Sunday, February 28, 2010


Opportunities pop out and it is there for the take....or for it to slip by. Of course for the take!

Our calendars are always full, but when you spot an opportunity, you adjust and make way. It is like Spring cleaning...make way for new things.

Much like last Friday's impromptu radio interview...we got a request to do a seminar in a Northern Luzon province. When we said "YES", the next was, "can you also do for other provinces in Region 1?"....Sure :) After we hang up, I had to get my calendar to adjust schedules.

The schedules fell on a week where we were supposed to be on R&R with some agri friends. How to now? Abrakadabra!!!! Turn the Region 1 trip into a vacation :) Reats and Reminars ahahahah.

I will post schedules once I know details and IF we can invite you to join for free :)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Move Positively

Do you get the feeling for the past year, that all we hear and read on multimedia are all so negative? They are all talking about the glass half EMPTY!!!

Doc Rey and I were discussing that it scares people to move. Most people don't want to invest nor work. It is as if talking about it will ease up the situation.

The other morning, I was watching a segment on a morning TV program. It featured the Makati Fire Department, showing a fire drill. It also taught that we don't panic when there is an LPG leak that causes the tank to ignite a fire. You are just supposed to go behind the fire and close the valve of the won't explode. When the fire gets big and the tank is subjected to intense heat, that it the time it explodes. Many years back, I was also taught that when fire breaks in the premises of a gas station, just make sure that the doors of the underground tanks are closed. The fuel stored underground won't be affected.

Also, they taught how to operate a fire extinguisher. If I had to go on "Family Feud" and asked, "what is one thing you don't know will work until you need it?" reply will be "fire extinguisher". There was acronym that reminds you the steps...w/c I forget now ahahahha. But the important thing I learned was that you train the nozzle at the base of the fire and not to the flames.

Point here is YES, we have problems. But we should do something about it. Educate people to correct the situation. Train people to do other things instead of staying stuck to problems. Look elsewhere. Think out of the box.

Today was a good sign again. We had a longgggggggggggg schedule from dawn to midnight. At about 10am, as we were preparing to go for lunch meeting, Doc Rey gets a call from DZMM's Talakan if he may be interviewed over the phone. The production assistant (PA) went on to describe their program, introducing the hosts etc...I was busy and in a hurry. I asked WHEN. They said today. I asked WHERE, they said they can do a telephone patch. I asked if they wanted live, because it is sooooo different to get across when it is live and Q &As are with eye contact with the hosts.

They were so happy we can do live. Good that lunch was very near ABS-CBN.

You can't move if you are negative. You get stuck or even fall back.

Read about Talakan:

As its title suggests, Talakan (Talakayan at Kantiyawan) is a satirical yet optimistic way of discussing hard core news, public affairs, and showbiz gossips.

Anchors Ahwel Paz and Manny CastaƱeda do a rundown of the latest issues of the day and discuss it one by one. The tandem’s distinct comical way of presenting developing news is indeed a breather to listeners and viewers from all the negative news and issues they encounter daily.

With segments like “Trulaloo o Eklavoo” and “Trivia o Chorva”, Talakan educates and at the same time entertains a wide range of hooked followers--from jeepney drivers, office staff, housewives, online listeners, and even TFC subscribers worldwide. (Source:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Too Much

Anything in excess is bad :(

Aside from giving a healthy ground for your Sunshines, you rotate ranging areas for your land, and the plants.

I had this favorite Atis tree that I look forward to picking from and eating fresh fruits whenever in season. As we were examining post ranging areas, I was so sad to see it leafless, lifeless and standing sadly brown and wilted.

When we had Andry and Jojie Lim at the farm last month, I was telling Jojie about my favorite tree. Doc Rey said because it had too much manure in that area. Jojie called the caretaker and asked him to excavate around the tree, about 1meter in diameter. Aerate the area and overturn the soil around it.

One month after, this was how it looked! Thank you Jojie :)

Some layers still found their way to that former range. They must love the Atis that falls off whenever I am not around :)

What Comes To Mind First?


Playing Hide and Seek?

Looking for insects to eat?

Trying to get away from the heat of the Sun?

Ruffled feathers: Sign of unhealthy chickens. They are not grooming themselves and just sit and be sad.

