carrots and have a stat increase a full level. Care plans are the most important part of raising a chocobo's stats.
  • Food is a nice method of chipping away at the point scale of your chocobo's attributes. A carrot or two may push your chocobo's stat from one level to the next, but know that it didn't really make a huge difference; the stat was at most a couple points from the next level to begin with.
  • That being said, I do, however, feel that feed may increase stats a greater number of points than listed on the food pages (usually said to be 0.5 to 1 point each).
  • After much research I've come to the conclusion that the bonus seems to greatly depend on the affection level between you and your chocobo.


Affection

  • Not feeding your chocobo seems to result in lowered affection.
  • An experiment choco of mine had very fast-dropping affection though I visited her every day and took her on walks.
  • She wasn’t fed anything, and was kept on Basic Care.
  • Any type of greens raise affection a certain amount, as well as certain other foods.


Hunger

  • There are seven levels of hunger:
  1. Starving
  2. Quite hungry
  3. A little hungry
  4. Neither hungry nor full
  5. Almost full
  6. Quite full
  7. Completely full
  • Some feed (such as Tokopekko Wildgrass) won't even satisfy a full level of hunger. Others (such as Gregarious Worms) will take a chocobo from Starving to Completely full.
  • Do not feed your chocobo past Completely full!
  • Until you know exactly how much of the given food your chocobo can eat at its growth stage, feed one piece at a time.
  • Try to remember to always feed any medicine your chocobo requires first!
  • If you overfeed your chocobo you will see the message that "Chocobo seems to be forcing itself to eat the food."
  • That being said, I always take my chocobos all the way to Completely full. This gives them the most benefit they can receive from food on that day.
  • Your chocobo does not have to be Completely full before overfeeding can occur. If you feed an item that fulfills more levels of hunger than your bird has remaining, it will result in the "forcing itself to eat the food" message. I'm sure Square Enix didn't want people shoving five pieces of food down their birds' throats to get in that extra "boost" before they got full.


Overfeeding

  • It has long been thought that overfeeding is only detrimental; that your chocobo receives no benefit from the food, and may get a stomachache.
  • I've only ever had one chick (born!) with a stomachache, which was not the result of overfeeding, and I've done a lot of research on force-feeding birds. (Those poor experiment chocobos...)
  • In addition, I have had affection increase during some of this experimental overfeeding, when the chocobo was not "Completely Full," but the feeding took it past that level and resulted in "forcing" the food down.
  • It seems possible that when feeding a chocobo something that takes it past the "Completely Full" state (when it wasn't already Completely Full!) the food will still have at least some of its intended effect.


Next-day Hunger

  • There does not seem to be any varying effect regarding amount of energy depletion on next-day hunger.
  • My chocobos almost always start off at Starving.
  • Rarely, your chocobo may not be starving at the beginning of its day (I've seen it range between Quite hungry to Completely full).
  • This seems to happen regardless of the chocobos' statuses – sick, normal, and perky chicks can all experience it – and isn't an indication that something is wrong.
  • I haven't been able to figure out what it is an indication of, but all of my chocobos have progressed normally despite this oddity.


Types of Feed

  • I'm not going to cover all the different greens, grasses, carrots, etc. in this guide – you should be constantly visiting the Chocobo Raising page anyways.
  • While the Chocobo Raising page's feed section covers all the different foods helpful in chocobo raising, there is also a separate Feed page for anyone who would like the same information listed in a single column.
  • This guide will cover certain special feeds, as well as my findings and recommendations.
  • Some feed (such as worms) are reported incorrectly on the Feed page; I've attempted to cover those as well.


