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The poultry shows may have been cancelled, but the Extension Office has some alternatives.
Due to the spread of the highly contagious avian influenza, all poultry shows in Nebraska were cancelled. Extension Assistant, Tessa Hain, expressed in a letter to the 4-H poultry families that she realized how hard the kids have been working on their poultry projects.
"With all your hard work, we would like to see you still exhibit some poultry exhibits at the county fair," she stated.
The following are the new classes that 4-Hers can participate in:
Poultry Record Book: This will be an evaluation of what the child has learned from their poultry project. Poultry record books will soon be available at the Extension office.
Poultry Showmanship: This will be done with a fake chicken.
Poultry Educational Display: This challenges kids to educate the public about any poultry topic in the form of a poster, notebook video or other report. There are a wide variety of topics one could choose from including the avian influenza, biosecurity measures, nutrition or even a certain poultry breed.
Egg: 4-H kids with a laying flock and bring a dozen eggs to be judged. They will be evaluated on uniformity of size, shape, weight, exterior quality, shell texture and cleanliness of the egg.
The first three classes will all be divided into the three age groups (Senior, Intermediate and Junior) and will have a Champion and Reserve Champion award; however, the egg class will not.
Record books and educational displays will be due Thursday, July 30 during the animal check-in time and the eggs need to be brought on Friday morning before the poultry showmanship starts, which will be after the rabbit show. (Due to the afternoon heat, it was decided to begin the rabbit show in the morning prior to the chicken showmanship.)
They also ask that all poultry exhibitors bring an 8X10 photo of their birds that would have been showcased at the fair. These pictures will be placed on the cages, so the public can still see all the different chicken breeds.
Another opportunity for poultry exhibitors is the Poultry Calendar Photo Contest sponsored by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. They award numerous youth with prizes and select photos for their yearly calendar. The winning photos will be displayed at the State Fair and will be published in their 2016 calendar. An example calendar will be located in the Extension office.