A Chicken in Paradise
Before we begin today, let’s make one thing perfectly clear. What is the difference between a chicken, a rooster and a hen? Let’s don’t have any confusion on this extremely important matter. Chickens can be either male or female. Roosters are males, and hens are females. Roosters and hens are both chickens. A rooster is not a hen, and a hen is not a rooster. Please commit this important information to memory, as there may be a test later. Thank you for your cooperation. Whew!
Now, on with today’s post.
See the photo below? That is a chicken, and a beautiful chicken it is! Let’s call him Chuck the Chicken. That would also make Chuck a rooster, but Chuck the Chicken sounds better. Chuck is not a hen. Well, actually, Chuck may be a hen. I really have no clue, but let’s just go with Chuck the Chicken for now. Except that… Chuck is actually a “moa.” That is the Hawaiian word for chicken. Well, never mind. I don’t speak Hawaiian. Chuck the Chicken it is.
So what’s up with Chuck the Chicken anyway? Why does he look so happy, and why is he strutting around like that?
Chuck lives in one of the most beautiful places on earth – the garden island of Kauai, which is the oldest of all the Hawaiian Islands. In fact, Chuck actually lives in one of the most beautiful gardens on the garden island of Kauai, Smith’s Tropical Paradise. I strolled this garden with my trusty camera in May 2008 while my guys were playing golf one morning, and Chuck seemed quite happy to see me and keep me company as I strolled in the garden. It was nice to have a little fine feathered companionship until Chuck found another couple nearby and decided to go keep them company instead.
Chuck is just one of many wild chickens that now roam freely on this beautiful island in paradise. He is likely a descendant of the chickens that were brought to the Hawaiian Islands by the Polynesians who first settled there more than 1500 years ago. In 1992, Hurricane Iniki tore through the island and destroyed many of the coops where the chickens lived, so most of the chickens now roam the island free as a… bird. And let’s just say there are lots of free birds there now. The Kauai chickens have no natural predators and pretty much sit at the top of the food chain on the island, and for that reason, they live quite well on the island these days.
We love to spend time in Kauai and have done so several times. I like to refer to Hawaii as my “happy place” because it’s pretty much impossible to not be happy in Kauai. We always know we’ve truly arrived back in our little corner of paradise when we finally see one of these fine feathered chicken friends again. If Kauai had official greeters for visitors to the island, the Kauai chickens would be perfect for the job.
But apparently, Chuck doesn’t even need a job. He already has it “made in the shade” in paradise! Lucky
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