One of our favorite things about the Hawaiian Islands is its ability to surprise you. Just when you think you may have discovered everything there is to know about our beautiful state, you learn something new that you just have to share with the world!
At Island Tree Trimming, we love to uncover new and exciting trivia about Hawaii that astounds even the oldest resident. As we are out and about on the island servicing clients with top-notch tree trimming, we often discover a strange and unexpected visitor shadowing us wherever we go.
With bright plumage and a confident strut, there is nothing quite as impressive and unexpected as the Kauai Feral Chicken. This wild chicken, which has come to make nearly every corner of the island its home, has a history shrouded in mystery. Let’s dig in a bit and learn more about the feral chicken, and how we at Island Tree Trimming are committed to helping protect this natural wonder of the island!
Where Did This Chicken Come From?
Hawaii is known for having one of the most diverse and exotic ecosystems in the United States of America. So it may be surprising to come upon a wild chicken in the lush vegetation of the island. The sandy beach is the last place you expect to find a feral chicken, yet there they often are!
So how did this feral bird end up making its way to Hawaii? There is a bit of mystery surrounding just how these wild chickens arrived in Hawaii. We can tell you right now that despite popular myth and legend, they don’t quite have the flight capabilities to fly across the ocean on the winds of a hurricane!
Hawaiian history holds that the Kauai feral chicken may have first arrived with the earliest Polynesian settlers to the island. In order to survive in their new land, these early pioneers brought several new animals such as birds, the Kauai wild cattle, and more. The feral chicken is believed to have possibly been part of this original crew, being one of Southeast Asia’s red junglefowl.
When later settlers came to the island, domesticated chickens may have encountered this Polynesian junglefowl, and thus the Kauai feral chicken was born!
Legend holds that a historical storm – Hurricane Iniki – hit the island of Kauai on September 11, 1992. During this historic hurricane, it is believed that many domestic chicken coops were destroyed during the high winds. The domestic birds may have fled for shelter and may have bred with the wild chickens, leading to the explosion in population across the island.
Fun To Look At – Not Great To Eat!
The feral chicken has become part of the natural scenery in Kauai – and with good reason. Not only has the state taken steps to try and protect these interesting fowl, but they are also a terrible source of meat! While some may be tempted to try and cook the Kauai Feral Chicken for food, those who capture one will be sad to discover that this particular type of fowl is relatively inedible. Even the local chicken restaurants have given up trying to make use of the wild fowl’s meat.
Keep an eye out for the Kauai Feral Chicken the next time you head out to traverse the island. With a bit of knowledge in tow, you can surprise your friends and family about the origins of these unexpected inhabitants. At Island Tree Trimming, we work hard to help keep our beautiful island looking great – and that includes helping each of us learn a bit more about our ecosystem. If you want to learn more fun tips and insights about the Islands or want to discover how Island Tree Trimming can help you take care of your trimming needs, contact us today!