Feral chickens have become widespread, roaming freely all over the island of Kauai in Hawaii.
When visiting a tropical island, such as Hawaii, you do not expect to see so many chickens, but in recent years the chicken population – or wild moa, as the Hawaiians call them – have become more and more populous.
Everywhere you look, chickens roam freely – inside shopping centers, on golf courses, in restaurant parking lots.
The wild chicken population has become prolific given a number of factors. The first being that there are no predators to the wild chicken – including humans, as these chickens are inedible and supposedly as good to eat as ‘lava rock’ according to an old Hawaiian proverb.
The second factor includes weather-related events, such as hurricanes and tsunamis, which released birds into the wild, such as the domestic chicken, which ultimately bred and became wild.
Lastly, the state of Hawaii protects wild birds, and the wild chicken in particular, is protected under state law.
As a result, chickens have become somewhat of a tourist attraction in Kauai, as well as a part of the cultural identity of the island. It may sound like the start of a bad joke, but chickens crossing the road are just part of everyday life in Kauai.