“I started to explore the cage free system first as a personal experiment and for my own family´s consumption of eggs. School students came to visit our farm and I realized that their feedback was very positive in support of the Free-range system,” explains Tan. He also says that people tell him eggs are tastier and that the chickens seem to be healthier and happier in this kind of environment.
Like many other producers, Tan heard about the Certified Humane® label while researching egg production. He always wanted to differentiate his production from the traditional ones. That was when he realized that he needed to invest in quality regardless of the quantity. “We farmers see a lot of chemicals, antibiotics, and growth hormones being used to increase production at the lowest costs. I always told my children and relatives avoid this type of product. On my farm, we use the best feed ingredients for animals,” says Tan.
Tan Leng Yee believes in the importance of animal welfare for his operation. “Like any other thing, if you treat the animals well, they will treat you well in return, “he says. For Tan, there are many benefits to investing in animal welfare such as higher quality food, preservation of the environment, and less use of unnecessary medications – such is the food supply chain. Additionally, the product has more added-value and the producer may establish a higher price for his product when animal welfare practices are in place. Everybody wins.
On the laying hen farm, employees receive proper training and Tan makes sure to guarantee that they are happy with their work. “This is the best ingredient to create animal welfare. Happy employees have happier attitudes… and the result is happier chickens.”
The pilot production at Liang Kee Farming is still small but it has a large growth potential. “I am happy to receive the Certified Humane label. HFAC is aligned with the philosophy of my company, since we both believe that animal welfare achieves larger production and profits. I am pretty sure that the eggs on my farm stand out among the rest,” concludes Tan.