The farm looked serene even from the outside. Tyres had to be sprayed (forgot to ask what they used for disinfection). They could not use chemical disinfection if they were serious about their organic label.
An Indonesian caretaker led us into the farm and pre-briefed us while waiting for their bosses, Norhana Pettire and Mr Wong, to arrive.
Norhana and Mr Yap arrived in less than 30 minutes from their office in KL.
First we were shown their own Effective Microbes (EM) and
their special Chickens' tonic. For the EM, they used locally available Lactobacillus using among other ingredients their own goat's milk.
It was the tonic that attracted me most. It was a big glass jar filled with a concoction of galanga, tumeric, garlic and other what-nots. Its sweetish smelling aroma made it really appetizing for the chickens. It was said to boost the chickens' immune system.
From the lush staghorn ferns Mr Wong told us that at first he was wondering why durian trees with staghorn ferns did better. Then he discovered that they were the photosenthesizing bacteria and some forms of fungus at the base of the ferns that were responsible for making the durian trees more productive.
He then brought us to his lazy-man's garden. It was a small plot of organic vegetables and herbs. The earth was covered with opened-up paper boxes and compost materials are put on the paper boxes. So, the workers did not have to do weeding any more - there was no weeds growing!
The purple lady's finger was something else. Despite of myself not being a vege lover, it was sweet to taste when I was forced to chew on it.
As for herbs, the male chekor, mas cotek, etc grew very well on the moist and fertile compost.
Then we went to the composting site. Dead chickens, snakes, goat and chicken droppings were all collected, EM added and covered so as to produce the best compost I had ever seen. They also used compost worms to hasten the process.
Finally, we were brought to the paddocks where chickens were allowed to roam free. Each paddock housed maximum 1,000 chickens. They used guinea grass as the pasture species (I first thought that it was Napier grass - it was very tall for guniea).
In each paddock they placed a tunnel-shaped shelter specially designed so that the internal temperature was always 4 degrees lower than the ambient temperature.
Chickens were first reared in houses till they were 2 months old. Then only they were moved to the paddocks where they were kept until they were 80 days old.
No vaccine, antibiotics and chemicals were used. They used a lot of galanga, garlic, tumeric and even bakawali in their chicken feed. Corn was boiled in large kawah using firewood.
Crickets were also given to the chickens as protein source.
These organic chickens were sold mainly in KL at RM12/kg. Tun Jean was one of the patron of these special chickens.
Tilapis thrived on chickens' guts. The fingerlings were used as food for the expensive gobies (Ketutu).
The farm disproved people's belief that poultry farm caused pollution. There were no flies around the farm. All they used were containers with holes at the top for the adult female flies to come in and lay their eggs and holes at the bottom for the larvae to crawl out. They crawl out right into the ketutu ponds!
There was also no bad smell emanating from the chicken house. They used EM and charcoals to remove most of the ammonia.
I had dug up a seven year old chicken litter that had been treated - there was no smell at all!
We were treated with delicious young coconuts. For straw we used the stem of papaya leaf!
Finally, Mr Yap told me that the 6-acre farm yielded RM1.5 million annually.