Much just like humans, you don't feel like fixing up when you are sad and sick. You will like to curl up in your jammies and stay away from the hustle and bustle of life.

We found this chick far from the group. And looks like he had been sick for quite sometime as his groupmates are all big and rowdy! That batch had been moved to the holding area for the harvestable batch and when the vacated ranging area was being tidied up to be able to rest...they found him :( He may have survived even if he wasn't part of the eating group, because he was able to subsist on grass, worms and insects.

Watch out for chicks or even ranging chickens that are sad and have ruffled feathers. They will need to be segregated and will need TLC.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Old Sacks

...for new reasons.

As we go around ranges that have to be rested and ones that are ready after being left to relax, you see come across material that have to be moved...not thrown, but used or sold.

We saw a stack of used sacks. We use them as wind breakers...but then this stack is way much for our needs.

We still need to fence a lot of areas and will buy a lot of screens to reinforce the lower portion (as discussed in a previous post). It dawned on us to use the old sacks for the lower portion of the fences.

Of course we know that time will shred it and turn it to rags. By then, the grass has grown on the lower portion of the fence and net. By then, the grass will be thick and the chickens don't force themselves in barriers.

Fertilized Naturally

We have a lot of trees all over the farm. Everytime we rest a range, that is when we are able to appreciate an area and walk all over, as there are no chicken fences to keep us off :(

It is then that we get to see the development of the trees in that area. Look at how robust and healthy they are!

Guess what fertilized them? The ranging Sunshines' droppings :)

My Dampa

Who hasn't been to Dampa? The strips of wetmarket, where you point to what you want and it is cooked for you.

Better for is pointed while still in the plant, picked off fresh, and steamed for a few minutes. Even our drinking water! It is taken from the well and boiled. By the time we are done with breakfast, we are able to drink warm water to wash it down.

We went home to Isabela, amidst reports of calamity area because of the drought. True it is soooo hot here. But, because of natural farming and open housing and free ranging chickens...we are OK!

More so that we encourage everyone to grow your own food. You can do it in containers in your backyard, frontyard, rooftops or hang containers in walls. That way, whatever flood, power outages or whatever comes our may atl east feed yourselves.

Go back to basics :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Where There Is Smoke, There Is Heat

Talk about alternative heat for brooding, aside from brooding bulbs or the gas brooders...people are amazed and surprised when we say they can burn things inside a drum or tin can.

You can use rice hull which will give you carbonized rice hull after. Depending on what is abundant in your area, you may use coconut husks, coconut shells, wood that gives you charcoal later, or charcoal itself.

The point it to have a heat source that is available, convenient to use and economical :)

Most are scared about the chickens getting suffocated by the smoke.

Did you ever see smoke that blows down?

Keep Them Out

Over the years, we figured out that even in ranging areas are far and apart, separated by resting ranging areas, other chicken find themselves with other batches.

Rats! Yes, rats are the ones that make those small holes in nets. The chickens figure out their way to freedom through the holes that they are able to make bigger. When they want to go back, then get entangled in the nets and can't find their way. You have to lead them back.

Doc Rey thought that there has to be a way. The Rats can't win all the time :) (my Eastern sign is a Rat). So he tried on using a screen at the bottom.

By reinforcing the bottom, that prevents the Rats from destroying the net by making holes. Even if the Rats succeed in playing and making holes in the upper portion, the Sunshines can't reach that height and crossover to the other ranging areas.

We're All About Chickens

We got a booth here :)

WHAT: Philippine Poultry Show 2010, The Egg and Chicken Plus Game Fowl Show
WHEN: September 24-26
WHERE: SM Megatrade Halls 1 & 2

See you there :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Interesting how Natividad Farms was able to utilize spaces, almost to the perimeter walls!

Notice how most farms form plots with slanting sides? Sides that are basically unused and space is wasted?

This farm had devised a good one. NO wasted space. It is sort of lego blocks that you just put together. In our everyday life, its like the fencing used for NLEX.

Prefabs that they themselves make. There are several molds, depending on utility. You put holes as needed, which are good for drainage :) They are held together by nail pegs or were they wires? Good about it is movable and less laborious than making plots.

They have practically used these for everything. Vegetable plots, walk ways, etc.

