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May 16, 2012

More Visitors - Special Officer to Minister Of Health

chew yoon ee, liow tiong lai, minister of health, MOA Inc.,

Mr. Chew, P.A. to Minister of Health, came with members of MOA Inc, Bentong.  When we started farming years ago, never knew entertaining visitors is part of the business.

Hope he can convince the Minister to visit.  Would love to share some info on consumer health issues with him.

May 14, 2012

Poultry Diseases - Natural Cures I

Leucocytozoon sp (chicken malaria) infection is common amongst poultry in a tropical humid country like Malaysia.  Todate, worldwide, treatment is by drugs, in particular sulphamonomethoxine sodium, an antibiotic.

Indications are:

 leucocytozoon, mosquito borne diseases, spleen, leucocytozoonosis,

Beginnings of cyanosis - possible spleen damage

leucocytozoon, mosquito borne diseases, spleen, leucocytozoonosis,

Normal faces

leucocytozoon,mosquito borne diseases,spleen,leucocytozoonosis,nature farming,natural cures,herbal cures for poultry diseases,papaya leaf cure for mosquitoes,patawali,hempedu bumi,tinospora rumphii,tinospora crispa,andrographis  paniculata

Greenish faeces - rule out Newcastle Disease first.

leucocytozoon,mosquito borne diseases,spleen,leucocytozoonosis,nature farming,natural cures,herbal cures for poultry diseases,papaya leaf cure for mosquitoes,patawali,hempedu bumi,tinospora rumphii,tinospora crispa,andrographis  paniculata

Inflamed and damaged spleen

Mortality varies.  If untreated, mortality can reach 30%.  

At our farm, we use herbal medication which is grown within the farm:

leucocytozoon,mosquito borne diseases,spleen,leucocytozoonosis,nature farming,natural cures,herbal cures for poultry diseases,papaya leaf cure for mosquitoes,patawali,hempedu bumi,tinospora rumphii,tinospora crispa,andrographis  paniculata

Papaya leaves, hempedu bumi (andrographis paniculata) and patawali (tinospora crispa, tinospora rumphii), pounded to extract a juice

leucocytozoon,mosquito borne diseases,spleen,leucocytozoonosis,nature farming,natural cures,herbal cures for poultry diseases,papaya leaf cure for mosquitoes,patawali,hempedu bumi,tinospora rumphii,tinospora crispa,andrographis  paniculata

Ratio by volume is papaya leaf 70, hempedu bumi 20, patawali 10

10 liter herbal extract concentrate to be mixed with the drinking water for the day for 1000 chickens.

After 24 hours, the chickens will start to show some mild improvement.

After 48 hours, the faeces will begin to clear and the appetite will be about 70% back.

The juice can be withdrawn when the feed consumption returns to normal.

No drugs is necessary. This treatment is first published in this blog and is now OPEN SOURCE.

Leucocytozoon is spread by blood sucking insects. So, prevention is always possible and encouraged.

Surah 26: 7 – 8, Have they, then, never considered the earth how much of every noble kind (of life) We have caused to grow thereon?  In this, behold, there is a message, even though most of them will not believe.

May 10, 2012

They Lose All Sense Of Fear - III

Yellow Vented Bulbul (pycnonotus goiavier) are wild birds.  But in our farm, they will nest anywhere.  Here's three hatchlings blown down from their nest on top of a 7 feet marcotted lemon tree. The nests of bulbuls are flimsy.

yellow vented bulbul, taming wild birds,

These birds are no longer transcient, but permanent residents of our farm. To turn your farm into a sanctuary, the rules are simple. Keep a few fruit trees for the birds.  Never ever use chemicals; you not only kill some of the more sensitive ones, but you deprive them of insects for food.  Never ever kill a single bird. That's it.  In no time, your farm becomes a bird-watchers heaven.

yellow vented bulbul, taming wild birds,

Farm manager, Razaly putting the hatchlings back.

yellow vented bulbul, taming wild birds,

And secure the nest with a prop

yellow vented bulbul,taming wild birds

Calling for mom after that harrowing experience

yellow vented bulbul,taming wild birds

Mom's back

yellow vented bulbul,taming wild birds

And All's Well Again At DQ Farm!

May 09, 2012

How To Make Money From A Small Piece Of Land

micro farm, nova ceceliana nelson, handy jobs sdn. bhd., pemandu, etp,

In other words, if you can grow your own food, you are empowered!

