When most people think of Hawaii, they dream of sandy beaches and tropical adventures. Feral chickens can now be added to that list as the area is teaming with thousands of the animals.
On the island of Oahu, residents have been dealing with an overabundance of feral chickens running amok. The birds are not only aggressive but they love to poop anywhere and everywhere. The situation has gotten so bad that the Hawaii State Legislature has practically declared war on the animals. Unfortunately, the chickens are winning this battle.
There have been multiple attempts to trap the animals but none of the efforts have been able to push through the chicken’s front lines. The Hawaii State Legislature tried to establish a state-funded program to “address” the feral chickens, with Senate Bill 2195 proposing a five-year pilot program to eradicate them.
“We want to be humane, you know, we were very mindful about that. But at the same time, this is really, you know, a road hazard, a health hazard, and we need to take care of all of our communities,” State Senator Bennette Misalucha said.
In March 2022, Honolulu installed traps in five locations around the city, which remained in place for two months until city officials evaluated their effectiveness. The results were very poor, trapping only 67 chickens while costing around $7,000. That’s $104 per bird for anyone keeping track at home.
In July, authorities put up signs reminding locals not to feed the chickens, hoping this curbs the population on its own. “This is part of a larger effort to try and mitigate the feral chicken population. I think what happens is a lot of people, it’s a novelty to them.
“They’ll feed birds, they’ll feed chickens, they’ll feed various animals in the parks and they don’t understand the broader causes and consequences,” Nathan Serota, the spokesman for the City and County of Honolulu Department of Parks & Recreation said.
It’s unclear exactly where the hoards of chickens came from but there are a few suggestions. Some think that domesticated chickens most likely got loose and started procreating on their own. Others point to hurricanes Iwa and Iniki, which struck Hawaii in 1982 and 1992. The storms wrecked several locals’ chicken coops, releasing the birds into the wild.