Localizing Feed in the Tropics (Hawaii)


5 Years
Aug 22, 2014
Aloha, I live on the island of Kauai and recently inherited a flock of 175 layers. It is a functioning laying operation - 1 acre external fence with four 1/4 acre internal quadrants with the coop in the middle. The previous owner was growing a cover crop in front of them and a veggies in the quadrant opposite them and letting the one they just came out of rest.

One of my main goals is to figure out how to feed these gals from as much of a local ration as possible. Currently, they eat organic layer pellets for their main protein input, then brown rice and wheat mill run from a locally based flour mill. We also throw in a few boxes of fruit scraps daily from a local guy that sells dried fruit. Pineapples, papaya, banana, mango, guava left overs.

I have been looking at duckweed as a veggie based protein input (20%-50% protein so I've heard) and looking at ways to attract local insects (japanese rose beetle, cricket, slug/snail or roach traps) or maybe raise them (black soldier fly larva) using the fruit scraps as an input for that rather than a direct food stock for the ladies.

I have also heard that sorgum, taro and breadfruit/bread nut would be good inputs for the carb/energy side of the equation. Others that grow well that could be inputted include pidgeon pea, gliricidia, comfrey, kiawe meal. We don't have many of the grains that other temperate climates have so I'm really interested in doing what works here to bridge the gap to localizing our rations.

And so, I'm reaching out to you folks to see if anyone has ideas on tropics based ration ideas or have any experience on the above mentioned inputs that I will be looking into. I will happily provide feedback (text and pictures) on how some of the ideas go and what the result are as we move this along.

Mahalo nui for any help or insights you might have.

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