Specialized Feed

  • Use these for learning stories!
  • If you're trying to get the Story of a Curious Chocobo for Canter, one Chocolixir can restore your energy to full, allowing you to get in up to two long walks per Chocolixir. Two Chocolixirs in one day give you four chances to receive the story for Canter.
  • However, they cost around 5k each on my server at the moment.
  • Chocolixirs are beneficial in giving you more time to drill a story to your chocobo.
  • Remember that certain stories can only be learned when your DISC reaches a certain level.
  • Don't waste your expensive Chocolixirs until your DISC reaches the level required for the story you're trying to teach.
  • These are obsolete – Square Enix fixed the "chococoma" bug, in which chocobos set to Rest for one day would not wake up for days on end.
  • These will decrease affection. [8]
  • Somewhere between 1 and 6 will erase an ability.
  • Which ability, if you have two, is random.
  • If you're very lucky you might find one up on the AH - they were rare when I needed them.
  • Otherwise find someone with Chocobucks and cooking.
  • This food is the best choice to cure any of the following statuses:
Celeritysalad.png
  • Ill
  • Lovesick
  • Bored
  • Spoiled
  • Injured
  • Use these only if you have the resources to invest (at the moment these run 4-5k each on my server).
  • Not only does it cure those statuses (100% success in all of my experience), but it gives a (bonus!) increase in affection and (+4?) Discernment.
  • However, remember that if you are focusing on physical stats (STR and END) at the time, the DISC bonus will be quickly canceled out.
  • If your chocobo has multiple status ailments this is the perfect feed. You can substitute the multiple remedies that you'd otherwise have to administer with one Celerity Salad.


Worms

WormFeed.gif
  • The general consensus is that these will lower one or more stats.
  • In my experiments I've only had a single stat decrease once, after day 64 – and it wasn't the highest stat.
  • By my calculations a worm may decrease a stat by a few points.
  • If you are at all concerned by the idea of decreasing your stats, I suggest avoiding worms completely. None of them are that helpful and most have other food alternatives.
  • Note that high spirits condition does not cancel out the negative effects of a worm!
  • These raise affection 3 levels per worm.
  • Two of these will take a starving chocobo to Neither Hungry nor Full.
  • Restore about 20-25% of a chocobo's energy, completely filling a starving chocobo.
  • I have not observed any stat decreases.
  • In adult stage, one of these worms won't add enough energy to even take a walk, making this probably one of the most pointless chocobo feeds in the game.
  • Supposedly let your chocobo eat more.
  • I have noticed no change at all with these.
  • One of these worms will increase a chocobo's satisfaction level by about one hunger level (ex. from Starving to Quite Hungry, or A little hungry to Neither hungry nor full).
  • If this worm allows a chocobo to eat more, why would it satisfy hunger at all?
  • After feeding this worm several times I've seen no change in stats, affection, or energy. I'm finally classifying this as pointless.


Pastes vs. Regular Food for Chicks

  • I highly recommend Carrot Paste and believe that it may actually increase both physical and mental stats!
  • I had a chick on carrot paste level up on RECP immediately following feeding:
  • Checked stats...
  • Fed carrot pastes...
  • Checked stats...
  • Picked jaw up off the floor.
  • I've since had a chick level up DISC using Carrot Paste.


  • I did an experiment on two of my chocobos that I raised simultaneously (one on a mule), with the same parents, same honeymoon plan, and exact same care (feeding only Celerity Salads upon negative statuses, and not employing behavioral-based treatments such as racing or scolding):
  • One I fed Carrot Paste until adolescence, then Zegham Carrots until Better than Average mental stats, then switched to Vomp Carrots and occasional greens;
  • One I fed Zegham carrots during chick…er…hood… and through adolescence, then switched to Vomp Carrots and greens upon reaching Better than Average mental stats.
  • Oddly, the chocobo fed only carrots, as opposed to paste, from the start progressed much more slowly in all stages and stats.
  • As an adolescent and then adult, the chocobo fed Carrot Paste was days and then weeks ahead of the other choco.
  • They both had approximately the same number of negative statuses.
  • As an adult, I had to feed many more greens to the carrots-only choco to keep affection maxed.
  • Ultimately, the bird fed carrot paste as a chick became my shining star on the racetrack;
  • The bird fed carrots from Day 1 was sub-par to my standards.
  • I'm not saying that this will be your exact experience, but I do highly recommend feeding carrot paste as a chick.
  • This feed can be used in place of the "Watch the Egg" trick or feeding a Cupid Worm upon hatching to raise affection to Regards as Parent (level 8).
  • One paste will raise affection one level, and three will completely fill a starving chick.
  • After maxing affection once, this paste should not be necessary, as it is incredibly easy to keep affection maxed in the chick stage.
(Listening to music or taking walks can't be too unpleasant for a chick, right?)
  • I haven't had much use for Herb Paste as I generally try to "power level" my chicks by feeding Celerity Salads upon negative statuses.
  • I may try this out on one of my future chocobos.
  • This is rumored to increase affection and energy, "heal it slightly" (whatever that means), but decrease stats.
  • I've never used this, but may experiment with it in the future.
  • As of now, not recommended feed.


