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Competitors get creative for poultry contest with no birds

Alexandria, Ind. (WISH) – The poultry competition at the Madison County 4-H Fair was missing one thing: live poultry.

A statewide bird ban kept competitors from being able to bring their birds to the fair.

Logan Miller, 16, won the competition’s senior division. She said, “I got home from school one day and my dad was like, ‘Logan you can’t show poultry this year,’ and I got really upset. I was like, ‘Are you serious?’.”

Logan Miller said she had been preparing her chicken for competition since the winter. Jadelyn Petty, 12, won the poultry competition’s intermediate division. She said she’s also been preparing her chicken for show since the winter.

Petty explained,”You have to bathe them and then you have to clip their nails and then you have to file them and then they’ll scream. It’s hard to get them prepared for show.”

Due to the bird ban, competitors had to be creative. Many created poster boards with pictures of their poultry along with educational information. Miller and Petty also showed pictures of third birds, but they did something else for the showmanship portion of the competition.

Miller said, “I had a styrofoam chicken that my grandma gave me a long time ago and it looked like a real bird. Everyone was asking me, ‘Is that a real bird?’ I was like, ‘No, it’s fake. Trust me’.”

Both winners said while many may think the competition was easier without live birds they think it was harder. They said the toughest part was judges asked them questions about poultry. They both said they prefer being able to have live birds.

The Indiana Board of Animal Health told 24-Hour News 8 it plans to lift the bird ban on September 17 if there are no future incidents involving the Avian flu.