The Rural Economy of New England: A Regional Study

By John Donald Black | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 20
Poultry

In 1945, the most important source of agricultural income in three of the New England states -- New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut -- was poultry; it was second in Vermont, Rhode Island, and Maine. The poultry production of New England is mainly fresh egg production. But broiler and roaster production have contributed their part in times past, and have increased in the last decade. Broilers now go to market every month of the year from various points in southern New England and New Hampshire. In the last two decades the production of hatching eggs and baby chicks has been expanding rapidly. The broiler plants in New Jersey and southward like the New England stock of eggs and chicks. Duck farming has prospered at a few points in southern New England since the eighties, and recently turkey farming, using the new methods of disease control, has spread rather widely. The number of turkeys raised almost trebled between 1929 and 1939. Northern New England turkeys have never lost favor in Boston markets.

Go into a typical grocery store or dairy market in Boston, and you will find eggs for sale at a range of prices about like the following: Near-by fresh hennery eggs -- extra large, 58 cents; large, 54 cents; and medium, 48 cents. Pullet or "pee-wee" eggs were selling for about 35 cents, but some stores were not carrying them. The Midwestern eggs were being sold under various brand names by their stores, a brand of large fresh Midwestern eggs being retailed by one chain at 45 cents; and of medium-sized Midwestern eggs at 40 cents. Storage eggs are offered by some of the stores, but at other seasons of the year mainly.

The poultry enterprise has been increasing in New England ever since the first count of poultry and poultry production was made in 1880. The reasons for this were well stated by Professor I. G. Davis. He was speaking

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