Satisfaction and Glow Colors

Glow Colors

Something I’ve always been fascinated by, and have done extensive research on, is the significance of the glow that surrounds a chocobo when it is fed.

  • I've seen a number of varying theories of what the different colors of light indicate, but none were based on more than a few noted incidences.
  • I know that this small detail is pretty obscure and doesn't make much of an impact on chocobo raising, or even feed in specific, but I thought I'd offer the results of my research in my guide.

It turns out that the glow color doesn't indicate the bird's satisfaction with the food in question, the healing of an ailment, or an increase in stats. It just indicates the type of food given.

(Doh! I imagine that if a Square Enix employee read this they'd /facepalm.)
Yellow Glow
  • Red:
  • Greens
  • Pastes
  • Vomp and San d'Orian Carrots
  • Blue:
  • Zegham Carrots
  • Cupid and Parasite Worms
  • Yellow:
  • Medicinal feed given to sick or well chocobo.
  • Gregarious worms
  • Green:
  • One or more pieces of food being fed at once, regardless of the type of food.
  • Some medicinal feed for sick chocobos.
  • None:
  • Indicates overfeeding; your chocobo will receive no benefit from the food, and may have a stomach ache the following day.


Satisfaction

You chocobo may eat its food in several different manners.

  • It has been thought that the varying descriptions reflect how much hunger is satisfied, whether affection or stats increase or decrease, etc.
  • The Feed page even states that, for example, "Your chocobo eats the (Feed)" "indicates the lowest decrease/change in your chocobo's hunger: Starving -> Quite Hungry" and that "Feeding your chocobo any food that gives this message may also reduce affection by nearly one level per feeding, stat boosts may be much lower also."
  • I can prove this wrong in a single feeding, but (as I've mentioned previously) I don't feel comfortable with editing huge parts of Wiki's chocobo-related documentation to fix every piece of misinformation in it.

Following are the observations I've made regarding the feeding descriptions:

  • Weakly indicates that the chocobo is ill or injured.
  • Discontentedly indicates that the chocobo is bored, spoiled, or lovesick.
  • Quietly is used when multiple pieces of food are given.
  • Forcing itself to eat happens when the chocobo is either fed when already Completely full or is given too many pieces of food, resulting in overfeeding (and possibly a stomach ache the following day).
  • Eats, munches contentedly, and gobbles are, as far as I can tell, not particularly indicative of anything, but just depict how well your individual chocobo may like a specific food on an aesthetic level.
  • While it would make sense that a food which a chocobo gobbles would have greater effect, would increase affection, or would indicate a greater hunger satisfaction level, my research indicates otherwise.

The amount of hunger that is satisfied is not solidly indicated by the manner in which feed is consumed. That seems to depend solely on the type and amount of food given.

  • Until you get the hang of how much of which food you can feed in one day without overfeeding your chocobo it's best to feed your bird one piece of food at a time.


Cheap Feed and Gardening

Chocobo feed can be expensive, but if you know a few tricks you can minimize the gil you pour into your bird(s).

