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Friday September 7, 2012

A quacking venture
STORY AND PHOTOS BY GRACE CHEN

There are two things Hasan Sulaiman, 52, does to take his mind off work. One is to
go for his daily polo sessions at the Iskandar Polo Club in Tambun. The other is to
rear ducks. Rollover Now!

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“I like to hear them going ‘quack quack’. There is a joyful ring to it,” reveals Hasan,
who went into duck rearing a year ago.
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Adding to the merry ring is the prospect of added income for his farm located near US household debt continues steady rise: NY Fed
Tanjung Rambutan, a town in the Kinta district of Perak. Because his free-range
ock is fed on rice and wheat our, he is able to market his birds at a premium HSBC pays RM1.5bil to settle investigation of
Swiss bank
price of RM15 per kilo to restaurants. The price of ordinary ducks usually ranges
between RM6 and RM12, depending on season. Presently, Hasan has some 400 French insurer AXA narrows M&A focus to 16
birds and it takes him ve months to raise a duck from chick to adulthood. countries

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The egg factor: Yap Jun Ming of TPP Budget 2018
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Tong Chun Trading, an egg supplier Star Golden Hearts
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for 33 years at Chow Kit Market sells Award

some 900 duck eggs a day at 60 sen your e­mail address Sign Up


each. Industry insiders estimate
Malaysians can easily consume over By clicking on the Sign Up button, it is deemed that you
consent to our terms.
200,000 eggs daily.
Like Hasan, others too have found duck farming rewarding.

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Founded
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More Perak Duck Food Industries, an industry pioneer with feed mills, UPDATED EVERY 5 MINUTES
hatcheries, farms and slaughter houses located in Butterworth and Taiping is an
example. Nine million ducklings are produced annually and some six tonnes of
feed come out of their mills to feed their own ock with enough surplus to be sold
to the domestic market. The group has 50 farms, totaling thousands of hectares
spread out in the Perak countryside, each housing some 10,000 ducks.

Tan Chek How, the manager of Perak Duck Food Industries , says current market
conditions are still attractive despite the rising price of raw materials.

“This is because the duck market is controlled by only a few companies. So far, we
have been able to work together to maintain a steady supply for the domestic
market in addition exports that meet up to 70% Singapore’s demand, which is
currently our biggest export market” says Tan, 33.

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Seasoned seller: Low of Yummy


Duck in Kuchai Entrepreneurs Park
says diners believe left drumsticks
are tastier because they are more
tender. In the 10 years Low has been
in business, he has come to believe
that ducks from the north are also
tastier.
A total of ve lorries carrying 1,404 birds are transported to the island republic
daily. Perak Duck Food also exports to Indonesia and Brunei.

The emergence of new demand from the halal sector is also a major contributor.

In the past, 90% of duck productions was for Chinese consumers. The landscape
however, began to change about ve years ago when the government started to
encourage duck rearing in the rural areas to stimulate the economy.

The emergence of franchise restaurants specialising in roasted meats have also


played a part in stimulating growth.

“It’s not only the meat. There are byproducts as well. Salted and century eggs
aside, the feathers can be used for pillow down; and there is a big market in China
for intestines pickled in wine for example,” says Tan. Stay updated daily with our FREE email
newsletter.

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A cheeky twist: Peking duck wrapped Malaysian style as


roti jala replaces the traditional pancake at Duck N’ Such.
The origins of the duck industry can be traced back to the sh ponds and
vegetable farms of the pre-Merdeka years. A breeder from Pengerang, Johor, who
has been in the business for 40 years, reveals that his father started by collecting
duck eggs from villagers and hatching them with the help of mother hens.

Today, most hatcheries employ the use of electric incubators with a capacity of
40,000 eggs per unit. Between 70% and 80% of the eggs will produce new
hatchlings.

