Chickens of Kaua'i, or, hope you didn't want to sleep late on your vacation

Like I said in my other thread about Hawaiian centipedes, the subject of chickens in Kaua’i deserves its own thread.

The beautiful island of Kaua’i is simply stiff with feral chickens. Everywhere you go - the open highway, golf courses, suburbs, parking lots, even the carefully landscaped grounds of resort hotels - is acluck with chickens. Big roosters, little roosters, skinny young pullet hens, mama hens with adorable chicks, and adolescent poussins are everywhere.

I asked locals about it and also checked with Google, and several different stories are floating around:

  1. They were always here. Ancient Polynesians brought them in their canoes.
  2. Some guys from Texas brought over some fighting cocks to breed, and threw the unwanted culls into the jungle.
  3. Hurricane Iniki knocked over everyone’s chicken coops, and all the chickens ran into the jungle and started breeding indiscriminately.

Two things are for certain: Kaua’i is the only one of the islands which doesn’t have the imported mongoose, so the chickens have virtually no predator to keep them in check. Come to think of it, I did see one or two wild chickens on Oahu a year ago, but they were shy and wily. But Oahu has lots of mongooses (mongeese?), so I see the reason for their scarcity and wariness.

The next certainty is that starting at 3:00 a.m., the whole island lf Kaua’i reverberates with the sound of crowing roosters. The first night wasn’t too warm, so we left our sliding glass door open. We were ten floors up in a hotel, but the roosters were loud enough to promptly wake us up. I can’t imagine staying in a ground-floor cottage or condo, what with the roosters screaming ten feet away in the yard, not to mention wondering about centipedes in the bedclothes.

I also asked the locals if the chickens didn’t provide free food for everyone, and got varying answers to that, as well. Such as:

  1. The fighting cocks were full of hormones, so no one wants to eat their offspring.
  2. They’re wild, and you don’t know where they’ve been, so no one eats them.
  3. They are eaten, but they’re so tough that they’re just used for soup stock.

When we spoke with the friend who had lived there for two years, he said that wild chickens were always pecking away in the breezeway or crawlway under his house outside of Kilauea. He once watched to see what they were finding, and it was young centipedes! Although the roosters drove him crazy, he let them alone because he said he’d rather deal with them than with a centipede infestation.

Does anyone else have any more reliable information about the chicken population on Kaua’i?

Not much to add about the Kaua’ian chickens; they are annoying.

I always thought the Egrets that hang out on the backs of all the Kau’ian cows was quite striking.

I don’t have anything to add, either, but I wanted to say that the phrase “stiff with feral chickens” amuses me greatly. I don’t think I’ll be able to work it into casual conversation very easily, though.

Nothing much to add either, except to say that if you drive around with your windows down, don’t be surprised if one flies into your back seat. (Or windshield, for that matter, but that’s largely independent of whether or not your windows are down.)

No cite other than “my relatives from Oahu”, but they said it was kind of a combination of (1) and (3) from your first list. The birds are more jungle fowl than domesticated chickens, and the hurricane drove them out of their remote locations. They found plenty of food around people, so they decided to stick around.

Likewise, “…adolescent poussins are everywhere” gave me a moment of frisson, and I don’t know if that’s a good thing…

Egrets? I’ve had a few. But then again, too few to mention.

What’s that? You’ll have to speak up, I’m bit hard of heron.

…terns and runs

I loved “…acluck with chickens”. :slight_smile:

According to the Jargon File, the plural of “mongoose” ought to be “polygoose”.

But how do they taste?

flees :smiley:

Astute readers will recognize this turn of phrase. I can’t claim it for my own; it was penned by the good Professor Tolkien. However, he wasn’t referring to chickens. In The Hobbit, Gandalf stated that a certain area was “simply stiff with goblins and orcs of the worst kind”. (I paraphrase).

Like rattlesnake.

thanks teela

You’re on the list, pal.


What’s wrong with ducks? They’re great with orange sauce. :smiley:

Yes, but this thread is about Kaua’i, not Maiwa’i! :stuck_out_tongue:

Were you the same person who used that line in the Lost thread in CS?
I thought maybe the Chickens of Kaua’i were going to be something like The Chicken of Bristol.

And CalMeacham isn’t? :dubious:

You’re on the list twice for making me go back and read that one I missed… :smack:

Why did the Kaua’i chicken cross the road?

adds herself pre-emptively to carnivorousplant’s list