Basic chocobo feed is found at the following vendors:

San d'Orian Carrots can be purchased at Ronfaure regional merchants, cooking guild merchants in Windy Waters, and Aveline in South Sandy.
Gysahl Greens are available from Derfland regional merchants and most, if not all, chocobo stables' merchants.

Another option...

Gardening with Wildgrass seeds.

Garden!

You can grow almost all of the feed your chocobo requires!
To garden for your chocobo feed you're going to need lots and lots of Wildgrass Seeds.
Don't ask me why carrots come from wildgrass seeds, either.
Keep in mind that you should be planting, feeding, and harvesting on the day of the crystal you're using.
Gysahl, sharug, and azouph greens are possible results using several different types of crystals.
I recommend feeding the plants Water Crystals - there's the possibility of Tokopekko Wildgrass, and nothing undesirable.
Zegham Carrots can be harvested when a plant is fed using Ice Crystals.
Vomp Carrots can be harvested using Earth Crystals.
Note
Know that these are not reliable results; you may end up having to buy feed at some point.
Carrots are the worst for this, especially vomp carrots. I've had harvests of stacks upon stacks of little worms or gysahl greens when aiming for vomp carrots or zegham carrots. Trust me, it hurts to sell the results of your time, effort, and gil (if you bought seeds) for 1 gil each to an NPC.

Chocobucks (if you had a previous bird that you raced or used in The Chocobo Hot and Cold Game) are helpful, but expensive to acquire.

With these you can buy hard-to-obtain food and ingredients for chocobo feed.


Chocobo Whistle

You will receive your Chocobo Whistle by completing the White Handkerchief Quest on your first bird. In order to ride a different chocobo that you have raised, trade that chocobo's VCS Registration Card to your VCS trainer.

You cannot call chocobo under any of the following conditions:

  • You do not meet the requirements for riding a chocobo:
  • You have hate from a mob.
  • You are in an area where chocobos cannot normally be ridden, or are in a Shadowreign area.

You can use a charge on your whistle (call your chocobo) every 5 minutes.

Each whistle recharge (now) costs 400 gil, totaling 10k for a full recharge of your Chocobo Whistle.

Before the June 2008 update [9], it cost 1000 gil, and if you do any research on Chocobo Whistles, you will see many complaints on that price.

If you drop you whistle, you will have to trade your VCS Registration Card and pay 20,000 gil to get a new one.


Speed and Ride Time

Your chocobo's stats will affect how fast your chocobo will run and how long you can ride it.

  • Strength and the ability Gallop control your bird's running speed.
  • Endurance and the ability Canter control how long you can ride your chocobo.


Certain equipment can increase your chocobo's running speed (to a certain extent) and ride time (with some restrictions).

  • The following equipment will increase your chocobo's ride time:
  • Chocobo Jack Coat Set and Rider's Jack Coat Set will extend your ride time by a set time depending on the piece; an entire set will grant an extra 15 minutes of ride time.
  • The Orange Racing Silks, purchasable with Chocobucks and R/EX, will extend any chocobo's ride time by 10 minutes.
  • The R/EX body piece Red Racing Silks, purchasable with Chocobucks, will extend the ride time of your personal chocobo only. The effect is reportedly equal to that of the Orange Racing Silks which can be used on any chocobo. I recommend saving your Chocobucks and not bothering with this piece.
  • The Chocobo Wand, received by some lucky players, will extend your ride time by 30 minutes!
Note
  • These items will only affect ride time if you are over level 20, regardless of your ability to equip them, according to the Chocobo Riding Time page.
  • If you are renting a chocobo at levels 15-19, you're stuck at 15 minutes no matter what pretty equipment you're wearing.


Know that your chocobo will not be faster than a rental. Ever. It would've been nice, but SquareEnix said "No."

