Jan 29, 2009
There’s this troop of about 30 long tail macaque that’s been giving my friend, Nirmal’s household a hard time. They would make an
appearance 3 times a day without fail.
Long Tail Macaque
They will make a mess - salt, onions, potatoes, will be everywhere. In the garden, they will topple potted plants and break off branches and just create general mayhem. It became so bad that my friend’s family is locked in everyday with all the windows closed.
The alpha male is especially BAD. You threaten him with a stick or something and he glares at you, shows his fangs and make several threatening launches at you. And he is big, about 10kg.
Reporting to pest control is out of the question. Their solution can be drastic; culling or forcible removal of the whole family. That will not solve the problem. Another troop will take over the territory. We need to co-exist but how? How do we tell the monkeys that, hey, you stay at that side of the fence, and we this side and we leave each other alone.
A few days ago, I had a brainwave and hatched a plan. After discussing with my friend, we proceeded. I tossed just a few bananas at a chosen spot within the property. The alpha female came with her children. But because it is just a few bananas, maybe two or three got to eat them. I did that over the next couple of days. Just a few pisang at the same spot to tell them, here’s where you get good food. The intention was to attract the alpha male as I have a plan to TALK TO HIM and arrive at a truce.
Sure enough, one day he appeared. The rest of the troop kept a safe distance from him as he gobble up the pisang and left nothing for the rest. So far so good. Then I set a trap with one banana inside and slices leading to the trap, to inside the trap and to the bait. And I have him!!
Huge guy, about 10 kg and MEAN. He was trashing and baring his teeth and hissing away.
With Nirmal to distract him, I proceeded to spray bright red paint on his body and limbs while avoiding his eyes.
He was livid. Then after about 3 to 4 minutes he started to notice the red paint and he must be going, I am injured, I am bleeding to death. Suddenly, he flops over and shows his belly. I have him!
So I tell him, well, ok, now we understand each other. This here is my territory, you come in here you are going to get a trashing and you will bleed to death. And I stop the spraying. He jumps back on his feet and suddenly bared his teeth again. You just can’t trust a monkey! And I started to spray the paint again. And he looks at his red palms and feet and arms and he flops over again, ok, ok, you are the man, you are the boss. I am not going to enter your space anymore!
This time I believe him. I hold off for 10 to 15 secs for him to get his breathe, and then I opened the cage and he dashed out. Not in fear or in anger, no, he dashed off looking like a subdued monkey.
The next day the security cameras showed the troop hanging around the perimeter. Later in the afternoon, the alpha male, with some of the red paint still intact, could be seen walking on top of the fence but not once did any of the troop crossed the boundary.
YOU STAY ON YOUR SIDE, AND I STAY ON MINE.
Today is the third day and still no monkey crossing the boundary. Our little talk worked.
Jan 23, 2009
So, is your organic farmer 'sustainable'? Does he practise sustainable agriculture, or is he the organic version of the commercial industrialised farmer?
Here's an example of how we practise sustainability:
This is a filtration pond. Plants are used to absorb the nutrients in waste water from the fish ponds and from washing the rebans. From the pond, the water flows out into a bacterial filter to further break down the pollutants.
From the bacterial filter, a long narrow winding stream further filters the water using water plants.
Alongside, water loving plants such as bananas, misai kucing, etc. will absorb all nutrients that seep into the surrounding soil.
We try to reduce our foot print as best as we can.
So, is your organic farmer 'sustainable' or is it just business for him?
So, what do we feed the chickens? Grass of course. We seeded over 30 varieties of grasses, legumes, and plants in the fields. We selected them for protein, for omega 3 and for antioxidants.
Then, we supplement by cooking for them! Yes, we cook for our chickens to give you the best, most flavorful, nutritious chicken you can find in the world:
These huge cauldrons, or kawahs ("crater kuali") are used to cook for the chickens. What do we cooked? The final mix is a secret, but we have banana piths, old-type non-GMO jagung, ubi, sago and lots of tilapia from our own ponds.
Here's a pond next to the reban to cool down the chickens while trapping the flies and insects as free protein for the fish.
What's with our claim that our chickens are "Permanent Free Range"?
In some countries, free range is defined as having "access to outdoors". So, if you have lots of little doors for the chickens to go out, and yet you place all the feeders inside so that the chickens seldom if ever go out, you can still validly say your chickens are free range. In Malaysia, free range can mean hanging around a permanent reban which the chickens retire to during the night. The grounds will be smelly, dirty, full of flies.
Our permanent free range chickens are raised in fresh fields with movable coops being used to move them from padang to padang. They never go back to a reban. They are moved from fresh field to fresh field, and when the time come for them to be harvested, they are on fresh fields, not muddy smelly bacteria infested grounds.
We are the only farmer in the world using these heat-insulated movable, dismantleable field houses. One man can pull the tent to a fresh field once the existing field becomes dirty.
Jan 19, 2009
Today I captured the mystery sound in audio video. I am trying to add a link here and I hope it works as I am doing it the first time.
The recording comes out a bit tinny and does not do justice to the actual sound. Perhaps if you up the bass and the mid range, you might be able to get a closer approximation of the sound.
The sound was coming from this nest I build for the chickens to lay eggs. The edited video containing clips of the sound is only about 20 secs long. The actual unedited video is 19 mins long - way too long to upload on this blog.
If anybody wants to view the full 19mins, you can email me. The video will show me shoving a stick around the inside of the nest and you will see nothing, zilch! Then suddenly, the mystery bird sound from thin air. Enjoy!
The flower pot you see here is where I placed my video cam to record the scene.
Jan 15, 2009
Apparently sellers of 'ayam kampung' or 'choy yin kai' are increasing their prices for the Chinese New Year. This is an annual profiteering exercise disguised as 'traditional business culture'. Prices are expected to hit rm13.50 per kg by next week.
We are not increasing prices! Our prices remain the same for the past year or so, at rm12 to 12.50 per kg.
Take your pick - pay more for a chicken that is saturated fat-laden, with an omega 6: omega 3 ratio of 25 to 1 and above, or pay a reasonable price for a chicken that has been lab-tested to have up to 50% less saturated fat and having omega 6: omega 3 ratios that can be as low as 4:1.
Nonetheless there are some savvy buyers out there. At Jusco Taman Equine a customer just ordered 300 birds for delivery tomorrow, 15/1/09. Yes, that's correct, 300 birds.
Happy lunar New Year to all our Chinese and Korean stockists and customers.