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Parung organic chicken farm proves healthier
Last modified: 2010-03-18 20:49:07

When his friends were talking about the crunchy, tasty fried chicken they ate the other day, Zaki Fahmi, 32, grumbled. A longtime poultry lover, Zaki was advised to eat less fast-food chicken.

"My doctor told me to stop eating chicken. Takeaway chicken is not good for my health. But he said organic chicken is OK," Zaki said.

There has been much research undertaken on health issues associated with eating processed chicken. One M.Sc research paper reported antibiotic residue in chicken liver and - in a smaller quantity - meat.

Even though a warning has not been issued by health authorities, it is advised to eat healthier food.

The good news is healthier chicken is available. A colleague recently mentioned there was an organic chicken farm in Parung, Bogor, which breeds healthier chicken.

The Jakarta Post recently visited the organic chicken farm in Parung. Three employees were working at the farm located about 20 meters from the main road that connects Pamulang, Banten and Bogor in West Java.

The day was hot but this did not discourage employees from their job. One employee washed water containers while his friend cleaned a 4-by-6-square-meter pen accommodating about 1,200 day-old chicks.

Meanwhile, Rusli, the farm's supervisor, went about his daily duties - maintaining the farm and its 6,000 fowl.

This chicken farm is not an ordinary farmhouse. Unlike many chicken farms that carry out industry-standard procedures such as injecting chickens with antibiotics, hormones and vaccines, this farm only feeds its chickens with farm-made multivitamins named "Ponti".

"We have the same day-old chicks as other companies. The difference is in the way we breed them," farm owner Heru Wibawa said. "We do not inject the chickens with antibiotics or vaccines."

The chicken's nutrition comes from organic multivitamins made on the farm. They are made from Omega 3, Omega 6, amino acids, vitamins, curcuma and lactobacillus, among others.

"By organic we mean as few chemical substances as possible," Heru said.

While chickens are injected with vaccines to fight diseases at other farms, the chickens at the organic farm are stimulated with multivitamins to improve their ability to fight diseases.

A physical difference was noted between chickens at regular farms and chickens at the organic farm.

The organically bred chickens are more energetic than those at regular farms. Chicken also have space to move inside the pens.

The organic farm needs less time than regular farms to get the chickens ready for consumption. Regular farms take more than 30 days raise chickens, but the organic farm only needs 23 days.

"You can definitely taste the healthier chicken," housewife Rizka said. "And they have more flavor and texture than chickens from regular farms."

"In comparison to regular chickens, the chickens from the organic farm are better," she added.

Farm supervisor Rusli said although chicken at the organic farm received neither antibiotics nor vaccines, they were strong.

"After an extreme change of weather *several hot, dry days followed by rain*, I was told hundreds of chickens died at other farms," Rusli said. "Here, we only lost 10 chickens."

He added chicken litter was used as organic fertilizer, or to feed fishes in nearby ponds. "We utilize almost everything at our organic farm," he said.

But this business is not without challenge. Usually, chicken farmers buy day-old chick's from a supplier, which come with an antibiotic, hormone and vaccine package.

When Heru asked the package not be included in his purchase, the supplier was hesitant to sell. "I told the company we do not need vitamins because we have them," Heru said.

Heru plans to continue breeding chickens at his farm so consumers can purchase healthier chickens.

Kurniawan Hari , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Sun, 10/25/2009 11:20 AM | Lifestyle


Keywords: organic, chicken, meat, Indonesia, farm, Parung
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