And also for their vermiculture :)
You have to be imaginative and innovative to stay sustainable.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Worm Out Stress

When we visited the 2nd day old chicks in Natividad Farms, last Valentine's Day, we were shown that they were given worms already for food. In their natural habitat, mother hen really hunts for worms to give to her chicks. This was in supplement of the chopped bamboo leaves with brown rice that Jojie Lim prescribed to them.

Even then, you can see the Sunshines loved the worms, although they were two day energized then.

Five (5) days later, as we were commenting and observing the chicks eat and what they ate....Ed Fajardo said that we should hear their sound as worms are brought to them.

Watch and let me comment later :)

Geezzzzz....I wasn't prepared for this! As the Natividad boys came with their trays of worms...the Sunshines literally BUZZEDDDDD and jumped all around! You saw and heard it yourself.

They brought in 1kg at that time of worms. Retail value of about PHP1000 :) But remember, this farm went into Sunshines to get rid of their worms.

The hosts were so happy and proud about the chicks' behavior. Am sure you will be too...unless you are a veterinarian or a poultry man hahahahhaha

STRESS in capital letters! They really bump into one another. Maybe a new game of Bump Chicks will be developed after getting inspiration from this.

Doc Rey didn't tell them outright DON'T....he suggested that the chicks numbering 200, be given about 2kgs of chopped worms in the fermented feeds. If chopped, that way the chicks have no need to be excited with the wiggly, live protein. If chopped, they can be relaxed eating their high protein diet and Natividad Farm's vermi is rid of the over production.

Originally I titled this as Worm Bank...owing to the amount of worms in this farm. But, the stress it brought to the chicks was the point I wanted to bring out after reviewing the video.

Stressful matters may be turned out to good...if properly handled :)

Trio With A Purpose

Very rare that people who are busy and are all over the Philippines doing seminars and farm visits can get together. That is like Andry and Doc Rey. Their schedules are hard to fit them to be in one city.

Add to that a 3rd person, Ed Fajardo of Natividad Farms who is so passionate about what he does. These three (3) men can talk forever about their work and dreams. Guess who out talked in the group? :) You can tell by the mouths that were captured. Two were was...doing the "A, E, I, O, U"s hahahahah

The hosts were very gracious to Andy and Jojie Lim, Sisters from SUSI Foundation and Doc Rey and I. Can't get enough of the fresh and clean salad greens.

Ed was excitedly showing off the ranging area. Hey, we were there just last Sunday, the 14th. The photo shown was dated the 18th. Last Sunday there was no grass, no plants, nada. They replanted and they have become established fast and growing rapidly. Thanks to the worms.

They are now preparing a new ranging area already as they forsee several batches. Natividad Farms is very happy with the way their Sunshines are doing, that the vegetable men are now chickeners. They have temporarily forgotten their lettuce. More like they are experts in that field already and new things interest us :)

Well...behind successful men are hardworking ladies. That is Jojie with the babies.

We stayed there for so long. Much like a family lingering in the hospital's nursery. Where was I? Taking the photos.

We are scheduling a new trip...this time in time for observing the ranging area with the new inhabitants.

You should go and visit Natividad Farms. It will reiterate the fact that you can dream, do and survive.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Eyes Teach

That isn't a grammatical error nor wrong spelling. But it does have a double meaning, come to think of it as I type now :)

What do we want to point out here?

1) Cages, which doubled as brooders, need no permanent walls. Nets were used to safeguard from predators. Nets are also easy to lift or to unfold as needed. It was convenient to free them Sunshines on the range.

2) The range has to be rested now and rotated as there was no grass anymore. That was taken about over a week ago and the flock was transferred to the waiting area for harvest. It is located towards the gate, where it is more convenient to harvest as far as logistics will be concerned.

They run to where the grass is..or whatever is left.

3) There is a fence. Not too high, about 6ft tall, and material used was a net. They have a short wing span and can't fly that height. They respect barriers :) They don't force themselves and break the division.

4) Oh no...that flock wasn't responsible for the "putak-putak" sound. That is from the layers that was ranged near by. It was laying time for them and they were noisily doing their thing.

