HONOLULU (KHON2) — The issue of feral chickens continues to ruffle feathers across Oahu. One potential solution, bird birth control. That could eliminate those bad eggs by preventing them from hatching.
It’s an ongoing problem
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Feral chickens and roosters are still running wild –crowing at all hours, bothering pets and causing health concerns with their feces.
Honolulu resident Mel Morito said people keep bringing chickens to parks and they keep multiplying.
“They’re becoming a pest in Honolulu,” Morito said. “They need somebody in pest control to alleviate this all this kind of stuff.”
“Would be nice if there was less of them,” Stephanie Bynum from Kapahulu said. “But at the same time it’s almost part of Oahu at this point.”
City Department of Customer Services Director Kim Hashiro said the city spent $50,000 last year to get rid of them.
“They were effective in catching chickens at various locations,” Hashiro said.
According to Hashiro, a contractor was hired to trap and humanely dispose of the pests but there were problems with people damaging traps and they were limited to city properties.
She’s hoping to address those issues this time around.
“All segments of our community need to work together on all levels,” Hashiro explained. “Government needs to be engaged in coordinating efforts to address and reduce the feral chicken populations.”
Spokespeople for the department of agriculture and department of land and natural resources said its a county issue.
But there are seven bills currently moving through the leg addressing the problem.
During a hearing with the house committee on agriculture Wednesday, a testifier Inga Gibson suggested the use of a drug approved by the EPA in 2005 to prevent chickens from reproducing.
“It’s called Nicarbazin and it actually prevents eggs from hatching,” Gibson explained. “And is currently being used on pigeons and is eligible to be used on just about any avian species.”
According to Hashiro, it wouldn’t work.
“My understanding is Nicarbazin is the same as or similar to OvoControl,” Hashiro explained. “OvoControl will not be effective for chickens because of their foraging feeding habits.”
She said it needs to be eaten regularly because it’s like birth control.
“So we are currently exploring different options which include possibly loaning out cages and also providing some type of disposal service if community members or residents caught their own chickens.”
Hashiro said the city recently launched a campaign advising the public not to feed the chickens. They’ve also put signs up at several city parks warning the public of the negative impacts.
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Bills relating to feral chicken population mitigation: HB 576, HB1140, SB 961, HB 227, SB 632, HB 72, SB 10.