Following the success of the rice harvest and the development of regenerative vegetable gardens. In September, Begawan began the next stage of its development with the purchase of 24 village chicks (ayam kampung). Begawan’s farming model aims to produce various benefits for the Begawan Team, as well as the community.
These chicks will be released each morning and roam freely outdoors to find their own food, rather than being confined to an enclosure for 24 hours a day. Apart from eating some of our remaining rice grain, Begawan chicks are also given organic chick feed. The condition of Begawan’s poultry will be monitored by our veterinarian.
The presence of chicks on the Begawan’s farm produces several indirect benefits. When the chicks roam freely outdoors, they take part in supporting our program to reduce waste, as well as providing natural nutrient-dense fertilizer for our agriculture programs. Adding the chicks’ manure to our farm compost pile is a great way to boost Begawan’s garden nutrient content.
They are also our own Natural Insect Control! Chicks love to scratch around, looking for something they can consume. Beside eating the weeds, grass and leaves, chicks will eat all kinds of bugs including ticks, grubs, roaches, spiders, grasshoppers, crickets, ants, and mosquito larvae. As an added benefit, they will become one of our learning tools for our students. Begawan is engaged in developing educational programs for local children, and observing the growing chicks will show what it takes to go ‘from farm to table’. (Anik Kristina)