Letters for Thursday, April 3, 2014

Equal opportunity no jokeIf they build it, flies will comeChickens can fly, sure as shooting

Equal opportunity no joke

I was gratified to learn in the April 1 edition of The Garden Island of the formation of the group Rooster Respect, which seeks to have our island’s roosters protected by the federal government.

However, I was upset that the welfare of the Kauai’s hens received no mention, and that the rooster-protection group gave no thought to our female feathered friends.

Therefore, with this letter, I am announcing the formation of the group Hens Helpers. We are seeking equal status and rights for the hens on this island, who, after all, must care for and protect their chicks under extreme circumstances, while the roosters go about their merry way and pay no attention to their offspring.

We have enlisted the support of several hens, who have offered to donate their eggs to support the project. This will simultaneously reduce the rooster population and create a more level playing field — and parking lot.

When crossing the road, hens and roosters should have equal status.

Joe and Nancy Day

and Curtis Ponton


If they build it, flies will come

Speaking as an entomologist, a major problem for the dairy will be flies. Probably no one on these islands knows more about this than I do. In researching houseflies for a master’s thesis, I came to greatly appreciate the difficulties in their control. Many hot, stinky afternoons were spent collecting manure samples from farm animals on farms in Illinois. My search was to find a disease or parasite that could adequately control flies in the egg, larval or pupal stage.

Though some were found, none were effective in a control sense. The reason was simple. The development medium, manure, is extremely warm. Flies, being heterothermic, develop at a remarkable pace. In a bare five days, larvae develop from egg to pupa. Anything that develops at this rate, overwhelms most efforts to control it. Quickly drying the manure is the only answer. The mass of manure and urine we are addressing here along with our climatic conditions make this impossible. Certainly not with HDF’s proposed protocol. HDF’s statement that control will be by parasites is, in reality, for public consumption. A sop for those who reject persistent pesticide applications.

For the gentleman whose recent letter minimized the urine problem, I would like to say we’re speaking of adulterated water here, namely pee. Also, he neglected to mention the much greater mass of manure.

Why would we allow such an enterprise here on Kauai? A place considered to be Shangri La in the eyes of the world! The goose that lays the golden eggs!

Carlos White


Chickens can fly, sure as shooting

I’d just watched a show on how birds of prey could attain incredible speeds and tuck their wings in close to their bodies to enter very small spaces in order to get their prey.

The following day when I was at my house that was under construction, I surprised a rooster who immediately took off flying heading directly towards the hog wire fence, which brought up visions of these birds of prey from the night before.

Chickens can fly pretty well, they just can’t tuck their wings to save their lives. When that rooster got to the fence, feathers were flying all over the place!

Besides not being able to tuck their wings to save their lives they obviously also have lousy eyesight. If I were them, I’d stay on the ground as much as possible too!

I’m sure that bridge is a bridge that they would greatly appreciate.

Eric Toulon



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