In the past two years, regular customers at the upscale Whole Foods grocery store in Kailua have been noticing an odd phenomenon — more and more feral chickens are roosting in the parking lot.
Whole families of birds –roosters, chickens and chicks– are perching in and under the trees near the entrance to the store, nesting near the area where the shopping carts are stored, and strutting up and down the rows of the parking lot. They’re also crowing. A lot.
Inside the store, a 5-pound, free-range chicken from California costs about $20. Outside, in the blocks surrounding the store, about three dozen are roaming free.
“I don’t remember there ever being chickens like this. Never. Maybe on the Pali, but never like this,” said Amanda Gomez, 29, of Kaneohe, scanning the Whole Foods parking lot. “There are so many moms and babies. They love this area right here.”