Sunday, July 06, 2008

Road Trip

Today, we went on a little road trip with the Youth Pastor to check out a camp site located near Raub. It was a long and windy road but eventually we left civilization and found our way after over two hours.

We passed Bentong and Raub, two small towns in Pahang and found them bustling with people out for the Sunday market. Quite interesting.

On our way back, we met up with Pastor's old friends and their story is a 180 degree shift from city life. This two couples were working in the Klang Valley for many years and one day 3-4 years ago, they left and found a plot of land within the forests near Raub and set up their homes, beside each other. And started farming. One had experience in IT, the other who used to work in KFC/Ayamas. Absolutely no experience in farming.

They are now farming free range chickens and eggs, durian trees, rubber trees, fish, breeding dogs... I doubt if the list stops there. Chatting with them, I learned that:
1. I confirmed again that one should never wash an egg even if it has chicken shit on it. This removes the protective layer around the egg, causing it to rot easily even though it's placed in the fridge.
2. Commercial chicken is harvested when they're 45 days old. They normally grow to the correct size in 3 months. Commercial methods switch on lights at night to fool the chickens it's still daylight and they will continue to eat, thus growing bigger faster.
3. Commercial chicken farming recycles the parts that are usually thrown away - feathers, innards etc and put in into the chicken feed. Now, this brings to mind Mad Cow disease, and sure enough, the chickens get diseases. And to stop these diseases, the chickens are fed with antibiotics, which then leaves residue in their innards, feathers... A vicious cycle and after some time, the chickens we're eating is so full of generational medication. And it stops in our body when we consume it. I'm almost certain all this causes our modern day illness.

Free range chickens hiding in the shade.

Anyway, they sell their harvested chickens to friends and regular customers, even up to delivering them to your doorstep in KL! I bought 3 birds and hopefully will get to taste the difference. Check out their website

Tiring but fun day.
I also learned about the process of slaughtering chicken, tapping rubber, breeding and selling dogs. Came back still amazed to meet people who are brave enough to take risks and start something that they believe in, even when they don't have the experience.


Grace said...

I never knew the whole story about why chooks take antibiotics. That is so gross. We eat chicken everyday. What else is there left for us to to eat, we can't get free range chicken here in Singapore.

jo said...

just spoke to my colleague who studied veterinary for a bit. she says the farms stop the antibiotics two weeks before culling so it is all out of their system.

plus, she mentioned free range chickens may have worms unless there's sawdust. so the chicken i bought are running around in bare feet in the mud...

tonight we're going to try one. better tell mum to watch out for worms.