A crew from a production house working for Pemandu / ETP came to film how you can make money from a small piece of land and afford the RM10.00 cups of coffee at Starbucks.

micro farm, nova ceceliana nelson, handy jobs sdn. bhd., pemandu, etp,

Getting ready

micro farm, nova ceceliana nelson, handy jobs sdn. bhd., pemandu, etp,

Checking sound levels

micro farm, nova ceceliana nelson, handy jobs sdn. bhd., pemandu, etp,

After the shoot, texting about the chicken that got away (really).

Apr 28, 2012

Anti-Lynas And 'Clean-Up' Sit-Down At Independence Square

lynas, rare earth plant pahang, anti-lynas, perhimpunan hijau, bersih 3.0,

lynas, rare earth plant pahang, anti-lynas, perhimpunan hijau, bersih 3.0,

Sea of Yellow and Green - from PDRM's YouTube Channel

lynas, rare earth plant pahang, anti-lynas, perhimpunan hijau, bersih 3.0,

About 50,000 around Masjid Jamek, where we were

lynas, rare earth plant pahang, anti-lynas, perhimpunan hijau, bersih 3.0,

lynas, rare earth plant pahang, anti-lynas, perhimpunan hijau, bersih 3.0,

Just ordinary folks, like you and me

lynas, rare earth plant pahang, anti-lynas, perhimpunan hijau, bersih 3.0,

Ordinary, God-Fearing people.

Pudu:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Qrx6RZwZAI

KLCC:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-fp9rxLago&feature=en...

Masjid Negara:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&a...

Apr 13, 2012

Wildcrafted Food

The thing about keeping the farm environment as natural as possible is that there’s so much wildcrafted food around.

Taking a walk today in one of our ‘wild corners’, there ahead of us are some wild mushrooms:

wildcrafted food, solanum nigrum, daun meranti,

A corner kept 'wild' for its 'Qi'

wildcrafted food, solanum nigrum, daun meranti,

Cendawan Busut (Termitomyces albuminosa) or Termite-Hill Mushrooms just ahead of us.

wildcrafted food, solanum nigrum, daun meranti,

More mushrooms at the side, on slightly elevated grounds.

Further ahead of us, round a corner, a patch of daun meranti, a solanum nigrum variety that has a long history of safe consumption among village folks.

wildcrafted food, solanum nigrum, daun meranti,

Solanum nigrum var. patch

wildcrafted food, solanum nigrum, daun meranti,

Fruits of the plant, considered toxic in some varieties, especially the green fruits.  On the safe side, best to avoid consuming them.

wildcrafted food, solanum nigrum, daun meranti,

Delicious stir-fried. 

Frankly, wildcrafted food is our preferred food.  At any given day, we would have wild eels, mushrooms, fruits and so many different varieties of vegetables.

wildcrafted food,solanum nigrum,daun meranti

Ingredients for a 'wild' lunch: daun meranti, bunga kantan and some garlic.

wildcrafted food,solanum nigrum,daun meranti

Sweet yet bitterish daun meranti with a hint of kantan aroma, and of course garlic to bring it all together. A light, healthy lunch; great by itself or with some rice.

Wildcrafted foods are not bred to grow fast, nor bred to exhibit a certain characteristic such as a particular color, or a particular flavor, or in most cases, to make it sweeter.

In many  ways, it would be a more “balanced” food.  By this I mean you are not going to have fruits that are so sweet that it affects your glucose level adversely, or vegetables with excessive nitrates, etc. 

These are foods made by Nature,  not altered by man to suit man's taste-buds or to suit marketing and production requirements.

Apr 11, 2012

Birds Nesting At Our Farm - II

We were surprised to find that the nest of Treron Olax have not only hatched, but have fledged.  There they were a family group, three fledglings and three adults hanging on to some branches of a tree about 10 meters away from their nests.

Little Green Pigeon, Treron Olax,

A flimsy platform in our petai tree was where they made their nests overlooking the staff kitchen and dining area and the noise of tractors and chattering workers.  These are supposedly forest birds.

little green pigeon,treron olax

Three parents guarding over their fledglings. Sorry about the bad photography, clearly I need some lessons.  The birds flew from their nests at 7am and hung on to this tree 10 meters away, for two hours.  

Then with a loud flutter, as if by a common signal, they flew off at speed simultaneously towards the nearby forest.  Wonder why they are not nesting in the forests? Poachers?

little green pigeon,treron olax

The male

little green pigeon,treron olax

One of the females next to a fledgling.

Treron Olax or Little Green Pigeon is a resident bird in Malaysia. Will have to get better equipment to document all these birds at our farm, plus take some lessons.

