This post is entitled : HOW TO CASTRATE A CHICKEN. Do not watch the following videos if you are squeamish!
Following our review of the Yim Kai (Castrated Chicken) at Chef Tam where we met Gerald d’Cruz of the Kuala Lipis Sunshine Chicken farm, we were soon invited by him, to see the Sunshine Chicken Farm in Kuala Lipis. Cumi & Ciki, A lil Fatmonkey, Memoirs of A chocoholic, Babe KL and hubs, Marian, Lemongrass, Bald Eagle, ‘A‘ of Friedchillies, Thule and Boo of Masak-masak made up the road-trip posse.
Upon arrival at the farm, all the four wheel drives are sprayed with a healthy dose of disinfectant.. I suppose this is to make sure we do not bring in any microbes with us, that might contaminated the chicken.
We felt really honoured when we were told that we would be served a light western breakfast at the farm before the walkabout – courtesy of Chef Marinus of The Grand Life Sdn Bhd. We had some gorgeous, Chicken Terrine and Liver Pate (chicken and /or duck) spreads to go with our French Loaf and coffee and tea.
Apparently Chef Marinus also supplies his pate and terrine to O gourmet, Bangsar Shopping Center.
After a quick breakfast and briefing by Mr Ong above, owner of Sunshine Farm, we were soon ushered to our farm tour. Since not all readers understand the Cantonese dialect, a simple translation says the poultry is fed on Guinea grass (as you can see in the video) or “Ma Cho” grass ,as well as corn. Guinea grass is a variety of Napier grass which according to Mr.Ong has health benefits to humans as well. Guinea/Napier grass is a main source of food for livestock around the world. The water used to water the vegetation is pure, unadulterated water. All these elements only combine to give 90% of the winning formula (the rest is a trade secret for obvious reasons) that will produce chicken of superb color, flavour and succulent texture.
There are two types of Yim Kai (Castrated Chicken). The Malai Kai (Kampung Chicken) and the Fahloh Kai(Color Bird). The biggest Fahloh Kai can reach 6.5kg, whilst the biggest Malai Kai can only reach 6kg. The Fahloh Kai has the softer texture, whilst the Malai Kai though delicious, can be tougher.
You can see bald patches of vegetation that has been consumed by the chicken on the plains. Free range chicken are the healthier version to normal chicken as they are not subjected to hormone injections nor vaccines and are fed natural vegetation. They are also free to run (more exercise! – hence the ‘free range’ term) which results in less fat and more lean meat than the average chicken.
a) Free Range Chicken (Ma Cho Kai) – The farm has both hens and roosters, roosters being slightly more heavier – generally they weigh between 1.3kg to 3.0kg.
b) Free Range Castrated Rooster or Capon Rooster (Yim Kai) – These are only available in limited numbers as it takes more then 20 weeks to mature. Capon Roosters generally weigh between 3.5kg to 6.5kg. The procedure is fast, and the rooster does not suffer. A small incision is made to remove the reproductive organ (gonads) then the bird is up and running with no down-time. A Capon’s flesh is known to be juicier, tender and flavorful compared to an un-castrated cock.
We managed to observe a freelance castration expert at work on this visit. His deft hands and skills are the result of over 30 years of experience and has been in the ‘operating theater’ since aged 15 years. It also helped that he came from a lineage of castration specialists. He can tell if the chicken is ready for castration just by handling the chicken in his hand. Unwell chickens are left to recover first as they need to be healthy to survive this ordeal. You will see from the video that it takes just approximately 2 minutes to complete the painless procedure. This is a dying trade which our parents have witnessed in their daily lives and we’re fortunate to have documented.
Please click on the video below to see how a chicken is castrated (WARNING! Not for the faint-hearted).
Here below, you see the Rooster, after the procedure, up and about. No bleeding nor down-time.
The Chicken testes are apparently good for the kidneys. They can fetch, up to RM20 for 100gm.
Next up, exploring Kuala Lipis and Bentong Town with the gang. Lunch is served. Thank you Babe KL, Cumi and Gerald for organizing the itinerary so well that things went on without a hitch.
PART II .. lunch in Kuala Lipis