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Friday, May 21, 2010

I-CAL - Day 4 - Malaysia

Today in Malaysia was full of sun and fun! Adel and Shellen met us at our hotel and we headed out to the poultry processing plant with Jeffery Ng. Along the way we stopped at a rest stop. We were pretty skeptical of using the rest stop thinking about the port’a’potty’s that greet us in the US. But the rest stop was really nice here in Malaysia! It was like a food court with lines of clean toilet stalls!
We started our tours of the poultry processing plant by seeing the live chickens at the farm. Driving up onto the farm we saw some workers dancing on top of the truck full of chickens! They were so funny to watch as they were so excited to be alive! The chicken farm was really impressive. After changing our shoes into some stylish water boots we learned about the fabrication of the coops. The coops are equipped to hold 25,000 chickens in each house. It takes only 2 weeks to build a house! The chickens are kept on what would seem to be the “second floor” so there is about 6 feet below them for their fecal matter. The chickens are bedded down with plastic slat floors and feeders hooked to an automatic feed auger that allows them free feed all day. The chickens are bought from a producer at one day old and raised on the farm until about 35 days before being sold for slaughter. The owner was pretty excited to be putting a roll top door on the chicken house that was from America.

From the chicken farm, we went to the processing plant. We definitely were VIP’s as Dato Fong Kok Yong, the President of “Farm Best,” showed us around their processing plant. We sampled their products as they fed us lunch full of their various chicken products. The processing plant processes 4,500 birds per hour all for consumption in Malaysia. We actually got to go out onto the floor and follow the chickens through the full process. It is different that they used the chicken breast and leg meat to make chicken sausage whereas the chicken breast is a high priced cut in America. The workers rotated stations as they processed all sorts of chicken products including the all popular heart shaped chicken nuggets. It takes 2 hours from the chicken coming into the plant to leaving the plant. We also were educated on the Muslim culture as the chickens were processed in a Halal manner.
Along the road we enjoyed many cultural things: a rubber tree plantation, eating Durian (the king of fruits), feeding monkeys, and touring an authentic Malay house. We ended the evening with a Chinese dinner with Jeffery and Dato Fong Kok Yong. After dinner we hit up Jonker Street which is lined with shops and souvenirs. It has been an awesome day full of cultural experience and agricultural knowledge!

Amy Petersen -Utah State University
Tim Martini - Colorado State University


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