Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Road Trip - Sunshine Chicken Farm @ Kuala Lipis & Crab Farm @ Sepang Gold Coast


the start - through the mists to a farm far far away

One early morning, we set out for a road trip through the mists, winding roads, the tropical downpour and bumpy hills to reach the humble Sunshine Chicken Farm at the fringe of Kuala Lipis. Our gracious hosts, Gerald D'Cruz and Mr. Ong took us through the rain and muddy trail to visit their farm of chooks.


Muddy trail with the rain, loads of space to roam, welcome to our humble home

It was fascinating to see the chickens running around giving true meaning to the word "free range and roaming". These feathered fellas definitely never saw the inside of a battery cage like those poor chooks that are raised in commercial farms. Here they are given free rein eating special horse grass or ma cho kai (tastes sweet as we plucked a blade to chew on it) planted around the farm and corn to fatten them up.


walking tall, run run run away!, there goes my offspring

Sadly, life for these chooks is no Taylor Swift fairytale ending as they go through a painful to see (but surprisingly not painful operation for them!) procedure to castrate and turn them into even fatter capons or what is termed in Cantonese as "yim kai". I guess the operation is done quickly and almost effortless since the fella handling the needle is a true blood expert (fourth generation chicken castration professional who started this since he was tender age of 15 years old!). Nevertheless from our point of view, it means delicious tasting chooks with amazing texture to their meat since they're allowed to roam freely. The meat seems a little sweeter too from the grass and corn they feed on, making these fellas premium chooks.


crab condominiums, sepang gold coast view

In contrast, I also had a chance to visit a crab farm within a few weeks after my Sunshine Chicken Farm visit. Located off Sepang Gold Coast or actually it's just Bagan Lalang-lah! These crabs are farmed using something called an Integrated Crab System, where they are housed in plastic containers that resemble "sky high condominiums".


how crabs give you the "claw", buzz off you're in my territory!

Sadly for these crustaceans, they don't get a chance to roam freely like the chickens since they're cooped up in their condominiums everyday. Nevertheless these fellas get every modern convenience available like sea water pumped straight to their homes and of course, a fishy meal on a daily basis. Once these crabs start to grow, they moult or shed their hard shells. At that point of time, their bodies are all soft and this is the time when they're harvested quickly as they become soft shell crabs. They'll be frozen and shipped to places as far away as China, where they'll highly prized in restaurants.


the end is near

It always amazes me when we get to see how and where our food comes from. Who knew that depriving feathered roosters from creating any offspring would give us a juicier and meatier chook for our tables? Neither would I have guessed aquaculture technology can produce those soft shell crabs I chomp down in restaurants all the time, from normal blue shell crabs in a littlest possible space ever. So next time, when you bite into something think of how far it took to get to your table. For more pictures, see my Flickr set.

Sunshine Chicken Farm
45-2, 2nd Floor
Jalan Menara Gading 1
Medan Connaught
Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-9102 3950

(For more details on where you can get to taste their yim kai, click on their website link here. They also supply the chicken to O Gourmet in Bangsar Shopping Centre.)

14 comments:

Sean said...

on the other hand, it can be quite scary to think about and see where most of our daily meat comes from, especially when watching those documentaries that show how chickens, etc are bred in inhumane conditions. those sunshine chickens are definitely blessed in comparison!

Julian Si said...

The supply chain of food is something I care not to think about sometimes!!

:-)

Interesting write-up and blog entry, dear Masak2, cheers from Abu Dhabi!

qwazymonkey said...

Hey that's my "coq" shoes! Love the shot boo!

UnkaLeong said...

Interesting write up Boo. My uncle never fails to remind us that the prawns he uses in his Chinese Take-away in Melbourne comes all the way from Taiping ;)

babe_kl said...

never knew crabs are harvesting this way!

thule a.k.a leo said...

more than 60% of the global fish consumption are not from the wild... the current supply couldn't meet our insatiable appetite!!!

William Dunigan said...

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FooDcrazEE said...

an eye opener for loads of us . . . . ."YIM KAI"is da on nom nom!

J said...

What an interesting road trip! :) Hope there will be many more in future...

J2Kfm said...

You should've seen how they breed pigs. Obnoxiously filthy, yes.

That's why I'd rather NOT know where my food came from. :)

Kinda inhumane, knowing that they practise those sit and wait approach, waiting for the crabs to shed their shells, attacking them at their most vulnerable state. Haha ...

Dan said...

Is the crab farm also located in Sunshine Chicken Farm itself? If no, can you pls give me the address. Very curious to visit it.

CUMI & CIKI said...

ooo, interesting crab info! gr8 shots boo:D

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