By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao
Eggs are a common staple in most kitchens. Not only are they a versatile ingredient, they’re also packed with protein, vitamin D, and other nutrients that are essential for health.
Aware of the health benefits of eggs, Lendl Arakama, a former mechanical engineer who worked for five years in Saudi Arabia, wanted to provide his province of Sulu with fresh farm eggs as he saw the lack of it in the area.
“The supply of table eggs come from Zamboanga City, Cagayan de Oro, and as far as Cebu City. The problem with that is there is no assurance of good quality eggs,” Arakama said.
He shared that sometimes, the eggs were damaged when they reach Sulu Island, and worse, some people experienced purchasing rotten eggs.
With the goal of providing people with fresh and quality eggs, the former mechanical engineer decided to set-up a layer poultry farm on a 30-hectare land located at Barangay Bato-Bato, Sitio Talatak, Municipality of Indanan, Sulu.
“No one had the guts to establish a poultry farm [here] because the Tausugs believe that it is very difficult to own and manage a layer poultry farm due to the high mortality rate and that different diseases may occur during the life cycle of layers,” he said.
Known as “Lendl’s Fresh Farm Eggs,” Arakama’s farm envisions producing quality table eggs to give consumers a better option when it comes to their food. This means that their eggs will be of the right size, fresh, and free from any damage.
Encouraged by a friend to go in the poultry business
According to Arakama, it was through the encouragement of his friend from Basilan that pushed him to venture into the layer poultry business.
“[My friend] is the one who told me everything about poultry–from feeds, vaccines, medication, lighting programs, tips, and all the helpful advice he can provide since he also owns a poultry farm,” he said.
Using the land his parents bought during the martial law era as the site for his layer poultry farm, Arakama set out to acquire some layers to get the farm operational.
He chose the Dekalb White to get the job done.
Dekalb White is a chicken breed known for being efficient, docile, and capable of laying up to 500 eggs which are high quality and suitable for being table eggs or for processing purposes.
“I ordered my one-day-old pullets from Bulacan. The supplier then sent them to Zamboanga City via airplane. From there, I transported it to Jolo on a cargo ship that took about eight hours to get to Sulu,” Arakama said.
Lendl’s Fresh Farm Eggs is located in a barangay that’s seven kilometers away from Jolo and has no electricity available yet.
“It is a challenge for me to provide the amount of electricity needed for the layer poultry farm. So I turned to a renewable source of energy: solar power,” Arakama said.
He added that he achieved this feat by studying how to set up the solar power equipment as well as the right amount and size of wires to light the farm.
Now, Lendl’s Fresh Farm Eggs gets to produce table eggs that are perfect for making sunny-side ups with the help of the sun itself.
For the sequel of this article, Arakama shares some tips on how he cares for his layers, how he manages his farm, and how he makes the most of what he has.