Posted by: kauaikolea2 | March 17, 2012

Kauai Chickens


Kaua`i is noted for its large population of feral (wild) chickens. Probably every visitor to Kaua`i has a photo of the beach, a waterfall, and a chicken or rooster.  Hundreds of souvenir items feature Kaua`i chickens and roosters.

Why does Kaua`i have so many wild chickens?

Most people suggest that the feral chicken population can be traced back to when Hurricane Iniki hit Kaua`i in 1992 and destroyed many chicken farms. Another story is that sugar cane plantation workers in the late 1800s and early 1900s brought and raised chickens and many got loose over the years and multiplied. The reason could be a combination of the 2 theories.

Other Hawaiian islands have feral chickens, too, but Kaua`i’s chickens are somewhat protected.  Kaua`i is the only one of the Hawaiian Islands in the chain that lacks the mongoose, the natural enemy of wild chickens. Mongoose were imported to the Hawaiian Islands in the late 1800s to kill rats in the sugar cane fields. Legend has it that a mongoose bit the hand of a Kaua`i dockworker who knocked the entire crate of them into the bay, and no more were imported.

Some chickens are not truly feral, as they are pets of local residents. Wild or not, the chickens are part of the lore and magic of Kaua`i, and you need to take at least one photograph of a chicken so you can “talk story” when you return home.

See all Hula Now fabulous Kauai vacation rentals at www.hulanow.com.

 

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