Poultry-rearing was a woman's industry, one which it was deemed ‘impossible to induce Irishmen’ to adopt. This chapter is a discussion in discrimination. It examines poultry-rearing in Ireland, illustrating how institutional policies attempted to change the nature of the industry for farm women. Institutionalised discrimination was effective in the dairy industry; the poultry story is more complex. Geographically, poultry-rearing was particularly important in the central counties of Ulster and in the southernmost counties. The main product was eggs, but table poultry were a feature in the south and south-east. For women of the labouring and small-farmer lass, poultry-keeping enabled them to contribute substantially to the household economy. The poor depended on the sale of poultry products for the bare necessities of life. Poultry was the chief source of income to many a poor woman who depends upon her egg money for many little purchases which could never be procured from the husband's hire.
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