When you think of invasive pests, chickens are probably not the first animal that comes to mind. But in Hawaii, it is a growing concern. It isn't merely the unwelcome sound of a wild rooster at four in the morning, or the incessant clucking throughout the day. Residents are worried that these birds are getting more aggressive. "I watched a hungry chicken peck a toddler munching on a cracker at Hideaways Beach," said one resident. This is a problem. There are reports of roosters fighting, a hen rushing a tourist to protect her young, and chickens in school yards. But beyond this growing fear, there are more immediate concerns. Chickens leave their droppings everywhere, carry disease, dig holes, damage vegetation, kill native Hawaiian birds and damage machinery. For these reasons the city council of Honolulu has taken action.
In 2015, the city turned to Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions to help them address this issue. As of May, about 1,500 chickens had been counted on city properties, and we caught over 25 chickens in the first two days. This is because our methods are direct. We use state-of-the-art traps with remote triggers. Some have motion sensors and others have cameras. When feral chickens come in to feed on the seed, our technicians trigger the door to slide shut.
Frank DeGiacomo, president of Animal Haven, who held the previous feral bird contract with the city doesn't agree with our methods. He believes killing animals is inhumane and has advocated an approach that uses OvoControl (bird contraceptives) to reduce bird populations. Let's take an honest look at these two points.
First let's address the issue of OvoControl. This is a product that causes birds to not be able to successfully mate with each other after it has been ingested. Does it work? Yes. But this is a "reactive approach," that does not address the current problem.
When chickens are caught, they must be disposed of. Wild chickens can have diseases; especially city chickens. So, sending them off to be cooked by restaurants isn't really an option. Instead, we must euthanize them, much in the same way a beloved pet might be put to sleep. We gradually apply CO2 in a chamber and the chickens go to sleep without any feeling of fear or pain.
Our methods are humane at every stage of the process and we are seeing dramatic results already. If you need proactive solutions for your wildlife issues, you can trust Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions.