Friday, November 25, 2011

Why are there chickens roaming all over Kauai?

One of the first things you notice upon arriving in Kauai is that there are roosters, hens and baby chicks everywhere - on the road, on golf courses, at the beach and maybe outside your hotel window at the crack of dawn.  So where did they come from?
Although no one is sure the most common theory is that they got loose from local coops during Hurricane Iniki which hit Kauai very hard in 1992.  The chicken population soon exploded.  Kauai's chickens don't have a natural predator.  Unlike other islands, there are no mongooses on Kauai to keep the chickens at bay.  This leads to the next question of how did Kauai avoid getting the mongoose? In the 1800‘s Jamaican mongooses were brought to Hawaii to protect sugar crops from rats.  They were first sent to the Big Island and later their offspring were released on Maui, Molokai and Oahu. The story goes that Kauai was spared the pest because a dock worker, bitten by a caged mongoose bound for the Garden Island, kicked the cage into the water.

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