Chickens were a constant part of my childhood. My Grandmothers, my great aunties, and my Mom all raised chickens. Those chickens supplied our eggs, and our dinner.
As an adult, living in an urban environment raising chickens simply wasn’t an option. So I collected a flock of decorative fowl for my kitchen. Black and white chickens in wood, ceramic and on canvas. I romanticize the entire reality of raising chickens forgetting the very sharp peck on my hands as I reached for a warm egg in the nest, and the shocking experience of actually preparing a Sunday dinner.
So when I arrived on Kauai, HI and discovered chickens I was delighted. These are regal, glamorous and simply dazzling roosters, chickens and chicks. Now the story of how Kauai came to have roaming roosters has many explanations, one is the 1992 Hurricane Iniki upended the coops and the chickens flew. The other is that cock fighting is an accepted cultural activity, even though it is illegal, and when the rooster isn’t a winner it gets tossed out in the neighborhood. Either way today chickens roam and scratch everywhere. Feathered in teal, back, rust, white and red in the most beautiful combinations you may find chickens on a rock on the beach, on the golf course in Princeville, or in a park.
I loved the chickens, this one bird species which comes in so many varieties feeds us with their eggs, their legs and the broth from their bones. There are many concerns about our animal raising practices, how are eggs are produced, and the employees who process their production. These are important issues and I hope reasonable solutions will be found but for a pageant parade of resplendent roosters, visit Kauai.
Just expect to wake up early, say around 5 or 5:30 am. The bonus is you won’t miss the sunrise.