Even with the recent egg shortage, Mingde Minimum-Security Prison continues to keep its egg prices stable.
These handpicked free-range chickens from the Livestock Research Institute are not bred by normal feed and are allowed to stroll on areas covered in vegetable leaves, tightening their muscle while filling up on vegetables and fibers. The feeding unit is located in the mountainous area of the Mingde Minimum-Security Prison while the chicken is cared for by the inmates. In collaboration with the COA's Livestock Research Institute, these chickens receive high-level disease prevention protection as well as special feed and are named "Mingde Chicken," highly popular and in high demand.
Chiang Chen-heng, Deputy Warden, Mingde Minimum-Security Prison: “We hope that the farming and technical guidance can teach and nurture the inmates' hard work as well as foster their confidence when farming is successful.”
The Mingde Minimum-Security Prison, due to its spread-out terrain, is highly suitable for raising free-range chicken. The annual production is at 30,000 chickens with an output value exceeding NT$10 million. However, though the cost of ingredients keeps going up over the past year, the prison continues to keep its prices stable.
Chiang Chen-heng, Deputy Warden, Mingde Minimum-Security Prison: “Because we farm and cultivate ourselves, plus we take into consideration the chain reactions on increasing prices, we endeavor to freeze the prices while we still can control the costs. We have not raised the price on the recent new "Golden Chicken" either.”
A chicken will be sold when is raised to between 2.5 catties to 3.5 catties. The prison has also developed chicken essence and other products. With respect to the outbreaks of avian flu, the prison noted that because they apply a strict SOP, including periodic disinfecting, and regular check-ups by vets, coupled with a free-range and low-density feeding environment, the risk of contamination is lowered; therefore, there had never been any outbreak of avian flu before.