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Cluck, Pluck and Luck

The Improbable Early History of Delmarva's Chicken Industry

65 min   |   English  |  2015

Director: Michael Oates

Narrator: Don Wescott

Copyright: 2015

"Cluck, Pluck and Luck": The Improbable Early History of Delmarva's Chicken Industry (Trailer)
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In 1923 an Ocean View housewife ordered 50 chicks and received 500. DuPont Highway was completed in 1924. Demand for Kosher meat in New York City was high. Delmarva’s chicken industry was born.


The film, “Cluck, Pluck, and Luck,” takes viewers from a time when the Delmarva Peninsula south of Dover was isolated and most residents relied on subsistence farming to a time when chickens accounted for a multi-billion dollar industry. 


What differentiates the broiler industry from other American industries is that “its growth and success were not driven by captains of industry, but by the hard work and shared values of anonymous subsistence farmers, African Americans, and immigrant Jewish businessmen.”  


Throughout the film, viewers learn about chicken smuggling and World War II blockades, the formation of the Eastern Shore Poultry Grower’s Exchange, new chicken house architecture after Hurricane Hazel, and the rise of Perdue.

This program was produced by Berkana, Center for Media and Education, Inc. and partially funded by a grant from the Delaware Humanities a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the generous donations from the Delmarva Poultry Industry (DPI) and its members.


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