PREBLE COUNTY —There were several large outbreaks of Avian Influenza around the country this year. To protect commercial flocks, poultry shows and swaps were banned throughout the entire state of Ohio – as well as several other Midwestern states.
Thus, on Monday, August 3, poultry exhibitors participated in the showmanship portion had to use stuffed animals instead.
“We tried to provide as authentic an experience as possible,” said Christy Millhouse, the director of 4-H youth development. “We wanted to at least give the youth involved as close to the real bird as you can get.”
All particpants were handed a stuffed chicken as they walked into the show ring. The exhibitors still presented the judge with photographs of their poultry projects from home but were challenged in the interview more. They also still had to demonstrate the proper technique for placing and removing their bird from a cage, as well as overall proper handling.
“This year was difficult naming parts on the bird since we had stuffed bird and they aren’t as detailed,” said Dylan Seitner, who has been showing poultry for nine years. “It’s a little harder on the judge too since he doesn’t know what we breed, he can’t ask specific questions unless we tell him what we breed.”
Others also commented on how the fair and the judge both made the best out of an unfortunate situation.
“They kind of made the best situation out of the worst scenario,” said Adrianna Via, who has also been showing poultry for nine years. “I really do miss my chicken being out there. He calms me down. The judge is fantastic though, he found a way around it.”
Both Via and Scitner said their preparation for this year’s show involved more studying of various breeds to widen their knowledge for the interview with the judge.
Poultry was not allowed to be auctioned off either, so donations were solicited from various businesses and various other avenues. The money raised will be distributed evenly to all poultry participants.
Here are the results from poultry showmanship:
Poultry Grand Showman of Showmen — Adrianna Via
Poultry Reserve Showman of Showmen — Dylan Seitner
17 and over:
Winner — Dylan Seitner
Second — Suzanne Kimball
15 & 16 year olds:
Winner — Ady Via
Second — Johnny Cottingim
13 & 14 year olds:
Winner — Breanna Via
Second — Chyann Kendel
11 & 12 year olds:
Winner — Angelica McKee
Second — Lynnlee Voge
Eight, Nine and 10 year olds:
Winner — Paige Lee
Second — Bonnie Blevins
Jeremy Erskine may be reached at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH.