Shelton’s turkeys are grown in free-range conditions without the use of antibiotics because that is how it’s always been, beginning in Missouri in 1924, when Mr. and Mrs. Shelton were given one hen and one tom turkey as a wedding gift from the bride’s mother.
The Shelton’s moved to Pomona, California, where they started a turkey breeding business with those two turkeys. Their original emphasis was on trophy birds that were bred for feather color and body conformation. But after winning numerous County Fairs and the 1932 Chicago Worlds Fair competition, they began raising turkeys for holiday consumption in the Southern California area.
In 1969, the Flanagan family bought the ranch from Mrs. Shelton. Because Shelton’s was very well known in Southern California, they kept the Shelton brand name and began developing natural poultry products made from free-range, antibiotic-free chickens and turkeys. Shelton’s has grown from one hen and one tom to a full line of turkey and chicken products marketed in natural products markets nationwide.
Shelton’s is still owned by the Flanagan family today, with five siblings running the day-to-day operations of the 87 year old company.