Coal Chicken

Coal chickens are a domesticated bird species from Cilvarth. They are a global species, thanks to their abilities that benefit miners and cave explorers.

Anatomy

Coal chickens are rather large for a game species on Cilvarth, reaching heights of 40cm in rare cases. Coal chickens have a very drab colouration, limited to very dark greys and browns, verging on black. Their eyes are the most striking parts of their bodies, most being bright yellows that are clearly visible in darkness. They don't exactly have feathers; they have what are known as coalfeathers, which are simply many feathers hardened together with the texture of coal.

Sexual Dimorphism

Males and females are easily distinguishable. Females are smaller, with lighter coalfeathers, and males have longer feathers that end in a light brown. There is a higher chance that male coal chickens will have a golden eye colour, which is incredibly rare. Golden eye colours are so rare that female golden-eyed coal chickens are worth more than a spaceship.

Diet

Coal chickens have a very strict diet, exclusively feeding on spice beetles. Spice beetles are small insects found practically everywhere on Cilvarth, and are an extremely common pest. Coal chickens are excellent at pest control, and are often kept by farmers to wander around crop fields, where they will eat as many spice beetles as they can find.

Reproduction

Coal chickens mate at the same time every year, laying tiny eggs that are almost impossible to crack. These eggs are pitch black, and the babies that hatch are actually a bright yellow. Females lay anywhere from 4 to 9 eggs, and will spend 2 weeks incubating them. Coal chickens in captivity will have their eggs taken from them immediately, so that chicks cannot bond with mothers.

Domestication

Coal chickens have one particular use that make them extremely valued. They can be set alight through no harm to themselves. For hundreds of years, coal chickens have been kept in small cages and set on fire, so they can be used as a light source when taken down into caves and mines. Jars of spice beetles are taken down too, so the chicken can stay happy and healthy.
Lifespan
5 years
Average Height
25 - 30cm

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Cover image: Cilvarthian Cliffs by Mochi

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