Fri, Feb 08, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Prison-raised free-range chickens prove a top seller

Staff writer, with CNA

Chickens gather as an inmate pours chicken feed into a feeder at the Mingde Minimum-Security Prison in Tainan in an undated photograph.

Photo: Courtesy of the Agency of Corrections

Free-range chickens raised at Mingde Minimum-Security Prison in Tainan were the best-selling jail-made food nationwide last year, the Agency of Corrections said.

Sales reached NT$10.60 million (US$344,772) with more than 4,000 customers, many placing repeat orders, an agency official said.

The prison is in a mountainous area with fresh air and good quality water, and has 30,000 Taiwan black-feathered country chickens housed in several coops.

The medium-sized chickens are more disease-resistant than other species, the prison said.

The chickens are raised in an open environment where they can freely roam and forage, although they are also fed vegetable leaves and grass, it said.

They are not given antibiotics or exposed to other chemicals, and are slaughtered when they reach four months, the prison said.

Other top-selling prison-produced products last year were “homemade” egg-rolls and pastries from Tainan Prison, with NT$10.44 million in sales; and nut tarts from Kaohsiung Women’s Prison, which made NT$7.8 million, the agency official said.

Initiated in 2006, the nation’s prison work program aims to teach inmates life skills and improve their ability to join the workforce on release.

All healthy prisoners are required to participate in the program, with training courses that teach basic skills in sewing, arts and food manufacturing held occasionally, the official said.

Most of the sales revenue goes to victim compensation funds, improvement of prison facilities and inmate wages, the official added.

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