  • I've seen people claim that their chocobos are faster than rentals because they have SS STR, SS END, Gallop, Canter, high DISC, or what have you. While the only thing that matters in the matter of running speed is strength, even SS STR and Gallop won't have you beating rental chocobos.
  • Rental chocobos move at a (proven) 200% rate of speed, where 100% is a character's normal running speed.
  • As a point of reference, the job ability Flee gives +100% running speed; essentially, it is as fast as a chocobo for 30 seconds.
  • Movement speed is capped at 200%.
  • Movement speed modifying equipment will stack with all forms of movement speed effects, other than Chocobo.


My experience illustrates that your chocobo's endurance level can, however, break the 30 minute ride time limit without requiring any Chocobo Riding Time gear. Ride time seems to be based on the point scale rather than having a set time per stat level. Average (C) END seems to be at around 30 minutes. A chocobo which, at the time of testing, had "E" Endurance had a ride time of 25 minutes.


Quest

On Day 7 (during the chick stage), you will receive the message from your VCS trainer,

"Your chocobo has been making a real fuss at night lately. Such behavior is common for chicks, but you should deal with it as soon as possible."
  • You will be given the key item White Handkerchief, which you automatically return in a cutscene when talking to your trainer on Day 8.
  • If you miss Day 7 and don’t receive the white handkerchief until Day 8 or later, you just have to wait for the next game day to turn it back in.
  • You don't have to run around town, ride a chocobo, or any such thing as others have suggested. On a couple of my mules all I did was log out and log back in 24 hours later in the same spot. I'm guessing you have to log out or zone to trigger the next cutscene.


On Day 9 (or the day after you return the handkerchief) you will be told

"Thanks to the white handkerchief, Chocobo has been sleeping soundly at night."


The next step doesn't come until Day 29.

  • If you're in a nation other than Sandy, you will be told that your chocobo is now old enough to ride, and to see Hantileon in the Southern San d'Oria Chocobo Stables. You'll have to journey to Sandy twice for this quest, which is annoying if you're raising in Windy or Bastok.
  • If you want your Whistle ASAP, wait to care for your chocobo until after speaking with Hantileon.
  • Upon your arrival in Sandy, Hantileon will say,
"Your chocobo has finally grown large enough to ride? Magnificent news! As you say, a chocobo whistle is required to call the animal in the field, and as president of the Vana'diel Chocobo Society, it is my duty to distribute them. However...
"First, we must test the level of trust between you and Chocobo. Chocobos have a habit of hiding things that they consider valuable. I'm sure even Chocobo hides things while you are not around... Find an item it has hidden and bring it to me. If you and Chocobo really have a trusting relationship, I'm sure you will be able to find something."
  • Now you must go back to the stables that your chocobo is in and take it for a walk to search for the handkerchief you gave it when it was a baby.
If you search unsuccessfully (but without being caught) in one "zone," go to another. Don't go on the same walk again - it's not there.
I recommend starting with a short walk and, if you do not find the handkerchief, move to a regular walk, then a long walk (which may require a Chocolixir) if necessary.
  • While you're on the walk, you will be given prompts.
When you receive the message "Chocobo appears to be very happy," choose to watch over the chocobo. If you search at this time your chocobo will detect your search and be angry.
When you receive the message "Chocobo seems to completely absorbed in its current activities," choose to search for the item.
If your search turns up nothing, go on a different length walk.
  • Upon finding the dirty handkerchief, return to Hantileon.
Obtained Chocobo Whistle!
  • Now, go visit your chocobo again.
Under main menu there will be a new option: "Register to call your chocobo."
As of the June 2008 update [10], it costs 250 gil.


Uses

...What did I want this chocobo for again?

Decide what you want to do with your choco before you start raising!

This section (with the exception of the Emergency Chocobo guide) is still in progress and is simply a rough sketch of the finished project or a place holder for my reference.


Emergency Chocobo

If you're just looking for a ride in and out of problem locations, don't care how fast it is, and don't want to invest time in Chocobo Raising, then you want an Emergency Chocobo.


You can feasibly spend little more time and effort than just dropping off the egg and paying for a whistle.

