Rotating Paddock-style Systems in Tropical Environments

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2016: $17,196.00
Projected End Date: 03/31/2018
Grant Recipient: Paradise Natural Farm
Region: Western
State: Guam
Principal Investigator:
Hertha Van Beurden
Paradise Natural Farm

Annual Reports


  • Animals: poultry


  • Animal Production: feed/forage, free-range, grazing management, manure management, pasture fertility, pasture renovation, grazing - rotational
  • Crop Production: no-till, nutrient cycling, organic fertilizers
  • Education and Training: demonstration, display, farmer to farmer, networking, on-farm/ranch research, youth education
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, budgets/cost and returns, feasibility study, agricultural finance, whole farm planning
  • Natural Resources/Environment: soil stabilization
  • Pest Management: biological control, competition, cultural control, physical control
  • Production Systems: transitioning to organic, organic agriculture, integrated crop and livestock systems
  • Soil Management: composting, organic matter
  • Sustainable Communities: community planning, ethnic differences/cultural and demographic change, infrastructure analysis, leadership development, local and regional food systems, urban/rural integration, analysis of personal/family life, community services, sustainability measures


     Poultry and egg production on Guam has been limited to backyard and small farm production. All larger production farms have shut down operations and have closed due to adverse weather, degradation of facilities and increased feed costs. Guam imports 95% of all its consumables. Fuel surcharges continue to increase, the result is an increase of those consumables. As the price of feed continues to rise it becomes increasingly difficult to operate a small poultry farm. Feed cost consist of well over 30% of farm cost.

     Vegetable and fruit production are the larger percent of agriculture industry on Guam. The increase cost of material and supplies also influence horticulture farms. All fertilizers sprays and manures are all imported. Fertilizers are heavily used because of the lack of Nitrogen components in the islands soils.

     This project was designed to combine poultry egg production and small scale vegetable production using a paddock style rotation. Moving poultry stock to new pasture at correct time intervals can reduce commercial feed input by open grazing and leaving manure residue resulting in minimum or no added fertilizers to soils. Problems with conventional poultry design to include high concentrations of manures resulting in ammonias and other gases unhealthy to the livestock and human counterparts.

     Pullets being used for this project arrived Guam on August 12 2016. Three hundred were separated in two different brooders. At 1 month pullets were put on the ground. October new hen house completed.  At 2.25 months pullets were separated into perspective locations. Total mortality rate to this point was at 15 percent. Preliminary Pasturing of hens began at 4 months. Observation of feed usage begins. Current age of Hens are at 5 months. Anticipation of egg production is at 6 months.  Project will also conclude egg production quantity differences and product quality with two different practices. The next phase of this project will conclude outcomes and challenges and can educate the islands community on economic sustainability through proper production management.  

    Budget Expenditures to date, New Pullets $1095.00, Materials and Supply $2501.32. Commercial Feed $3211.50. Labor $600.00, Total $7502.82



    Project objectives:

     1. Determine feed consumption and cleanup times to reduce feed input and maximize available pasture.

    2.Establish and manage small scale vegetable crop production through use of livestock manure deposits and their ability to control pests while improving environmental and soil fertility conditions.

    3.Showcase the importance of livestock production through pasture management decreasing the need and use of commercial feed.

    4. Provide an easy step by step guide on efficient poultry and egg production for local farmers and producers through planned field survey days when egg production stabilizes.  



    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.