Ayam Kampung

(Village Chickens)

The Lean Ayam Kampung.(Neighborhood Chicken)

The Lean Ayam Kampung
(Neighborhood Chicken)

Free Roaming Chickens

Yes, there are chickens that roam around the neighborhood where we live, well within the city limits of Jambi. There are no restrictions on raising chickens this way, and people with yard space, or those who live close to small gardens, often raise chickens, geese, ducks, goats, cows, and even water buffalo, in the very same way; they roam about freely.

This article is specifically about the special type of chickens that are released from their cages early in the mornings and spend the day scratching about looking for insects, toads, seeds, ants, roaches, worms, discarded food from people, dead animals, etc., whatever they can find on their own. Occasionally people will scatter food around on the ground for them to eat, but mostly they have to find food on their own.

Chickens raised like this are called ayam kampung (neighborhood chickens). Though Ayam Kampung chickens are much thinner than chickens raised in a controlled setting, Indonesians claim that meat from these chickens contain more protein and nutrients than chickens raised on farms that are fed processed feed. Indonesians also claim that these types of chickens taste a lot better and are healthier to eat, because the food these chickens consume is all natural. The belief that ayam kampung chickens are better causes them to be expensive, costing Rp52.950 ($5.50 USD) per kilogram in grocery stores.

Eggs from Ayam Kampung

Because Indonesians believe ayam kampung chickens are healthier, the price of their eggs are also much more expensive than eggs from a farm.

Ayam Kampung EggsThese 6 ayam kampung eggs cost Rp1,2350 ($1.27USD). Whereas 6 eggs from ayam potong (chicken farms) can be purchased for Rp5,400 ($0.55 USD).

Ayam Kampung Eggs
These 6 ayam kampung eggs cost Rp1,2350 ($1.27USD). Whereas 6 eggs from ayam potong (chicken farms) can be purchased for Rp5,400 ($0.55 USD).

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Ayam Potong / Ayam Ras / Broiler

(Chickens Raised in a Controlled Setting)

The name Indonesians give to mass produced chickens that are raised in a controlled environment are: Ayam Potong, Ayam Ras, or broiler. You can read the article we wrote about these chickens by clicking this link. You can also read our article about fried chicken with this link.

Cleaned whole chickens (at this time) can be purchased at traditional Jambi markets for Rp28.000 ($2.90 USD) per kilogram (2.2 LB). In comparison, broilers in the US are sold at $3.85 USD per kilogram (2010 average). Indonesian grocery stores sell these same chickens are for Rp30.200 ($3.31 USD) per kilogram.

Ayam Potong(Chicken raised in a controlled environment and fed prepared feed.)

Ayam Potong
Chicken raised in a controlled environment and fed prepared chicken feed.

Ayam Kampung(Notably with much less muscle mass.)

Ayam Kampung
These chickens have notably much less muscle mass.

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Pros and Cons of Ayam Kampung

(This is what the people we interviewed claim.)

Pro:

  1. They have less fat and more protein.
  2. They are healthier because they haven’t eaten processed foods with chemical additives.
  3. They have not had growth hormone injections.
  4. They have the ability to resist sickness and diseases that other types of chickens can’t endure.
  5. They have the ability to endure Indonesian weather better than other types of chickens.
  6. It’s easier to feed these chickens, as they look for their own food and can be fed any leftover food that may happen to be in the home.
  7. These chickens are allowed to roam freely, relieving the owners from having to tend to them continually.
  8. Ayam Kampung chickens are able to lay, hatch, and oversee their offspring without the attendance of the owners.

Con:

  1. They take much longer to raise to full weight. It sometimes takes up to 8 months before they are full grown. Chickens raised on a farm are ready for processing in about 40 days.
  2. The owners can’t control where the chickens wander off to.
  3. These chickens are vulnerable to predators (and thiefs).
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