Ok, well maybe that's slightly simplistic...
The total time for care and the quest may total roughly 30 minutes throughout 29 (real-life) days with minimum effort.
To raise the chocobo it could cost as little as 1000 gil.
Then you register the whistle (250 gil) and pay for your chocobo rides.
400 gil for each recharge, totaling 10k for all 25 charges
Or buy a Whistle Coupon
(Never pay over 10k for these, as that is (now) over the price of fully recharging your whistle.)
That's a little over 11k for your own chocobo and whistle with 25 charges ready!


To raise an Emergency Chocobo follow these steps:

  • Set the Care Plan to Basic Care (or Take a Walk, if you'd like your choco to be able to get you to your destination in any sort of timely fashion. This will lower affection slightly, but that's pretty much a moot point until you quest your whistle.)
  • Visit the stables every so often and choose to Watch Over your chocobo.
Make sure you do this twice on or soon after Day 7 and 8, so you can get an important cutscene involving a crying chick and a white handkerchief.
  • On Day 29 your chocobo will turn into an adult. You must complete a quest before you can get your whistle. (This is Final Fantasy... you shouldn't be surprised.)
To do this your chocobo must have some (i.e. over level 1) affection for you.
If your trainer says "Regarding affection, it does not seem to care about you," then you have a little work to do.
  • Raise affection by feeding either greens or Cupid Worms.
Apparently you can successfully complete the quest with affection as low as level 2 ("it seems to be able to endure your company"). I've never tested that claim, however.
Gysahl Greens
  • Can be gardened or bought for cheap from the stable vendors:
  • You may need several Gysahl Greens to raise affection to level 2 or higher. Feed them one at a time to your chocobo until it is completely full. You can feed up to three a day; it may take a couple of days to raise affection.
Cupid Worms
  • Can be gardened or bought from the Auction House.
  • These will increase your chocobo's affection much more dramatically than greens, but may negatively impact your bird's stats.
  • The only reason I'm recommending these here is that your chocobo will have very low stats to begin with, and stats are not particularly a concern for an emergency chocobo. If you find yourself thinking "but I don't want a ride that moves at a snail's pace!" then consider quality chocobo raising.
  • One Cupid Worm will do the trick for affection, if you choose to go that path.
Other greens, such as Azouph Greens and Sharug Greens, are also available, but are - in my opinion - less convenient than Gysahl Greens.
  • Both must be gardened or bought on the Auction House.
  • Azouph Greens increase affection more than Gysahl Greens, but fill the chocobo up more - only two can be fed each day.
  • Sharug Greens increase affection less than Gysahl Greens and fill the chocobo up less as well - up to six must be fed to completely fill a chocobo.
  • If you harvested them while gardening, that's great! - but don't bother buying these on the Auction House.
  • After questing the whistle and registering to call your chocobo (which will be a new option under the chocobo main menu), you may safely retire your Emergency Chocobo.

Make sure you have finished the quest and registered to call your chocobo before retiring it.

If you miss a step, you will have to start over with another egg, and won't get your whistle for another real-life month.
  • Remember that...
You must be level 20 to equip the Chocobo Whistle and must have your Chocobo License.
You cannot call your chocobo if
  • You have hate from a mob,
  • Are in an area where Chocobos cannot normally be ridden,
  • Or are in a Shadowreign area.


Balanced Chocobo

The Balanced Chocobo is a lie!

Ok, had to add the reference to Portal in there somewhere.

But in all seriousness, there is no such thing as a good Balanced Chocobo.

As mentioned above,

  • With the two mental and two physical stats all sharing the same point cap of 637…
  • The highest you can get each stat (assuming you want one stat at First-Class, and the others as high as possible) is SS/A/B/C.
  • If you were aiming for a balanced chocobo, the best you could do is A (or more likely, B)/B/B/B.

This is a nice theory, and sounds great if you've never looked at how the care plans work.

