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Kauai Chickens

Feral Kauai Rooster and Hen
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Feral Kauai Roosters and Hens

What's with all the wild chickens on Kauai? As you drive around the island of Kauai one thing you're sure to notice is that there are lots of wild chickens running around. They're everywhere and you're sure to see them on the sides of the road searching for bugs or even on the beach looking for handouts. It's also common to see a mother hen running through the parking lot of your hotel with 10 or more chicks following close behind.

Wild chickens have been around a long time on the island, but their numbers increased dramatically after Hurricane Iniki (September 11, 1992) when many species of domestic and cock fighting breeds purportedly escaped as their coops were destroyed. Perhaps the main reason the chickens are more prevalent on Kauai is the absence of predators like the mongoose which is well established on other islands. This may be changing as a live mongoose was recently captured on the island proving that the weasel-like animal might have a foothold on the island. If the mongoose does establish itself here, it could be bad news for feral chickens. Unfortunately, it would also be bad news for endangered ground nesting birds like the Nene hen.

Although they are beautiful to look at, Kauai's wild chickens can get annoying. The roosters tend to crow all day starting several hours before the sun comes up. If they bother you, I suggest you consider this recipe:

Kauai Wild Chicken Recipe:
1 whole chicken (approx 3 pounds)
1 large rock (approx 3 pounds)
1 large onion, diced
3 carrots, cut into chunks
2 stalks celery, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns

Place chicken, rock, and other ingredients into large pot; add sufficient water to cover. Put lid on pot and bring to a boil; reduce heat and cook for about 2 weeks or until rock is tender.
Discard all other ingredients and eat the rock (or use it to warm bed).

Pictures and Comments By Doug Porter

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