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Uh, Can Chocobos Be Milked In FF7 Rebirth?

There is a woman in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth’s opening town of Kalm that I cannot stop thinking about. She isn’t particularly special. She doesn’t sell weapons. She doesn’t have a side quest for you to undertake. You can’t even play the amazing minigame Queen’s Blood against her. She is simply an NPC who populates the world and makes it feel more alive. She has a single job. Sell chocobo ice cream. And ever since I encountered her, I have not known peace, because her job has bizarre anatomical implications for the franchise’s iconic big birds.

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The first two lines she utters (out of only a handful she cycles through) are as follows: “Cool off with some chocobo ice cream! Our ice cream is made with fresh milk straight from the local farms!” If you aren’t familiar with chocobos, you need to know that they are big, usually yellow, bird creatures that the casts of various Final Fantasy games ride around as transportation. While their designs have varied slightly from entry to entry, one thing has remained the same: They are birds. Birds are not known to produce milk. In fact, they likely can’t make milk because they are avians, right?

Right. To get scientific, milk comes from lactation, the process of secreting the substance through the breast, during which it is produced from the mammary glands. These glands are what give mammals their names. To quote the iconic 2000 comedy Meet the Parents, “you can milk anything with nipples.” Following this logic, Chocobos would need to be mammals to have nipples and produce milk. Which, as far as I know, has not been established in Final Fantasy lore (though if this is somehow untrue then please let me know).

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Birds, however, cannot produce milk as they are not mammals. Which is why I assumed chocobos would not be able to produce milk, since they are clearly birds. But are they? I don’t know what is real and what isn’t anymore. Of course, as has been suggested to me, this could just be a themed snack as we do see another stall selling moogle buns, (a pastry filled with cream, not sawed-off moogle butts), in Kalm as well. The ice cream stall is not chocobo-themed, though, it’s just an ice cream stall. A chocobo does appear in one ice cream cone on display, but so do other Final Fantasy creatures such as a moogle and cactaur. We do also have confirmation that cows exist as we see them in the Grasslands, so while it is possible this is not chocobo milk we don’t know for sure that it isn’t.

It turns out there could be an explanation that allows for the existence of chocobo ice cream while retaining their non-mammal status. A quick Google search reveals that while birds cannot produce milk, certain birds (pigeons, doves, and flamingos, male emperor penguins) can produce a milk-like substance called crop milk. Crop milk is similar to regular mammalian milk and contains fat and protein but no carbohydrates. Though bird milk is produced by regurgitating a secretion from the crop, a portion of a bird’s digestive system that is used to store food. So if the chocobo ice cream is indeed, made of milk that came from chocobos, this lady is selling throw-up ice cream.

Despite the scientific investigation, we don’t have concrete answer to what exactly that woman in Kalm is selling. So I will continue to be haunted by her sales pitch. “Cool off with some chocobo ice cream! Our ice cream is made with fresh milk straight from the local farms!”

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