Poultry exhibits will return to the Champaign County Fair this year, along with two additional activities fair organizers substituted last year due to lack of bird projects.
Last year, avian flu decimated bird flocks. The Ohio Department of Agriculture cancelled all live bird exhibitions at all venues, which included all county and independent fairs and the Ohio State Fair.
The avian flu ran its course last year and is not threatening the bird flock this year, so poultry projects will be at the fair, OSU 4-H Extension Educator and County Director Melinda Morrison said.
Ohio is the second largest egg producer in the country, home to 28 million laying chickens, 12 million broilers, 8.5 million pullets and 2 million turkeys, according to the agriculture department.
Last year, the fair replaced live bird exhibits with a variety of activities, which included an egg judging contest and an “avian bowl,” Morrison said.
“It went over so well we are doing it again this year in addition to all the regular activities because it was a big hit,” she said.
The bowl is a test of knowledge with teams asked questions, Morrison said.
There are approximately 100 youths with poultry projects this year, she added.
There are no additional precautions being taken beyond the traditional bird testing and hand sanitation and other health protections, Morrison said.
This year’s fair is Aug. 5-12.
Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.