Spending over $100 per bird, city discusses more effective ways to combat feral chickens

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – The city has hired numerous contractors over the years. Now, councilmembers want to know if it’s working before spending more money.

A state proposal to curb Hawaii’s feral chickens did not advance at the capitol this year, but the city and county has it’s own pilot program.

Over the last two months, traps in 5 locations have caught 67 chickens.

The Honolulu City Council discussed funding for the city’s feral chicken pilot program at Tuesday’s budget meeting.

“How do I have confidence? You have a vendor? I don’t know how effective they are, what if they don’t know what they’re doing?” asked Councilmember Esther Kia’aina. “What other alternatives are you looking at to address?”

It was revealed the Customer Service Department’s spent $7,000 catching 67 chickens.

That comes out to $104 per bird, which is less than half of the $220 the city was expecting.

The city said the cost is high due to traps being vandalized, damaged or stolen.

However, Kimberly Hashiro, director of the city’s Department of Customer Service said they want to get that down to $75.

“I think there needs to be more time really spent to find appropriate locations and to see how effective funds being spent are,” Hashiro said. “We’re actually obtaining quotes now from other vendors to see what they might be able to do.”

There is also a social media campaign discouraging people from feeding wild chickens.

“So just by having this one vendor out and about, they have mentioned to us that some of the neighbors that are feeding chickens in the area, they’re becoming more aware now of how it’s affecting their neighbors,” Hashiro said. “And kind of taking a step back.”

Angel Jackson of Waimalu said she hears the wild chickens at all hours of the day in her neighborhood.

If they’re not disturbing sleepers, they’re distracting drivers.

“We also try not to hit them in the middle of the road,” said Jackson. “So, causing accidents, possibly, that’s something we deal with too around here.”

Jackson’s neighbor, Zedrick Oda says he doesn’t mind them.

“It’s kind of reminds me of home with the crowing mostly from the Big Island,” said Oda. “So, I’m fine with it.”

The proposed $50,000 for the initiative was approved for further consideration at the full council meeting scheduled for June 1.

To report issues related to feral chickens on city property, call (808) 768-4381 or send an email to complaints@honolulu.gov.

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