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The cost to catch feral chickens under city’s pilot program? About $100 a bird

The city has hired numerous contractors over the years. Now, councilmembers want to know if it’s working before spending more money.
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 10:14 PM HST|Updated: May. 11, 2022 at 1:28 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Amid scrutiny over Oahu’s feral chicken problems, the city recently revealed that it has spent about $7,000 over the last two months to catch just 67 of the birds.

That comes out to $104 per bird ― an amount that’s left City Council members scratching their heads.

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

The chickens were captured as part of a pilot program, which has traps in five locations.

City Councilmembers are now asking whether the money couldn’t be better spent.

“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?”

Kimberly Hashiro, director of the city’s Department of Customer Service, said the city’s goal is to reduce the cost of catching feral chickens to $75 a bird.

“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,,” Hashiro said.

Angel Jackson of Waimalu said she hears the wild chickens at all hours of the day in her neighborhood. If they’re not disturbing people who are sleeping, they’re distracting drivers.

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

But 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 feral chicken 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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