Smart plan hatched

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Blake McFarlane runs Blake's Chooks and Eggs.
Camera IconBlake McFarlane runs Blake's Chooks and Eggs. Credit: Laurie Benson/Picture: Laurie Benson, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

A Mt Barker boy who was told he could not take part in the mainstream education system has become an entrepreneur.

At 14 years old, severely dys-lexic Blake McFarlane has turned his love for his feathered friends into Blake’s Chooks and Eggs.

With the help of his mother Joanne, father Shane and sisters Jacinta and Cara, he is running a free-range egg-producing farm in Forest Hill and supplying eggs to several local stores.

Mrs McFarlane said Blake was learning so much.

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“It is helping us with Blake as he is learning maths, science, English and even geography, as not all breeds are started in Australia,” she said. “He does public speaking, talking about all things chooks, he is involved in every aspect of the business and tells us what he wants and we figure out if we can afford it.”

His mother clearly remembers the day the family was told even with tutoring, their boy would not be able to learn in mainstream education.

“Lucky for us, a teacher within our school totally understood,” Mrs McFarlane said. “She was dyslexic herself. With this teacher and a group of amazing parents, Dyslexia Assist within the school was started.

“This helped for a while, but we were unfortunately met with some misunderstanding from some teachers who don’t understand dyslexia. He acted out because he didn’t understand.

“If he is told to read what he is supposed to do, the words jumble up and all mash into each other.

“When your child comes home from school in tears saying he is dumb, you just know you have to step in and do something.

“I don’t care that he is getting a D or an E for the other subjects — he’s happy and he’s learning in other ways.”

Blake got into pure-bred breeding at the age of 10.

Mrs McFarlane said he started researching various breeds, going to chook shows and auctions.

The family began trading on July 1 and are now selling about 175 dozen eggs a week.

Motel Le Grande, The Grocery Store in Mt Barker, Solomon Merchants, and Teede and Co. all use the eggs in their cooking.

You can find Blake’s Chooks and Eggs on social media.

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