By JAMES TABABA
Jose Jericho Antoy is the owner of JJGA Eggs and Dairy Farm in Antipolo, Rizal. His passion for animal husbandry and farming was nurtured from a young age, inspired by his father’s love for cultivating fruit-bearing trees. Jericho’s agricultural venture took root in 2017, following the acquisition of the farm property in 2016. To get started with free-range chicken farming, Jericho attended seminars and training sessions. For goat farming, he learned by watching online videos and attending free seminars. While Jericho currently lives in Australia, his mother manages the farm in his absence.
Jericho’s farm spans two hectares and houses various animals. He maintains approximately 300 free-range layer chickens and also cares for Brahmas and Bengala Guinea fowls. In addition, he raises goats, with a total of 14 does and two bucks on the farm.
Raising chicken for eggs
Jericho chose to raise chickens because they are easier to raise from hatching to the laying stage. His primary focus is on layer chickens and the production of brown eggs. “Within approximately four months, the chickens will start laying eggs and contributing to production,” Jericho said. “This approach allows for a faster return on investment.”
The farm’s primary product is free-range chicken eggs, which are sold within the local community in Binan, Laguna. Additionally, in Antipolo, Rizal, customers place orders directly at the farm. On a daily basis, the farm produces an average of 120-150 eggs.
Jericho also focuses on raising Anglo-Nubian goats, which are a dual-purpose breed known for both milk and meat production. He is actively engaged in breeding these goats, with the male offspring (bucklings) being sold, while the female goats (does) are retained for both reproduction and milk production.
“Compared to cows, goats are a more manageable size, making them suitable for small farms,” Jericho said. “They also require less feed and grass forage. If you have limited space for growing plants, raising goats is a practical choice.”
While the farm currently produces enough milk only for personal consumption, their main source of revenue comes from selling the offspring of their goats.
Challenges and resilience
Jericho faces a significant challenge with the climate, particularly in the Philippines, where frequent typhoons occur. During the early stages of the farm, they had to deal with severe typhoons that resulted in numerous casualties among their animals and extensive damage to their housing structures.
“To address this issue, we made improvements and invested in stronger housing structures to ensure better protection for the chickens,” Jericho said. “This step was taken to minimize casualties and prevent income loss.”
A vision for the future
Jericho’s initial vision when conceptualizing the farm was to create a project that would serve as a retirement endeavor for his parents. He aimed to provide an additional source of income and a reliable supply of food. In their production of free-range eggs, they adopted a natural approach, refraining from the use of antibiotics and chemicals. Their goal was to offer a farm-to-table experience that promotes healthy, chemical-free food for everyone.
He recognizes that the current commercial production trend often involves the use of chemicals, hormones, and antibiotics. “These substances have the potential to transfer into the eggs produced by the chickens and subsequently be consumed by people,” he said. “To mitigate this, we make every effort to minimize or entirely avoid the use of these chemicals. Our goal is to produce chemical-free products that can be safely consumed by people.”
Jericho’s farm has received valuable support from the local government of Rizal. The City Veterinary Office of Antipolo, Rizal, has conducted visitations and check-ups, along with providing essential vitamins and dewormers for the animals.
Jericho’s future plans for the farm include expanding the goat population to produce more milk for sale. Additionally, he envisions transforming the farm into an agri-tourism destination and hopes to establish it as an agricultural training site, further contributing to agricultural education and local development.
Promoting a farming lifestyle
Jericho’s advice for those aspiring to start a similar business is rooted in determination and perseverance. “Some individuals may face initial challenges, including losses of livestock, which can lead to discouragement,” he said. “If you encounter such setbacks, don’t lose hope. Consider starting again. You might succeed in your next attempt. The key is not to give up easily.”
Regarding the youth’s growing attachment to gadgets, Jericho suggests that parents introduce farming activities like planting and raising farm animals in their own backyards, such as chickens. Jericho advocates for promoting self-sufficiency and the cultivation of one’s food resources. “Starting with these activities, young people may develop an appreciation for producing their own food, especially given the rising food prices,” he said.
Photo courtesy of JJGA Eggs and Dairy Farm