Megan Walker is a grade 12 student at Craig Kielburger Secondary School in Milton. She hasn’t yet graduated high school, but Walker is already running a company with 83 very productive employees—81 hens, and two ducks named Daisy and Donald. After first considering hobbies such as horseback riding, caring for miniature horses, or raising pygmy goats, Walker was determined to indulge her love of animals and to set a business goal for herself. Her parents told her she could give it a try with some chickens, but there was a catch—Walker was almost phobic about birds, chickens and seagulls in particular.
Then in May 2016, Walker brought home her first 11 chicks. “I was just one short of a dozen!” says Walker, so of course, she had to get one more chick. A teacher at school offered to buy some eggs. This ultimately led to an investment in another six chicks to make a solid 18 laying hens. More people asked Walker to buy eggs until there were periods when there were two weeks’ worth of back orders. Walker talked to her parents again.
A plan was hatched for Meg’s Eggs—Farm Fresh, Organic, Non GMO, Free Range Eggs for sale locally and delivered by Walker every day before school. 83 birds later, Walker has invested countless hours reading books about rearing laying hens and caring for her birds. Her small egg farm today resembles a sort of hen’s wonderland. Her father, Greg Walker, built the coops where the hens congregate, rest, and lay their eggs in nesting boxes. The local watering hole is accessible to all; that is unless Donald the duck is taking a bath in the middle of it. The birds flock to us for attention as we stroll through the quaint, tidy, happy little enclosure nestled in the cedar forest of the Nassagaweya escarpment area. Walker picks up her birds, one or two at a time and snuggles them happily against her side. She is no longer phobic about birds.
What is the toughest thing about running her business? “Knowing how to keep up,” says Walker. She uses a chalkboard schedule to stay organized in terms of orders and deliveries. She hand washes every egg in warm water to remove obvious dirt (eggs are covered in a protective coating when they are first laid). She has also taken it upon herself to learn as much as she can about providing effective customer service. She interacts with customers online using Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and she likes to keep an eye on “growing and managing everything.” Meg’s Eggs sells approximately 30 dozens per week. Her business plan for 2017 includes a summer stand.
Walker credits her parents with supporting her entrepreneurial spirit and the learning process. But her father gives all the credit to Walker, “She subscribes to ‘Chicken Magazine.’ She reads all these books about birds and of course, we have learned things too.”
What’s next for this young Canadian farmer? Her friends call Walker the “crazy chicken lady,” but she is also a talented figure skater who is eligible for a position with “Disney on Ice.” She has also been accepted into the nursing program at Sheridan College. In the meantime, Walker has been asked by teachers at school to give presentations to her peers in a Life Skills class.
Interested in more reading about Meg’s Eggs? Sign up for weekly updates about her birds or enter one of Walker’s monthly contests by visiting her Facebook page.