However, the care plans are designed to give you points toward one or two stats while subtracting points from the opposite stat(s), so if you switch up physical and mental plans, most likely the best you're going to get is a bird with all E's or all F's.

Ok, so technically a bird with all F's is balanced, but it's not very useful.


My approach

To beginning chocobo raising...

Start with Discernment and Receptivity regardless of what you want your bird to do in the end.

Why?

  • DISC is good for racing, digging, and learning abilities!
  • RECP is also helpful in racing, but not as much as the other three stats. However, it comes bundled with DISC in the first tier plan.
  • It is easier to learn abilities before day 64.
  • Most abilities can be learned with DISC a bit deficient, but the higher the DISC, the less time and money (read: Chocolixirs) you have to spend on each story.
  • Other breeders have said that a chocobo with higher DISC/RECP has fewer "sick" days (negative statuses) thus helping training progress more quickly. I haven't seen evidence of this at all.


Plans

Chick: Listen to Music to increase DISC and RECP first.

Adolescent: Exhibit to the Public until day 29ish, when your choco reaches Average DISC or above.

Adult: Move on to the plans that meet your needs the most. Tips are located below in the appropriate sections.

  • Remember to switch to Basic Care after day 64, or you will just be decreasing stats with no benefits at all!


Active Care

Walks (especially long): affection and possibly STR/END.

Tell a Story: DISC, affection, and abilities.


Feed

I recommend feeding Carrot Paste as a chick, if you can get your hands on it. At adolescence switch to Zegham Carrots until your desired abilities are learned. Afterward, continue to feed the appropriate type of carrots, as noted below, and greens as needed to keep affection high.


Mount

Chocobo on Call

Goals:

  • SS STR 224-255 points
  • SS END 224-255
  • F DSC/RCP (these really don't matter)
  • Canter & Gallop


Plans

Work on STR/END only after Canter and Gallop are learned. You want to get places quickly, and have enough ride time to make it to said places!

There is no adult (tier 3) level plan that focuses on END. I recommend keeping your chocobo mainly on Carry Packages after you learn your abilities all the way until day 64. You may need to integrate Deliver Messages occasionally to ensure that your STR (speed) reaches its full potential. Endurance is of lesser importance than speed in this case, as you will have a longer ride time than stable chocobos as long as it reaches over Average (C). To match a stable chocobo's speed, however, you must have max STR and Gallop. Switch to Basic Care after day 64.


Active Care

Go on Long Walks after abilities are learned. Tell a Story is only really useful after that point in that it may (or may not) increase the amount of energy you have remaining by a seemingly random amount (often not enough to take another walk). Two Long Walks per day will be sufficient, and a Short Walk or Watches if you have energy remaining.


Feed

Feed Vomp Carrots after learning abilities, and keep feeding greens as needed to keep affection maxed. Frequent Long Walks and quickly addressing status ailments should make greens largely unnecessary, allowing you to feed more carrots. Recall that carrots, however, only raise stats by a small amount each, so don't expect miracles.


Racer

Chocobo Racing

Coming soon!


Another Approach


Digger

Chocobo Digging

In Progress


Breeder

Chocobo Raising

In Progress


Helpful Tips

Never, ever, ever "give up" your chocobo!

A chocobo before day 64 can always be improved with dedication and basic know-how.
A chocobo that is given up cannot be registered on a VCS registration card, and cannot be called.
After day 29 you may retire the chocobo (and keep the whistle) and start another bird.


You can only have one bird on any one character at a single point in time....

But you have mules, don't you?


Remember that Chocobo Raising is part of a game. Don't get too stressed out, and don't take it too seriously. It's something that's meant to be enjoyed!

StuffedChoco.jpg


Links

I hunted down SquareEnix's official chocobo-related articles in my research for this guide.
They can be found here:

Chocobo Raising Details
Chocobo Racing Details
Chocobo Circuit Details
VCS Report
This article uses material from the "Arael%27s_Chocobo_Raising_Guide" article on FFXIclopedia and is licensed under the CC-BY-SA License.