Clean chick­ens

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FOOD -

WONG Hock Seng used to run a ma­jor prop­erty com­pany in Kuala Lumpur. But af­ter see­ing sev­eral of his col­leagues stricken with can­cer, he went into rais­ing “bet­ter than or­ganic” grass-fed chick­ens in 2001.

Re­al­is­ing that chicken farm­ing in Malaysia was an “in­dus­try” where the birds are packed tightly to­gether and of­ten fed with an­tibi­otics to keep them alive, he de­cided to es­tab­lish his DQ Clean Chicken Farm in the green hilly area of Bukit Tinggi, Pa­hang.

No hor­mones, no growth pro­mot­ers, no sub-ther­a­peu­tic an­tibi­otics, no toxic chem­i­cals, no banned drugs – goes his slo­gan.

“My chick­ens can roam about as each one has 2.3sqm to 3.7sqm. They wan­der the or­ganic fields eat­ing grass, legumes, veg­eta­bles and nat­u­ral foods such as in­sects.”

He does not use fish meal as there are re­ports that these are con­tam­i­nated with chem­i­cals. In­stead he cooks corn and fish which are raised on his own farm.

Com­mer­cial “broiler chick­ens” are bred to grow fast. They are fed mostly with corn­meal pel­lets and slaugh­tered at around 40 days.

“In the old days, ayam kam­pung or choy yin kai were bred for 60 to 70 days,” he re­calls.

Wong un­der­lines that this sort of “ex­press growth” comes at a price – where the ra­tio of bad to good choles­terol (Omega 6 ver­sus 3) is as high as 60 to 1 in such chick­ens.

“If you take a lot of Omega 6, af­ter 10 or 15 years it will get you even­tu­ally through the nar­row­ing and hard­en­ing of ar­ter­ies, obe­sity, high blood pres­sure, arthri­tis, eye­sight prob­lems and heart at­tack,” Wong cau­tions.

“Omega 6 re­ally makes you age and af­fects your skin and beauty, too.”

His spe­cially se­lected grass-fed chicken breeds are al­lowed to grow up to 85 days and he shows me lab tests where the ra­tio of Omega 6 to 3 is as good as 4:1. Whereas ayam kam­pung are a bit tough and bony, he says his chicken breeds are more ten­der and meaty.

Wong be­lieves that when com­mer­cially raised chick­ens are packed to­gether, it’s a po­ten­tial hot­bed for bird flu.

“A virus can jump rapidly from bird to bird and mu­tate. This is the prob­lem with in­ten­sive, fast farm­ing.”

He adds that many com­mer­cial chick­ens are washed by be­ing dipped in dis­in­fec­tants like chlo­rine whereas he uses a spe­cial blend of or­ganic acids.

Noth­ing is wasted at DQ farm. Chicken waste is com­posted to be­come fer­tiliser for or­ganic duri­ans – or even used to make fly traps!

“On nor­mal farms, chicken dung fer­tiliser will at­tract many flies, which then causes farm­ers to spray pes­ti­cides,” he ex­plains.

“I tackle the flies or­gan­i­cally by putting chicken dung into a con­tainer above my fish pond. The flies lay eggs there and when the mag­gots hatch, they fall straight down to feed my tilapia or soon hock (mar­ble goby) fish!”

He re­call­show his own doc­tor got colon can­cer in his 40s.

“When I asked him what was the sin­gle most im­por­tant thing to watch out for, he said it was food.” – n For more in­for­ma­tion, check dq­cleanchick or call 03-4251 6580 / e-mail: hs_ wong33@ya­

Wong Hock Seng, the founder of DQ Clean Chicken, says that chem­i­cals con­tam­i­nat­ing our food is a prob­lem with the whole sys­tem.

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