5) Did you notice that the lower portion of the fence was darker? It was reinforced. Over the years, the common complaint is the chickens are able to escape because of holes in the lower portion. Most times, those holes are made my rats and the chickens find those small holes and work their way to freedom :)

Doc Rey decided to have the lower portion have cyclone wires and reinforced by plastic screens. The net will suffice for the top portion...of course for aesthetics and ease, you may have net from top to bottom.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Eye Level

Look at the grass as they way they see it :) Note how alert and excited they is obvious in their eyes.

See how happy they are when the brooding cage is opened and they are let out free to range for the first time!

Look how they go through grits and pebbles. Don't worry. That is good for them. That gets into the gizzard and those grits are the ones that grind what they eat.

These preparations for an instructional video is making us more sensitive to the needs of the chickens and the neophyte farmer. Much just like this blog and the seminars we do, it is geared for the lay person who has to start from ABC. The video will be appreciated more. As we try to make it easier for you, we are observing the chickens more...thus we are learning other new things too.

Education never stops. We continue to learn from one another...and from the Sunshines. Observe.

Mother Hen

I saw this pic while surfing.

Did you notice that the feathers are standing and sort of spiked? She seems to be alarmed or furious! Maybe the photographer came too close :)

Mothers are naturally and generally very protective of their offsprings. In this case the chicks are well protected. The hen takes them under her wings to keep them warm and/or when the chicks need protection.

How do we keep them protected from predators in artificial brooding? Screens, nets, metal sheets etc to keep predators off their cages.

Natural Brooding

When Ed Fajardo of Natividad Farms showed us what he has printed on free range chicken, I saw that he has several pages from this blog :) and he had attached some pics he "googled images".

This pic is a nice one that shows natural brooding. Explains WHY we need the proper temperature when brooding. The chickens naturally have a slightly higher temperature than humans, and the chicks from day1 to day21 need the warmth while they are still developing their protective feathers.

Notice the space. They are not crowded and have their own areas :)

All over this website, we can't reiterate enough how important brooding is. Please take time to read and make copies.

Mother knows best. In artificial brooding, we learn as much from the mother hens and approximate it as closely.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


When we got an inquiry for day old chicks from Natividad Farms, we were fully booked at that time. They made inquiries and studied other options. We were referred to them by Andry and Jojie Lim and because of the referral, I was under the impression that they have knowledge already on taking care of chicks. Finally we made bookings...the series of questions and phone calls that followed led to conclusion that the chicks will be handed to eager first time chickeners.

The day before we make the delivery, we learned that what they know was based on readings and no actual experience yet :( We were supposed to go visit with Andry and Jojie but that meant several days later....w/c might make it too late and we regret.

We lost no time and asked if we can go visit today, less than 24hrs after delivery of day old.

From the time they were monitoring us on the way, setting a meeting place for driver to meet us to guide us along the way, to the hats (to keep you comfortable as you walk around) that was handed to us the moment we came down from the van....

See that Sunflower???? I felt the good vibes....we knew this was a great New Year and Valentine's meet and spend time with passionate natural farmers!

The brooder was like walking into a hospital's nursery and into an incubator. You enter an ante room and you close the front door first so you lock out whatever...or so you lock in what is supposed to be inside :) Just like watching Flash Gordon when I was a get to digest the fusion of natural farming and conventional SOPs. All these are better seen and experienced, than read about.

A visit to the farm was really an awesome experience. Aside from the cleanest farm (you'd think you were in Singapore ahahahha) we have ever seen that is all Filipino, the delicious buffet that included the freshest salad just picked.

The owner, Ed Fajardo, was the most engaging host! After all that walk and kwentos, we were so starved....oh by the way, we didn't have breakfast yet when we drove there. We thought we can make a quick stop but traffic got us side tracked. We looked forward to devouring the buffet.

You know what stopped us???? Ed's story about his mother teaching them that when invited to a dinner table, you refuse thrice...3X!!!!!! Then you smile and accept invitation but get a small amount of food. He was telling us all these as I was gobbling my salad and getting two servings of my Buko Pandan! Geezzz...I could have ate a lot more.

Next time I go there...I have to repeat this to Ed. It will be an anecdote about Natividad Farms...named after the Fajardo matriarch.

You have to go there. We will bring our Sunshine growers to go is an eye opener for determination, ambition and passion. It does bring you somewhere.

Every space is utilized. You see a vegetable manufacturing processing line. No wasted area. No garbage as the banker in Ed makes everything work for him. Your trash is his need.

