Skip to Content

What do I feed my chocobo to make it black?

Raising a healthy chocobo that achieves its ideal plumage color can be a rewarding yet challenging endeavor for any chocobo breeder. While genetics play a major role in determining feather pigmentation, proper diet and nutrition are essential for allowing the chocobo’s genes to express themselves fully. Here’s what you need to know about feeding chocobos to bring out their deepest, richest black colors.

Chocobo Feather Pigmentation

Chocobo feathers get their color from two types of melanin pigments: eumelanin and phaeomelanin. Eumelanin produces black and dark brown tones, while phaeomelanin produces red and yellow hues.

The specific mixture and distribution of these melanins accounts for the wide range of chocobo plumage we see in nature, from brilliant yellows to midnight blacks. Black chocobos have feathers that are highly saturated with eumelanin, with little to no phaeomelanin present.

Genetics and Diet

Genetics establish the potential range of melanin types a chocobo can produce. But diet and nutrition influence how those genes are expressed. Even chocobos bred from long lines of jet black ancestors require the right diet to achieve the deepest black plumage.

By feeding a high quality diet rich in certain vitamins, minerals, and pigment enhancing compounds, breeders can maximize eumelanin production and realize the full genetic potential of their birds.

Key Nutrients

Here are some of the most important dietary factors for increasing black pigmentation in chocobo feathers:


Protein provides amino acids that are used to produce eumelanin. Good protein sources include insects, fish, legumes, and nuts. Animal proteins are absorbed more efficiently than plant proteins.


Copper is an essential mineral for melanin synthesis. Foods high in copper include seaweed, nuts, beans, shellfish, dark leafy greens, and mushrooms.


Zinc supports enzyme function for melanin production. Oysters, crab, pumpkin seeds, spinach, and mushrooms are excellent sources of zinc.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A regulates eumelanin synthesis. Choosing chocobo feeds fortified with vitamin A, or providing vitamin-A rich fruits and vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, and cantaloupe can help maximize black pigment.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3s enhance melanin translation and density. Flax, chia seeds, walnuts, soybeans, and fatty fish like salmon are high in omega-3s.


L-tyrosine is an amino acid precursor used to create eumelanin. Feed quality insects, fish, soybeans, spirulina, pumpkin seeds, almonds, avocados, bananas, and apples provide excellent sources of L-tyrosine.


Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium protect melanin and support healthy melanin development. Berries, leafy greens, bell peppers, tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, and brazil nuts are great antioxidant-rich foods to incorporate.

Recommended Feeding Guidelines

Here are some feeding recommendations to support ideal black plumage:

  • Choose a high quality chocobo feed designed to meet all nutritional needs. Look for feeds with added copper, zinc, and vitamin A.
  • Supplement with bird-safe fruits and vegetables for additional vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Offer a high quality protein source like insects, beans, fish, or nuts daily.
  • Provide ad lib access to clean, fresh water at all times.
  • Limit sugary treats that can impair melanin production.
  • Avoid overfeeding; maintaining a healthy body condition score supports plumage quality.

Feeding for Chocobos of Different Ages

It’s important to adjust nutrition based on the chocobo’s stage of growth:

Chocobo Chicks

Chocobo chicks should eat a diet of 75% high quality chick starter feed and 25% insects for the first 6-8 weeks. This will provide balanced nutrition for rapid feather development.

Juvenile Chocobos

From 2-6 months, offer high protein grower feed supplemented with chopped greens, sprouts, chopped fruits, and insects to support melanin synthesis.

Adult Chocobos

Adult chocobo diets should consist of pelleted feed, insects, sprouted beans, seed mix, fruits, and plenty of grazing time for fresh grass and plants. Provide a nutritionally balanced lay ration for hens.

Senior Chocobos

For chocobos over 10 years old, feed high fiber maintenance diets. Continue supplementing with antioxidant and melanin-supporting produce and feed additives to maintain dark plumage.

Avoiding Nutritional Deficiencies

In addition to providing beneficial nutrients for black plumage, breeders need to ensure chocobos avoid nutritional deficiencies that can negatively impact feather color. Some micronutrients that commonly become deficient and impair melanin include:

  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Iron
  • Iodine

Quality chocobo feeds are formulated to avoid these deficiencies. Provide free-choice calcium supplements to laying hens to prevent deficiencies.

Typical Chocobo Diet

Here is an example of what a balanced daily diet may look like for a healthy adult black chocobo:

Food Amount
Chocobo feed pellets 1 – 1.5 lbs
Insects and grubs 1 oz
Chopped kale 1 cup
Sprouted beans 2 oz
Berries 1 oz
Chia seeds 1 tbsp
Fresh water Ad libitum

Signs of Deficiencies

Monitor your chocobos closely for any signs that their nutritional needs may not be met. Indicators of deficiencies include:

  • Changes in feather color or luster
  • Slow feather regrowth
  • Increased feather breakage or loss
  • Reduced growth in chicks
  • Weight loss or low body condition
  • Changes in behavior or activity level
  • Changes in droppings
  • Decreased egg production

Address any observed deficiencies right away by having a veterinarian evaluate your feed regimen and make adjustments as needed.

Achieving the Blackest Black

With a little nutritional know-how, you can make sure your chocobos’ plumage properly reflects their gorgeous eumelanic genetics. Feed a varied diet rich in proteins, copper, zinc, vitamin A, fatty acids, and antioxidants to support the development of intense, saturated black feathers.

Pay close attention to your birds’ growth, activity, feathers, and droppings. Make any necessary adjustments to ensure they thrive on their nourishing diet. With conscientious feeding practices, you’ll soon be rewarded with the sight of lustrous, blacker than black chocobos.


Achieving deep black plumage in chocobos requires the right balance of quality genetics and optimal nutrition. Feed your birds a high protein, vitamin- and mineral-rich diet with plenty of pigment-enhancing compounds. Monitor them closely for signs of deficiencies and make adjustments as needed. With a little nutritional know-how, you’ll have the blackest chocobos around in no time!