Modern methods are necessary to meet the present demands for consumption.
Industry veterans estimate no less than 30,000kg of duck meat is eaten by
Malaysians daily. Egg sales, in the form of salted and century eggs, easily total
over 200,000 a day.

Where duck connoisseurs are concerned, it is a must to know one’s duck.

The ones most favoured for roasting are the Cherry Valley variety imported from
the United Kingdom, also known as Peking duck in gourmet circles. For stews, it is
the French Muscovy.

The red meat is believed to give the duck kut teh, a herbal soupy dish, its heady
avour. The Serati, commonly known as the mule duck, which is a cross between
the Peking and Muscovy is the most ideal for soy braised duck. The best egg
layers are the Khaki Campbells, whose eggs are most sought after by wan tan
noodle makers.

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A traditional spin: Duck satay from
Duck N’ Such. Barely two months old,
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the restaurant currently produces consent to our terms.
some 200 sticks a day.
For chef William Low, 43, the owner of Yummy Duck, a restaurant in Kuchai
Entrepreneurs Park in KL, the best tasting broilers come from the north.

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“Attribute
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geography and water quality. In Perak for instance, most duck farms UPDATED EVERY 5 MINUTES
are situated on former mining land with unused ponds where the birds can paddle
and enjoy an additional diet of fresh water snails and sh for example.

“Ducks reared in this area can also be categorised as semi-free range, which
means they will have more exercise than the ones bred in closed houses,” said
Low.

The seasoned restaurateur shares an interesting tip on duck eating.

“For some reason, customers insist left drumsticks taste better than the right.
They say this is because the animal has exercised this leg more. Personally, I can
hardly tell the difference.

“Perhaps it is another marketing tactic thought up by the food and beverage


industry,” laughs Low.

Taking the quack factor to a new level is Duck n’ Such in Hartamas Shopping
Center in KL. Run by the mother-and-daughter team of Datin Nazneen Abdullah,
49, and Sharifah Nur Diyana Syed Zulki ee, 24, the outlet boasts of an extensive
menu with duck as its main ingredient.

Big plans: Nazneen (right) and


daughter Sharifah Nur Diyana plan to
bank on the quack factor with Duck
N’ Such, a restaurant in Sri
Hartamas.
Think Sichuan duck broth, salads with slices of grilled duck breast, smoked duck
with asparagus, duck satay, duck quesadillas, spaghetti Bolognese with minced
duck, duck meat and mushrooms on a risotto.

“Think of a duck restaurant and the typical concept of roasted ducks hanging in an
open kitchen comes to mind.

“We wanted to give the duck restaurant a different twist,” says Nazneen of the
restaurant’s contemporary cafe-like interior.

Started up with RM1mil, Duck n’ Such is barely more than a month old (they
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opened in July), but Nazneen and her daughter have big plans. newsletter.

The pair have ambitions of starting a Duck n’ Such franchise. “We are looking for your e­mail address Sign Up
locations in KLCC, Pavilion and Mid Valley,” says Nazneen.

Their target? To woo Muslim diners. By clicking on the Sign Up button, it is deemed that you
consent to our terms.

It is the general perception that the duck has never gained wide acceptance
among Muslim diners. What made the ladies embark on a restaurant that would

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seemingly
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“I think it’s a ‘duck and egg’ issue. Which comes rst? Perhaps the limited clientele
is merely due to the limited supply.

“There are not many places one can go to eat halal duck in Malaysia. So much so,
we were not even exposed to it until my daughter discovered a halal duck
restaurant in Bayswater, London, and immediately fell in love with the texture and
taste of duck.

“Returning to Malaysia, we hardly found any restaurants that served halal duck. Of
course,we also did a little survey, and found that many Muslims want to eat duck,
and that if a restaurant opened which served halal duck, they would indeed
patronise it,” says Nazneen.

So far, sales have been encouraging, amounting to some RM20,000 weekly.

They have a current turnover of some 50 roasted birds per day, selling at RM42 per
half bird.

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