Monday, December 15, 2008

Plucking feathers for a living

Many years ago I had a group of Japanese guests visiting Sibu. Several of them were university students. One day I brought them to jungle trekking near Kanowit. On the way one of the young ladies was so excited that she shouted "chicken,chicken", pointing her finger towards the sky.I was so shocked to see an university student could not differentiate an eagle from a chicken.Later I found out from the group that many of them had never seen a live chicken in their life. All they saw and ate were chicken parts and most of them were from the cold storage. OMG, but life in the big cities with millions of population is such pitiful. I think all of us all over Malaysia do know how a chicken looks like.However I am sure many of our youngsters do not know how the nice looking chicken in the supermarkets and markets are killed and cleaned of their feathers before putting out there for sale. I had a chance recently to photograph the process of killing and plucking the feathers of chicken at the Neylong Hawker Centre in Sarikei.I was on the first floor of the building observing and shooting the hawkers doing their jobs and strangely enough during my 15 minutes above them, none of the hawkers noticed me.It only proved one thing, they were really committed and engrossed in their work.Business is good in the morning . Some customers, after selecting the chicken and paying for it, will just wait nearby for ten minutes to take home the chicken which is ready for the cooking pot.This service charge is RM1.50-2 depending on the size of the chicken. For the duck, it is usually RM1 more expensive as they have more feathers.


victor said...

Omg, the lady just stepped on the chicken like that.. Poor chicken..

sarawakiana said...

For years I have known that the defeathered chickens have been strewn on the floor like this....and I hope that one day these ladies do not have to bend so much in their work...they should work at an assembly line and sit would be more hygienic too for the chickens..

Just a thought...what do you think. But these ladies are making a living in a really hard way. May God bless them.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.

Philip said...

victor:The slaughtered chicken is put into that black plastic tube so that it would die faster. If it struggles, the lady will cover the opening of the tube with her leg.Every chicken is to die for the cooking pot...unless we don't eat them, otherwise their destiny won't change.

sarawakiana:Yes, I think it is high time now that the local councils should upgrade the facilities in all their markets.Make the markets a more hygenic place and make the hawkers' life easier.