These notes are maintained by
Ben Discoe (Egg Farm
Egg/Meat Operations on the Island
- There were three major egg operations on the island. What did
they feed their birds?
- Big Island Poultry in North Kohala, which no longer had chickens as
- Fire Mountain, in the Volcano area, shut down in 2007?
- Hawaiian Fresh Egg Farm (HFEF) on the Kawaihae Road - David Davenport.
Gave up their last birds in 2008.
- Hawaiian Fresh Egg Farm (HFEF)
- Hawaii Island Journal article, April-May 2007:
The Last Big Egg
- gives an overview of HFEF, with some basic facts: 40,000 birds,
sixty cases (21,000 eggs) a day. It doesn't say anything about
feed, other than the owner David Davenport saying "The average consumer
won't pay more for a dozen eggs just because they're local or organic."
- As of February 2008, HFEF is closing down.
- "Davenport says that his egg operation is now down to 30 cases a
day -- a case is 30 dozen eggs -- with about 25,000 hens laying on his
13-acre farm. That's down from a peak of 600 cases a week a few years
back, and about 550 cases weekly a year ago with 45,000 egg-producing
hens." The planned closure of HFEF by the end of 2008 will leave
only four commercial egg producers left in the state -- all on Oahu.
- A sign on the HFEF entrance says "Organa Grow".
- This is the brand name for some kind of compost/fertilizer produced
from the chicken manure and green waste. It does not mean anything
is organically grown. It's not clear how they'll move forward
as a compost business when the chicken manure runs out in 2008.
- Besides us (Ahualoa egg farm), there are a few
other small chicken/egg farmers:
- Grady Keystone has some number
of chickens in Honokaa
- as of 2007 he is starting to feed organically i believe.
- as of 2008, his eggs are often available at the Waimea Farmer's
- Gaia's Farm (87-3022
Mamalahoa Hwy, Captain Cook, 937-9970)
- does "Pasture raised Poultry and Eggs. Where a chicken still can
be a chicken!"
- Contacted them. Pia wrote back:
- Completely true-it's tough. Feed alone costs a fortune,
even with my girls roam loose on the farm. Right now it's a bigger challenge:
molting, egg eating, mongoose... When things are good, I have enough
egg production to serve a small ranch store here in Kealia, and 12 dozen
weekly at ChoiceMart in Captain Cook. Right now, I get a dozen every
week if I'm lucky. I got Rhode Islands, Araucanas, Cuckoos, Rocks, Leghorns,
and a bunch of mixed breeds.
- Eric Cox in Fern Acres (Puna) wrote in Feb. 2008:
- "We have been raising 300-500 hens for the last year
to year and a half. We reduced our flock from 500 to 300
about 6 months ago, then we acquired about 70 more adult birds and are
wanting to have only about 200 birds so we are again reducing our flock.
We will be bringing in some pullets as soon as we can to give some more
young birds to the flock. We feed them two-way scratch and layer
20 made by Neutrea. we purchase it from Miranda country store in Hilo."
- Donna Mitts in Pa'auilo has done chickens for eggs (since 2005?)
- perhaps in connection with the Pa'auilo School?
- in 2007, her eggs were sometimes sold at the Waimea Farmer's Market.
- Vicki Dunaway and her husband, in Kuhio Village, Waimea
- They acquired some chickens in late 2006
- Kona Hawk Farms,
Doug Pittman, free range
- Started in 2007. Eggs sold at the Keauhou Farmer's Market.
- "We have about 300 hens and various
roosters. We started about a year ago to seriously try free ranging
in our avocado and mac orchards for weed and bug control as well as
a small egg operation. We do supplement their diet with scratch and
- Angela, in Pa'auilo, 12 hens as of 2008
- Cathy Perrins, (Ookala)
- contact her (email cathyperrins (at) hawaii.rr.com) if looking
to buy a small number of chicks or hens
- "We have more hens than the backyard can
support. [..] Increased egg production is why I'm switching my
flock almost entirely to Rhode Island Reds. There will be a couple
barred rock hens and a white leghorn hen and an Ameraucana hen in
the final flock to add more colors to the egg collection and to
create hybrid sex-linked chicks. A RIR rooster crossed with a white
leghorn is supposed to produce "Red Stars" which are a nice
productive laying hen AND comes out color coded as soon as it
hatches. The RIR/Barred rock cross is supposed to make "Black Stars"
which are also good laying hens that come out color coded."
- Jean Sunderland in North Kohala
- as of November 2008, getting organic feed, supplying perhaps 8
dozen a week to the health food store
- Keith and Lina, in Ahualoa on Kahana drive
- as of December 2008, 40 birds, leghorn / rhode island reds / araucana
- Garvin in Papaikou, Island Goode's
- as of March 2009, "100 layers and 100 more that will start
laying in a couple of months"
- Three Ring Ranch, Kailua View Estates (Nani Kailua)
- as of March 2009, "Hens who live in multi acre pastures and are
fed on a diet of steroid and antibiotic free feed", $6/dozen,
- Shane and Christie Fox in Papa'aloa
- as of June 2009, they are raising batches of free-range
broilers, sold for meat, 938-5103
- Sarah and Danny of Medeiros farm in Kaloko Mauka
- mentioned in the press July 2009, they "supply organic eggs to
the local community"
- Ohana Living Farms, North
Kohala, Lou and Meimei
- from April 2010: "Offering fresh pasture raised chickens,
currently in limited production, along with eggs. The next batch of
chickens will be ready end of April, contact
email@example.com for details. Price are $7/lb chicken;
$6/dozen eggs. We are also at the Hawi farmers market every Saturday
if anyone would like to stop by and learn more."
- As of early 2008, Donna and Vicki were talking about the possibility of a poultry
club for cooperative buying, etc. as well as exploring possibilities for local
Egg Operations in the State
- Hawai'i Business magazine, July 2007 article
Sunny Side Up
- "Egg production presents challenges anywhere, but Hawaii companies face
added obstacles such as rising fuel prices further boosting shipping costs
of feed and equipment. Factor in high costs of land, water, electricity
and labor and it’s no wonder only five commercial egg producers remain statewide
(four on Oahu and one on the Big Island)."
- Although nobody is growing commercial organic, the Oahu company "Ka
Lei", which is the subject of the article, claims their chickens are "hand-fed,
and the eggs are hand-collected." That's pretty surprising for moving
~12,000 eggs a day.
- Theo Morrison, The Neighborhood Farm, Maui
- 2007 March 4: "I am on Maui and raise 100 layers
in addition to vegetables. Currently I purchase feed from Del's farm supply
on Maui. They sell organic poultry feed for $20 a bag, but I buy the regular
feed which, on sale, is $11 a bag ($12 regular price). However, buying feed
from the mainland is not sustainable. Let's all keep experimenting with
the potential local feeds you have researched. Even with a significant drop
in egg production, a variety of local feeds might still be more economical
since I consider the manure derived from the poultry side of my business
an asset also."
- As of 2009, Island Fresh Eggs
says there are four egg operations remaining, all on Oahu.
- Mikilua Poultry, the largest egg producer in the state (selling
under the Ka Lei, Hawaiian Maid, Maile and Times brands). Led by
Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser and Lois Shimabukuro-Miyake.
- KK Poultry Farm
- Maili Moa
- Peterson Upland Farm