Although there are only a few ‘full-scale’ poultry barns in San Juan County, they do have distinct forms that are worth study separately.  Most farmers had poultry as part of their farmsteads: a few dozen chickens and perhaps some geese and turkeys.  However, during the late 1800s island farmers began to raise chickens for eggs.  This trend culminated in the 1930s, when San Juan County reported over 35,000 chickens; apparently in 1936, 90% of these were on Shaw!  (In 1940, Shaw shipped out 3400 cases of eggs.)  Turkeys also became an important crop in the 1930s, with some 15,000 birds counted in 1936.  While turkey production proved to ephemeral—there was a brief ‘spikelet’ in the 1950s—chicken numbers remained in the 20-25,000 range until the 1960s, when they began to fall off precipitously.

Poultry SJC


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