It all started with African Night Crawlers. Then he had to find how to get rid of the fast reproduction. How? Get Sunshine :)

Go look for the brand of Natividad Farms in naturally raised products. Now vegetables. I assure you, the most loved, cleanest and sweetest vegetables. The farm is run efficiently. Who said a farm has to be thought as backyard endeavor?

Soon, naturally raised Natividad chickens :)

Friday, February 05, 2010

Relations That Work

Means that we collaborate, we work individually, and work with one another....and we are all hard workers :)

It is rare that we get to sit down with friends and still do our jobs. The trade shows offer that kind of opportunity. Most times we are all miles apart, but the shows centralize us.

Doc Rey enjoys day2 of INAHGEN 2010 with Rene Almeda of Alaminos Goat Farm and Mr. Zac Sarian of Manila Bulletin :)

Can you guess what's next?

Thursday, February 04, 2010

1st Day, INAHGEN 2010

Unbelievable 1st day! Normally, 1st days are the slowest. The exhibitors have time to go around as their chance, being quiet time from ribbon cutting till about 2pm. Not yesterday! It was so jumpy....but productive. That is what I like about INAHGEN, it is a focused trade show. They don't sell booth space just for the heck of sales :)

You have today and tomorrow to check it out. We are at booth #106, Solraya's Sunshine Chicken.

INAHGEN also gave us a seminar slot. Full packed :)

For those who missed the seminar, don't feel bad. We are still able to do a more extensive seminar when there are no constraints on time. Check our seminar schedules that we keep updated.

Incidentally, another thing I love about doing shows: We get to meet our blog readers :)

Mag-Agri Tayo

We shot some episodes for Mag-Agri Tayo last month.

Today we get a call that it will be shown in three (3) successive episodes of Mag-Agri Tayo. It is shown over NBN Channel 4, every Saturday, 9-10am.

Watch us starting Feb 6. Then 13th and 20th, for segments on free range chicken.


Today is the intro for AANI Hour over GNN Destiny Cable. It will be aired every Thursday, 10-11am.

For the intro, they will have the President and Vice President, Mr. Zac Sarian and Eng. Pol Rubia respectively, of AANI.

Surely, it will be guesting people in the know in agriculture in the next weeks.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Colored Range Broilers Plus

We are adding a new line to our Sunshine colored range broilers, dayold chicks.

In April, aside from our existing line, we are introducing a whitish chicken with red and blue markings. We didn't phase out any strain we were carrying, as they had proven well.

Why did we add the white, red and blue? Add that our company colors and Sunshine get the colors of our flag! That idea came after the order was made :) We discussed with SASSO for product development and new strain to introduce that will match the Philippine needs. They suggested this basing on performance and the penchant of Filipino eyes' for color.

Aside from the new broiler strain, don't forget our Starshine be launched in April.

Monday, February 01, 2010

IFEX 2010

Booked for IFEX 2010 :)

This is the 3rd year we are joining IFEX. Looking forward to joining this event organized by CITEM. They are very supportive and it inspires entrepreneurs to do better.

See you at World Trade Center, May 6-8. As usual, our regular growers are most welcome to come market with us.

New All

February is Chinese New Year, Valentine's, Ash Wednesday, People Power Day...that's what my calendar said.

Today, we spent the first hours in Fairvew. Bidding the location and structure that was our base for so many years. No, we are not losing it because we had to close shop nor our business. We just had to make a business move that will make us stronger and make us enjoy our passion more.

We have way to lease out our location to Jollibee :) :(... The rest of the property will be taken over by a supermarket chain. The lease proceeds is understandable to simple minds, that it will make our passion with Sunshine Chicken, doable and not just profit oriented.

Organika, our meat shop will remain at the Regalado side. Right across Regalado gate of SM Fairview, we will also continue to hold our monthly 4th Sunday seminars there.

This afternoon, we went to our proposed new location. A property at the Araneta Center. 8th Ave, very near P. Tuazon. Very close to the provincial bus stations. Accessible by the two lines of trains. We are really happy with this new location.

Building we can serve you there better :)

Again, the move is for the better....we didn't close to remain as such...closed one and will open better :)

Tomorrow, we got o SMX Convention Center to prepare for INAHGEN 2010....see you there!