Would You Quit a $50,000 a Year Job to Farm Chickens?

Tong gave up a lucrative job in the city to farm chickens in the country. (Image: news.qq.com)
Tong gave up a lucrative job in the city to farm chickens in the country. (Image: news.qq.com)

Tong Weixin was born in Jinzhai County, China, in 1988 . He’s now fairly well known. Without even completing junior high school, he had a good job in one of the major Chinese cities, with an annual salary of around 300,000 yuan, nearly US$50,000.

But to everyone’s surprise, he resigned from his job and returned to his hometown of Jinzhai to farm chickens. It’s a special type of chicken called the “Mountain Spring Black Chicken.” Four years later, his Jinzhai black chickens are being exported to Japan.

Tong grew up in the countryside. Both his parents were mentally retarded. Tong and his elder sister grew up with their relatives’ and neighbors’ kind assistance. Because his family was so poor, Tong had to give up his studies and work in the city.

He was a hard-working person, and he soon became one of the managers for a Japanese company in Suzhou. His salary and bonus together reached nearly US$50,000 a year. Tong was also sent to work in Japan from time to time.

His job was a cause of envy for many young people his age, but he eventually resigned and went back home to farm chickens in Jinzhai.

Sale of 9 black chickens enough to buy an Apple iPhone 6

Tong explained that a black chicken can be sold for up to 600 yuan in the current market. (Image: SMcGarnigle/Flickr)

Tong explained that a black chicken can be sold for up to 600 yuan in the current market. (Image: SMcGarnigle/Flickr)

Tong laughed when he talked about the beginning of his “entrepreneurship.” “I went into the mountains alone and I stayed with the chickens.” he said. “I observed their eating habits and behavior everyday.”

Tong had read and researched the chicken’s feeding habits, and he found ways to deal with the chickens’ natural predators, such as eagles, weasels, and snakes. In the end, he established a way of farming them free range in the mountains. His black chickens were fed mainly wild weeds and insects, as well as the occasional corn and wheat bran .

Perhaps due to their drinking from fresh mountain springs, Tong’s black chickens’ beautiful plumage has a touch of green sheen. The chickens also brought jobs to around 200 local farmers.

Many people might wonder—the price of a chicken is probably a few dozen yuan—so how can the farm employ so many workers? Tong explained that a black chicken can be sold for up to 600 yuan in the current market.

So the price of nine black chickens will buy a new iPhone 6!

The black chickens from Jinzhai had appeared in many trade exhibitions, and they are now being exported to Japan. Today, one such farm can fetch an annual income of more than US$1.6 million. Tong also has companies in Shanghai.

The average workers are aged between 22 and 25

Many have asked Tong why he stays in the rural area. He replied, according to the journalist who interviewed him, that when he was a young boy in the country, many of his neighbors provided him with food and gave him warmth.

Today, Tong’s creative team are all young people whose average ages are between 22 and 25. Many of them are graduates from prestigious universities. Some even gave up their own companies or their jobs as public servants to become farmers in the mountain. Not everything is what it appears to be.

Research by  Mona, translation by Wendy

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