Here's a couple of photos showing the birds in their glory from http://www.tomo-rhino.com/malaysia/

little green pigeon,treron olax

little green pigeon,treron olax

Treron Olax is a protected bird in Malaysia.

Apr 09, 2012

Birds Nesting At Our Farm – I

When birds find your farm environment to be conducive, they become resident and no longer transcient.  We can farm and yet we can have a bird sanctuary, sharing just a small percentage of our farming produce with the birds.

It is an honour that many birds, both common and rare have started to nest at our farm.  Subsequent generations become increasingly tame and human-friendly.

punai tanah, emerald dove, starling, asian glossy starling, tailor bird, bulbul, yellow vented bulbul, bird sanctuary,

Emerald Dove – two years  ago they first started to appear; always flightly.  Today they have started nesting at our farm in at least 5 locations.

punai tanah, emerald dove, starling, asian glossy starling, tailor bird, bulbul, yellow vented bulbul, bird sanctuary,

Click for close up.

Yellow Vented Bulbul – they have nests all over our farm, and subsequent generations are no longer transcient making our farm their permanent home.

punai tanah, emerald dove, starling, asian glossy starling, tailor bird, bulbul, yellow vented bulbul, bird sanctuary,

Click for Close Up

This juvenile Asian Glossy Starling is part of a flock hatched from nests in our farm.

punai tanah, emerald dove, starling, asian glossy starling, tailor bird, bulbul, yellow vented bulbul, bird sanctuary,

And our personal favorite, the diminutive Tailor Bird, which goes about its business right next to us without a care.  This bird was just 5 feet away  from me while I was noisily cutting some brush. How’s that for trust? 

Apr 06, 2012

VRE - Public Health Threat?

Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci (VRE)  is often indicative of antibiotic abuse.  Farms that use sub-therapeutic antibiotic continuously may have animals that harbor VRE.

VRE have been found in many countries in poultry meat, pork, beef, milk and cultured fish.

VRE poses a potential public health threat.

In 2005, our country reported a case of Community-Acquired Infection (CAI) of VRE.  The report is here.

The point of infection is speculative in the report, but it does raise the red flag in so far as the possibility of CAI of VRE is concerned, in our country. This means that the possibility of infection have now moved out from the hospital environment to the community. 

In the light of the possibility of community acquired infection of VRE, responsible farmers must do self-monitoring and self-testing to prevent selling meats that are infected with VRE.

All our poultry are tested to be free from Salmonella Enteritidis and VRE before processing.  Here’s the test results on VRE in our recent samples sent to the lab :

vre,se,salmonella enteritis,vancomycin resistant enterococci,antibiotic abuse

Click on table for close-up

VRE infection is especially dangerous for those who are immune-compromised, e.g. cancer patients, those with heart problems, kidney problems, etc. 

vre,se,salmonella enteritis,vancomycin resistant enterococci,antibiotic abuse

Farm manager Razaly taking a swab. 

vre,se,salmonella enteritis,vancomycin resistant enterococci,antibiotic abuse

Preserving the samples in BP Water.

Testing samples from the farm is essential to ensure result integrity as samples from processed chickens may reflect cross contamination during handling.

Apr 02, 2012

Living (And Farming) With Nature

The farm is a bird sanctuary of sorts. This statement seems to be contradictory at first sight, but our farm  is full of birds of various kinds (about 50 different species at last count).  We can farm and yet we can live in harmony with wildlife.

If you want to have birds in your farm, you must not allow your workers to kill any bird, not even one.

Birds living in close proximity of each other will know if one dies, even of different species.  A farm like ours is like a huge giant aviary.  The birds are regulars, or have made their homes at the farm.  If you kill one, all the rest will know of the death.  After a few deaths, they will start to leave.

And why kill them?  Look at the ‘enhancement’ they contribute to the farm environment:

weaver birds, weaver bird nests, ploceus philippinus, burung tempua, baya weaver, co-existing with nature,

These are nests of weaver birds.  They have made them hanging from a neem tree we planted in a chicken padang (field).   At the background you can see one that’s green in color.  The birds have quickly picked up the grass that we have cut to weave a nest.  It will dry out gradually.  These nests are the most effective against the many snakes that have made the farm their home too.  It’s going to be tough for a regular snake to reach the entrance of the nest.

weaver birds,weaver bird nests,ploceus philippinus,burung tempua,baya weaver,co-existing with nature

Experts say, birds will bring disease to a chicken farm.  This has not been our experience (11 years now).  All you need is the will to live with nature, and put to practice modern scientific knowledge about dieases.  The costs involved is marginal.  The benefits to bio-diversity and the ecology, immeasurable.

Spread the word; it can be done.